I no longer go to the store to shop for anything other than food. I prefer to get my makeup online, my clothes online and I even prefer to get my toilet paper online.
The reason I’m always shopping online is because I can get FREE flights on almost any major airline when I shop online or I can even get a free check in the mail from shopping online.
So… Spill the beans. How do you go about getting free flights from shopping online?
First, you decide which airline portal you want to gain points off of.
This all depends on what type of traveling person you are. For example, if you like going to Europe from the United States, you wouldn’t want to use Southwest’s portal because they don’t fly to Europe. Instead you might want to use Delta or United’s portal because they have multiple opportunities to fly to Europe. Makes sense, right?
But Here’s the thing: Not all airlines have shopping portals. So to make it easy for you, here’s a list of the airlines that do have portals:
Here’s my number one tip: Don’t use them all at once. Try to stick with one or two shopping portals so that you are gaining all the points in one place. If a flight costs 3,000 points, you want to have 3,000 point available instead of 1,500 points here and 1,500 points there.
Wait, wait, wait… Kayla, what’s a portal?
I’m glad you asked. A portal is a webpage that has a list of different stores you can shop from. The portal will take you directly to that store’s website through a special link that will allow the portal to know when you’ve purchased items so that it can give you free points. It will tell you how many points you will gain from each purchase on that store. For example: JetBlue offers 3 points per $1 when you shop at Amazon. Meaning if you spend $20 through Amazon, you’ll get credited 60 points. The more you shop through their portal, the more points you will earn. Then, you can eventually use those points to buy free flights on their website! Sometimes they even offer their points to be used for hotels or car rentals. The best part is that the portals costs you NOTHING extra than if you were to go straight to the store’s website. Occasionally the portals will even offer you special discount codes to different stores. Pretty nifty, huh?
Side note: No worries… the portals I listed off are completely safe to use!
Second, decide if the airline you want to use has the stores you like to shop from (and if they’re worth it).
Just because you’re switching to online shopping doesn’t mean you have to stop using your favorite stores. There are hundreds of stores to choose from, you just have to find the right portal for you. Personally, I like to shop through Amazon. Therefore, I typically use JetBlue’s portal because JetBlue gives each TrueBlue member their own link for getting 3 points per $1 (which is the most out of any portal – most portals don’t even offer points for Amazon!). Whenever I’m not shopping through Amazon, I usually shop through Southwest’s portal to build up points to fly to Chicago or New York. It’s super easy and let’s me eventually fly for free.
Each portal will offer different amount of points for individual stores. So be sure to browse around each airline’s portal to see which airline gives the most points for each store. One portal may give you 1 point per $1 on Walmart.com while another will give you 2 points per $1. Don’t miss out on those extra points!
Can I get points for stuff bought with Gift Cards?
Yup, you sure can! I do it all the time! As long as you purchase something, it doesn’t matter what you use to purchase it. Sometimes, I even get some surprise points (AKA free money) from my account on Kmart.com and use that to purchase my items. This means I get the items for free PLUS I get free points through my Southwest portal. Cha-ching!
Tip: Maximize your spending by using a cash back (or rewards points) credit card!
The absolute best card to use is the Chase Sapphire Preferred because not only will you get the free points from the shopping portal, but you’ll also get 1 point per $1 spent on your card as well. Meaning you’ll get almost DOUBLE the points depending on what store you’re shopping through.
Sadly, not everyone has the credit to get this card (including me – I’m working on it!). So, if you don’t have a credit card with rewards or you don’t have the credit for a fancy card, I suggest grabbing the Discover It card (that’s what I have). It allows you to build your credit while still getting awesome cash back deals! Grab the portal points along with up to 4% cash back on your online purchases. Free money, honey!
Okay, but what if I don’t want airline points? How do you get a free check in the mail instead of free flights?
One word: Ebates.
If you’ve never heard of Ebates, you’ve been slackin’. But no worries: I’m here to save you. Ebates is one of the best shopping portals online that allows you to get cash back. Each quarter (so 4 times a year) they total up all the money you earned shopping through their website and send you a real check in the mail. All you have to do is take it up to the bank and BAM! You’ve got money!
Just like the shopping portals, it costs you NOTHING extra to shop through Ebates. Heck, if you click this link here, you’ll be directed to their website through my referral link which will allow you to get a free $10 with your first purchase online. So if you already planned on buying something online… it’s like a free $10 for you ON TOP OF the extra money you’ll already be getting!
Tip: Shop online through their website and use “free in-store pick up” at stores like Walmart, Kmart and more so you don’t have to worry about paying shipping costs!
This money can be used for anything. New travel accessories, a car payment or you can even just sit it in your savings account!
Why do they give free money for shopping online?
Normally whenever you shop, you think of one or two places. My one place is: Walmart. And many other people think of Walmart as well. But, if everyone goes to Walmart, how will all the other stores make money? That’s where the online portals come into play. They use it as a way to get people to shop through more stores. Typically stores that are more popular tend to have less points per $1. While, on the other hand, stores that don’t get as many sells may give up to 12 points per $1. There are plenty of people that get roped into buying from certain stores just for the points – but play it smart and you won’t be one of those people! Only shop at the stores you typically shop at and you won’t have to worry about being roped into buying anything crazy.
To sum it all up…
Forget driving to the store and start shopping through the comfort of your own home. You won’t have to get out of your pajamas AND you’ll get free flights or money. It’s basically a win-win deal.
Have you gotten free travel from shopping online before? Tell us your story in the comments below!