Today, I thought I’d share how you can earn BIG miles/points with your holiday spending.  As I talked a few weeks ago, the holidays are a great time to maximize your normal spending to earn really huge miles & points.

If you’ve read my Rookie Corner, you know that anytime you shop online you should always shop through a shopping portal such as:

 and always check before shopping the find the best portal offering the most miles/points for your purchase. Note: does not show all portals like Chase: Ultimate Rewards Shopping, Aeroplan EStore or Bonus Points Mall.  So if you have a these accounts be sure to check them.

That being said, here is a way to really maximize your purchase.  Below is a sample purchase.

I want to buy a mp3 player for my oldest son.  I’m thinking Best Buy, Sears or somewhere like that would have a good one.  First I check for Best Buy and Sears.  Looks like the best for a Best Buy purchase is 2:1 ratio from Delta Skymiles or Continental/United Mileage Plus Shopping.  2 miles per dollar is nothing great better than 1:1.  So I keep looking through the other shopping portals.  Now, I’ve found a good deal.  Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping is offering 10 points per dollar for Sears.  But here is where the BIG BONUS comes in.  Instead of just purchasing now, I order a gift card for  let’s say $200.00.  Then when I receive the gift card, I go back online to Ultimate Rewards mall and I now purchase my mp3 player with my gift card.

So here is the breakdown on my purchase

STEP 1 – Purchase $200 GIFT CARD x 10 points/dollar = 2,000 points earned
STEP 2 – Purchase mp3 player.  $200 x 10 points/dollar = 2,000 points earned
Total purchase earns me 4,000 points which in Ultimate Rewards points.

This can be done for any shopping portal that offers gift cards that you can also redeem in the mall.  Purchase a gift card first – get miles/points.  Then go back and purchase your item.  Double your points/miles.  But wait, that is not all!  Triple your points/miles because you will of course be smart and use one of your rewards earning credit cards.

So since I used my Chase Sapphire card for this purchase, I earned an additional 200 points for the first $200 gift card purchase.


Hope this tip helps you maximize your holiday spending!  It can really add up if you are smart.  Start your list now for the kids and order your gift cards.



  1. No, United does not give miles either. No reward for buying gift cards through Mileage Plus Shopping. This condition is shown for about 3 brief seconds (along with a host of other info) on the splash screen they show as you leave the United site to go to the retailer site. Very misleading of United to present this limitation in this form that is virtually impossible to read.

  2. Wow! That is terrible. Are you absolutely sure. Very bad! When you go to Gift Card page it clearly indicated how many points per vendor you receive for purchasing their card. Did you call & speak to someone over the phone for an explanation.

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