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One of the easiest ways to increase your rewards balances is through online shopping portals. The bonus points for various airline and hotel programs are offered by these programs. It would be a mistake to not use the points for such an easy way to earn them.

We are going to talk about how to use the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal. If you play your cards right, this could be a lucrative tactic that could lead to an award flight sooner than you think. Domestic award bookings start as low as 5,000 AAdvantage miles, but sometimes you can score an even better deal through an AA Web Special.

Not only is the AAdvantage shopping portal a great way to boost your points on top of flying and earning through credit cards, it is also a fantastic opportunity to double or even triple dip with your credit card rewards. All base miles earned through the portal count as Loyalty Points, which will put you closer to American elite status.

Everything you need to know about earning AAdvantage miles is here.

You can get more TPG news, deals, and points and miles tips in our daily newsletter.

Woman sitting at a computer and holding a credit card
(Photo by filadendron/Getty Images)

You can earn bonus points and miles by doing business with hundreds of online retailers through online shopping portals. When you use a rewards credit card, you can earn additional points for your spending.

You can earn extra points on smaller purchases, such as ordering photos through Walgreens, if you make a lot of purchases through the portal. Either way, the points add up.

When ordering everyday necessities, like contacts, is a good time to use the portal. If you shop through the American Airlines AAdvantage portal, you could earn 5 miles per dollar spent, which is more than you might think. It's convenient, it adds up, and it could lead to your next vacation by ordering through the portal.

Screenshot of mileage earning rate at 1-800-CONTACTS
(Screenshot from

Say you spend $500 per year on contacts. Here is what you could be earning.

You have racked up 3,500 bonus miles just by saving yourself time and ordering your contacts online.

Maximizing shopping portals for online purchases is related.

It is easy to start with the AAdvantage shopping portal. Simply sign up, search for a merchant you want to shop with, and click through to it using the link provided by AAdvantage eShopping. This is a step-by-step look at how that works.

Sign up for AAdvantage eShopping

Screenshot of welcome page to join for the first time
(Screenshot from

If you already have an AAdvantage frequent flyer account, you will need to sign up for AAdvantage eShopping. Here, you can add personal information and link your frequent flyer number.

You should check our list of shopping portal bonuses frequently. Bonuses for new members are offered by airline shopping portals. Signing up and spending $300 by the date will get you 1,000 bonus miles.

Browse offers

Screenshot of bonus earnings offers, highlighting Thrive Market 20X offer
(Screenshot from

You can browse thousands of offers after signing up. If you find one that you are interested in, you can click on it and it will take you to the online store. If you exit the site after clicking through, you will have to repeat the process to get the offer back. Bonus miles are only earned if the offer is tracked and you need to stay on the same page after you activated the offer.

The easiest way to ensure you don't miss out on bonus points is to install the AAdvantage button. This browser extension will let you know when a site is eligible for bonus points.

Screenshot of information display when going to the store to shop, saying the offer is active
(Screenshot from

If your offer has been activated when you click through to the merchant website, you will get a message like this. You will see a button if it has not.

How to earn miles in the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

Tips and reminders

It is easy to miss a few steps the first couple of times you use it. There are a few things to keep in mind.

  • If using the plug-in, you must “activate” the points when alerted by the pop-up. Otherwise, you will miss out on the points completely, which would be a real shame, because you were so close.
  • Before shopping, you must click through the link on the shopping portal. Don’t navigate away and come back later, as the bonus will no longer be activated.
  • You must make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser for the retailer’s site. This is what allows the portal to track your purchases and award bonuses accordingly. This also means shopping in “private browsing” or “incognito” mode won’t earn bonus miles.
  • Only use promotions or promo codes found on the portal; if you use others, the purchase may become ineligible for bonus points and miles.
  • Consider using shopping portal aggregators like Cashback Monitor. The site allows you to pull up a specific retailer and see the earning rate you’d get across all applicable shopping portals, allowing you to quickly compare earning rates and determine which one offers the best return for the individual merchant you are shopping with.

Earning Loyalty Points toward status

(Photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy)

While earning miles that you can redeem for free flights is great in and of itself, miles earned through the portal now count towards elite status.

Loyalty Points can be earned from online shopping with AAdvantage eShopping or SimplyMiles. Shopping portals are more beneficial than ever since Loyalty Points are used to earn American Airlines elite status.

Let's revisit our example with 1-800 Contacts. If you spend $500 per year on contacts and the portal offers 5 miles per dollar, you will earn 2,500 AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points per year as long as the earning rate stays the same. If you purchase a product you would buy anyway, you will knock out 8.33% of your path to Gold status.

This is how many loyalty points the staff has earned so far.

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

One of the airline's co branded credit cards is a good option if you want to earn status faster. There are a number of co branded cards that the airline offers, each with different benefits, earning structures and annual fees.

Three of our favorite American cards have current offers.

The Points Guy collected the information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card. The card details on this page have not been reviewed by the card issuer.

Each dollar spent on one of these cards earns another Loyalty Point, helping you move toward American Airlines elite status even faster.

American has changed how you earn elite status with loyalty points.

When you shop online with American Airlines, you can accumulate miles and Loyalty Points. By stacking shopping portal offers and bonus-earning offers, you can earn points and miles for each dollar you spend online.

The photo was taken by Guido Mieth.

Liz Hund is a former TPG writer, covering everything from the latest deal to deeper guides with a focus on beginners.
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