Smart Spending - How and Why to use Mileage Malls

Online eMalls/MileageMalls are a great way to earn bonus miles and points on things you were going to buy anyway. Take for example, a new MacBook. If you are going to buy a new Macbook, here are all the ways you could purchase said Macbook.

  • In-Store
    • Apple Store
    • Electronics Store reseller (Staples, Best Buy, etc)
    • Thrift Store/Pawnbroker
  • Online
    • Apple Store
    • Other Electronic store or authorized reseller (eBay Buy Now, Best Buy, etc)
    • 2nd hand (eBay Auction, Craigslist, etc)

In any of these options, there are various levels of earning miles from earning zero, to earning the maximum amount. For these examples, let's assume the MacBook costs $1,000.

Novice

Miles earned = 0
A Novice pays with cash or a credit card that earns no miles or cashback. They have left a great miles earning opportunity on the table.

Beginner

Miles earned = 1,000
A Beginner has a points-earning credit card which they funnel expenses through. So they earn 1pt per $1 spent. A great start.

Advanced

Miles earned = 4,000
An Advanced collector uses mileage malls to find the merchant offering maximum bonus miles AND uses a points-earning credit card.

Why did the Advanced collector earn 4,000 miles? Because he/she shopped around and found which mileage mall would give them the best bonus. Wanna know how they found the best bonus? Read on!

What are the Options for Mileage Malls in Canada?

Airline and hotel programs have Mileage Malls / eMalls but so do some banks. Here are the top picks for Canadians.

  • Airlines
    • Aeroplan eStore (Aeroplan miles) - Link
    • Shop.CA (Aeroplan miles) - Link
    • Alaska MileagePlan Shopping (Alaska miles) - Link
    • American AAdvantage Shopping (AA miles) - Link
    • British Airways 365 Shopping (BA Avios) - Link
  • Hotels
    • Marriott MyWay Shopping (Marriott points) - Link
    • Hilton Shop to Earn Mall (Hilton HHonors points) - Link
  • Banks and other Programs
    • RBC eMall (RBC Rewards pts) - Link
    • CIBC Bonus Rewards (CIBC Aventura points) - Link
    • AirMilesShops (AirMiles) - Link

When you get to the Mileage Mall, you can search for the retailers who will be selling your product. The mileage bonus will be somewhere between 1 and 20 miles for every $1 spent. Mostly though it is between 1 and 10. 

RBC eMall

RBC eMall

British Airways 365 Mall

British Airways 365 Mall

You login with your loyalty number, search for the retailer, select them and it takes you straight to the regular online store. You purchase from the actual store you want to, but you just earned miles on the purchase by going through your shopping mall.

Why do they simply give you miles for shopping through them? Because they are partners who are getting a kickback. It is just like any commission-based partnership. The store gives a cut of the sale to the loyalty program who gives you miles. Everybody wins!

How do I know which Mileage Mall is the best?

This changes all the time as the deals and promos for bonus miles are always changing. Luckily, there is a website that lets you compare most stores' bonus offers all at once. It is called WebFlyer MileageMall and is pretty awesome.

Webflyer Mileage Mall

Search by Store

Search by Mileage Mall

Search by Mileage Mall

Webflyer Mileage Mall doesn't have all the shops though so for some, you will have to manually check. See below for my special RBC eMall list.

So you could earn 4,000 miles, or at least 4x more miles than you are currently earning, just by being smart about where you shop for any purchase over, say, $100.

Think outside the Box

Don't forget to think outside the box for this stuff. For example Apple Store might only have 1 bonus mile for a promo right now and you don't want to wait. However, Groupon might have 3 bonus miles, and you could buy your macbook at Groupon?! 

Anything under $100 is a waste of time usually unless there is a significant bonus so just keep the concept in mind when you are making big purchases and you will be on your way to earning bulk dollary-doo's!

RBC eMall Special List

RBC's eMall does list all of their shopping partners but it's a pain in the butt to try and find who is offering a good deal. I nerded out pretty hard one night and figured out how to pull the data into a table. Here is the result. Check back here as it automatically updates and lists the best deals in order!

Hope this helps you earn miles faster and shop smarter! Let me know if you have any questions.

- Matt

Shop at RBC eMall now >