Amazon is the world’s largest online shopping portal, and where most people do their virtual shopping. But does it offer the best deals and discounts for frugal travelers? When next years’ points and miles are as important as this years’ shopping, it may pay to do explore your options before going to Amazon to spend your holiday dollars. Here’s how:
Price Compare With Google Shopping
It’s natural to assume that Amazon has the best price, but Google Shopping allows shoppers to search for the best price on any item through multiple stores and make sure.
Find the Shopping Portal Sweet Spot
As we have written about before, shopping portals available through your credit cards’ website will give you double, triple, or more points or miles multipliers for buying the items on your list through their website.
The “sweet spot” is when you find what you were already going to buy available through the portal. Go through that portal instead of directly to the product’s web page and buy the product and get lots of extra points and miles to use for traveling later.
For example: if a traveler wants to earn American AAdvantage miles on electronics at Best Buy, that traveler could go through the AAdvantage shopping website and pay for their item with the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard to earn two points per dollar spent. The possibilities are only limited by the brands available on the shopping portals.
||Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®
$0 first year
$95 after first year
|30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles
After $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
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|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®|
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Look for Targeted Offers to Maximize Your Bonus
Comparison shopping and shopping portals are not the only way to get big bonuses on spending this year. Several credit cards also come with either quarterly or targeted offers, depending on the card.
With the Chase Freedom Card, frugal travelers can earn five percent cash back on purchases at department stores, warehouse stores (like Costco) and drug stores, up to the first $1,500 of purchases. Furthermore, it’s not too late to take advantage of these deals: cardholders have until December 14 to activate their quarterly bonus.
Not to be outdone, American Express also offers targeted deals towards frugal travelers with Amex Offers. By signing up through the American Express website, travelers can earn either discounts on purchases, or bonus points on purchases – even through Amazon.
While Membership Rewards points earned with the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (among other American Express cards) have been questioned over the past year, there is a place for these points in the frugal travel world, especially when applied in concert with other cards.
If All Else Fails, Get Gift Cards
Even with all this work, there may not necessarily be a better deal available out there. Furthermore, some people may not necessarily have time to search for the best deal, multiplied by the best program out there. When even our best laid schemes fail, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing gift cards as a backup resort.
When purchasing gift cards for Amazon or other retailers, travelers can take advantage of specific card bonus categories, while still getting the best deal available for them. For instance, travelers making purchases with the no annual fee Citi Hilton HHonor Visa Signature Card can earn three points per dollar spent at all pharmacies or grocery stores. When purchasing gift cards at a grocery store, travelers can earn more points for their purchases.
Even though shopping may be a hassle, it doesn’t have to be fruitless for the shopper. By understanding how to maximize points and miles shopping, everyone can turn the holiday season into the most wonderful time of the year for points earning!
How do you maximize your points and miles shopping during the holidays? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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