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Earlier this week United came out with a “Back to School” promotion where you can earn up to 2,000 miles by shopping online through their e-shopping portal. Not to be outdone, now Alaska has announced a similar promotion they are calling “Study Abroad.”
Alaska's promotion runs through August 14, 2016; you can earn up to 1,500 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan bonus miles by initiating purchases through their e-shopping portal. To receive the maximum bonus, you need to spend $750 during the promotional period. You can also earn 400 bonus miles if you spend at least $200 during the promotional period.
While Alaska's e-shopping portal promotion is not as generous as United's, the minimum spend required to earn bonus miles through Alaska's promotion is smaller ($200 for 400 miles vs. $250 for 500 miles). In both cases, you're awarded 1,500 bonus miles when spending at least $750 through the portal. If you are going to spend $1,000, then it is perhaps best to initiate said online purchases through United's e-shopping portal so that you can earn 500 additional bonus miles. And if you are going to spend at least $1,200 in online purchases, you can take advantage of both promotions to earn miles with both United and Alaska.
No registration is necessary to participate in the Alaska promotion, but make sure to sign-in to your Alaska account before clicking on your favorite merchant to begin your purchases. The bonus miles will be awarded 8-10 weeks after the promotional period ends.
Keep in mind that because of Alaska's partners, which include American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates among many others, Alaska miles are extremely valuable. Alaska is also a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner. Therefore, even if you never fly Alaska Airlines, taking advantage of opportunities to earn Alaska miles might make sense.
E-shopping portals provide one of the easiest and most efficient ways to maximize points and miles earnings. Most major airlines and hotel chains have an e-shopping portal. Among the most popular ones in addition to Alaska’s and United's are American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping, British Airways’ Gate 365, Delta’s SkyMiles Shopping and Marriott’s Shop My Way. Among the flexible rewards currencies, Chase’s Shop through Chase is a great option. And if you are more interested in earning cash back for your online purchases, make sure to check out Ebates.
Regardless of where you shop online, always check first whether you can earn bonus points by beginning your purchase through an e-shopping portal. And when there are spending promotion like United’s Back to School or Alaska's Study Abroad, make sure to start all your purchases from the same e-shopping portal to earn even more points or miles.
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