So excited to go shopping for once (and earn tens of thousands of miles)!

I hate shopping. Hate shopping. That’s probably why my wardrobe is as varied as that of a cartoon character. As I get ready to move over the next couple of weeks I’m basically having to start from scratch as far as furniture goes. I asked y’all for suggestions as far as travel related items you can’t live without at home, and I really appreciate all the helpful responses.

But I was still kind of dreading the thought of shopping… until I realized how many miles I can potentially rack up with the purchases I need to make anyway.

For example, I’m in the market for an iMac, given that I’ll have a more normal “9-5 schedule” with my new “gig,” working from home. Right now I primarily use a Macbook Air (which I love), though I need a desktop as well.

Originally my plan was to purchase an iMac through, which would have earned me three AAdvantage miles per dollar through the American AAdvantage eShopping Toolbar. Apple directly charges $1,199 for the iMac and MacMall charges $1,120. But Mommy Points just posted about the holiday bonuses that the Ultimate Rewards shopping mall is having over the coming weeks.

Specifically, Best Buy is offering 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on November 25 and Apple  is offering 10 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on November 28.

That’s in addition to the one point per dollar you earn anyway, for a total of 11 points per dollar. I value Ultimate Rewards points at two cents each, so that’s essentially a 22% return on brands that are rarely discounted, which is amazing.

Best Buy charges $1,133 for the iMac, so I’ll earn 11,330 points for my purchase. Unreal! I’ll also need some accesories (wired mouse with numerical keypad, Airport, etc.), so I’ll probably earn close to 15,000 points for that purchase, points that would have otherwise been left on the table.

Then I’m in the market for a new bed, and Rue La La supposedly has a sale on the W Bed this Thursday.

If the deal is half decent I’ll buy a W bed, and I’ll be sure to go through the AAdvantage eShopping toolbar which will earn me an additional three points per dollar (in addition to the point per dollar I earn on my credit card). That’s probably another “easy” 4,000 American miles.

Anyway, color me mildly excited, not at the prospect of spending money or going shopping, but at the prospect of earning lots of miles for purchases I have to make anyway.

I’ll report back not only on how many miles I earn, but how my travel related purchases go. I might even post a few pictures, or if y’all keep being so helpful I might be forced to invite all of you over for a house warming party (serving nothing but the finest Diet Coke with lime and hot nuts, of course).

As I purchase furniture (desk, couch, etc.), are there any mileage mall related offers you can think of that are worth keeping in mind?

And along the same lines, this proves yet again that not all mileage malls are created equal. The Ultimate Rewards Mall really is by far the best online shopping mall/portal, not just because it has some of the best offers, but because the points usually post within a few days.

All the more reason to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, of course!


  1. As I tweeted you, if you need little home/bath products and stuff you wouldn’t normally wouldn’t think of but need, hit up Kohl’s for 10x right now.

    Outfitted our entire bathroom with stuff from Kohl’s.

    Add 10x extra UR points if you use your Chase Freedom!

  2. Hey lucky — I’d caution against buying the W bed! I’m a big Starwood fan, bought one a couple years back during a 40% off sale. Unlike the Westin beds the W mattress has absolutely no back support. I never noticed it when staying a few nights at a time at various W hotels. But when the delivery guy from the local dealer they contract with commented on how flimsy the product was I should’ve taken the hint and refused delivery. Hope this helps and/or you have better luck!

  3. You should check out to see which shopping portal gets you the most miles. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to include the chase mall. Also, Nordstroms carries the beds and often offers lots of miles on various sites.

  4. Gotta remember Staples ison the Ultimate Rewards list for 5x points. Lots of desks, chairs and other office supplies there

  5. Would you actually buy UR points from someone at 2.0 cents? I’m guessing no, but maybe you would. Personally, I think you’re overestimating UR at 2.0 cents. Nothing wrong with that, just think it might be clouding your judgement here to the extent you are overvaluing the points.

  6. infamousdx–
    do you get 10x times more pts for using chase freedom at kohls in addition to the UR mall? so i would get 20 pts per dollar for using the ultimate rewards mall if i use my chase freedom card??? what about sapphire? do you have more info about this?

  7. True, I’m not sure I’d sell my UR for less than 2.0 cents. However, I’m not sure I’d actually pay 2.0 cents for them. The most I’ve ever paid for miles is 1.6 cents. The lowest I’ve paid for miles is 0.4 cents. From my perspective you are really buying points here. To do the math right you’d need to compare to the lowest online price after cash back. That difference in price is what you’re actually paying for the UR points. If it’s more than you would actually pay for the points, then I’d say you are better off going with the lowest online price.

  8. make sure if you’re getting a mac somewhere other than the apple store you’re going to have the same apple warranty on it with the option to pay for apple’s extended warranty. a best buy warranty is not even a little bit the same.

    you might think “but macs never break” which is somewhat true, but for example i once fell and spilled a cup of juice on my mac, ruining an $800 part. they replaced it for free. no way in hell you’d get that from best buy.

  9. Have to agree with HikerT. I’ve gotten to the point I want case so I just go to or I’m already swimming in enough points to last me a lifetime!!

  10. @ infamousdx — Good idea, thanks!

    @ HikerT — Ultimately miles aren’t a commodity so it’s tough to put it that way, but I would certainly buy them for two cents each if I had the need, at least theoretically. $2,800 for a first class ticket to Asia through Europe is an amazing value, in my opinion.

    @ Sandeep — Wow, can’t seem to find that. What did you type in to find Rue La La on the Ultimate Rewards mall?

  11. Re: the Apple mouse — skip that and go for the trackpad instead; allows for all the cool features of an iPhone (pinch to zoom, page scrolling, etc.). Plus it looks infinitely cooler, which doesn’t hurt.

  12. Lucky, I’ve found a bedroom set at my local Raymour and Flanagan online at who is a 3x partner at AA. thousands of positive reviews online and they have all kinds of furniture so your desk may be there waiting for you

  13. I haven’t done it myself, but I’ve heard Apple will price match authorized resellers.

    Maybe you have your points and get the lowest price too?

  14. lucky: i second scott above. get the magic trackpad.

    also, why not keep your air (assuming it has thunderbolt) and get a 24″ (or greater) apple display? that way if you need to, you can easily take your work with you. the new thunderbolt port on the air plugs into the apple display. snag the keyboard and trackpad and you’re set.

  15. infamousdx-
    are you saying you can get 20 UR points per dollar if you use your freedom card?? how does that work?

  16. If you have one of the recent MacBook Airs I think the Thunderbolt display with Magic Trackpad would be better than getting a whole second computer. And it’s still $999 so you’ll earn plenty of UR points. As other have said above definitely use UR on the 28th at the Apple store. It will save you so much hassle if anything ever goes wrong.

  17. Lucky-
    Don’t forget that 55 inch flat screen from Best Buy while you’re at it! 11 points per dollar is awesome, thanks for sharing that info – Everyone’s getting BB gift cards from me this year!

  18. Lucky, you should also take into consideration the sales tax since both Best Buy and Apple will charge you that when ordering online. Macmall will not and has a lower price, free shipping, and is also in the UR Mall.

  19. Lucky, check out,, and for lots of good shopping offers, promos, and coupons.

  20. Hey Lucky,
    You can get 4 extra points shopping at Ruelala when you go throught the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. I don’t remember which category it’s under, but if you click on “browse all merchants” and then “R” you’ll find it there.

    Happy decorating!

  21. How do returns work if I purchase at via UR? Can I return it to an apple store? And if I do return, I assume that they will take back the 10x bonus?

  22. @ Ekartash — Technically I assume they would take the points back, though not sure how that works in practice.

    @ Steven — Not at Best Buy or Apple, unfortunately.

  23. Thanks for the heads up! I’m considering buying the Nikon D7000 camera body, which is running for ~$1,200. The Amazon price is a whopping $0.95 cheaper than Best Buy, so using a marginal analysis, I would be earning 12,000 UR points for the marginal $99 (sales tax of 8.25% * 1,200). This seems worth it, right?

  24. I wish I could edit my comment as now I see the body only model is unavailable (sold out) at Best Buy online and unavailable for store pick-up either…

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