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Earn more miles with online shopping malls

SmarterTravel

The holidays are approaching, so it’s time to go shopping. Avoid crowded malls and pick up a little something extra for yourself by doing your gift buying at a mileage mall.

Major U.S. airlines have developed a network of online retailers that will award miles for Internet purchases. Rather than search out each store on its own, simply go to the homepage of your preferred carrier’s mileage mall, browse retailers by category, and begin your shopping from there. Make sure you go to the mileage mall first, because if you go straight to the store’s online location, you won’t earn miles for your purchases.

Want to take in even more miles? Pay with your miles- or points-earning credit card. You’ll get miles for shopping through the mileage mall and credit card points for paying with your card.

For an even bigger haul, watch out for limited-time promotions. Around the holidays and back-to-school times, airlines and their partners often hand out bonuses for select purchases.

If you split your miles-earning between multiple airlines, shop with the mileage mall that gives you the most miles per dollar. At evreward.com and RewardsDB.com, you can find lists of the different rewards you get for shopping at a given store. For example, search for Target.com, and you’ll discover United may give you three miles per dollar spent, but Continental gives you five.

Have a great travel tip you’d like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

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