February Shopping Portal Payouts: Some Improvements Since January

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At the beginning of most months I write a post about some of the shopping portal payouts since there are often some adjustments each month.  Payouts don’t all change on the 1st, but a fair amount do get adjusted at some point in the month.  Doing your online shopping via a shopping portal is an insanely easy way to really rack up miles for purchases you were going to make anyway. 

The numbers below show how many extra points or miles you will earn for your purchase.  For example, if you buy something for $100 from a portal that is paying out at that retailer for 12x then you will get 1200 extra miles or points for that purchase on top of the ones that you earn for using your rewards credit card.  It can take a purchase that would have only earned a handful of points on a credit card to one that earns a significant number thanks to using an online portal.  You can use www.cashbackmonitor.com or www.evreward.com to compare payouts in various portals (though I would do some manual checks for large purchases).

You can often stack coupon codes, free shipping, or in-store pick-up on top of the points or miles earned for shopping through a portal, but that isn’t always the case.  I recommend getting the best deal possible for an item first, and then worry about the miles and points second.  Usually you can do both at the same time.

I will cover many of the top shopping portals, but my personal favorite is generally the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.  In case you aren’t overly familiar with how the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal works, then head to this post for detailed instructions.  While the Ultimate Rewards portal doesn’t always have the best payout (or the most retailers), they do seem to have some of the better customer service when something goes wrong with the points posting, so keep that in mind.  The Ultimate Rewards portal can be accessed by those who have cards that earn Ultimate Rewards such as the Ink Plus® Business Card, Chase Freedom® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Note that some retailers have a different payout depending on which card you are logged in with in the Ultimate Rewards portal.  For example, Drugstore.com is 4x with the Freedom compared to 6x with Sapphire Preferred, and Famous Footwear is 10x with the Freedom and 6x with Sapphire Preferred.  This is the first month in a while where I have seen a large number of payouts vary based on the card you are logged into the portal with.  I listed which card I was logged in with to see the portal payment if it was one that I noticed varying based on the card you were using.  The Ink cards seemed to line up with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) payouts.

Chase Ultimate Rewards:

Anthropologie 6x (CSP)

Banana Republic 4x (CSP)

Baby Gap 3x

Drugstore.com 6x (CSP)

DSW 8x (CSP)

Famous Footwear 10x (Freedom)

Gap.com 5x (Freedom)

Godiva.com 5x

H&R Block.com 15x

Hotels.com 5x (Freedom)

IHG Hotels 5x (Freedom)

iTunes 4x

J. Crew 3x

Kohls 10x

L’Occitane 4x

Lowe’s 5x (CSP)

Macy’s 5x (CSP)

Magazines.com 30x (CSP)

Marriot 5x (Freedom)

OfficeMax.com 5x (CSP)

Petsmart 5x

Saks.com 8x (CSP)

Shoebuy.com 15x (Freedom)

Target 2x

Teleflora 12x

Toms 6x

 

1-800-FLOWERS 12x

Groupon 6x

TurboTax 1,000 points

 

United MileagePlus Shopping:

Blue Nile 6x

Godiva 6x

Isabella Oliver 3x

 

AAdvantage Shopping:

From January 27th through February 21st, you get some bonus AAdvantage miles depending on how much you cumulatively spend in the portal.  You can read more about this promotion here.

  • $150-$299.99 to earn 500 bonus miles
  • $300- $449.99 to earn 1,000 bonus miles
  • $450 or more to earn 1,500 bonus miles

AAdvantage Promotion

Madewell 3x

Sears 3x

Target 2x

Ralph Lauren 3x

 

British Airways E-Store

iTunes 2x

eBags 8x

Fossil 8x

J.Crew 4x

Nordstrom 4x

Pottery Barn Kids 2x

Shoebuy.com 12x

Both US Airways Dividend Miles Storefront and Delta SkyMiles Shopping also are available, though a quick look wasn’t showing any dramatically better payouts than through other portals.

Ebates and TopCashBack are also not to be overlooked as they are cash back sites that can be more lucrative for retailers.  For example, TopCashBack will give 3% back on Hyatt and Ebates will give 8% back on IHG Hotels.  You will still be able to earn hotel points and participate in hotel promos when going through those sites as they take you straight to the hotel site to make your reservation.

Also note that a site called Million Mile Quest has started tracking the Ultimate Rewards earning changes from month to month.  He seems to just be focused on the Sapphire Preferred payouts so far, but it is interesting to see the monthly changes.  Have fun earning miles and points while doing shopping that you were going to have to do anyway.  If you have any extra tips or find any great payouts, I’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: I do receive commission if you use some of the affiliate links in this post.  As always, thanks for your support!

 

Comments

  1. Despite, as MP commented a while back, having been in this hobby quite a while, the simplest of posts often confuse me. JakePB says he is getting 10X for Marriott. Since I have some paid Marriott stays coming up, I looked on evreward and cashbackmonitor and didn’t even see the 5X Freedom card bonus this post mentions. Ev shows 2X and CBM shows 3X.

    When I log onto the Chase shopping portal thru my Sapphire card, it shows 3X, and thru my Freedom card it shows 5X. But I assume that’s only if I use that same card to book.

    The only way I can figure out to get 10X is to book thru the Freedom link for 5X UR points, and pay with my Marriott cc for 5 times Marriot points. But that doesn’t seem to be possible; it looks like it’s one or the other.

    What am I missing?

  2. Robert, now that the UR portal seems to have at returned to the model of different cards showing different payouts, it is likely that the cash back sites aren’t going to show that distinction, at least for now. I only caught it by manually going through.

    I think you are likely onto how Jake is doing it at the end of your comment.

  3. @Jake How did you get 10X?

    I tried going thru my Freedom card link to Chase Shopping and my Freedom cc # was locked into the reservation, no way to change the billing to my Marriott card.
    Plus they only gave me the rack rate, which is $22 more than the AAA rate I have already booked. 5X UR points is worth more to me than the same number of Marriott points. But not at a rate 12% higher. 🙁

    • Robert, that’s interesting. I’d never heard of the card number being locked into a payment screen. For a non-prepaid Rez I suppose that wouldn’t matter much but very interesting.

  4. It’s important to know that, when you click through a portal to get to a company’s shopping site that they often make fairly sophisticated decisions about which discounts to show you based on how you reached the site.

    A couple of years ago I bought a couple of backpacks from eBags. Each was listed with a discount at eBags (one with a 20% site-wide discount, the other on special clearance for that model). When I went through the UR portal, however, one bag was priced the same and the other was shown without the discount. I wound up buying one bag through the portal and the other directly, for the cash savings.

    Check the cost of each major item on your purchase directly with the web site in addition to through the portal to ensure you’re not spending a lot more money than you need to.

  5. Here’s something I’m hoping you can answer…

    A Portal is giving 5x points on a purchase. That means if you buy something for $100 your TOTAL points that you will get is 500 points correct? You don’t get your 100 points for making the purchase and then an additional 500 points for the X factor. You get a TOTAL of 500. At least that’s the way it’s been explained to me by Chase.

    What I find a bit misleading is when a portal list X store as giving 1x points. What? Don’t you already get 1x points points anyway when you make your purchase?

    • Patrick, the answer is it depends. If you are talking about something like the Freedom 5x rotating bonus categories then 5x is an all-in amount. However, if you are talking about in the portal when it says 5x then you will earn 5x on the purchase, which for a %100 purchase is 500 points + the points you would normally earn for the purchase on your card even if you didn’t go through a portal. Amex used to count differently when they had their portal, but it is gone now so doesn’t count. So, a 5x portal purchase on a card that usually pays 1x should actually give you a total of 6x.

  6. “For a non-prepaid Rez I suppose that wouldn’t matter much”
    It wasn’t pre-paid, so you could use whatever card you want when you check out of the hotel, regardless of the one you used to hold the reservation. But I’m guessing if you substituted the Marriott card at checkout for the Freedom card, you wouldn’t get any UR points at all.

    The unexpected thing about making the reservation thru the Freedom cc link is that it didn’t take me to the regular Marriott page, the way shopping portals usually do. It took me to a Chase generated page where I could make a reservation, but NOT ask for AAA (etc.) rates, and where the only payment option was the Freedom card.

  7. @RobertHanson – it kind of sounds like you accidentally went through Chase to “book travel”, rather than going through the ultimate rewards mall to marriott. Did you click to enter ultimate rewards and then hit something that said “book travel”? Or did you do “shop and earn extra points”, then search for Marriott? That should let you click on “shop now” at marriott and it will open a new window that is a regular old marriott booking window. That’s what you want to be doing.

    • Jamie, that sounds like you are on to something. I tried it out today the old fashioned way via the portal and there was no credit card number auto-filled anywhere so I think you are 100% correct.

  8. @Jamie I guess you can tell I have very little experience with the Chase Mall. You are right, I thought I need to go thru “book travel” to book travel. When I went thru “shop” it did indeed take me to the Marriott site. Thank you for setting me straight.

    This still doesn’t answer the mystery of 10X points, of course, since the T/C leading to the Marriott site says:
    “Check out with your Chase card and your extra points will automatically appear on your statement.”

    So I’ll switch my reservations to my Freedom card, and get UR points instead of Marriott points. But still at 5X.

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