Beginners Guide: Using Shopping Portals

One the things that hurts me the most is when people buy things online and don’t use Shopping portals.

Shopping Portals can be a very easy way to accumulate airline miles, hotel points and cash back by buying things that you would buy anyway. 

What are Shopping Portals?

Shopping Portals are websites that offer an incentive for shopping at various online retailers. This incentive comes in the form of airline miles, hotel points and cash back.

How do Shopping Portals work?
If, for example, you wanted to buy a new TV from Best Buy for $399. Instead of going to you would go to a shopping portal website. In this case we’ll use American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping.

Login using your Frequent Flyer ID. Some portals require you to sign up with the portal website itself, it depends on the shopping portal.

Go to the list of stores and look for Best Buy and click the link. A window will pop up showing Store details & terms and all you have to do is click Shop now. You’ll be redirected to Best Buy’s website and you can buy your new TV. Your portal information is tracked on Best Buy’s website via cookies (Quick tip: If you use a lot of shopping portals use an Incognito window to make sure you are crediting to your desired program).

Once your purchase is shipped or you pick up your order in the store, you’ll be credited with 400 American airlines miles. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the miles or cash back to credit to your account. In some rare cases it can take up to 8 weeks.

One of the things to beware of is item exclusions. You can read about item exclusions on the Store detail & terms. Most things that are excluded are store gift cards, warranties and services.

How do you know which program to credit your miles/points to?

For the part I’m using TopCashback and getting cash back. Sometimes if I need to extend my account expiration or top off my account for a reward, I’ll shopping at that particular shopping portal. I recently did this to extend the expiration on my United Airlines account. You can use a site like EvReward which aggregates the earning ratios for all available online stores in one place to help you decide.

Do I need to use a particular card to get miles through shopping portals?

The answer to this question is no. In fact if you have a rewards card you can double dip on the number of miles earned. If I paid for my TV with my American Airlines card, I would get 400 miles from the shopping portal as well as 400 miles from my credit card company.

List of Shopping Portals

TopCashBack – (You could support the blog by using my referral code)

American Airlines –

Alaska Airlines –

Delta Airlines –

Southwest Airlines –

Spirit Airlines –

United Airlines –

Hilton –

Marriott –

Chase –