ev’reward: An Awesome Shortcut for Miles and Cashback Comparison Shopping

Late last week, I learned about a great website that I think is worth sharing: ev’reward.

I strongly believe in going through a portal whenever I online shop, so once I find something I want to buy, I put it in my check-out basket and then visit several portals to find out which one is giving the highest mileage or cashback return for that store. As I showed a while back, there isn’t one portal that is always the best – some portals have more partner stores than others, and the highest miles/ cashback yield varies by portal and store. And while I still visit several online portals, I admit that checking every one is a fairly time-consuming process if all you want to do is click “buy” and have an item delivered to your house.

Step in ev’reward. Through this website, you don’t have to decide whether visiting each portal is worth it for you – ev’reward automatically visits them and tells you what their deals are! All you have to do is type the name of the online store from which you’re buying something, and ev’reward gives you a list of portals and the miles or cashback each one will give you for making a purchase from that store. This cuts the research process to just a few seconds, and you can immediately see which portal will suit you best.

ev’reward’s output for Banana Republic: portals for cashback, savings, points, and miles

There are only two caveats that I’ve seen so far. First, some rates are a little outdated. For example, United’s Mileage Plus Shopping Portal is currently offering 2.5 miles per dollar spent at Banana Republic online, but ev’reward is showing only 2 miles per dollar. Second, it doesn’t list every portal out there, so that if you typed in “amazon.com,” you wouldn’t know through ev’reward that Hawaiian’s and US Airways’ shopping portals currently give miles for Amazon purchases.

Nonetheless, if you usually check several portals like I do before buying, ev’reward is a great starting point to find out which ones are even worth looking into. In the case of J.Crew, for example, ev’reward correctly does not list ShopDiscover as a cashback portal, so I know there’s no point in checking, which saves me some time. On the other hand, if you are not planning on investigating each portal before buying, with the ev’reward output, you can at least be sure that if you go through any portal on its list, you’ll get more miles or cashback than if you didn’t go through one at all.

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Sweepstakes Can Get You Coupons

Entering online sweepstakes may sometimes seem like a waste of time, particularly in those that run for days or even months and only select one grand prize winner.  But sometimes your entry can get you some interesting coupons as well.

Banana Republic and Virgin America have partnered in a promotion called “Land the Look,” and, by entering the sweepstakes, you not only try your luck in getting a round trip Virgin America flight, a hotel stay, and Banana Republic gift cards, but you also get two coupons delivered into your inbox.  The first is a 20% off coupon for any full-priced item at Banana Republic stores, and the second, which can be quite valuable depending on where you fly, is a coupon for 10% off your next Virgin America ticket (promo code 54054109).  Both coupons are valid only until the end of this month (March 31, 2010) and the latter applies to trips taken until June 9, 2010 (with blackout dates between May 28 and 31, 2010).

Other sweepstakes frequently come with deals as well.  Entries to contests tied to magazines often give access to discounted subscription rates, which could be interesting if for a magazine you usually read or to which you already subscribe anyway, and sweepstakes run by manufacturers sometimes have a coupon as their final landing page.

If you are looking for coupons, searching online for codes is a first step.  But entering related sweepstakes could be a useful second.  And you never know – your resourceful entry could turn out to be lucky one too!