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Earning points through online shopping portals is one of the tactics I’ve used to get over a million airline miles and hotel points.  The concept is simple: any time you buy something online, first go through a shopping portal to get bonus miles or cashback, whatever is most advantageous to you

(SEE ALSO: Earning miles through shopping portals)

(SEE ALSO: My experience with 19x points through shopping portals at Sears)

These shopping portals are all run by the same company, Cartera, and sometimes they “forget” to pay out.

(SEE ALSO: The parable of the 47 mail-in rebates – a lesson in persistence)

I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for awhile, but just recently came across a real-life example.

Big Bonuses at Alaska

The other day, the Alaska Airlines portal was paying out 8x for purchases at Staples.  I used to not value Alaska Airlines very much, since I live in the Alaska Airlines “dead zone”, but once I realized how valuable their miles could be for travel on PARTNER airlines, I wised up.

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(SEE ALSO: Alaska Airlines Mileage Partners – maximizing your miles)

(SEE ALSO: Alaska’s adding 3 new non-stops… but not where I live!)

So combined with the 5x purchases with the Chase Ink card, this would be 13x on purchases.  I bought a few things to resell, and here we are, a few weeks later and only 2 of them have posted on my shopping portal account page

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Naturally it’s the most expensive one that hasn’t shown up!!!

So I sent off a note to customer service

I made 3 purchases at Staples on 4/20-4/21, when it was 8x miles at the Alaska MileagePlan portal.

2 of the purchases, for $64.19 and $176.50 have come through, but the 3rd, which was for $1153.46 has not posted.  The Staples Order# is 9722695622

Thank you for your attention to this matter

Moral of the story

So, what’s the moral of the story?  Don’t just BUY things through online shopping portals, but make sure to FOLLOW UP that your points are actually posted!!!!  I’m not always perfect on this, but what I usually (sometimes?) do is track each portal purchase in my credit card / spending spreadsheet, with the date and relevant information, and then followup when the bonuses don’t show up.  In this case, that’s nearly 9000 miles in the balance!!!

Anyone have experience getting portal purchases confirmed?  I’m fairly confident that my email will get things fixed, but if anyone has any data points to share, I’d love to hear

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