How Shopping Portals Can Help You Maximize Credit Card Rewards

How Shopping Portals Can Help You Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Credit card rewards can help you pay for a vacation or build your bank account balance. In addition to earning rewards by using your credit card to make traditional purchases, some credit card issuers offer shopping portals, which typically feature additional rewards.


To earn bonus rewards through a shopping portal, you’ll visit the portal first rather than visiting a retailer’s website directly.

“Credit card shopping portals have relationships with retailers all over the internet that allow you to earn bonus points or cash back for purchases at those retailers as long as you click the link to the retailer’s site from their shopping portal,” says Chris Hutchins, founder and CEO of financial planning service Grove.

What Are Credit Card Issuer Shopping Portals?

Credit card issuer shopping portals are a benefit credit cards may offer to retain customers, says Rutger van Faassen, vice president of consumer lending at Informa Financial Intelligence.

Using a credit card shopping portal, cardholders can typically earn additional points on purchases above and beyond what their credit cards normally offer on purchases. In most cases, these shopping portals are only a web page within your credit card’s online site.

The shopping portal page displays links to participating retailers along with the rewards you can earn for shopping at that retailer’s website. Each issuer calls its shopping portal something different, so look for phrases such as “earn bonus points” or “bonus cash center.”

How Credit Card Portals Work

To earn additional points using a shopping portal:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Visit the shopping portal within your account to find a retailer where you want to make a purchase.
  • Click the link within the portal to visit the retailer’s website. (Going through the referral link shows the retailer that you came from the portal and allows the credit card company to track your purchases to issue rewards, says Van Faassen.)
  • Once at the retailer’s website, shop like you normally would.
  • Check out and pay for your purchase. Credit card issuers usually require you to use their credit card when shopping through the portal to earn bonus points.

While most shopping portals operate in similar ways, make sure to read the fine print about how yours work. If you’re well-informed, you shouldn’t run into any surprises after you make your purchases.

Which Credit Card Issuers Offer Shopping Portals?

While a handful of major credit card issuers offer shopping portals, not every issuer has one. If it’s not clear whether you have access to a shopping portal, you can check your issuer’s website or call customer service to see if it offers a program. Here are some of the more popular shopping portals:

Barclaycard‘s shopping portal is called Barclaycard RewardsBoost and is accessible to all Barclaycard members. It offers bonus rewards at 700 stores, including retailers such as Macy’s, Sephora and Neiman Marcus. Barclaycard applies rewards directly to your Barclaycard account, but they may appear as pending until they’re confirmed approximately 45 days after the purchase.

Wells Fargo offers the Earn More Mall site for rewards-based credit card holders. The site can be used to earn extra Go Far Rewards points. The Earn More Mall displays more than 500 offers to earn bonus rewards, including at Home Depot, Walmart and Rewards earned through the Earn More Mall site get added to your Go Far Rewards account within 30 days of a qualifying purchase.

Chase calls its shopping portal Shop through Chase, and it is available through your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Chase lists more than 400 stores where you can earn extra Ultimate Rewards points. Stores include retailers such as Coach, Staples and Bonus points earned appear on your rewards activity page within three to five business days in most cases. That said, it can take up to two billing cycles depending on the merchant.

Citi runs its Bonus Cash Center shopping portal for eligible Citi card members. It lists hundreds of stores, such as Anthropologie, Best Buy and Kohl’s, where you can earn additional cash back on your purchases. Bonus cash back earned through this shopping portal usually appears on your credit card billing statement within one to three statement cycles.

American Express has Amex Offers. Rather than clicking through to a retailer’s website, you can add offers to your card. When you make a purchase that qualifies for the offer, you’ll earn the reward. Typically, you’ll get a statement credit when you make a qualifying purchase, such as $30 back when you make a purchase of $150 or more. A statement credit should be reflected on your billing statement within 90 days.

MemberShop is USAA‘s shopping portal for USAA cardholders. MemberShop lists more than 900 online stores to earn additional rewards from, including Apple, Macy’s and Dell. Rewards earned usually post within three to five days but can take up to 15 days in some cases.

Tips for Using Shopping Portals to Maximize Rewards

Using a shopping portal gives you more rewards than not using one at all, but a few tricks can help you maximize your portal rewards. First, figure out the value of the rewards you can earn by using each portal. Cash back is straightforward.

However, points can be trickier. You can easily redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for more than a penny each with its premium cards. Earning one Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent may be worth more than earning 1% cash back depending on how you redeem your points.

On the other hand, the rewards you earn on other portals may be worth less than a penny apiece. The best way to figure out the value of a point you earn is by deciding how you plan to redeem the points and calculate the value per point you get for that particular redemption.

Another way to maximize your points is by thoughtfully selecting which shopping portal you use to make your purchases. “Oftentimes, the earnings rates at each portal are different, so it can pay to look around,” says Hutchins. If you’re buying an item that multiple stores sell, finding the best deal takes a bit more work.

Want the absolute best rewards earning option? Look through all the shopping portals you have access to for retailers that sell the item you want. If the price is the same at each store, purchase the item through the shopping portal and store that offers the highest reward rate. If the prices are different at each retailer, run the numbers to see which combination of the price and your total rewards earned on the purchase comes out to the lowest overall cost……….Read More>>

Source:- usnews


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