I promised an article on “double dipping” the legal way… but haven’t gotten to it until now… my apologies.
When it comes to making purchases online, my dilemma is always.. which credit/charge card to use and which online shopping portal should I use to make the purchase. For choosing the card, I think if I have an upcoming trip and need hotel points, airline points, or just want to add more funding to “general perks” on my card. So you may be thinking… online shopping portal, what’s that? Give me a couple of minutes to explain. First of all, in choosing the “card to use,” all my cards” have perks whether it is hotel points, travel rewards, airline points, amazon points, gas rewards, other rewards, money back, etc. I think you get the drift there. No matter which of these cards I use, I will be getting a “base” reward for using that particular card. Now for the “double dipping part…” many online merchants give customers the ability to earn additional “rewards” by using an online shopping portal. For example, say you have a Chase United Mastercard and you want to buy a Groupon, or you need light bulbs and cleaning supplies at Home Depot and don’t want to physically go there. Sign-in to your United account online, click on “MileagePlus” then “earn award miles” then choose “MileagePlus shopping” at the bottom of the page. Next you will search for your merchant… Groupon or Home Depot. Click on the banner and make your purchase. Not only will you get your 1 point per dollar United mile for the spend (your base on the credit card), you’ll also get and additional 2 United miles per dollar spent for Home Depot, and 3 United miles per dollar spent for Groupon… aka, double dipping (the legal way). Most airlines and hotel chains have online shopping portals, go there… bookmark it so you can find it easily next time (you don’t have to use the credit card associated with that “perk” but you could for more “points”). Two other online shopping portals are ebates (you can use my code to join in the prior link) and mypoints (use my code to join in the prior link). Ebates gives you money back for online shopping, mypoints give you points for reading advertisements and shopping online through their portal which you can redeem for giftcards.
In addition, there are other loyalty programs you can add your credit/charge cards to, for when you go out. There are a number of different programs through the Rewards Network. Rewards Network includes a number of different airlines (eg, United, Delta, Alaska, Southwest, American, Jet Blue), dining clubs (eg, iDine, Club O dining), hotels (eg, Hilton Honors, IHG), Upromise, Shell Fuel Rewards, Shop your way, and others. You can only add each of your credit cards to ONE rewards network program. I have half of my cards on Hilton Honors dining and the rest on Mileage Plus dining. Whenever I dine at a restaurant that is included in Mileage Plus dining or Hilton Honors Dining, and I use a credit card, within a few days I get a survey to rate the restaurant. I complete the survey (they really only take less than a minute to finish). I then am credited with a certain number of miles/points based on my spend. At the online member level, you agree to receive emails from Mileage Plus Dining and provide Mileage MileagePlus Dining with a valid email address. For this, and upon completion of the survey, you receive 3 miles per dollar spent on that dine. If you spent $100 for dinner, you would get 300 miles. That would be in addition to the baseline perks on your credit card. At the VIP level for Mileage Plus dining, you agree to receive emails from Mileage Plus Dining and provide Mileage MileagePlus Dining with a valid email address. For this, and upon completion of the survey, you receive 5 miles per dollar spent on that dine. To attain VIP status you must complete 10 dines in the program. The Hilton Honors dining program is similar, base points are 5 points per dollar when you dine 10 or less times in a year, to attain VIP status, you must dine at least 11 times and you get 8 points per dollar. If you do not opt in for the emails you can only get 2 points per dollar spent.
I always try to double dip the legal way… sometimes I can get a triple dip… and save even more. It’s a game, and it amuses me. But it is always better to save, and get more for your money so come onboard and start saving for your next vacation, or a little extra money for a gift for yourself. Feel free to ask me any questions. Send your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “blog” in the email title. Good Luck!