Earn Thousands of Bonus Miles from Alaska & United for Shopping Online

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 new livery 2016

Cover Source: Alaska Airlines.

One of the best ways to earn points/miles without actually flying is through shopping portals. All of the major U.S. based airlines have their own portal and each portal pays a rate of so many miles/points per dollar spent. Additionally, many of these portals run bonus miles promotions from time to time to help you earn more. Currently both the Alaska Airlines MileagePlan and United MileagePlus shopping portals are giving bonus miles as part of a back to school promotion.

Alaska MileagePlan Shopping Bonus

alaska united portal bonus

As part of their back to school promotion, Alaska Airlines is offering up to 1,500 bonus miles in addition to what you normally earn through using the portal. The bonus works as follows:

  • Spend $200, earn 400 miles.
  • Spend $750, earn 1,500 miles.

Alaska Offer Key Terms

  • “Back to School” bonus campaign runs from 07/29/16 through 08/14/16 at 11:59:59 pm ET (the “Bonus Period”).
  • Member will earn a one-time bonus of up to 1,500 Mileage Plan™ shopping bonus miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard Mileage Plan™ shopping miles earned from shopping online through the Mileage Plan™ Shopping mall.
  • “Qualifying purchases” do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases, and certain products that are not eligible for bonus miles.
  • Please allow 8-10 weeks for bonus miles to post to your Mileage Plan™ shopping account.

You can find the full terms of this Alaska MileagePlan Shopping bonus on the promotion page.

United MileagePlus Shopping Bonus

alaska united portal bonus

United is running a very similar promotion, although they have added a third tier and with it the ability to earn even more miles. United’s promotion works as follows:

  • Spend $250, earn 500 miles.
  • Spend $750, earn 1,500 miles.
  • Spend $1,000, earn 2,000 miles.

United Offer Key Terms

  • “Back to School” bonus campaign, which runs from 07/21/16 through 08/12/16 at 11:59:59 pm ET (the “Bonus Period”).
  • During the Bonus Period, Member will earn a one-time bonus of up to 2,000 MileagePlus® bonus award miles on qualifying purchases, in addition to the standard MileagePlus miles earned from shopping online through the MileagePlus® Shopping mall.
  • “Qualifying purchases” do not include returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases, and certain products that are not eligible for bonus miles.
  • Please allow 8-10 weeks after the Bonus Period for bonus award miles to post to your MileagePlus® Shopping account.

You can find the full terms of this United MileagePlus Shopping bonus on the promotion page.

Getting the Most Value

Both offers give an extra 2 miles per dollar at each of the tiers. The best way to maximize these promotions is to spend as close to a tier level as possible. I also think it is important to make sure the portal you are using has competitive payout rates, so using a site like Cash Back Monitor can help you compare payout rates across a lot of portals. In my opinion the best way to maximize this promotion is to:

  • Identify which portal and tier you are looking to hit based on how much you need to spend.
  • Visit Cash Back Monitor to make sure you aren’t giving up a huge payout from another portal by using one of these two mileage portals.
  • If the rate is competitive, shop through either the United or Alaska portals (or both) and try to spend as close to a tier as possible in order to maximize your return per dollar spent.

Conclusion

Shopping portal bonuses are among my favorite ways to earn airline miles and points. I earn thousands of miles per year by maximizing promotions such as these two and use those miles when I need them. As of now none of the other major airlines are running similar promotions, but if they decide to release one, I’ll make sure to let you know. Happy shopping!

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