Which earning opportunities interfere with each other?

Today's post is more of a reference for myself because I am terrible at keeping track of all the different rewards programs out there, and which ones interfere with which, so I thought it would be helpful to write all the ones I could think of down in one place. I'm sure I missed some, so please correct me in the comments.

Credit card and bank offers

Several banks now offer rewards for spending money at particular merchants:

  • American Express Offers For You;
  • Bank of America BankAmeriDeals;
  • Chase Offers (currently only available to Marriott Rewards Premier and Slate cardholders).

The key attribute of these offers is that they're triggered by spending money with the card at a particular merchant (or sometimes through a mobile payment service). That means they can't be combined with each other, since you can only spend the same money with one card at a time (although split payments may allow you to trigger similar offers on multiple cards).


Drop does not appear to interfere with any other purchase-tracking rewards program, so you can trigger Drop rewards in addition to any other rewards your purchase earns. If you haven't yet joined, you can search for the app "Drop - Free Cash Rewards" app in your mobile app store of choice, and feel free to use my referral code x01i7 (or not).

Uber Visa Local Offers

Like Drop, Uber Visa Local Offers appears to run on a completely separate rewards platform, so you can earn Uber credit alongside any other rewards triggered by your purchases.

Ebates in-store cashback, Alaska Mileage Plan in-store miles, and HawaiianMiles Marketplace

Both Ebates and Alaska Mileage Plan's in-store earning programs are operated by Cartera, so typically the same offer linked to the same card should only track in one of the two programs. How well that's tracked and enforced isn't entirely clear to me, so if you have the time and inclination I suspect a fertile area of investigation would be experimenting with adding, removing, linking, and unlinking particular offers from particular cards. 

If that sounds like too much work, under most circumstances I suspect you're better off linking Ebates offers than Alaska offers, unless you're earning miles towards a particularly lucrative Alaska redemption or Alaska is running a promotion awarding extra miles for partner transactions.

Oddly, a third problem several readers have reported to me is using the same e-mail address for the Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Marketplace and Ebates (the same problem might appear with Alaska as well). Blog subscribers know about a very cool deal that used to exist through the HawaiianMiles Marketplace, but these days the only participating merchants on the mainland (at least in my neck of the woods) are Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. I don't shop at those merchants so I don't know if HawaiianMiles interferes with purchases there tracking through Ebates and Alaska. If not, that could be a potentially interesting double dip for folks who do a lot of clothes shopping.

Dining rewards programs

As far as I know, all dining rewards programs are operated by Rewards Network, and you can only enroll a credit card in one dining rewards program at a time. Here's a quick reference list of dining rewards programs:

Note that you can be enrolled in all of these programs simultaneously! However, a single restaurant purchase with a single credit card will only earn miles in one program at a time.

Thanks Again

Thanks Again does not appear to me to be a very good program, but for folks who spend a lot of time and money in airports, I feel compelled to at least mention it. Earning points through Thanks Again for airport purchases shouldn't interfere with any other programs in this post (although I can't imagine ever earning enough points through the program to be redeemed for anything).

Online shopping portals

Like the dining rewards programs, online shopping portals will interfere with each other, but not with any other rewards you're trying to trigger. So, for example, if you want to make a Name Your Own Price reservation through Priceline, you shouldn't have any trouble combining the current Drop offer of 10 points per dollar spent (1% cashback) and 5% cashback through a shopping portal like TopCashBack.

Likewise you should be able to earn 30 Drop points per dollar spent at HP (3% cashback), points or cashback through a shopping portal (TopCashBack is currently paying 8%), 5% OPEN savings through an American Express small business credit card, and potentially an additional targeted American Express Offer For You.

You can find my referral links to the shopping portals I use on my Support the Site! page.

Brick-and-mortar promotions

I am typically totally oblivious to these things, but it's also possible to combine credit card offers, in-store rewards programs, and brick-and-mortar promotions.

I recently visited Bed Bath & Beyond, not to buy gift cards, which is the only reason I would normally set foot in there, but to buy some bed linens. That let me combine my in-store Ebates cashback with one of the 20% off coupons they seem to mail me every 3-4 days.

Similarly, the other day I stopped into a few local restaurants where I had American Express Offers For You for $25 and $50 off $75 in in-store purchases. It happened that both restaurants were also running holiday gift card deals for $20 and $25 in free gift cards when you bought $100 in gift cards. Since I had the offers on both cards, I picked up a total of $345 in gift cards and paid just $150 after the Offers For You statement credits posted. If the restaurants had also participated in dining rewards programs, I could have received an additional batch of miles for the in-store purchases.


As I mentioned at the beginning, this post is mainly meant to get all my thoughts on these programs in one place so I can refer to it in the future. If there are any other programs, or conflicts, that I'm missing, let me and other readers know in the comments and I'll try to keep this post updated.