You go onto the portal website where it lists hundreds of stores for shopping. It will show you how many points or miles you’ll earn in addition it will lists lots of small print. It’s important to try and look at it. Many times, several categories may not count, specifically gift cards usually. Simply clicking will direct you to that website. Shop away and earn points. I always recommend having a clear cart at the time you start as well.
I have accounts with Alaska, Delta, American, United, and Southwest Airlines. On the straight cashback front, I use Ebates. If you use my Ebates referral, you can get a free $10 after any $25 spent. Chase also has a shopping portal although it feels smaller to me than the main ones. Use the portal that makes the most sense for you or will give you the most points as long as you will eventually be able to use those points and miles.
EBATES REFERRAL, CLICK HERE
For airlines, I primarily go with Southwest because I find them to be the most consistent and points post quickly. In addition, while Southwest earns less, it also takes a lot less to fly. You can get a roundtrip many times for about 3,500 points. I always recommend tracking your spending in an excel spreadsheet or even just typing them down in a word document. Need to know if your airline has a portal? Just google the airline and shopping or shopping portal.
Now on to holiday shopping! A lot of the portals released bonus opportunities today. Basically, the more you spend the more you earn. Here’s a breakdown of the bonuses so far. If you do your normal online shopping, plus holiday shopping and plan accordingly you could get cash in on some extra points.
Spend $150-$499 Earn 500 bonus points
Spend $500-$999 Earn 1000 bonus points
Spend $1000 or more Earn 3000 bonus points
Spend $150+ Earn 500 miles
Spend $600+ Earn 2000 miles
Spend $1,200 Earn 4000 miles
Spend $150+ Earn 300 miles
Spend $300+ Earn 750 miles
Spend $500+ Earn 1500 miles
I am guessing they come out with another portal bonus for after November 18 so you will have to decide whether you can hit one of these now or wait for some last minute chances. Keep in mind that with American and Alaska you’ll usually need at least 5000 miles for a one way and on avg 12,500 for most one ways. Southwest you will need at least 3,500 points and on avg about 5,000.
In addition, point earning opportunities change all the time.
Hitting these bonuses could be easy with an upcoming cell phone or computer purchase.
Dell is currently 4 points per dollar.
Apple still at one point per dollar, but that could go up as the holiday approaches.
Other examples & ideas
Restaurant.com 15 points per dollar
1-800 flowers 7 points per dollar
Gifts.com 6 points per dollar
Ebags.com 5 points per dollar (I love this site for luggage and bags)
Macys 4 points per dollar
Shoes.com 4 points per dollar
Groupon 3 points per dollar
Textbooks.com 3 points per dollar
American Eagle 2 points per dollar
Walmart 1 point per dollar
Home depot 1 point per dollar
Target .5 points per dollar
I always use stores like Walmart, Home Depot, and Target to do in store pick up. Order ahead, earn extra points, and win. Don't forget all these points or miles are in addition to whatever card you are using too.