Advertiser Disclosure

This Strategy Is How I Started Earning Major Travel Rewards

May 29, 2018
Reward Optimization, Travel
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

After getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in January 2017, I became obsessed with not only the number of ways I could redeem my points, but with the ways I could earn points.

I found that aside from using my credit card at restaurants and on travel purchases, I could earn a significant amount of points just by doing my online shopping through Chase’s rewards shopping portal, Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

By shopping through Chase over the past six months, I have earned a total of 2,468 points (or $37.02 in travel money). I earned 174 points just by purchasing my avocado eye cream from Kiehl’s website, where I was given six points for each dollar I spent (the cream was $29). Spending those 174 points on travel means I am $2.61 closer to a much-needed vacation, and all I had to do was log into my credit card rewards portal.

I recently purchased my sister a Groupon for a facial for her birthday, and Chase was having a limited time offer of eight points per dollar, so I took advantage of that and earned 377 points in the process. Not every retailer has a significant points-per-dollar ratio, though.

Here’s how it works

1. Log into Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2. Click on the “Earn bonus points” menu item.
3. You’ll see several “Featured stores”; to see all of them, click on “All stores.”
4. Once you see your desired retailer, hover over the card and a “Shop now” button will appear.
5. Click on the “Shop now” button. It will take you to a landing page where you can read Chase’s terms and proceed to the retailer’s website to start shopping.

The stores are listed alphabetically for an easier find, and you can “like” your favorite retailers so they appear at the top of your featured stores. There’s a section within the featured stores that displays seasonal offers/limited time bonus point offers.

This Mother’s Day season, ProFlowers had a 15 points per dollar offer, which I took advantage of, along with the three points per dollar at Shopbop. The points-per-dollar ratios and the retailers change frequently so be sure to check back often to keep up to date with these great cash back offers. The offers have exclusions so read the details carefully, but I haven’t really ever had any issues with purchases that didn’t meet the basic requirements.

Once you have added everything to your cart, check out and pay with your Chase card to validate the points earned. You should get an email from Chase once your payment is processed, thanking you for shopping through their portal and letting you know exactly how many points that purchase earned you.

Part of the routine

While online shopping, I’ve made it a habit to check the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal before adding things to my cart. It makes a huge difference if you can earn free money on purchases you were already planning on making.

Some of my additional favorite retailers that offer a cash back bonus include:

  • Macy’s (five points per dollar)
  • Anthropologie (two points per dollar)
  • Bose (eight points per dollar)
  • Asos (two points per dollar)
  • Intermix (two points per dollar)
  • Houzz (four points per dollar)

(Please note that points-per-dollar ratios fluctuate. All of the ones cited in this article were confirmed as of May 17, 2018.)

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2018, including those best for:

 

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NerdWallet or its partners.

About the author