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Online Portals

How can we earn rewards with online shopping?

To the point

Would you like to earn rewards when you shop online? Find out how by using the rewards portals.

In Canada, there are several portals you can use to earn rewards for your online purchases.

The best known are:

  • AIR MILES’ Airmilesshops.ca
  • The Aeroplan eStore
  • Rakuten (formerly known as ebates)

Through these portals, you can collect AIR MILES miles, Aeroplan Miles, or cash back. At the end of the article, yoi’ll find an interesting technique regarding the purchase of gift cards!

Common rules for these portals

Before you can get rewards for your online purchases through these different online portals, you need to understand how they work.

Many brands such as Amazon, Gap or The Bay are looking to attract customers to their online store. To do so, they do business with different partners such as AIR MILES, Aeroplan or Rakuten by paying them a commission for every customer they bring them.

Then, once your purchase has been confirmed, AIR MILES, Aeroplan or Rakuten will pay you back in the form of a reward (AIR MILES bonus miles, Aeroplan or Rakuten cash back), which is a portion of the commission they earned.

The common rule: your shopping cart must be empty BEFOREusing one of these portals. Otherwise, the store will not consider these portals contributed to bring you in as a customer! And you will not receive your reward (since they will not have received a commission for the sale).

Collect AIR MILES miles with airmilesshops.ca

airmilesshops.ca is the online shopping portal of the AIR MILES loyalty program.

By using this portal BEFORE you shop with with their online business partners, you will be able to get 1 mile/$20 for your purchases.

airmilesshops explanation
Comment fonctionne airmilesshops.ca

However, it is possible to earn more AIR MILES miles through various promotions:

  • airmilesshops.ca promotions
  • the multiplier of partner businesses
  • the multiplier, especially the airmileshops.ca site

airmilesshops.ca promotions

On a regular basis, AIR MILES miles collectors receive promotions allowing them to earn a fixed number of AIR MILES miles after a certain amount of purchase at airmilesshops.ca.

As in this example: 50 AIR MILES miles after any $100 purchase through airmilesshops.ca

Airmilesshops bonus miles
airmilesshops.ca - 50 miles after a $100 purchase

The multiplier of AIR MILES partner businesses

Regularly, AIR MILES partner stores offer mileage accumulation promotions via a multiplier.

5x miles air miles
5x les milles avec ce partenaire

For example, if it says that you will earn 5x the miles, it means:

  • you will get 1 mile/$20 of purchases (basic offer)
  • you will earn 4 miles/$20 of purchases (bonus offer with the store multiplier)

Which means 5miles/$20 of purchases.

That’s why AIR MILES says you will earn 5x the miles.

Knowing that 1 mile = $0.105 then 5 miles = $0.525.

This means a 2.6% cash back in this example ($0.525/$20).

The multiplier on the whole airmilesshops.ca website

Sometines,AIR MILES also offers a multiplier on the entire airmilesshops.ca portal.

10x miles airmilesshops
10x the miles on airmilesshops.ca

In this case, the multiplier offered by the store and the multiplier offered by airmilesshops add up to the basic offer:

For example, if it says you’ll earn:

  • 5x miles at the store
  • and 10x miles on all airmilesshops.ca stores
card  air miles rewards card

This means that:

  • you will get 1 mile/$20 of purchases (basic offer)
  • you will earn 4 miles/$20 of purchases (bonus offer with the store multiplier)
  • you will earn 9 miles/$20 of purchases (bonus offer with airmilesshops.ca multiplier)

This means 14 miles/$20 of purchases.

Knowing that 1 mile = $0.105, then 14 miles = $1.47.

This makes a 7.35%cash back in this example ($1.47/$20).

Earn more AIR MILES miles with an affiliated credit card.

In order to earn even more AIR MILES miles on your purchases, you will need to use a credit card linked to the AIR MILES Program!

Here are three cards that offer a different way to earn miles:

And at AIR MILES sponsors, all of the AIR MILES cards offer the equivalent of 1 mile/$10 of purchases.

To view all AIR MILES credit cards, click here.

Collect Aeroplan Miles with the eStore

The eStore is the online shopping portal for the Aeroplan loyalty program.

By using this portal BEFORE you shop with their online store partners, you will be able to earn at least 1 Aeroplan Mile per dollar of purchases.

aeroplan eStore ipad
The Aeroplan eStore

The multiplier of Aeroplan partner stores

There are often promotions to earn more Aeroplan Miles for purchases made in stores posted on the eStore.

This can go from 2x the miles up to 10x the miles.

BAN31000661 FR
netBoutique - 10x les milles Aéroplan

These promotions can concern:

  • a particular store (such as Apple.ca)
  • a category of stores (sports items at a “Fitness” event)
  • the whole eStore (during huge shopping events like Black Friday)

Earn more miles with an Aeroplan status

By having an Aeroplan status, you can earn additional Aeroplan Miles for your purchases on the eStore:

  • 2X the miles for silver and black aeroplan members
  • 3X the miles for diamond aeroplan members
Estore Aeroplan Applex
netboutique - 10x les milles Aéroplan

Note that it is no longer possible to get an Aeroplan status. Perhaps Air Canada’s next program will offer similar benefits in the future.

Earn more Aeroplan Miles with an affiliated credit card.

To earn even more Aeroplan Miles on your purchases, you’ll need to use an Aeroplan affiliated credit card available from American Express, CIBC or TD!

Here are 4 cards that offer a different way to earn miles:

To view all Aeroplan credit cards, click here.

Earn cash back with Rakuten

Rakuten.ca (formerly known as eBates) is an online shopping portal which offers cash back.

If you use this portal BEFORE shopping at partner online stores, you can earn cash back on your purchases.

By registering via our referral link, you will be able to get a $5 credit after making $25 in purchases!


Rakuten Home
Rakuten.ca - Cash back

The multiplier of Rakuten.ca's partner businesses

There are often promotions to earn more cash back for purchases at stores posted on Rakuten.ca.

This can go up to 10% or even 20%!

Rakuten Promotions
Rakuten.ca - Promotions

However, pay attention to the product categories for each of the online stores.

Indeed, it is not uncommon for the promotional percentage to vary. For example at Indigo, the special conditions state that no cash back is offered on purchases:

  • of Apple-branded products
  • of used and rare books
  • of electronic books
  • of a membership to the privilege points program
  • of American Girl brand products
Rakuten Special Conditions
Rakuten.ca - Special Conditions

Buying gift cards on Rakuten.ca

If Rakuten is a very advantageous portal to get cash back for online purchases, it is also a very advantageous portal to get gift cards!

En X Giftcardshop Carousel
Rakuten.ca - gift cards

By purchasing gift cards through the Rakuten.ca site (not accessible from the mobile application), it is possible to accumulate cash back .

But most of all, it’s a roundabout way to use an American Express card with stores that don’t accept this type of card! Examples include Loblaws grocery stores (Provigo, Maxi, Loblaws, etc.) or IGA grocery stores.

Maxi gift card
Rakuten.ca - Maxi gift card

Indeed, it is possible to pay your gift cards with:

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Paypal (which accepts American Express!)

Some gift cards will be sent by mail, while you can get others electronically!

Paypal Maxi gift card
Rakuten.ca - Gift card through Paypal

Note that the cash back you get on your card credit for the purchase of a gift card through Rakuten.ca will be that of the basic category (and not considered a grocery store purchase).

You will therefore need to choose the credit card that allows you to accumulate the most points or discounts in any category.

It’s still handy to accumulate rewards with your American Express card without changing grocery store (American Express cards are accepted at Métro and Super C). Or to unlock a welcome bonus!

If you do your grocery shopping at Métro or Super C, it’s best to use the American Express Cobalt™ Card, which is known to be the best credit card in Canada for groceries.

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