This morning, I bought an anniversary present online for my partner Bruce. (I can't say what it is, because he's been threatening to check out this new blog.) I started my search on Amazon, where I discovered what I was looking for, offered by Target. Now, the simple thing to do would have been to click and buy, but for a couple extra clicks, I got a 10% discount, and 2 United Airlines miles per dollar spent. How?
First I checked Savings-Center.com for Target coupon codes, and found a code offering a 10% discount. Then I went to the Mileage Plus Mall and clicked through to Target. Most frequent flyer (and some hotel programs) offer some shopping option; here are links for some of the largest:
- American Airlines: AAdvantage eShopping
- Continental Airlines: Shop OnePass
- Delta: Skymiles Shopping
- Northwest: WorldPerks Mall
- US AIrways: Dividend Miles Online Rewards
- United Airlines: Mileage Plus Mall
- Trip Rewards: Trip Rewards Online Shopping
While not every online merchant participates in all of the programs, most of the major ones participate in at least one or two (Amazon.com being a notable exception.) Using them is also a great way to keep your miles from expiring in programs that have expiration dates for accounts with no activity. If your preferred program isn't listed, check the "Earning Miles" section on their website.
If you don't collect frequent flyer points, GoldPoints and S&H Greenpoints offers a similar shopping for points program that redeems for merchandise and gift certificates. Yes, for those of you old enough to remember, it's the same S&H that marketed Green Stamps, that original shopping loyalty program that had people collecting stamps in books and redeeming them for toasters and televisions. Old idea, modern execution.
Some pesky fine print: You only earn miles if you click to the fulfilling retailer from the referring site, and complete your transaction in the same session. If you put something in your cart and buy it the next day, you won't get credit. You also won't get credit if you subsequently click to the retailer from another link. Pay particular attention when using the coupon sites -- get the coupon code first, then get the referral from the point site to the shopping site, and enter the coupon code manually when you check out. If you activate a code by referrring from a coupon site, it may not be combinable with the points, and even if it is, if you refer from the coupon site after the points site, you won't get points.