For the consumer that shops wisely, points can still be earned in dramatic numbers even after the sign-up bonus has come and gone. In the day and age of internet shopping, it makes sense to do most shopping online. And if you are going to do it online, you might as well do it through a shopping portal!
When you shop through a portal, the host is getting a referral bonus for sending customers to the online retailer. To attract more purchases through their portals, they offer bonus points as incentive. One of the most lucrative out there is Chase’s Ultimate Reward Shopping Mall. Every month, they alternate different retailers that allow you to earn higher bonuses than the normal level for those retailers. Many times, these can be very useful when used in conjunction with the INK Bold card and the bonuses that are coded into it (such as office supply stores at 5x points).
Before we get to the best deals for the month of July, here is a quick tutorial on how to use the Ultimate Rewards Mall.
- Go to www.ultimaterewards.com
- Type in your username and password that you use for your online Chase account (your business account info is different from your personal account)
- If you have multiple accounts (like a Freedom card, a Sapphire card, and/or a Sapphire Preferred card), it will ask you which one you want to use. Certain retailers have certain bonuses that are available to certain cards, so check the list to see which card you should click to use as (if you have more than one card).
- Go to Earn Faster and click on Earn Bonus Points at the Ultimate Rewards Mall
- Go ahead and search for your favorite retailer or product!
- When you click through to go to the retailer, be sure to read the Terms on the intermediate page! Some vendors exclude certain items from the bonus points and most exclude additional discount codes. Read carefully.
Now for some of the good deals this month!
- Magazines.com – (30x points) I do not ever use magazines.com for subscriptions, but if you are getting ready to order some periodicals (or anything else that they carry), it might be a good time to see how it compares for your regular prices. For instance, one year of Runner’s World is $20 through them. That is not that much higher than most of the publicly available offers and that would net you 600 Ultimate Reward points (which could roughly translate to about $13/$14 of airfare if transferred to United – not bad!). Something like this could make great Christmas gifts for your runner friends (to do the math for you, if you bought $200 of magazines for friends, you are looking 6,000 Ultimate Reward points – that is a free night at a Category 1 Hyatt, some of those which would cost you around $100 a night if paid with cash!). Anyway, there is an idea for that one…
- Office Depot (INK cards only) – (10x points) This is a fantastic deal since the INK card gives you 5x points at office supply stores anyway. You cannot purchase gift cards using the referral link, but there are many different items that might make you want to use this instead of your usual supplier. You will earn 15 points per dollar spent going through the UR Mall! There are some great deals to be had with this one!
- 123InkJets.com (17x points) This is a great deal for those of you who do not mind purchasing ink cartridges from other than your big box store. They have great rates on all the ink cartridges you could imagine and you can get incredible value with the points.
- Lowes (10x points) Here is another retailer that is a commonly used one. Great time of the year for this one too!
Those are some of the highlight ones for the month of July. Be sure to check out for yourself to see if there are any deals that are good for you. Below are some non-July specific deals that would be great for the runner in search of his/her shoes and other gear.
- Shoebuy.com – 10x
- Road Runner Sports – 8x
- Shoes.com – 8x
- Shoemall.com – 8x
- 6pm.com – 6x
- Adidas – 6x
- Backcountry.com – 6x
- Foot Locker – 5x
- Finish Line – 5x
- Nikestore.com – 5x
- Under Armour – 5x
- Dick’s Sporting Goods – 3x
Here are links for the cards that will give you access to the mall and its points (I do not receive any referral for any of these cards):
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – 40,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months (annual fee waived for the first year)
- Chase Freedom – Get $100 cashback after spending $500 in 3 months (no annual fee – cannot transfer points to partners unless points are combined in an account with a Sapphire card or Ink card)
- Chase INK Bold – 25,000 points after 1st purchase and 25,000 additional points after spending $10,000 in 3 months (annual fee waived for the first year)