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TPG staffers stacked offers to save on holiday shopping — here’s how you can, too!


It’s no secret that shopping during the holiday season can net you the best savings since stores typically offer Black Friday sales and additional seasonal sales. But did you know that you can save even more money? There are several ways you can save money with online shopping by maximizing shopping portals, promo codes and bonus offers, and by using the right credit card.

Since the holidays are a popular shopping period for purchasing gifts for loved ones (or perhaps yourself), we’re here to help you save money and possibly earn additional rewards. By teaching you the basics of holiday shopping offers and showing you real-life examples of how TPG staffers have stacked offers to save big and earn lots of bonus points and miles on shopping and dining, you’ll be set for your next holiday shopping purchase.

How you can save money on holiday shopping

THE POINTS GUY

Start by getting to know shopping portals, which allow you to earn bonus points, miles or cash back at hundreds of online retailers. All you need to do is log in to your portal of choice. Then, click the store where you want to shop, and you will be redirected to the store’s website and can shop as normal.

You’re still purchasing the same items directly from the merchant, but because you started at the shopping portal, you’ll earn bonus points. However, it generally only applies to the subtotal of your purchase (excluding taxes and shipping fees).

In addition, you can earn points or miles on the actual rewards credit card you use, making this an easy way to double dip.

Online shopping can offer great deals and convenience. Look for online-exclusive discounts, free shipping offers and cash-back opportunities. Compare prices from different websites to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also, look for coupons and promo codes that can be applied to your purchases. Many retailers offer discounts during the holiday season, so take advantage of these savings opportunities.

How you can earn bonus points and miles on holiday shopping

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Almost every major airline has an online shopping portal (as do select hotel programs). All of them work similarly. While the exact login process may vary slightly, each one will award bonus points or miles based on your purchases across hundreds of retailers.

Here’s a handy list of links for the most popular airline portals:

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Some issuers currently offer their own online shopping portals if you want to stack your credit card earnings:

To utilize these, you must have an active credit card account that earns points in the bank’s program.

During major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, airline and credit card shopping portals offer promotions to earn extra miles for every dollar you spend — provided you first click the correct portal.

These portals also offer bonus miles after spending a certain amount.

If you are going to be doing some serious holiday shopping, you might as well be rewarded for it!

Related: Get your holiday shopping done: Earn bonus miles with these airline portal promotions

How the TPG staff saved money using shopping portals and bonus offers

Credit cards editor Daisy Hernandez stacked cash back from her Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express with a Cyber Monday promotion to get a killer deal on a much-needed new office chair.

The OdinLake Ergo Pro 633 chair retails for $499 and was 50% off as part of a Cyber Monday promotion (which is still valid). Using $76 in accumulated cash back brought the final cost of the chair — which shipped for free, arrived quickly and is an awesome upgrade from the chair she was previously using — down to $174.

The cherry on top was earning $2.49 back thanks to the Blue Cash Preferred’s 1% cash back on purchases outside of its main earning categories (6% at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming subscriptions, and 3% back on gas and transit costs).

Another noteworthy deal Daisy snagged was a pair of Ugg boots which were also part of a Cyber Monday sale. The boots were marked down to $99, but by combining her Bloomingdale’s Loyallist member points and $23 in cash back on her Discover it Cash Back card, she paid $51, essentially cutting the sale price of the boots down by half.

The information for the Discover it Cash Back card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES

Credit cards writer Emily Thompson used a combination of sales — Rakuten and credit card offers — to get great savings on her Madewell and Ulta purchases.

She took advantage of Madewell’s 40%-off sale to order two pairs of jeans for $142.50 — originally priced at $237.50. She got 10% back through Rakuten, bringing her total down to $128.25. She then paid for it with her Bilt Mastercard® (see rates and fees) and earned 5 points per dollar thanks to her new cardmember bonus offer. With tax added, she earned 781 Bilt points, worth around $16 according to TPG’s valuations, meaning she effectively saved around $30 on top of the Madewell sale.

She also stacked several offers to save on an order from Ulta. She purchased a gift set that included $72 worth of products for $45. She stacked an Ulta coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase, 10% back through Rakuten and a Chase offer for an additional 10% back to bring her net cost down to just around $30.

THE POINTS GUY

Senior credit cards editor Matt Moffitt got a great deal on two pairs of Ray-Ban sunglasses for less than $100.

Firstly, Ray-Ban’s Black Friday sale offered 50% off select styles — including the two Matt chose — bringing the total for both pairs down from $340 to $170.

Then, the merchant offered 15% cash back through Rakuten, which Matt opted to earn as American Express Membership Rewards points (worth 2 cents each per our valuations).

Next, when the annual fee on his The Platinum Card® from American Express hit two months ago, he used the Amex online chat function to ask for a retention offer: to spend $3,000 in three months to earn 15,000 bonus points.

So, stacking these two points-earning opportunities, he earned 15 points per dollar spent through Rakuten along with the regular earning rate of 1 point per dollar spent on his Amex Platinum. Then he earned 5 bonus points per dollar spent with the retention offer, netting him a whopping 21 points per dollar spent on this purchase, worth $71.

Altogether, that means that the effective purchase price dropped from $340 at full price to $170 with the 50%-off sale and was further reduced to $99 with the points earned.

INSPIRATIONGP/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

Senior points and miles editor Gabrielle Bernardini snagged great savings on her holiday shopping using a combination of discounts and Chase credit card reward offers.

Before doing her Black Friday shopping, Gabrielle checked out the retail offers on her Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. She saw that cardholders could earn 15% cash back ($14 maximum) on purchases at Old Navy. Old Navy offered 50% off on Black Friday on most of its in-store items. Since the six items she purchased were 50% off, her sales total was $94.10.

Because she previously activated the Chase offer on her card, she saved an additional $14 on her total. Therefore, she spent $80.10, saving her about $108. Plus, she netted 94 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on her $80.10 purchase.

THE POINTS GUY

Points and miles reporter Kyle Olsen has been all about making the most of his meal purchases this holiday season by triple or quadruple stacking. By using his American Express® Gold Card, he’s earning 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar (an 8% return).

And after recently checking his Amex Offers, he added a Tender Greens offer that gave him $5 on a single purchase of $25 or more. He ordered exactly $25, so the $5 statement credit gave him a 20% return.

The restaurant is also on the American Airlines Dining portal, which allowed him to earn 5 American miles and Loyalty Points per dollar (a 7.5% return) as a VIP member.

Finally, the restaurant is also on Dosh as a 5% cash-back partner, which allowed him to get cash back as a Venmo transfer for his order. Kyle referred his roommate, who had the same Amex Offer, to Dosh, giving him a $10 bonus, and also referred him to the American Airlines Dining portal, which gave him 500 bonus miles.

By following these steps, Kyle earned $11.25 and 725 miles (worth $11.37) from his $25 lunch order.

ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Senior points and miles writer Katie Genter hasn’t done much shopping yet for the holiday season. But she’s been enjoying stacking offers for winter travel.

She recently booked two stays at independent hotels that don’t participate in any major hotel loyalty programs through online travel agencies. By doing so, she could stack credit card merchant offers, shopping portals, credit card rewards and online travel agency rewards programs to maximize her rewards.

For example, she should earn rewards as follows on her upcoming $852.70 five-night stay for a ski trip to Niseko, Japan:

And she should earn as follows on an upcoming $719.76 five-night stay in St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

She’s also used other Chase Offers to save 10% on recent Element and SpringHill Suites stays.

PARK HYATT NISEKO

Bottom line

With another holiday season upon us, you might be surprised just how much money you can save and how many bonus points you can earn by stacking offers readily available for you to use.

First, check the cash back or bonus points your credit card merchant may be offering for purchases with certain retailers and make sure your pay with the right card. Then, visit your favorite shopping portal like Rakuten, which may also offer cash back or bonus rewards. If you’re looking to stack miles in 2024, you can also earn multiple points per dollar just by paying with the right credit card or using an airline shopping portal. Either way, make sure you get rewarded for your holiday shopping.

For rates of fees of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.

For rewards and benefits of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.



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