Why we have stopped buying from the cheapest store, but still pay the cheapest price

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We were in need of a new carry on bag each in November and went on the hunt for new bags. Melissa is fantastic at reading reviews and weeding out the poor quality products and finding really great quality. We finally found a bag that looked like it would fit our needs, was of high quality, and a good price. 

Amazon had the grey Swiss Gear Sion 21" for $56.00 and eBags had it for $99.99. Conventional wisdom says buy from Amazon, right?

Well, not so fast!! Let us introduce you to Price Protection and Shopping Portals.

Price Protection

Many credit cards offer Price Protection. Citi cards that have it state "Did you get the lowest price on your Citi® card purchase? Let's find out. Citi Price Rewind does a 60-day search for a lower price on your purchases. And if we find one, you may receive the difference in price. Citi Price Rewind does the hard work for you". Chase cards that have it state that Price Protection "Provides reimbursement for the difference in price on eligible items purchased in the U.S., when the identical item is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days of the original purchase price"

Shopping Portals

Portals are a great way of earning extra points when you shop. This works great even if you don't have a credit card. The premise of shopping portals are that sites will pay for traffic being referred to their sites. As a result, websites will give you points if you click through their link to the site you are looking to shop at. One great site to see this is Cash Back Monitor. See below the points that Cash Back Monitor is reporting for eBags.

Cash Back Monitor organizes the cashback/points that you can earn very neatly

Cash Back Monitor organizes the cashback/points that you can earn very neatly

Steps to earn cashback/extra points:

1. Visit Cash Back Monitor (or other shopping portal aggregator) to decide the best site to shop through. This will all depend on your preference for points/cashback. 

2. Create an account or log in to your account.

3. Search for the store, then click on "Shop Now"

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4. A new page will open with the website you requested.

5. Find your item, and complete the purchase of your order.

6. Wait for the points to show up in your account.


For our specific order, United were running a special where you could earn 20X United Airlines points for every dollar spent at eBags. Our order was $199.98 (before tax). 

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We earned 4,000 United Miles on a purchase that we had already planned on making. This is on top of any credit card points we earned for this transaction. As an added bonus, apparently United were running a Holiday Bonus and we got a further 500 miles. Sweet! 

All the airlines have shopping portals so if you have an airline you like to earn miles in, go ahead and create an account. That way you can start earning more points.

But wait- you paid more than you could have paid on Amazon!

After we had purchased the bags, we turned in a Price Protection claim with Chase. They required a copy of the invoice, a screenshot of the lower price (in this case from Amazon) and a screenshot of the credit card statement showing the transaction cleared. 

A couple of weeks later we got in the mail a check for $43.99 for each bag (we had to turn in separate claims for each bag)

Obviously these methods require more work than simply clicking on a cheap priced item, but being able to earn points in order to take our new bags somewhere is so worth the additional effort!