Online shopping portals can be a great way to pick up additional miles & points for purchases you’d make anyway. Just for following a specific link you can earn bonus points in addition to the ones you’d earn anyway for credit card spend. The number of bonus miles you earn per dollar spent varies greatly by retailer.
While these portals are great for everyday purchases, there are also sometimes bonuses for making purchases with travel providers, which can be a great way to double dip. Lately we’re seeing these more often than ever before.
At the moment the AAdvantage eShopping Portal is offering 10 miles per dollar spent with Marriott hotels. Ordinarily they offer two miles per dollar spent, so this bonus is five times as good as usual.
You don’t need to book a pre-paid rate to my knowledge, but rather a refundable rate works as well, and you’ll just be issued the bonus miles after your stay.
The terms state that the promotion is “not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site,” and “not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents.”
Those are all the terms stated, though frankly I’d be surprised if there weren’t actually more restrictions regarding hotel brands, eligible locations, etc… but they’re not listed, so I guess we should assume there are no other restrictions.
What’s so great here is that the AAdvantage eShopping Portal simply directs you to Marriott’s website, meaning you can still earn your Marriott points and elite nights as usual. That’s huge. I value American miles at ~1.4 cents each, so to me this is like an additional ~14% return on Marriott stays.
This is very different than booking through something like Rocketmiles, where you can earn miles for hotel stays, though that’s in lieu of earning hotel points. Here you get the best of both worlds, since you earn 10 American miles per dollar spent plus whatever Marriott points you’d usually earn.
I’m not sure how long the increased bonus will last (I’m guessing it might just be valid today), so I’d recommend booking ASAP. Only hotel stays booked through this link qualify, so if you can rebook a stay at the same cost then I’d highly recommend doing so.
We’ve seen this promotion every couple of weeks lately, so while this isn’t unheard of, it’s not that common.
On top of that, note that today Ebates is offering 10% cash back on Marriott stays. Personally I’d take 10 American miles per dollar spent over 10% cash back, though.
(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)