How a Rewards Card Can Save You a Fortune When You Shop Online

by Elizabeth Aldrich | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Aug. 12, 2020

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Taking advantage of these shopping portals is a great way to double-dip with your credit card rewards.

There's a rewards credit card for just about everything. You've probably heard of travel credit cards and cash back credit cards that earn extra on groceries, gas, or office supplies. But in an age when much of our spending is done from the comfort of our own homes, where are the credit cards that earn big on online shopping?

You'll find a few rewards credit cards for online shopping that earn more with certain retailers. But here's one underrated way to save money with your rewards card on a wide range of online purchases.

Using shopping portals to get discounts and bonus rewards

Many people don't realize that their rewards program might have an online shopping portal that's filled with additional savings and rewards. This is different from redeeming your rewards points for online shopping, typically a low-value redemption.

These shopping portals can help you earn extra credit card points, airline miles, or cash back on items you already planned to buy. Sometimes, they even include promo codes for additional discounts on your purchase. When you shop through these portals, the final purchase is still made through the retailer's website, so you're getting the same product for less.

This is one of the most underused and best ways to earn more credit card rewards, whether you want to earn points, miles, or cash back. On top of what you earn through the portal, you still earn the regular rewards rate on whatever credit card you use, essentially allowing you to double-dip with a single purchase.

Types of shopping portals

Not every rewards program includes a shopping portal, and some shopping portals aren't associated with any one rewards program. In general, there are portals that earn you additional credit card points, portals that earn airline miles, and portals that earn cash back.

  • Credit card points shopping portals: These include the Ultimate Rewards "Shop through Chase" portal, Barclays RewardsBoost, and Wells Fargo Earn More Mall.
  • Airline loyalty program shopping portals: These include Delta's SkyMiles Shopping, American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping, JetBlue Airways TrueBlue Shopping, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Shopping, and United Airlines MileagePlus Shopping.
  • Cash back shopping portals: These include Rakuten (formerly Ebates), Mr. Rebates, Citi Bonus Cash Center, BeFrugal.com, Upromise, and TopCashback.

Rakuten also has a deal with American Express that allows you to choose to earn Membership Rewards points rather than cash back when you shop through their portal. However, you must have an Amex card that earns Membership Rewards points to do this.

Maximizing your rewards with online shopping portals

Taking advantage of these shopping portals is one of the best ways to boost your rewards balance without spending extra money. Simply shop through your rewards credit card's portal and use the appropriate credit card to pay.

For example, the Shop through Chase portal currently has an offer for 4,200 Ultimate Rewards points if you purchase select AT&T plans and phones through the portal. If you use Chase's Ink Business Preferred℠ credit card, you might even earn three points per $1 on that purchase thanks to the card's bonus on internet, cable, and phone services. This means that a $1,000 purchase could earn you 7,200 Ultimate Rewards points, worth at least $90.

These portals offer bonus points and discounts at all kinds of retailers. Chase's portal currently offers two to 12 points per $1 with online retailers like Adidas, Cabela's, Kiehl's, Patagonia, and more. You'll also find promo codes for many of these retailers, some of which get you up to 30% or 40% off.

Getting into the habit of doing this regularly when you need to make a purchase adds up over time. It's a great way to earn bonus points on all your purchases instead of just those that fall into your card's bonus categories.

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