Earning Alaska Airlines miles recently became slightly easier when Bilt added Alaska as a transfer partner. You can also earn Alaska miles with the Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card.

But of all the ways to earn Alaska miles, the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal remains one of the most important for many travelers’ earning strategies.

If you’re hoping to learn more about earning Alaska miles online via the Mileage Plan Shopping portal, here’s what you need to know.

Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal basics

Online shopping portals are one of the easiest ways to earn extra miles on your purchases. They’re free and easy to use, so there’s no excuse not to use a shopping portal before you purchase items online. Many loyalty programs offer online shopping portals, but this guide is about the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal.

To use the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal, head to its website. Once there, you can sign in using your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan credentials. After you do so, you’ll earn bonus miles when you shop with eligible retailers.

The exact amount you earn will vary by retailer and when you purchase. Some offer a fixed number of miles per purchase (such as 1,000 miles for a purchase of $50 or more), but most offer a multiplier based on the amount you spend (such as 2 miles per dollar).

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The earning rate for most retailers will increase periodically. So, it may be smart to wait to make non-urgent purchases when the Alaska Mileage Plan portal earning rates are elevated for a specific merchant.

Related: Best Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan sweet spot redemptions you can book

How to use the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal

The Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal includes more than 1,100 retailers. So, if you’re buying something online, there’s a good chance that you can earn bonus miles through the carrier’s shopping portal.

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Start your shopping trip by visiting the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal site. Enter your desired merchant’s name into the search box, browse the available merchants and choose one. Click the heart to make the merchant a favorite, and click the “Shop Now” button once you’re ready to visit the merchant’s website and make your purchase.

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Clicking “Shop Now” will open a new tab for your desired merchant. From there, you shop and check out as normal. It’s important to note that if you close out of the tab for any reason, you’ll need to go back and start the entire process again. Otherwise, your miles might not post correctly.

You may also see in-store offers through the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal. Link the offer to the credit card you plan to use in-store for these offers. Then, head to the physical store and use your linked card when checking out.

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Finally, if you don’t want to forget to earn Alaska miles while shopping online, you can install the Mileage Plan Shopping button via a Chrome browser extension. Once you do so, the browser extension will pop up a small window when you’re on a site that participates in the Alaska Mileage Plan Shopping portal. You can click a button to activate the portal to earn rewards through Mileage Plan Shopping on your purchases with that merchant.

Related: Use a shopping portal aggregator to maximize online purchases

Best credit cards to use with online shopping portals

Shopping portals don’t change how your purchase is coded. As such, the charge on your credit card statement will still be from “Adidas” whether or not you use the Alaska Mileage Plan shopping portal. Many online merchants don’t fall into standard credit card bonus categories, so you’ll often want to use one of the best cards for everyday spending.

Some of the best everyday spending cards include cards that earn more than 1% cash back or 1 point per dollar. For example, the Citi Double Cash® Card (see rates and fees) earns 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns at least 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.

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Of course, you’ll want to pay specific attention to merchants that will likely code as a bonus category on one of your cards. If you’re making a purchase you expect might break just outside its warranty, you may want to use a card that offers extended warranty protection — even if it earns fewer rewards than other cards.

Related: The best credit cards for online shopping

Bottom line

If you’ve decided to make an online purchase, you might as well earn more rewards through an online shopping portal. If you need more Alaska miles, the Mileage Plan shopping portal can be a great way to increase your return.

Earning Alaska miles from the Mileage Plan Shopping portal and credit card rewards is already a huge win. Still, it’s sometimes possible to do even better with a credit card merchant offer or another rebate. So, carefully consider how you might be able to maximize your earnings before making your next online purchase.

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