How to Use Credit Card Bonus Malls and Card-Linked Offers

With just a few extra clicks, you can maximize your rewards earnings and savings when you shop online.

Erin Hurd, Erin El IssaJune 9, 2020
How to Use Credit Card Bonus Malls and Card-Linked Offers

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

If you like online shopping, then it's worth finding out whether your rewards credit card has a bonus mall or a section for card-linked offers.

These web-based portals and deals allow you to "stack" savings or points on top of your card's normal rewards rate, with just a few easy clicks.

Here’s a look at credit card bonus malls and card-linked offers, how they work and a few of the best ones around.

What is a credit card bonus mall?

A credit card bonus mall is an online portal, offered via your card's issuer, that features links to several popular retailers. When you click these links from inside the portal and make a purchase — as opposed to visiting the retailer's site directly first — you earn extra points or cash back at whatever rate the portal is advertising. These bonus rewards are in addition to the rewards you'd earn just by using your credit card for a purchase normally.

For instance, if your card earns 2% cash back on every purchase and you use it via your bonus mall at a retailer advertising 2% back, you'll earn a total of 4% back on that transaction.

Not all issuers have bonus malls. You can find out by logging into your online account or searching for “[issuer name] bonus mall.”

How to use a credit card bonus mall

When you get to the credit card bonus mall site, you’ll need to sign in with your online card account login information. After that, all you need to do is click on the link for the retailer of your choice from the list of available stores. The link will take you to the retailer's website where you can earn the extra rewards.

As long as you don’t click off to another site before completing your purchase, the bonus rewards will eventually post to your account's rewards balance automatically — sometimes within a few days, other times within a billing cycle or two.

Nerd tip: To take advantage of the issuer’s bonus mall, you may be required to pay with a credit card from that issuer. Make sure your card is eligible for the bonus rewards before you use it.

The best credit card bonus malls

Chase Ultimate Rewards® (Shop Through Chase)

The Chase Ultimate Rewards® bonus mall, known as Shop Through Chase, offers bonus points at hundreds of online stores, from Apple to Zappos. You have the option to designate some of your favorite stores and get notifications when those online shops are offering extra rewards. Chase says bonus points typically show up on your rewards activity page within three to five business days from your purchase, but it may take up to two billing cycles for them to post to your account.

Potential pairing: Use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to get extra rewards at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® bonus mall. The card offers 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases. There's also a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The card has a $95 annual fee.

Citi Bonus Cash Center

The Citi Bonus Cash Center offers bonus rewards at nearly 1,000 retailers. Only Citi cards that earn cash back qualify for additional cash-back offers in the bonus mall. Citi notes that bonus cash back usually shows up under your recent transactions within 15 days of purchase, but it might take one to three billing cycles for it to appear on your statement.

Potential pairing: Use your Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer in tandem with the Citi Bonus Cash Center. This card offers 2% back on every purchase: 1% back when you buy, and another 1% back when you pay it off. That's among the best flat rewards rates you'll find. The annual fee is $0.

Wells Fargo Earn More Mall

The Wells Fargo Earn More Mall works the same way as the Chase and Citi bonus malls do, except that Wells Fargo offers both online and in-store bonuses. To earn in-store bonus rewards, visit the participating retailer and use your eligible Wells Fargo card at checkout. In some cases, you'll need to activate in-store offers first from within the Earn More Mall portal. Wells Fargo says bonus rewards will show up in your Go Far Rewards account within 30 days of purchase.

Potential pairing: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card earns three points per $1 spent in categories like dining, travel, gas stations, transit and eligible streaming services. All non-bonus-category spending earns 1 point per $1 spent. Terms apply.

Special card-linked offers

In recent years, some issuers have sunsetted their bonus malls in favor of stand-alone, limited-time credit card offers, such as virtual coupons, discounts or extra rewards when you shop with a specific retailer.

These can still be valuable deals, but unlike with bonus malls, the incentive is not automatic and instead requires you to opt in by "adding" or "applying" the offer to your eligible card. Only then will the deal be honored.

American Express offers

Log into your American Express account and scroll down the page until you see “AmEx Offers and Benefits.” There you’ll see a list of merchants touting various deals, both in-store and online. Some offers will save you cash, while others will earn additional Membership Rewards points in addition to what you’d normally accrue for using the card.

Click to add the offers you like to the card, then use that credit card to pay for a qualifying transaction. There’s no obligation to use offers you add, so feel free to add as many as you like.

You may find that the offers available to you are different from what your family or friends receive. And if you have multiple AmEx cards, even though you may see an offer available on several of them, you’ll typically only be able to use an offer one time.

Chase offers

Chase offers both the Ultimate Rewards® Shop Through Chase bonus mall as well as stand-alone Chase Offers linked to certain credit cards.

Log into your Chase account and add as many offers as you like. These offers will typically only be cash back (instead of extra points) and will come in the form of statement credit.

BankAmeriDeals

You can find special offers and deals on your Bank of America® credit cards, too. Just scroll down the page when you’re logged in and you’ll see a list of BankAmeriDeals that are available to add to your card.

These are cash-back offers that will be credited to your statement after you pay. Make sure you’re spending enough at that merchant to meet the requirement for the offer, and remember to use the card you added the offer to when you check out.

When you activate these deals, you’ll also earn BankAmeriDeals Coins. After earning a certain number of coins, you can redeem for an additional cash reward on top of the cash back you already earned from the offers.

Information about the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.