“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.”
Since Shawn Coomer wrote this article last week here at InsideFlyer, two more airlines have emerged with Back to School promotions: Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.
Effective through Monday, August 15, 2016 at 11:59:59 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time, you can earn up to 2,500 bonus Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards frequent flier loyalty program points — in addition to the standard Rapid Rewards points earned — during the Back to School bonus campaign at the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal by spending the following minimum amounts of money for shopping for qualifying purchases on your favorite products from hundreds of participating retailers:
- 250 bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend a minimum of $150.00 shopping
- 750 bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend a minimum of $500.00 shopping
- 2,500 bonus Rapid Rewards points when you spend a minimum of $1,500.00 shopping
Starting today and effective through Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 11:59:59 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time, you can earn up to 1,500 bonus American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program miles — in addition to the standard AAdvantage miles earned — during the Back to School bonus campaign at the AAdvantage Shopping portal by spending the following minimum amounts of money for shopping for qualifying purchases on your favorite products from hundreds of participating retailers:
- 700 bonus AAdvantage miles when you spend a minimum of $350.00 shopping
- 1,500 bonus AAdvantage miles when you spend a minimum of $750.00 shopping
Earn Thousands of Miles and Points by Shopping for Back to School
In all of the current offers pertaining to going back to school, you can only earn the maximum bonuses in each respective frequent flier loyalty program once. Bonus miles or points will be issued based on your cumulative qualifying purchases made during the bonus period. Returns, cancellations, shipping and handling, taxes, gift card or other cash equivalent purchases, and certain products are not included in the bonus award eligibility calculation.
Please allow up to ten weeks after the conclusion of the bonus period for the bonus award miles or points to post to your respective shopping account. These offers cannot be combined with other offers or promotions.
Other terms and conditions may apply.
Cartera Commerce, Incorporated is the company which operates all of the aforementioned shopping portals — as well as powers other shopping mall Internet web sites for airlines and other companies in the travel industry — but the company has not had a perfect record with satisfaction amongst its customers.
Chances are that you will not experience problems with this promotion — but be prepared to expect a less than flawless experience, just in case.
Be aware that the adding of those miles and points to your account can take as many as ten weeks; but if that happens after the expiration date of the miles in your account, take consolation of knowing that the date of the transaction is typically what counts and not when the transaction is approved. You may need to take the time to send reminders to the administrators of a shopping portal if your miles or points do not post; and if that is not worth your time or effort, you might want to reconsider participating in one of these promotions…
…but if you intend to spend money shopping anyway before the respective promotions end, you may as well earn frequent flier loyalty program points in the process — but which one you should choose is a subjective decision; and you do not have to choose just one.
Even without the promotions, you can choose one which should extend the expiration date of the miles and points already in your account by another 18 to 24 months; or you can choose one to top off your account…
…but if you have limited funds to spend for shopping, the best bet is to choose one which you believe will best suit your travel goals. The good news is that the choice is up to you; and you can spread out your shopping experience accordingly amongst multiple programs — even if you do not take advantage of these back to school promotions.
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.