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With the internet, Black Friday is no longer limited to in-store deals only. You might even find some of the exact same deals in-store as you do online, and if that is the case – avoid the lines, make the purchase from home, and earn points and miles! Whenever you make a purchase online you should ALWAYS go through one of the online shopping portals – especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday when many of the points/miles have been doubled, tripled, even quadrupled. Also, I’ve seen many Black Friday deals already starting online, so you might not even need to wait till Friday to make these purchases.
Using the online shopping malls is like a two-for-one – get the same good deal as in the store and then free bonus points/miles! There are many online shopping sites to go through, so it is important to figure out the best one for you and the store you are purchasing for. Almost all of the points and miles loyalty programs have online shopping sites. This is really easy and just involves one extra step. So worth it for the FREE points/miles! Once you go to the online shopping site, search and select the store you are making a purchase at, and click the “Shop Now” (or similar) button. This will then take you directly to the store’s online site.Through internet cookies, the online shopping site will track how you accessed the site and then give commission to that source – in this case the commission is points and miles! You are making your purchase as you normally would by going to the store’s website directly.
The key thing to know is that the shopping malls differ in the number of bonus points they give out for each store. It is important to take a look at and see which shopping site will give you the biggest bang for your buck. For example, Mr. Rebates and TopCashBack will give you 5% cash back at Walmart, while American Airlines Advantage only gives 1x bonus at the same store. On Black Friday, however, many stores could possibly increase their bonus, although those bonuses have not yet been shared.
Online Shopping Mall Portal Sites to Earn Points & Miles
- Chase Ultimate Rewards: This program and shopping portal is limited to those who have a credit card with Ultimate Rewards access. There are a few credit cards within this program, but the more popular recommended ones include: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Freedom. The Ultimate Rewards shopping program can sometimes be very generous during the Black Friday time period. Online Shopping Site link
- American Airlines Advantage: In addition to the regular miles you’ll earn from your purchase, American has a bonus where you can receive up to 5,000 bonus miles just by going through the portal (related blog post). This offer ends November 26, 2015. You must have an American Airlines AAdvantage account to use this shopping portal. Online Shopping Site link
- Delta Airlines SkyMiles: You must have a Delta SkyMiles account to use this shopping mall. Online Shopping Site link
- United Airlines MileagePlus: In addition to the regular miles you’ll earn from your purchase, United has a bonus where you can receive up to 6,000 bonus miles just by going through the portal (related blog post). This promotion expires November 26, 2015. You must have a United Airlines Mileage Plus account to use this shopping mall. Online Shopping Site link
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards: In addition to the regular points you’ll earn from your purchase, Southwest has a bonus where you can receive up to 5,500 bonus points just by going through the portal (related blog post). This promotion expires November 26, 2015. You must have a Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward account to use this shopping mall. Online Shopping Site link
- Amtrak Guest Rewards: You must have an Amtrak Guest Rewards account to use this shopping mall. Online Shopping Site link
Online Shopping Mall Portal Sites to Earn Cash Back
- TopCashBack.com: My personal favorite cash back online shopping portal site. Overall, I’ve found that they have higher % of cash back and have also had great tracking and customer service luck. Online Shopping Site link
- Ebates.com: Another well known cash back site. You can also refer your friends and get a huge bonus! Online Shopping Site link
- BeFrugal.com: Just for signing up you can get a $10 bonus (and the referrer gets a $20 bonus – so make sure to tell your friends!). This cash back site typically does not have as high cash back as the other two I’ve listed, but it’s worth checking out. Online Shopping Site link
To find the highest payout I suggest checking out two different sites: EVRewards.com and CashBackMonitor.com. Not all shopping portals are listed (TopCashBack.com, for example) so you still should do some research, but those two sites do a great job at giving you most of the information needed.