Best Point Earning

Do Some Retailers Hide Items From Portal Shoppers?

Amazon blues
Written by Charlie

Shopping portals are a great way to save money and earn points, but do some retailers hide certain items from portal shoppers? In this recent case, it seems that at least one retailer might!

It is no secret that shopping portals are an incredible way to save money and earn miles and points. All it takes is an extra step before you land on your favorite online retail site to make this happen! But, what happens if the items you are searching for are not available? Could it be that the retailer is hiding some items from portal shoppers? This recently happened to me but I am not sure if it was for sure because of the portal…

 Are Some Items Hidden from Portal Shoppers?

Thanks to the internet and the great e-gift cards that can be sent for orders that are not yet delivered, we were doing some last minute Christmas shopping. We were looking for some magazine subscriptions and, of course, I reminded my wife to go through the shopping portal. She was in a hurry and had just put one of the magazines in the cart so I went through the portal – which was paying out 20 United miles per dollar – and went to grab the last magazine to throw in the cart.

Now You See, Now You Don’t!

portal shopper

The magazine was gone when I became a portal shopper!

However, it wasn’t there anymore! It said that they did not have that item. My wife said that was very strange because it had just been there not 5 minutes ago (reminder, this was not the item in the cart yet). So, I tried something. I went into a private browser session and searched for the magazine and found it! Next, I went through the shopping portal in the private browser session – it was gone again.

portal shopper

When I was not a portal shopper, the magazine was available again!

Now, I only tried it on this one magazine as I was in a hurry but it certainly seemed as if the website ( was hiding this particular magazine for some reason when showed up as a portal shopper. I was finally able to add it to my cart (no way I am giving up those miles!!!) by using different browsers and tabs but it caused me to wonder if some retailers do hide certain items from portal shoppers. It would be much easier to simply say that the portal bonus is not applied for certain items but I am curious to know if anyone else has similar experiences with this type of anomaly/practice.

Have you found items that online retailers seem to hide from portal shoppers?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Definitely have run into this with Every time there’s a good portal payout, I try to renew my New Yorker subscription through them, but they claim not to sell it. Yet, it’s readily available if you go in without the portal.