After last year’s discover that 70% of Black Friday deals are available at the same price online as in stores, it seems awfully silly to me to fight the crowds at the mall. Granted, I’m not much of a shopper and I don’t like to flip through the racks finding the perfect item when a three-word search could find me the same item in seconds online. If you’re like me and would prefer to do your online shopping in the comfort of your pajamas, make sure you start your purchases at an online shopping portal. Not only will you still get in on holiday sales and bargains, but you can earn miles and points for your time.
So what exactly is a shopping portal? Essentially, it’s a website that offers you a reward for starting your online purchase at their site. Many websites that refer you to online retailers earn a commission on each sale that is generated. Shopping portals refund a portion of that back to you, giving you an additional 1-20% in savings on every purchase. That adds up to some real money (especially with the holidays coming!), so before to shop around.
Please be advised that the use of coupons and other discounts might exclude you from being eligible to receive your shopping portal bonus. As a rule of thumb, usually coupons advertised on the retailers page (i.e. Free Shipping for orders over $99) will not negate the bonus but targeted offers emailed directly to you will. I always start at a shopping portal, just in case, but don’t be surprised if your order doesn’t qualify if you used a great coupon.
Shopping Portals to Earn Airline Miles and Hotel Points (because free travel can be worth more than cash!):
Air Canada: Aeroplan EStore (BONUS: Until December 20, shop with 2 eStore retailers and earn 2X the miles, shop with 3 retailers and earn 3X the miles and shop with 4 eStore retailers to earn 4X the miles; Like them on Facebook for up to 5x miles
American: AAdvantageEshopping.com (BONUS: Earn 500 bonus miles for each $250 spent, up to 2,000 bonus miles in total)
Amtrak: Amtrak Guest Rewards
Choice Rewards: Choice Privileges Mall
Frontier: Early Returns Mall
Hawaiian Airlines: Hawaiian Airlines eMarket (Only portal I know of offering 1 mile per dollar at Amazon.com)
Hilton HHonors: Hilton HHonors Earnings Mall
Marriott Rewards: Shop My Way
Priority Club: Priority Club Shopping (BONUS: Earn a one-time 500 point bonus with any $250+ purchase made through their shopping portal)
Southwest: Rapid Rewards Shopping (BONUS: Earn a one-time 500 point bonus with any purchase made through their shopping portal and paid with your Southwest credit card)
United: Mileageplusshopping.com (BONUS: Earn 500 bonus miles for each $250 spent, up to 5,000 bonus miles in total)
US Airways: Dividend Miles Shopping Mall (BONUS: Spend $150, earn 300 bonus miles; Spend $250 for 500 miles; Spend $500 for 1,000 miles)
Shopping Portals to Earn Cash Back (‘cuz Cash is King)
Big Crumbs: Offering $1.40 per Alaska Airlines reservation, higher than the competition.
Chase: Ultimate Rewards Shopping (One of my favorites due to rebates posting quickly and consistently and the ability to convert Ultimate Rewards points into airline miles or cash, depending on your needs)
Citi: Thank You Shopping
Discover: ShopDiscover (Often the highest cash back rebates available compared to competition, assuming you have a Discover card)
Ebates: Offering cashback at Amazon on rotating categories
Mastercard: Mastercard Marketplace
Mr. Rebates: One of my favorites because they seem to offer rebates where others may not (including American Airlines, JetBlue, and a whopping 15% currently at IHG hotels)
ShopAtHome: Some of the highest cashback rebates available; when it’s not, you can apply for a 110% “best rebate” price match guarantee
TopCashBack: Cash out with no minimum (other sites can require $5-20 in rebates before being paid)
Wandering Aramean: Set up by a fellow blogger, this is travel-focused and a great way to earn cash rebates for airfare, hotels, and some sightseeing tours.
I don’t have a lot of shopping to do this holiday season, but I’ll be taking advantage of discounts in every way I can. Combine these rebates with a rewards-earning credit card and some great sales, and hopefully you won’t break the bank.
Please note that some of the cashback sites include referrals to me if you join using my link. I appreciate your support of this blog, but understand if you’re more comfortable signing up directly. As always, feel free to share your referrals in the comments below (and sign up using other readers’ links!).