Using online shopping portals to maximize your online purchases

Online shopping portals have become a popular solution for those looking to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. With gift-giving occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and graduations on the horizon, online shopping portals offer an easy way to earn bonus miles or cash back on purchases. In this guide, we will explore some of the top online shopping portals and how you can maximize your rewards when shopping.

Basics of Online Shopping Portals

Online shopping portals allow you to earn bonus points, miles, or cash back at hundreds of online retailers. All you need to do is log in to your chosen online shopping portal, click on the store where you want to shop, and you will be redirected to the store’s website to shop as normal. You will earn bonus points on the subtotal of your purchase, excluding taxes and shipping fees. Additionally, you will still earn points or miles on your rewards credit card, allowing you to double dip and maximize your rewards.

Here’s an example of how it works: Let’s say you plan to buy a Mother’s Day gift from Macy’s for $100, plus $20 in taxes and shipping. You decide to use your Citi Double CashĀ® Card, which offers 2% cash back on purchases. However, you also notice that Rakuten offers an additional 2% back at Macy’s. By starting your shopping journey at Rakuten and clicking through to Macy’s, you can earn an extra $2 in cash back. This means you will earn a total of $4.40 in cash back on your purchase, just by using an online shopping portal.

How Do Online Shopping Portals Work?

You may be wondering how online shopping portals can offer these rewards without a catch. The truth is, the portals earn a commission from the retailer for directing you to their website, and they pass a portion of that commission back to you in the form of points, miles, or cash back. This creates a win-win-win situation, where the retailer gets more business, the portal generates more revenue, and you get extra rewards.

While earning an extra $5 or 300 points may not seem like much, consistently using online shopping portals can add up to significant rewards over time. It’s an easy way to earn bonuses on purchases you would have made anyway, especially in a time when cost increases are becoming more prevalent.

Types of Online Shopping Portals

There are three major types of online shopping portals:

1. Airline and Hotel Loyalty Programs: Almost every major airline and select hotel programs have their own online shopping portals. These portals award bonus points or miles based on your purchases across hundreds of retailers. Additionally, they often offer bonuses during specific periods or for specific retailers.

2. Credit Cards: Some credit card issuers have their own online shopping portals where you can stack your credit card earnings. This allows you to earn points or miles on both the shopping portal and your credit card. Examples include Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi Shop.

3. Cash Back: If you prefer cash back instead of points or miles, there are several online shopping portals that offer extra cash back on your purchases. These portals often have partnerships with a variety of retailers, allowing you to earn cash back on a wide range of products and services.

A Hybrid Option

One of the best online shopping portals is Rakuten, which traditionally falls into the cash-back category. However, Rakuten now allows members to earn American Express Membership Rewards points instead of cash back. This effectively doubles your return, as you can earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent. Rakuten works with over 3,500 stores and offers a browser extension to notify you of bonus offers. They also have in-store offers. Additionally, new members who join through a specific link and spend $30 within 90 days can earn a $30 bonus.

Finding the Best Offer

With so many online shopping portals to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one to use for your specific purchase. Fortunately, there are shopping portal aggregators like Cashback Monitor that can help you quickly compare offers from different portals. These aggregators allow you to search for a specific retailer and see which portal offers the best bonus for that store.

In conclusion, online shopping portals are a great way to earn bonus points, miles, or cash back on your purchases. Whether you choose to use an airline or hotel loyalty program portal, a credit card portal, a cash-back portal, or a hybrid option like Rakuten, utilizing online shopping portals can help you maximize your rewards and save money on gift-giving occasions. So next time you’re struggling to find the perfect gift, consider using an online shopping portal to make your purchase and earn some extra rewards.

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