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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Shopping guide

Summary

Our guide to Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping hows you have to use Alaska’s shopping portal and build up miles more quickly.

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Flying cross-country or using an Alaska Airlines card isn’t the only way you can stockpile frequent flyer miles. You can also top up your Mileage Plan account from the comfort of your home simply by visiting the Mileage Plan Shopping portal before you do your online shopping.

Alaska Airlines offers an easy-to-use portal that helps regular passengers top up their miles balances and earn a free trip more quickly. Each time you use the portal to shop online, you’ll earn between 2 and 6 miles or more for every dollar you spend. That’s in addition to any rewards you earn through your credit card. The portal is free and easy to use. Even better: It offers a huge selection of participating stores.

Partners include mega retailers, such as Walmart, Macy’s and Sephora, as well as specialty merchants, such as Weight Watchers. In fact, the list of partners is so long – totaling more than 850 merchants – chances are high your favorite stores are represented.

How to use the Mileage Plan Shopping portal

You don’t need to muddle through a complicated system to take advantage of the portal either. All you need to do is visit the Alaska Mileage Plan portal and sign into your member account.  From there, you can click on the link to whatever store you want to shop at and start accumulating miles automatically. Any purchase you make after you’re redirected to the store of your choice will help pad your account. To find a particular store, click on “stores” at the top of the web page and enter your choice in the search bar or browse the alphabetized listings.

You can also install a Mileage Plan Shopping Plan button to your Chrome browser. That way, you don’t have to visit the portal first to start earning miles. Any time you visit a partnering store, the button will remind you of the miles you can earn and any associated promotions. Just remember to click “activate” before you check out.

If you aren’t sure which store you want to visit or just want to browse what deals are available, you can also visit the Mileage Plan portal and click on “offers.” You can narrow down your choices by clicking on “expiring soon,” “highest earn rate,” or “newest.” Or you can browse specific types of purchases using the “category” page.

How many miles can you earn with Mileage Plan Shopping?

Earnings will vary, depending on the store you buy from and the time of year, and change often. However, most run anywhere from 1 to 4 miles per dollar spent. For example, Dell is currently offering just 1 mile per dollar spent. FedEx is offering 2 miles. Bed Bath and Beyond is offering 3 miles for every dollar spent, while Staples is offering 4 miles.

There are some major outliers, though, that offer an even larger number of bonus miles, so it’s worth checking out the biggest miles boosters before you shop. The telephone service company, Xfinity, for example, is currently offering 25 miles for every dollar spent, while the security company McAfee is offering 20 miles. Meanwhile, Macy’s is currently offering 10 miles per dollar spent.

Some merchants are even doling out big one-time bonuses and other perks. For example, Dish Network is offering a Google Home Mini for new customers and 3,600 miles. In general, you’ll find that the smaller, more specialized stores offer some of the best deals.

The best credit cards to use with the Mileage Plan Shopping

Charging your purchases to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card will be the easiest way for you to top off your rewards balance since you’ll automatically get one additional mile for every dollar you spend. However, you can also charge your purchases to a card that allows you to transfer your points to Alaska Airlines at a reasonable rate.

Starwood and Marriott, for example, let you convert your points into Alaska miles at a 3 to 1 ratio, which isn’t bad considering that every general purchase earns 2 points per dollar spent.

Credit CardRewards for ShoppingAnnual Fee
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card1 mile per dollar spent$75
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express2 points per dollar spent$95
Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card2 points per dollar spent$450
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus credit card2 points per dollar spent$95

 How to get the most out of Mileage Plan Shopping

  • Choose your card wisely. If your main goal is to turbocharge your miles balance, then you’ll boost your earnings using a travel card such as the Alaska Airlines card. However, the rewards rate isn’t great. If you don’t mind splitting your priorities, you could earn a bigger return with a 2 percent cash back card.
  • Look for special discounts. The Mileage Plan portal doesn’t just offer miles bonuses. It also offers a ton of freebies and promotions. Before you settle on a retailer for its miles bonus, check to see if a competitor is offering a sweeter deal.
  • Use the Shopping Plan button so you never miss out. The button will keep you on your toes and remind you to opt in to the portal each time you shop at a partner store. That way, you don’t forget to use it. It will also remind you of special deals and brand-new bonuses so you can maximize your online savings.
  • Browse the portal regularly. If you really want to be aggressive, then it’s a good idea to frequently re-familiarize yourself with the portal’s offerings. Not only could the represented retailers change; you may find yourself drawn to certain deals at different times, depending on the stage of life you’re in.

Shopping partners

A huge number of retailers are represented, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding what you need. Many of the country’s best-known retailers offer bonuses, including Levi’s, Foot Locker, The Container Store, Home Depot, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Target, Samsung and more. So are trendy internet-only retailers, such as ModCloth, Society6 and Etsy.

Categories run the gamut from beauty and health to computers, clothes, hardware, office supplies, magazines, toys, pets, sports supplies, furniture and more. Even cable companies, tax preparation services, personal trainers, publishers and meat sellers show up in the portal’s list of merchants. 

Bottom line

If you’re looking for something specific, you can probably find it at a partnering store. Alaska Airlines makes the portal so easy to use, in fact, that if you’re a Mileage Plan member, you’ll be hard pressed to find an excuse not to use it.

Related stories: Alaska Mileage Plan Dining program guide, A complete guide to airline companion passes

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