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Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points: Shopping Portals

Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points

Update: Most airline rewards programs have discontinued their toolbars, so this is no longer an option for earning miles.

# 5. Shopping Portals and Toolbars

  • Maximize spending with online shopping portals and toolbars
  • Double Dipping

The 1 point per $1 earned on most credit card spending isn’t going to get you to Tahiti anytime soon, but shopping through portals will get you there faster by multiplying your point earnings up to 10 times!

Maximize your spending with Shopping Portals and Toolbars 

Every major airline, as well as credit card companies like Chase and Citi, have shopping portals that let you earn bonus points for your online purchases. Offers vary and you should always check evreward for the portal offering the most points before shopping. Simply enter the name of the merchant you wish to shop with, and a list will generate.

Toolbars (DISCONTINUED)

Toolbars are downloaded on your browser and automatically track your purchases. This eliminates the extra step of visiting a portal. Occasionally, a merchant will only be eligible for bonus points through the portal, in which case your toolbar will offer to redirect you to the portal page.

If you have multiple toolbars on your web browser, be sure to activate the one you want to earn points with while shopping online.

Most of these toolbars allow users to earn miles from searching, at 1 mile per 3 searches. While, you are restricted to 100 miles per month with AAdvantage and US Airways, the Hawaiian Miles Toolbar lets you earn a whopping 5000 miles per month!

Since the search engines are powered by Yahoo, it’s worth using for your everyday search activities. More importantly, this is a great way to earn free miles and keep your miles from expiring.

American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping Toolbar

  • Earn 1 mile per 3 searches, up to 100 miles per month.
  • In the past, AAdvantage has offered a 500 point bonus for your first purchase. You might get a similar offer via email after joining AAdvantage and signing up for email offers.

Delta Skymiles Shopping Toolbar

  • No miles awarded for searching
  • In the past, a 500 mile bonus was offered for first purchase. You may get this offer via email after signing up for Skymiles emails.

Hawaiian Miles Toolbar

  • Earn 1 mile per 3 searches, up to 5000 miles per month.

United Mileage Plus Shopping Assistant

  • Earn 1 mile per 3 searches, up to 100 miles per month.

US Airways Dividend Miles Storefront Shopping Assistant

  • No miles awarded for searching
  • Earn 500 miles for downloading and either performing one search or making a purchase.

Tips for Using Shopping Portals to Earn Points and Miles

  • You will not receive points for purchases that were in your cart before you clicked on the portal link, so be sure to remove any items in your cart before embarking on your point-earning shopping trip.
  • Take screenshots of your purchases, as proof in case your points don’t post.
  • The AAdvantage shopping portal has reported issues with Safari tracking purchases, so consider switching to a different browser for your online portal purchases. I use Firefox, which hasn’t give me any trouble yet.
  • The Hawaiian miles toolbar is terrible at tracking purchases. I personally do not use it at all, since they have time and again failed to award me points, even after I submitted screenshots as proof.

Double Dipping With Shopping Portals

Some portals let you earn points or cash back for gift card purchases. In these instances, you can maximize your points by purchasing a giftcard through the portal, then using your giftcard to purchase the products you want.

A great trick, as pointed out by Frequent Miler is to purchase Southwest or Marriott giftcards through the Ultimate Rewards Mall, then use those giftcards to book travel.

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Ariana Arghandewal

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