Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.In addition to compiling our favorite Black Friday flight, hotel and travel deals, you should consider using shopping portals to earn extra points, miles or cash back for these deals.For the uninitiated, shopping portals are online hubs affiliated with loyalty programs that earn you rewards for shopping at various retailers. Here’s what you need to know about using online shopping portals.How to use shopping portalsTo use, sign up for each portal using your loyalty account number and click through to a retailer from the portal before making your purchase, rather than simply going to a store’s website directly.You can also simplify this process by downloading the Google Chrome browser extension for each portal. This will automatically notify you when a site you’re shopping on is eligible for a points bonus without even clicking through the portal’s website.Additionally, using a shopping portal aggregator, such as CashbackMonitor.com or Evrewards.com, can further help you search for the store you want and quickly compare the current bonuses since payouts change day to day and vary between programs.Popular shopping portalsNearly every major airline has a shopping portal, along with many hotels and other travel brands, including:How to evaluate offersULTIMATEREWARDSEARN.CHASE.COMWhen evaluating shopping portal offers, you’ll notice that payouts may differ between accounts. For example, Shop Through Chase is currently offering 6 points per dollar spent at Saks. Based on TPG’s valuations of Ultimate Rewards at 2.05 cents each, this would yield a 12% return on top of whatever other discounts Saks offers, stacked with the regular earnings through your rewards credit card as well.Daily NewsletterReward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletterJoin over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s expertsAlthough most shopping portals only offer rewards for online purchases, a few programs allow you to earn bonus points and miles for in-store shopping. For example, Alaska’s Mileage Plan Shopping currently offers up to 2 miles per dollar spent in-store and 8 miles per dollar spent online at Macy’s. To shop this offer, link your credit card to the portal and activate offers individually to earn rewards for in-store shopping.MILEAGEPLANSHOPPING.COMTo further maximize your purchases, check which Amex Offers and Chase Offers you are eligible for. These programs give cardholders discounts and other bonuses for purchases with specific merchants. Amex offers are available on virtually any American Express card, including personal cards and business cards; Chase’s program is currently only available for select consumer credit and debit cardholders.Since offers vary by the cardholder and credit card, log in to your online accounts to see which offers you are eligible for.For example, the below Amex Offers that are currently available for upcoming Black Friday shopping purchases:
- Office Depot: Spend $100 or more, get $15 back
- Lululemon: Spend $100 or more, get $20 back
- Nike: Get 4 Membership Rewards points per eligible dollar spent (up to 3,000 points)
- Harry & David: Spend $75 or more, get $15 back
- Tory Burch: Spend $300 or more, get $60 back
- Polo Ralph Lauren: Spend $200 or more, get 4,000 Membership Rewards points
Picking the best credit card for your purchasesIn addition to scoring the best deals and earning bonus points through shopping portals, using the right credit card is crucial. Not only will it help you gain the most points for your purchases, but it’ll also cover you in the case of price drops, theft or damage.Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose the credit card based on where you’ll be doing the most spending and what type of protections you value the most, such as:
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: For your first $6,000 of online purchases from U.S. retailers each year, you can earn 3% back, making this one of the best credit cards for your Black Friday purchases.
- Chase Freedom Flex: This card currently offers 5% back on up to $1,500 when paying with PayPal during the fourth quarter of 2023, making it a good choice for Black Friday shopping, where PayPal is accepted.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: This card earns at least 2 miles per dollar on every single purchase, so it’s great to use on in-store and online purchases that won’t earn you bonuses in specific categories on your other rewards credit cards.
- Amazon Prime Visa Card: This card is most useful for Prime members to earn 3% back on various items and groceries at Amazon and Whole Foods.
- Citi Custom Cash® Card (see rates and fees): With earning 5% cash back on the first $500 of purchases each billing cycle in your top spending category, the versatility of this card is helpful for Black Friday purchases since you can still earn that 5% back on them if they make up the bulk of your bill this month, provided they’re in those eligible categories.
- Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: If your Black Friday shopping includes Target or Amazon, this card could be a great option for earning 5% cash back every quarter on up to $1,500 spent on purchases in quarterly rotating categories, which through December 2023 are Amazon.com and Target.
- Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees): Since this card earns 2 points per dollar on purchases (1 ThankYou point for each dollar you spend and another 1 point for each dollar you pay from your bill), this is a good option for Black Friday if you’ve checked our list of the best cards for each bonus category and don’t think your purchases will qualify for any bonus earnings.
The information for the Discover it Cash Back card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.Bottom lineThere are several ways to double or even triple-dip your mileage earnings when online shopping, and using a loyalty program’s shopping portal is one of the easiest.Although earning one or two additional points per dollar may seem insignificant on some purchases, they can add up in the long run. There isn’t much additional legwork to get them if you download the right Chrome extensions.Besides increasing your points balances, using a shopping portal is also an easy way to keep your miles from expiring.Related reading: