Cash Back vs Airline Miles – Shopping Online

cash back vs airline miles

Cash Back vs Airline Miles – An Online Shopping Comparison

With all the TV commercials and Ads online it is apparent that Cash Back Shopping is a popular trend, but are you really getting the most bang for your buck? This week we take online shopping to the next level and do a side by side comparison of Cash Back vs Airline Miles, so you can decided what offer best suites you…if you’re a travel junkie like us you’ll be amazed at how much you can gain using Airline Mile bonus sites.


First, lets look at what the cash back websites offer:

cash back vs airline miles

VIA EBATES.COM: You get cash back at any of 1,700 stores any time you start your shopping trip at There are no points to redeem, no forms to mail in, and no fees. Stores pay Ebates a sales commission for sending shoppers their way, and Ebates uses the commission to pay you cash back. All we need is an email address so we can notify you when your cash back has been credited.

Next lets look at what airline bonus miles websites offer:

cash back vs airline miles
American Airlines Shopping

VIA AADVANTAGESHOPPING.COM Earn AAdvantage miles on every dollar you spend through the AAdvantage eShopping mall. It’s fast, simple and secure: Sign Up Registration is easy, fast and free. All you need is some basic information and your AAdvantage number to start shopping and earning miles. Shop Always start shopping at the AAdvantage eShopping mall where you can find whatever you need at over 850 online stores! Click on any product, offer, or store and you’ll be taken to the store’s website to make your purchase. Earn As soon as the store confirms your purchase, we’ll credit the miles you earned to your AAdvantage account and send you an email to let you know.

The Verdict:

After browsing on both websites its clear that both offer great incentives for shopping at everyday places you most likely already shop at.

  • Ebates offered cash back from 1% or 2% for most stores but other offers were as high as 12% cash back.
  • Advantage Shopping offers American Airline Bonus miles for dollars spent, with most offers ranging from 1-4 miles per dollar spend with some as high as 20 to 30 miles per dollar.

Lets do the math, a $100 dollar transaction via Ebates warrants up to $12 cash back while a $100 dollar transaction via Advantage Shopping could land you up to 3,000 bonus miles. That being said you can redeem 25,000 bonus miles for a round trip ticket in the continental US via American Airlines. So how much does one have to spend to get a free airline ticket? Well if you buy goods at 30 miles per dollar then $834 earns enough miles for a reward ticket. Of coarse thats a little more spend than if you bought a roundtrip ticket but, you are will have to spend money any way on everyday goods – why not earn something? As far as Ebates goes, if one spends $834 for cash back you would only receive $100.08 in cash back – you’d be hard pressed to find a roundtrip airfare in the US for $100.

So who’s the winner of Cash Back vs Airline Miles? Well if you like to travel and since you are reading this blog I’ll just assume you do, then the airline bonus website is a much better bang for your buck. I’m all about saving money and cash back does sound great, but when you crunch the numbers it just comes up short in comparison to the benefits of a bonus mile website.


  1. Choose an Airline Loyalty Program that suites your travel needs
  2. Watch for incentives for bonus miles (1800-flowers or telelfora offers great bonuses)
  3. Buy your everyday goods and use an airline credit card to get even more bonus miles
  4. Some airlines offer first time bonus miles just for making your first purchase (virgin america)
  5. Most reward sites do not limit the number of miles you can earn
  6. Check multiple airline shopping sites to get the best milage bonus for your spend
  7. Did you know you can even shop on Ebay and still earn rewards? Learn more here
  8. Earning bonus miles requires little effect, just click the airline shopping site and then on to your store of choice
  9. Christmas time warrants even more shopping bonus miles from American Airlines based off spend
  10. Last year we earned over 50,000 bonus miles shopping online!

I hope you enjoyed our article on Cash Back vs Airline Miles and learned a thing or 2. If you have any tips for online bonus shopping send them our way – we’re always looking for a good deal!!