We have spoken to a number of people who may not be able to open credit cards for one reason or another or are against opening credit cards. That is perfectly fine! There are still ways to earn lots of points without opening credit cards.
One way is through online shopping portals. Think of these as gateways to the sites that you are about to purchase from. You go through the gateway and earn cashback or points for doing so. Since there are SO many shopping portals out there, the best place to start is at Ca$hback Monitor which scans these shopping portals and tracks the best cashback/points available for that store. Their home page lists the most popular stores and the highest earning points that are offered to shop at those stores.
Here are the steps you will need to take to start earning cashback or points:
Go to Cash Back Monitor and search for the store which you are going to purchase from.
You are redirected to the online store, and continue with your transaction. Make sure you do not close this tab as the tracking will be lost. Pay for your order and wait for your items to be delivered. ***BONUS*** Some stores offer in store pickup so if you were planning to go in to purchase the item anyway, making your purchase through the shopping portal earns you extra cashback or points.
The shopping trip is logged, your purchase is verified by the shopping portal, and soon thereafter you earn cashback/points for your purchase.
We're going to use the example of FedEx Office as recently, Peter had a purchase that he needed to place with Fedex Printing.
Starting with cashbackmonitor, he searched for FedEx Office and saw that shopping through the British Airways shopping portal was awarding 6X Avios points* per dollar spent at FedEx Office (Avios is the currency of the British Airways Rewards Program). While there were other options and it would have been possible to earn cash back for the purchase, our preference is points as we can then turn those into travel purchases.
Clicking the link for the British Airways Shopping Portal, he then logged in and proceeded to "Shop Now".
Each transaction is logged with a click ID and the points then go into pending status. When the purchase has been verified, the points are awarded and go into the British Airways account. For each dollar spent at FedEx, we earned 6 Avios points.
This order was going to be placed regardless of whether he had gone through this portal or not, so earning the points was a cherry on top! Had he chosen to earn cashback from Top Cashback (the highest earning cashback portal with FedEx), this would have returned 5.5% in cashback! It is your preference to select the best shopping portal to earn points or cash back of your choice.
So, which shopping portals our favourite, and what stores are on shopping portals?
First of all, our favourite three portals:
Ebates: Ebates is a cashback site that is consistently at the higher end of payouts. Use our referral link here to get started today. You will earn a $10 bonus after your first purchase of more than $25. NOTE- if you have an American Express Credit Card that earns Membership Rewards you should opt to earn these points instead of cashback. Use this much better link to start earning Membership Rewards instead of cashback- we don’t earn anything from this link but it is a MUCH better way to earn points if you would prefer them over cashback.
Airline portals: Delta Skymiles shopping, American Airlines Advantage shopping, United shopping, Southwest shopping, or from the above example, British Airways shopping - earn airline miles for your purchases
Extra Bux: another cashback portal.
Literally every major US store is on the shopping portals. Plus- through the British Airways portal, all the major UK stores are available. Where do you commonly make purchases? A sampling of the stores that are on shopping portals:
Amazon- Top Cashback pays 10% for womens, mens and kids apparel. 8% for devices, 4% for garden and outdoor purchases to name a few (Note- Amazon does have a list of excluded purchases)
JC Penney, Kohls, Macy's- these stores frequently pop up offering big payouts- currently JC Penney is paying out 10 United Airlines miles per dollar spent.
Home Depot- buying a fridge? Top Cashback is paying out 12% on purchases made at Home Depot through their portal.
Apple Store- consistently pays out 3% cashback and 3% in airline miles
The big picture
If you are already shopping online, why not top it off by earning points or cashback for your purchases?