Tuesday, May 9, 2017

OMG Shoes!

It's unfortunate, but American department store and malls in general are on the verge of dying. In an effort to stay relevant, many old school retailers are making various kinds of online offers to lure you to their website instead of Amazon.com or specialty online shops like Bluefly or Jet. The bonus points from my last big shopping portal victory just cleared (5400 United points and 1100 Amex points for a pair of shoes!) and I thought I'd share a few tips.

Airline shopping portal tips:
  • Be patient. High markup retailers have specials in the 8-12 points per dollar range
  • Low markup retailers (Amazon, Jet, BestBuy) rarely have specials
  • Stack promos whenever you can (Amex offer + portal + portal bonus!)
  • Don't buy anything you wouldn't have bought otherwise (this is the hardest part!)
  • Comparison shop so you know if you're overpaying (have you seen Wikibuy?!)
  • Utilize free shipping options whenever possible
  • Turn off adblock before using the shopping portal
  • Use shopping portals to generate activity and keep miles from expiring
  • Spend 2 minutes a week reviewing Amex offers and shopping portal bonuses when you have a big purchase in mind. 
  • Use EVReward.com to compare the rate each portal is currently offering (but know that they generally don't update for daily specials)

My 6600 mile shoes

I've wanted these super cute Gucci shoes for a while now but I was holding out for Neimans or Bergdorf Goodman to have a good shopping portal bonus before I bought. Normally these high-markup retailers offer 2 points per dollar through the United, Delta, or Alaska shopping portals, but I know they run specials for 10 or 12 points per dollar several times a year. Besides, it was cold out and these are very summery shoes so I wasn't in a hurry.
So cute!

On a separate front, I periodically check my Amex Offers to add deals to my card and I spotted this gem: an extra Amex point for shopping through Bergdorf Goodman's website. I added it to my card and waited... 



A few days later, yet another bonus popped up: United's shopping portal sent me an email saying I could earn 1000 bonus miles on top of anything else I earn if I his their spending target by Friday. Luckily this email also showed that Bergdorf was having a special: 8 points per dollar. It was time 👟


I purchased the shoes through United's shopping portal (yes, they're expensive shoes but I would have bought them anyway!) and once all of the bonuses had cleared I made 5400 United points and 1100 Amex points.

While I rarely fly United, I still think they have the best mileage plan in the US, so I happily collect their points and then spend them on ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa, Singapore, LOT, etc.








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