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  • Writer's picturePoints By J

Holiday Shopping Tips: Maximize Rewards to Fund a 2024 Vacation

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

A lesson I wish I’d learned earlier in life: if you’re going to spend money, you might as well get rewarded for it. This is especially true when it comes to online shopping. The only shopping perk I love more than a great deal? Free travel.


Spending money can provide such valuable rewards! For example, I recently earned 12 miles per $1 spent on a Lululemon purchase. Here’s the breakdown:

By combining my credit card spend rewards with shopping portal points, I’m getting the best value for every dollar I spend this holiday season. This “double dipping” is possible across most online purchases.


While this is just one example, it’s not hard to envision how rewards can stack up quickly with holiday shopping. A 12% travel reward return on a single purchase makes me feel better about the prospect of gift giving.


In this post, I’m going to give you a few easy-to-follow holiday shopping tips for maximizing rewards for any holiday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, Secret Santa, and other shopping. I’ll organize the information in 2 parts:

  1. Rewards earned directly from credit card use

  2. Online shopping portal spend rewards

Side note: if you need gift inspiration, I’ve organized some fun ideas for the traveler in your life (or, a gift for yourself)!


Holiday shopping tips
This is the year of maximizing our holiday shopping rewards

Holiday Shopping Tip #1: Maximize Your Credit Card Points Earning


1. Welcome offers for credit cards


Welcome offers for credit cards are the best way to get a huge stash of points for free travel. Usually, a minimum amount of spend is required in the first several months in order to receive those points. This makes the holidays a fantastic time to open 1–2 new cards.


If you’re looking for some guidance for which card is best, you can learn more about:

holiday shopping tips
Flying to Nairobi using credit card points I earned from holiday shopping was a 2023 highlight!

2. If you’re not working on a welcome offer minimum spend, pay attention to bonus point category earning. It’s important to use cards’ bonus point earning categories to maximize your rewards. For example, learn more about:

Please note that terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.


Holiday Shopping Tip #2: How to Use Online Shopping Portals


An online shopping portal is a website or online platform provided by an airline or loyalty program that partners with various retailers and online stores. It allows members of the loyalty program to earn rewards, such as airline miles or points, for their purchases made through the portal.


A few of my favorites include American Airlines Aadvantage eShopping, Delta SkyMiles Shopping, and United MileagePlus Shopping. I already have loyalty accounts with these airlines, so I simply link my loyalty number to their shopping portal login.


Here’s the process I use before I click “purchase” online:

  1. Search for the name of the store on cashbackmonitor.com—this will show which shopping portal is currently offering the best reward incentive.

  2. Go to that airline’s shopping portal to click through to the retailer. This activates the reward earning. Most portals also offer a bookmark button to make this process a bit easier.

  3. Order your item as normal! The miles/points you earn will be credited to your associated loyalty account.

It truly is that easy. Keep an eye on the portals for amazing Cyber Monday and Cyber Week deals too!


If you’re going to spend money online, you might as well get those rewards. If you're looking for even more holiday shopping tips, I have a freebie download here to make this the most rewarding holiday shopping season ever.


*Each Benefit requires enrollment via their website, terms apply to American Express Benefits and offers. visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

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