Sunday, July 29, 2012

Double dipping for points, miles, and cash back

As you know, I love getting rewarded cash back, points, and miles for all my regular spending.  Whenever I make a purchase, I always make sure to use the appropriate credit card which earns the highest amount of cash back, points, or miles on the particular purchase. 

Today I will talk about double dipping.  And no, I’m not referring to dipping your chicken nuggets more than one time into that delicious sweet and sour sauce!

Double dipping is when you earn extra rewards on top of your normal rewards with each purchase you make.

Shopping portals are the easiest way to double dip rewards.  The way you earn rewards through shopping portals is to log in to a shopping portal, and then click an affiliate link within the site, that links you to most major online shopping sites that you would normally visit (such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Target, Nordstrom, Sears, J. Crew, Express, etc – just to name a few).

Once you click the affiliate link, you are automatically directed to the retailers website where you go to make your normal purchase.  Shopping portals are paid commissions by retailers when they refer businesses to them, and then the rewards program gives you back a portion of the commission in the form of extra rewards such as extra credit card points, cash back, or airlines miles with each purchase. 

The great thing about these extra rewards earned through shopping portals is that these rewards come on TOP of the normal cash back, points, and miles you would earn on your rewards credit card with the same purchase.   You earn points in two different ways.  Get it?  You are double dipping the system! 

Double dip purchases quickly accelerate your accumulation of rewards, much faster than just making a normal purchase.  Throw in a retailer coupon and now you’re really saving. 

There are so many different type of shopping portals that it would take up way too much space for this article to go through the pros and cons of each one.  However, I will list the different shopping portals that I regularly use.

The main shopping portals I use include credit card rewards portals, airline rewards portals, and straight cash back portals.

Credit Card shopping portals 

My 2 favorite credit card shopping portals are through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citibank ThankYou Rewards, because I am collecting Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Citibank ThankYou points:

Airline Shopping Portal

are another way to earn free extra miles on top of the rewards you earn when making a purchase with your credit card.  The main airline shopping portals I use are the airlines I fly with most often:

American Airlines AAdvantage e-shopping earns up to 10 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent when shopping.

United Airlines Mileage Plus Shopping earns extra United Airlines miles per $1 spent when shopping.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Shopping earns extra Rapid Rewards points when shopping.

Straight cash back portals

Sometimes you may not be interested in getting extra credit card points or airlines miles and you just want the cash.  Straight cash back portals that I use include:

Fatwallet Cash Back Shopping: I’ve used this portal the longest.  I’ve earned hundreds of dollars in cash back from Fatwallet.  This site also has one of my favorite hot deals forums.

TopCashBack is the most generous cashback  site that gives you back the entire commission. 

Ebates:  Sign up for Ebates and get a free $10 gift card to Target or Home Depot after making your first $25 purchase.

Mr. Rebates is giving away a $5 registration bonus when you sign up.

Right now you are probably thinking that it can be pretty overwhelming trying to find the best shopping portal to earn you the most double dip rewards possible.  This is where comes in.  
Evreward searches the internet for top rewards programs for you to help you save money and earn rewards when you shop.  Their directory has over 10,000 online stores available through over 40 leading cash back, frequent flyer, and points earning programs.  It’s a quick one-stop search if you aren’t sure which shopping portal will earn you the most generous reward on your purchase.

Let's go through an example of using a credit card shopping portal to double dip:

Let’s say you’re looking for a new printer.  You find out there’s a sale going on at that you can buy the printer you want for only $70.  If your credit card earns 1 point per $1 spent, buying this printer will earn you 70 points.

Now let's say you want to earn extra Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  Go to the Chase ultimate rewards mall at to see that the rewards mall currently earns 4 extra points per $1 spent.  When you click on the link, it directs you to the same Staples website where you can still purchase your printer for $70 (the same price you’d get if you went to in the first place). 

Buy purchasing the same printer at Staples through the Chase shopping portal, you would now earn 350 points (4 extra points per dollar + the usual 1 point per $1 spent = 5 points per dollar x $70 = 350 points).

Now if you have a Chase Ink business card like I do, it normally earns 5 points per $1 made at office supply stores.  If you used your Chase Ink card to buy the same printer at staples for $70 through the ultimate rewards portal, you would now earn 630 points (4 extra points per $1 + the usual 5 points per $1 spent on office supply stores = 9 points per dollar x $70 = 630 points). 

These shopping portals do not markup prices.  The prices are exactly the same as if you went directly through the manufacturer’s website.  You are not buying the item from the shopping portal, merely accessing the manufacturer’s site through the shopping portal affiliate link.

That’s basically how a shopping portal works with earning extra credit card points.  If you use an airline rewards portal to make a purchase, you earn airline miles in addition to credit card rewards.  And if you’d rather have straight cash back, you can shop through one of the cash back portals I listed.  These extra rewards typically take 4-6 weeks to post.  Don't forget to check Evreward for the best rewards portal to use, since the bonus rewards the different merchants provide are constantly changing.

Go ahead and take some time to sign up for the different shopping portals.  I’d advise using a spam email account, since they will frequently email you advertisements to try to entice you to make extra spending. 

Remember to only use these shopping portals to earn points on items that you intend on normally purchasing.  Sometimes saving 30% off an item is simply spending 70% more on something you didn’t need in the first place.  I can’t stress this enough.  No one ever gets rich on cash back, but every bit does help. 

In future posts, I’ll talk about double dipping with dining rewards programs.  There are even some ways to triple dip.

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