I use shopping portals to get miles for things I’d be buying anyway. Portals are websites that you click through to get to other websites. When shopping through a portal, you can get different types of bonuses. There are cashback portals, like Ratuken or TopCashback, which pay you a percentage of your purchase, whereas airlines and hotels run portals that pay you back in miles or points in their respective programs. Credit cards also have shopping portals, where you can earn points in the corresponding rewards programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards.
There are dozens of these portals out there, so I like to check several of them before making any purchase online. My favorite site to check the current payout rates is Cashback Monitor. This website keeps up to date listings of the amount that each shopping portal will pay for a specific website.
The example in this post is a bit older but I noticed the same trend when searching for an item I was buying in the past week.
I wanted to purchase a deal I saw on Groupon. I know there are usually great deals for purchases with Groupon on varying shopping portals and was happy to see that Chase had a high payout…
Seeing a two-point per dollar payout with Chase Sapphire was great. That’s like getting a 3% rebate on my purchase. But why do the Ink cards have a three-point per dollar value and the no-annual-fee Freedom cards get four- points per dollar.
I logged into my Chase account and went to the Ultimate Rewards page for my Sapphire Reserve card, but was disappointed to see that the rate was only listed at two points per dollar for Groupon. 🙁
Now, I know Cashback Monitor isn’t perfect. The portals can change the payouts at any time and this website is trying to keep an updated list of all the possible websites and all the payouts for every portal. Not an easy job, to say the least.
I did have one idea before I gave in. I decided to log into Sharon’s Ultimate Rewards account. She has an Ink Cash card
Imagine my surprise when I saw the payout for the free Ink Cash card was four points per dollar (not the three points stated by Cashback Monitor).
Not only did the Ink Cash have a better payout than the Sapphire Reserve for Groupon (4% vs. 2 PTS), it also was paying more for Proactiv (15% vs. 10 PTS) and for Microsoft (2% vs. 1 PTS). Now I don’t have a Freedom card so I can’t confirm any of those payouts, but I find it interesting that Chase would target a better bonus from their shopping portal only good for holders of their free cards. I guess the Reserve cardholders are already costing them too much money, so there’s no reason to give them even more points.
To get the best return for your online purchases, I recommend checking websites like Cashback Monitor. It’s the easiest way to find which shopping portals have the best payouts before buying anything online. You just need to make sure the amounts on the portals match what you saw on their website. By doing this, you might be able to rack up a nice stash of points for just making one additional click of your mouse.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary