Just Another Points Traveler blogged this afternoon that Hilton HHonors had gotten out of the online shopping portal business (click through a program’s ‘online mall’ to the merchant you are going to buy from in order to earn points).
She reported this based on an e-mail from the company which ran the old HHonors shopping portal,
Hilton HHonors Earnings Mall has been discontinued, but your online shopping benefits don’t have to! To continue enjoying the savings and rewards of Earnings Mall, simply register for OO.com.
It turns out, though, that there still is a shopping portal that lets you earn Hilton HHonors points for your online purchases. HHonors just isn’t working with that partner any longer. And the email simply came from the vendor that used to run the old shopping portal, trying to solicit new business for one of their other websites. I wonder if their contract actually allowed them to do that? Certainly it wasn’t sent out with the best interests of their customers in mind, in so far as it didn’t point out that there’s a new Hilton HHonors online shopping portal, just managed by a different company. Hate that…
Earning cash rebates or points for the purchases you make online anyway is a great way top off accounts. Some of these online malls are notorious for not posting points correctly, sometimes it’s a technology problem and other times poor customer service (it’s a low margin business to take a commission from the store you bought from and then rebate much of that commission back to you in the form of points, and so few invest in decent customer service). So I at least like that the new Hilton online shopping portal offers functionality to track the purchases you’ve made and points earned.
I explained last year how these shopping portals function.
And I generally search EV Reward before making any online purchases in order to compare offers, to see which shopping portal is offering the best deal on a given merchant. The EV Reward website isn’t always completely up-to-date but it’s the resource I find easiest to use and most complete. That way I can decide between X American Airlines miles, Y United miles, or Z Delta miles on a given purchase. Airline miles are often the most rewarding choices though sometimes I opt for cash back, but more choices in this space are certainly better. And an online shopping purchase can be great for extending the life of an account whose points would otherwise expire (just make sure the points post!).
Now that Hilton HHonors took down its old shopping portal and replaced it with a new one, I’m now waiting for the defunct American Express Membership Rewards shopping portal, which came down some time ago, to be replaced…