Earn miles while shopping online

Earn miles when shopping online

Earn miles when shopping online

Frequent flyer miles have become a big business, and that’s good news for those of us wanting to travel on a budget, because it means there are lots of ways to earn miles without actually flying.  I’ve previously mentioned dining programs that allow you to earn miles for eating out.  But what about the rest of the shopping we do–especially online shopping?  Great news–there are ways to earn miles doing that, too!  And these shopping miles are in addition to the miles we earn through purchases made with rewards credit cards.

Earning miles when shopping online is not complicated—in fact, once you set it up, you can earn miles for many online purchases with only a few extra clicks.

These shopping portals are exactly that—portals.  So you won’t be buying anything from these guys, and they won’t need any credit card info.  You just need to click through their link to the site where you’ll be shopping.  Need something from Sears.com?  Start at one of the online shopping portals for the airlines.  Enter Sears into the search box at the top of the screen.  The search results will show that you can earn 2 miles per dollar at Sears.  Click the portal’s link to Sears, and you’ll be taken to Sears.com.  It will look exactly like it would look if you typed www.sears.com into your browser address bar, but now you’ll earn miles when you complete your purchase!

AAdvantage eShopping is one of several online shopping portals that can yield frequent flyer miles for the online purchases you’d make, anyway

AAdvantage eShopping

What if you forget to go through the portal before starting your shopping?  No worries—leave the items in your online shopping cart.  Open a new window, follow the steps above, and by the time you’re transferred to Sears.com, you’ll see the items in your cart.  Just be sure to complete your purchase using that new window, rather than the one you used initially—otherwise your purchase may not register with the airline shopping portal.

Sometimes these shopping portals run bonus offers—I saw one the other day that said I would earn 1,000 extra miles (on top of the per-dollar payout for a given purchase) if I spent $225 in the specified time period.  That’s pretty sweet.

What if you need an item today–one that you could just go pick up at your local store?  Well there may still be a chance to earn some miles on that purchase.  How?  Well, some websites allow you to make the purchase online but then “ship to store” or “pick up in store.”  I’ve used this at Lowes and Walmart occasionally in the past.  If I’m planning ahead and know I need something from one of these stores—and I need it today—I will often go through the portal, make my online purchase, and a half hour later head to the store to pick it up.  I come home with the item I’ve bought AND some additional miles in my frequent flyer account.  Keep this in mind with significant house-related purchases—$1000 of new refrigerator could yield 1000-3000 miles!

So pick your favorite frequent flyer (or other points) program, sign up, and shop online for some extra miles!  Here are the links to some of the primary airlines’ eShopping portals:

Delta: SkyMiles Shopping
American: AAdvantage eShopping
United: MileagePlus Shopping
Southwest: Rapid Rewards Shopping

If you’re still unsure about how to make frequent flyer miles work for you, check out Fly the Family for Free.

Photo credit: © Depositphotos.com – andresr

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