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Sending flowers this Valentine’s Day or any day? Here’s a win-win: Why not make your sweetheart happy AND earn hundreds of airline miles at no extra cost? Below we show you how.
- Go to CashBackMonitor.com or Evreward.com
These sites show the number of miles/points the various airline and credit card companies award per dollar spent when you shop through their portals. Check back each time you plan to make a purchase, as they frequently offer promotions, so the mile/point amounts do change.
In our Valentine’s Day scenario, let’s say we have decided to shop at Teleflora Flowers:
On the site, you will see all the airline and credit card company shopping portals that award miles/points for purchases at Teleflora Flowers.
- Decide where you want to earn points
Which airlines you typically fly will determine where you want to earn points. Of the companies listed above, for example, the bulk of my miles/points are in Chase Ultimate Rewards (one of the most valuable convertible point currencies that allows me to transfer points directly to 9 airline partners across all three major airline alliances and to 4 hotel partners), as well as in United Airlines, American Airlines, and British Airways. So, I will want to choose the best deal from among those four options.
Let’s assume I have found a lovely Teleflora arrangement for $60. At that price, United’s MileagePlus Shopping Portal offers me the most points: a flat 750, regardless of order amount (the next closest would be British Airways, $60 x 8=480).
- Log in to the shopping portal you selected
In our example, I then log in to the United MileagePlus Shopping Portal (you will need to sign up if this is your first purchase). I then navigate through the portal to Teleflora Flowers and make my purchase, being sure to fill in my United MileagePlus number, so the points will be credited to my account. I complete my purchase, and 750 points will automatically appear in my United Mileage Plus account within a few weeks.
Keep an eye out for special promotions.The United/Teleflora partnership typically yields 750 points. Near Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the offer is often bumped up to 1,500 points. That’s a significant points haul simply for using a portal to make a purchase you were already planning to make.
**Special promo code: As of the time of this writing, you can go directly to Teleflora.com/UALily and use promo code DMUA1500 to get 1,500 United MileagePlus points per purchase.**
Without setting foot on a plane, I have just earned approximately the same number of miles as if I had flown round trip between Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
So that was pretty easy, right? Are you ready to take your points-earning to the next level?
Keep reading for some pro tips!
You should already be using a credit card that earns you miles and points. So, in the flower example above, in addition to the 750 or 1,500 points I earned through the portal, I would also earn 60 points on my credit card (1x per dollar spent in this category).
The shopping portals are NOT limited to flowers. You can use them for online purchases at hundreds of stores, including Home Depot, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Apple, Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Staples, etc.
Don’t have time to wait for a purchase to be shipped? You can still order online through a portal and choose the “Pick up in store” option. If your items are in stock, you can usually pick them up within hours. This allows you to get the extra points from using the portal while still receiving your items in-store the same day.
Makes sense, right? Now, are you ready to go hard core and truly maximize your earnings?
Warning: We are entering nerd territory here. Stick with it though. It’s quite easy and very rewarding.
- Download the United MileagePlus app
Through the app, log in to your United MileagePlus account and connect it to your credit card. With this app, you can earn even more points by purchasing electronic gift cards that can be used online or in store. It allows you to purchase gift cards for the exact amount of your purchase. And if you connect the app to a United MileagePlus credit card, you even earn a 25% points bonus.
Stacking: Let me show you a real-life example of how I stacked all these techniques to earn lots of points on a holiday purchase:
For Christmas, I purchased monogrammed fleece blankets for my nephews from Lands’ End. First, I checked CashbackMonitor.com and saw that I could earn 4 points per dollar spent at Lands’ End through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Then I logged into the portal, navigated to Lands’ End, and added the blankets to my shopping cart. With taxes, the purchase came to $83.80.
I then opened the United MileagePlus app on my phone and purchased a gift card for exactly $83.80 (through the app, I earned 5 points per dollar spent on the gift card, plus at 25% bonus for using my United MileagePlus credit card). At the Lands’ End checkout, I entered the gift card number as payment for the purchase, and I was done.
So, with this one small purchase I earned:
—335 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for shopping through the Chase Portal ($83.80 x 4 points per dollar spent)
—524 United MileagePlus miles by purchasing a Lands’ End gift card through the Chase MileagePlus app ($83.70 x 5 miles per dollar spent = 419 + 25% bonus for using United credit card = 524 miles)
—84 United miles for earning one point per dollar spent on the United credit card.
That’s a whopping 943 points/miles for using the shopping portal and gift card app on a purchase I was already planning to make! For perspective, that is about the same number of miles I would have earned had I flown round trip from Washington, D.C. to Boston.
I do this day in and day out with all of my eligible purchases (including Airbnbs, movie tickets, and restaurants), so the points add up very quickly. If you get into the habit, then before you know it, you too will be hopping on free flights to fun places.
What do you think? Ready to give it a try?
If you get confused along the way, just drop us a note in the comments, and we will be happy to help! Or better yet, after you make your first purchase, let us know how many points your earned. We love a good reader success story!
Christine F Schelble
I like the example but I definitely thought those blankets were less expensive when I suggested them to you — thanks for such a generously boring gift! xo
Lol. More points for me!