Now that holiday season is upon us, many of us must have shopped over this Thanksgiving weekend and a lot of us will be shopping over next month or so. A lot of my family members and friends shop online but never take advantage of earning miles and points for doing so. They seem to think that earning rewards while shopping and earning rewards with the credit card that you use to shop is the same. And I tell them, no that is not the case.
You can double-dip while shopping online, earn miles/points for using your credit card and also earn miles/points for shopping through your preferred rewards program like Airline Frequent Flyer programs, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi's ThankYou rewards, Chase's Ultimate Rewards and many others.
Earning rewards through this medium is not too much work and is not at all difficult. In fact, when you don't take advantage of this, you are leaving free miles and points on the table. A lot of my friends leave behind as many as 100,000 miles every year that they could have easily earned and used for their vacations.
So how does it work? These rewards programs have online malls that you need to go through to order your goods at the online retailer. For example, if you are looking to shop at Macys.com, and want to earn miles on American Airlines, you can go to AA's Online Shopping mall which can be accessed through Airlines' website. Or simply use Google to search "AA Online Shopping Mall" and the very first link will take you to https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com. Here you can login into your AA account (or you may need to register when using it for the first time) and search for Macy's which shows that you can earn 5 AA miles per $ when you shop at that merchant through this AA's online shopping mall.
You can repeat a similar process for your favorite loyalty rewards programs. I know it sounds like a lot of work. You may be wondering how to figure out which loyalty program offers you best returns. But there are tools out there that can make your life very easy. One such tool that I love to use is www.evrewards.com which shows you number of miles/points that can earned across many different loyalty programs. For example, if you search for Macy's on www.evrewards.com, you can quickly see that Chase Ultimate Rewards offers you 10 points/$ spent at Macy's. Just click on the link for Ultimate Rewards on evrewards' Macy's web-page which will take you directly to Ultimate Rewards.
You are earning anywhere between 1-5 miles or points per $ spent at Macy's plus you also earn 10 points per $ using Chase's Ultimate Rewards Online Shopping Mall. You can even use your discount coupon and promo codes. All these rewards and discounts can really add up and make online shopping a very attractive medium to shop.
Remember, you have to shop using the browser window that opens up using the links at online shopping mall. If you don't do that, you will not get any credit. This is because, your computer and the merchant you are shopping at can communicate through "cookies" and make sure that only those who have placed the order using the online shopping mall's links get the credit.
Your eligible purchases will be awarded the miles/points within 3-90 days after your order is processed by the merchant. And corresponding number of miles will be deducted if you end up returning the mileage earning goods.