Points.com is pleased to have its first guest blogger, The Points Guy, sharing tips for back to school shopping. We look forward to featuring additional guest bloggers in the future!
Getting More Bang – and Miles – For Your Buck during Back to School Shopping Season
August is a month synonymous with transition. As the summer winds down, we gear up for fall, and for many people, that means going back to school. Whether you have little ones going off to elementary school or you yourself are gearing up for a semester in college, the costs of back to school shopping can be extraordinary.
Earlier this month, American Express released a report indicating that the average family of four will spend about $550 on back to school shopping, mostly on clothes, shoes and school supplies. Those costs can rise exponentially for larger families or college students who need to buy computers and textbooks.
Why not maximize these transactions by shopping for back to school items in a way that earns you points? It’s easy – and lucky for you, I have highlighted the major online shopping portals that will award frequent flyer miles for purchases. These portals link to the same exact website that you’d purchase from normally, but it stores your frequent flyer number so you automatically get a nice miles deposit generally 4-8 weeks after the purchase. Considering some merchants are offering up to 10 miles per dollar, the miles can add up.
Oh yeah, the miles are free so there is absolutely no reason to not shop through these portals.
Another tip: Get more bang for hard-earned buck by using a miles-earning credit card for your purchases, so the miles rack up even quicker. For example, if you spend $250 at Target (3 miles per $ spent) through the American AAdvantage Mall with your Starwood American Express you’d get:
750 AA miles and 250 Starwood Preferred Guest Points. 1,000 miles. Not bad, considering one-way coach awards start at 12,500 miles.
If your budget is extra tight this year and you’d rather use your points to pay for your back to school shopping, be sure to read my post on using miles for shopping.
Here are some links to shopping portals and some highlighted earning opportunities with back to school favorites
American: Barnes and Noble 4 miles per dollar, Lands End 4 miles per dollar
British Airways: Nordstrom 12 miles per dollar, Gap 2 miles per dollar
Continental: Target 4 miles per dollar, Banana Republic 3 miles per dollar
Delta: Kmart 3 miles per dollar, Macys 5 miles per dollar
Hawaiian Airlines: Sears 2 miles per dollar, Staples 3 miles per dollar
JetBlue: Sephora 1 point per dollar, Dell 1 point per two dollars
Midwest Airlines: Borders 2 miles per dollar, PCrush.com 2 miles per dollar
Spirit Airlines: JC Penney 3 miles per dollar, Adidas 5 miles per dollar
United: 7 miles per two dollars (including used textbooks!), Eddie Bauer 3 miles per dollar
US Airways: American Eagle Outfitters 2 miles per dollar, Big Dogs 6 miles per dollar
Virgin America: UGG 3 points per two dollars, abebooks.com (textbooks) 2 points per two dollars
About The Points Guy – The Points Guy has a passion for redeeming frequent flyer miles and points for travel. His hope is to educate people on the value of their loyalty point wealth by covering industry news, travel deals and reviews of major airline, hotel and credit card loyalty programs. Check out his blog at http://thepointsguy.com/.