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Shopping portals are one of the most over looked methods of saving money. These portals are websites which offer incentives for online shoppers, including cash back, bonus airline miles, bonus hotel points, or other rewards. Utilizing shopping portals for all of your online purchases can save you a load of cash. Follow along for details to get started.
The process for using shopping portals is very simple:
- Sign up for free shopping portal account.
- Visit shopping portal website.
- Click through the portal link to an online store or marketplace.
- Proceed as usual with your purchase.
- GET PAID
Step 1 – Sign Up for Free Shopping Portal Accounts
There are many various shopping portals. I recommend setting up an account with as many portals as you find. This will give you the flexibility to take advantage when they run promotional cash back offers. For example, Ebates recently ran a 16% cash back promotion! Various portals also offer different types of rewards (cash, miles, points, etc), so signing up for multiple accounts can help you cover your bases. Accounts for the portals are usually free and require minimal personal information. Some even come with a sign-up bonus just for setting up an account! Take a few minutes to visit the following sites to set up accounts, and then return for step 2.
- Mr. Rebates
- Top Cash Back
- Main Street Shares (formerly Big Crumbs)
- Simply Best Coupons
- Upromise – College savings cash back
- Discover Deals – Must have a Discover Card Account
For travel rewards, your log in information to each specific reward account will get you into the portal. The following are popular travel reward portals.
- Chase Ultimate Reward Portal
- American Airlines Portal
- Hilton Honors Portal
- United Mileage Plus Portal
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Portal
- Many, many more
Step 2 – Visit Shopping Portal Website
With so many shopping portals available, it can be difficult to decide which one offers the best value for any particular online store. Fortunately, EvReward and CashBackMonitor are search engines for shopping portals!
Example: You are planning to purchase a $1,000 HDTV from Best Buy. Visit EvReward and type “Best Buy” into the search bar. My search yielded the following results:
In this case, Discover Deals (formerly ShopDiscover) offers the best deal with 5% cash back. (Discover also just launched a 2x cash back promotion, potentially making this a 10% bonus! YMMV) Click on the link to access Discover’s website.
Step 3: Click Through the Portal Link to an Online Store or Marketplace.
Click the link on Discover’s website to access BestBuy.com. This will create a tracking cookie, to record your purchase.
Step 4: Proceed as Usual with Your Purchase
At this point, you can find the item and complete the purchase as normal. Most* cash back portals will allow you to use ANY credit card to make the purchase. This is called a “double dip,” because you earn portal rewards and credit card rewards for your purchase!! Be sure to read the fine print with any portal offer to make sure your purchase is not excluded. Gift card purchases are almost never allowed for cash back. Some hotels exclude discounted rates from portal rewards, but this is not always enforced.
*Discover Deals specifically requires you to use a Discover Card to earn the cash back.
Step 5: GET PAID!!
Using our example above, Discover Deals will pay you $50 on your $1,000 purchase! (or possibly $100 if you have 2x cash back). Portals offer various ways to pay you. Some will be a direct credit to your travel accounts, others will send you a paypal payment, or you can opt for a check. I’ve personally gotten five “big fat checks” from Ebates totaling $380 in the past year!
There you have it. Taking these simple steps can save you a significant amount of money on your normal online shopping! Next time you start to make a purchase online, do a quick search and save some dough. Get going and sign up for your cash back portals today! Cheers!
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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