With shopping portals, you can earn bonus miles for your everyday purchases! It’s one of my favorite tricks! 🙂
But how do they work? And what are the restrictions on which credit cards you can use?
Million Mile Secret Agent Marcia asked on Facebook:
Shopping portals – can I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card on the Hilton shopping portal, or my United MileagePlus Explorer card on the Marriott shopping portal? Or am I restricted? It’s unclear. And if I do “mix n match,” how do the points work?
Great questions, Marcia! Shopping portals are one of my favorite secrets to earning free points, extra miles, or cash back on purchases.
And they’re great because you can double dip on your rewards. You’ll earn rewards on the credit card you made the purchase with AND you’ll earn extra rewards through the shopping portal!
Are There Credit Card Restrictions on Shopping Portals?
Depending on what type of shopping portal you are using, there might be a restriction on which credit cards you can use to make purchases. But in general you will earn the shopping portal rewards with any credit card that the vendor you’re purchasing from accepts.
There are 3 major types of shopping portals. Let’s take a look at what the general rules are for each one.
1. Hotel & Airline Shopping Portals
Most hotels and airlines have shopping portals you can use to earn extra points and miles! And you’ll get the extra points with any credit (or debit) card as long as the vendor you’re buying from accepts it as a form of payment.
This is a great way to top-off your account. And in some cases, it can keep your points from expiring!
2. Bank Shopping Portals
Many banks have shopping portals that offer extra points or cash back for your purchases. But these are usually the most restrictive when it comes to which credit cards you’re allowed to use. For example, Discover has a cash back portal, but if you don’t use a Discover card to make the purchase, they might take back your rewards. 🙁
Some folks have been able to use non-Chase credit cards with the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal and still earn extra points. Team member Harlan recently used a non-Chase card to make a Groupon purchase through the Chase shopping portal and the bonus points posted without issue. But if there is a problem with the transaction, and you can’t show that you made the purchase on a Chase credit card, you will NOT get the bonus points.
So I recommend playing it safe by only making bank shopping portal purchases with a credit card issued from the same bank!
3. Cash Back Shopping Portals
There are lots of cash back shopping portals that can save you money on your online purchases. With these shopping portals there are very few, if any, restrictions on what type of credit card you can use. As long as the vendor you’re making the purchase with accepts the credit card, you’re good to go!
Each cash back portal will pay you differently. Some pay every 3 months, and others only pay out when you’ve earned a certain dollar amount. So do a little research first to see which one is best for your situation.
I recommend reading reviews and testing out the cash back portal before making any big purchases. Here are some of my favorite cash back portals:
Don’t Miss out on the Best Deal
Each shopping portal will earn different rates – sometimes for the exact same purchase. And there is a constant stream of special offers and limited-time bonuses. With so many different options, it can be hard to know if you’re earning the best bonus on your purchases. Don’t worry. There are great tools for helping with just that!
There are websites that allow you to search multiple shopping portals at the same time. So it’s easy to see which portal will earn the best reward.
These are the websites I like to use to find the best shopping portal deals:
I love using shopping portals to earn cash back. But if there is a specific award I am trying to collect miles for, then I’ll try to earn those points through shopping portals instead of cash back.
Funneling your online purchases through shopping portals is an easy way to earn free miles & points!
For most shopping portals, you can make your purchases with any credit card and you’ll still get the bonus points. But if you’re shopping through a bank portal, there might be restrictions on the credit card you can use.
Thanks for the question, Marcia!