How can you earn extra cash-back rewards or airline miles simply for making purchases online? By using an online shopping portal, of course. The Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall, Discover's ShopDiscover.com and Bank of America's World Points Mall are three of the biggest players in the click-through online shopping game. By offering customers additional cash-back rebates and bonus points simply for shopping through their portals, they are able to drum up sales for affiliated businesses and help their customers earn more rewards in one fell swoop.
How online shopping portals work
If you're using a rewards credit card for your online purchases, you're already at an advantage. Online shopping portals take your earnings a step further by offering additional rewards on top of the cash back or points you're already earning, and can boost them anywhere from 100 to 1,000 percent. On any given day, a rewards portal like the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall will reward an extra 1 to 10 points per dollar spent at a rotating list of online stores, including popular retailers like Macy's, J.C. Penney, Nike and Office Depot. All you need to do to earn the extra rewards is visit the credit card shopping portal of your choosing and click through to any store and make an online purchase. It's as easy as that. Whether or not you're a fan of online shopping portals, it is hard to argue with rewards like this. And with bonus cash for the taking, shoppers planning to make an online purchase anyway might as well take advantage of these offers. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
What to watch out for
Credit card customers have plenty to gain from online shopping portals, but also plenty to lose, says Shawn Needham of the financial literacy organization Clarifi. For example, shoppers shouldn't let potential rewards get in the way of evaluating whether something is a good deal or not. "Even if you're earning points through a portal, those points may not be worth it if you can get a lower price for an item elsewhere," says Needham.