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.
For example, at the moment United MileagePlus Shopping is offering 10 miles per dollar spent with Marriott hotels. Ordinarily they offer one mile per dollar spent, so this bonus is ten times as good as usual (I know, if this whole blogging thing doesn’t work out, I have a bright future as a mathematician).
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 MileagePlus Shopping 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 United 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 United miles per dollar spent plus whatever Marriott points you’d usually earn (and you can even stack this with Marriott’s upcoming double points promotion).
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.
For what it’s worth, we see a similar promotion for American miles in January.
(Tip of the hat to Running With Miles)