Points for Business Travelers is a new series aimed at helping business travelers maximize miles and points without a lot of effort. Have a suggestion or question? Email roadwarriorette @ gmail.com.
We’ve talked about goals, loyalty programs, and credit cards (plus a quick call out for email lists). Now it’s time for something pretty simple: shopping portals. Before I started trying to maximize points, I had no idea shopping portals existed. And I didn’t start using them until, well, last month.
Basically, the way they work is that instead of going straight to OldNavy.com or BabiesRUs.com (two of my most recent purchases) you get to those sites through your airline’s shopping portal. Then you get 2, 3, or more points per dollar spent. (And of course if you purchase it on your points-accruing credit card that’s even more!) Simply sign up on your loyalty program’s website. Pretty much every site I want to purchase from (except for Amazon! Darn them.) is on there.
Another way shopping portals are awesome—there are often bonus points. For example, I recently sent flowers to my grandmother and got an extra 2500 Rapid Rewards points. When we filed our taxes, we accessed Turbo Tax through the portal and got an extra 1000 points. I am looking to go to Chicago again in the next few months, and that is already half of the lowest Wanna Get Away fare for a one-way ticket. You’ll often get emails about these bonus opportunities, or you can just check the portal.
One thing to watch for—I have heard (but not actually witnessed) that sometimes when you go through the shopping portal the price is not always the same, for example a 20% off sale is not reflected. So just do a quick double check with the original site if you’re worried about that.
Oh and try not to think about the points you could have gotten in the past. Once I started using the Rapid Rewards shopping portal I realized that I could have gotten something like 5,000 points if I had done my Christmas shopping through the portals. Oh well. Live and learn!
Readers, do you use a shopping portal? What is the biggest amount of bonus points you’ve ever gotten for a purchase?