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If the only overnight you’re willing to take is on an airplane instead of in line for a big ticket item, then Black Friday may not be for you.
The good news is that if you would rather rack up frequent flyer miles, there are still plenty of ways to save money and get rewarded during the shopping holiday. Here are the best ways you can pick up extra miles toward your next trip.
Earning airline miles
If extra airline miles are on your shopping list, your first place to start is their respective shopping malls. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and United Airlines MileagePlus all have online malls that offer extra points for shopping through their links. Some of the best online deals at each mall include:
Alaska MileagePlan Shopping
American AAdvantage eShopping
Delta SkyMiles Shopping
Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping
United MileagePlus Shopping
Travelers can earn miles on top of these deals by shopping with a travel credit card or airline credit card. While travel credit cards can earn flexible points like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards®, airline credit cards usually offer an additional mile per point at their respective online shopping malls.
Earning Amtrak Guest Rewards or Choice Privileges points
If you would rather earn points toward hotel stays at Choice Hotels or train service aboard Amtrak, both programs are offering additional points when shopping through their malls. Thanksgiving weekend deals at both Choice Privileges Mall and Amtrak Guest Rewards Points for Shopping include:
Apple: 2 points per $1 spent, through Dec. 5, 2018
Macy’s: 5 points per $1 spent, through Dec. 23, 2018
Shoes.com: 6 points per $1 spent, through Dec. 31, 2018
While Choice Privileges offers more points through its shopping portal, Amtrak Guest Rewards offers access to more stores. Be sure to look through both and compare to determine which one offers the best rewards for your planned travel.
Unfortunately, both Hilton Honors and Marriott Rewards may not be participating in Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions. As of the time of writing this article, Hilton Honors’ Shop to Earn mall was down, while Marriott Rewards More has been discontinued.
Earning cash back
If you would rather have cash back that you can spend toward other rewards, there are opportunities to earn additional rebates via cash-back sites. If you plan on shopping online this weekend, consider checking both websites to see where you can earn the most.
If you plan on going the cash-back route, be sure to pair your spending with a travel credit card or a cash-back credit card. This gives you the best opportunity to earn the most money you can apply toward future trips.
NerdWallet does not guarantee promotions, prices or dates. They are subject to change or expiration.
How to choose a travel rewards program
Loyalty programs can help maximize earning, but it’s important to consider what those points and miles are worth.
Not all rewards are created equal: Redemption values vary from program to program.
Consider travel program values when you redeem rewards and how your personal loyalty status may affect that. Loyalty programs can give you access to elite status and a variety of travel benefits, from lounge access to complimentary breakfasts.