I grew up in Berkeley. During my childhood, it was not unusual for an adult to tell me to write down my intentions so that they would manifest in reality. My friends and I mostly rolled our eyes and ignored this advice, but occasionally we would conduct some sort of ceremonial inscription. I came across one of our lists recently, and it read:
1. My mom will change her mind about letting me get my ears pierced – BEFORE Julia’s party. (Kendra)
2. I will find my fuzzy skate covers. (Nicole)
3. I will get an A on my French test!! (Christa)
The list had been folded about twenty-seven times in an intricate pattern, and I found it in an old Yahtzee box. While I’m not sure if Nicole’s fuzzy skate covers ever surfaced, or what the outcome of Christa’s test was, I can tell you that my mom did indeed relent about the piercings. In other words, writing things down on paper has historically proven to be very beneficial for me, and although it might sound strange, I will bet that it can benefit you as well.
Say yes to the list.
Before I got into this hobby of points and miles collecting, my online shopping patterns were pretty typical: when I needed something, I would buy it. Of course, I would be thrilled to find the item on sale, or I would search for a working coupon code at RetailMeNot so I could get free shipping or a discount on my purchase, but as a shopper, I wouldn’t ever just make a list of what I needed, fold up the page, put it in a Yahtzee box and forget about it.
However, this is pretty much what I do now. The reason is because of points and miles.
Why I put my lists aside and wait.
Nowadays, if I’m in the market for something I don’t need right away – a new raincoat, a pair of boots, a new pair of jeans – I just write it down and walk away. Sure, I’ll spend a few minutes looking for a sale, or a coupon code, or free shipping, but unless I find an amazing deal, I don’t pull out my wallet, because I know something better is on the way.
What I am talking about is increased portal bonuses.
Last week (possibly in anticipation of Mother’s Day), the American Airlines shopping portal offered 15x miles per dollar at Saks (up from the usual 6x), while Macy’s was at 6x miles (up from the usual 3x miles). This deal paired nicely with another tiered spend bonus: if you spent $125 on the AA portal, you earned 250 miles, $300 got you an extra 1,000 miles, and a big spend of $700 netted 2,250 miles.
Deals like this happen frequently, and I like to lie in wait for them. This means that I occasionally run out of makeup, don’t have the right shoes for an outfit, or have a non-working small appliance as I am waiting…but I don’t mind. It’s worth it to me.
I earned 14,000 miles!
I earned an extra 14,000 American Airlines miles last week, just by starting my shopping on the American Airlines portal. That is more than enough for a one-way Mile Saver fare (12,500 miles).
It’s so easy.
Even if you don’t make lists and save up for a big increased portal bonus, you can still take advantage of portals anytime you shop online. I always start my search at CashBackMonitor, because I find it’s the easiest to use. (Tip: read this post by Frequent Miler for more info).
What are your portal tips?
Do you have any great portal-shopping tips to share? I would love to hear them!