Portals! Portals! Portals!

This is something that I need to continuously tell myself in hopes that someday  I will remember to always use portals when online shopping to earn extra points. For those unfamiliar, shopping portals are sites that will award you points or cash back when you click through their site to reach another site to do your shopping. Many airlines have these sites as well as a bunch of others that simply award cash back.

When I do remember to use I portal I first go to Cashback Monitor and search for the merchant that I will be doing my shopping at. For example this is what it looks like when you search for Best Buy.

Cashback Monitor
Cashback Monitor

It gives you a list of sites that give you varying rates for cash back and points. These rates are constantly shifting so make sure you check which portal will give you the highest return before you make a purchase.

On top of these normal savings, portals often have promotions that award bonus points if you hit a certain threshold of spending through the portal in a given time frame. This can make it even more lucrative to make your purchase through that portal.

Example

United’s shopping portal is currently running a promotion in which you will earn 500 bonus miles (for $250 in spend), 1,500 bonus miles (for $750 in spend), or 2000 bonus miles (for $1000 in spend), after meeting certain spending thresholds by August 12th. I recently spent about $1000 at Best Buy to score my parents a great deal on 2 iPad Pro’s. As usual, I forgot to click through a portal and missed out on a ton of points.

My Real Earnings:

1000 credit card points

At the time the United portal was offering 1 mile per dollar spent at Best Buy if you first went to the portal to get to BestBuy.com. I would have also received bonus miles for the current promotion.

My Should Have Earnings:

1000 credit card points

1000 United miles for the normal spend through the portal

2000 United miles for the promotional miles for $1000 in spend through the portal

As you can see I missed out big time. I earned 1000 miles/points when I could have earned 4000 miles and points. I could have earned 4x the amount of miles by simply going to United shopping portal and then clicking BestBuy.com instead of directly browsing to BestBuy.com!!!

Conclusion

Use shopping portals! This is probably just as much a reminder for me as it is for you. Using a portal can greatly increase your return per dollar spent while online shopping.

If there is anything you do to remind yourself to use portals let me know. I would love to hear!

1 Comment

  1. Sirkka Kaasila says: Reply

    Thanks Pete for your reminder,
    I have already found some international and Swedish portals for savings. For a couple of days ago I found a great portal for earning points both to myself and volunteers working for animal ambulance operations in Sweden.

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