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ShopAmex and ShopDiscover are the shopping portals for American Express and Discover rewards cards, respectively. When you shop through these websites, you can earn bonus points/miles, and also get special discounts. If you wish to redeem your rewards points/miles for merchandise, you shop through ShopAmex or ShopDiscover.
ShopDiscover has two separate links to shopping, each with different “featured retailers,” different sales and different bonus offers.
If you are a “Miles” cardmember, someone who holds one of Discover’s top-rated travel rewards cards, you’d click the tab titled “Miles CardMembers.” You’d earn 2X miles on every purchase through ShopDiscover.com. You can shop with 150 different online retailers.
If you are enrolled in Discover’s Cashback Bonus program, you’d click the tab “Cashback Bonus CardMembers,” log in with your user ID and password, and start shopping. Cashback Bonuses range from 5% to 20%, depending on the retailer.
We covered ShopAmex comprehensively in the article titled “How to Save Money Through ShopAmex.” ShopAmex identifies itself as a comparison shopping site, similar to Pricegrabber.com. Mr. Credit Card did a review of the website and found that Pricegrabber draws prices from more websites and the prices you can find at Pricegrabber are lower, overall.
However, if you have an American Express card and are looking to redeem your points, ShopAmex’s comparison shopping feature does help you find the best prices available when you use rewards points.
The site is easy to use, and, just like ShopDiscover, you can earn bonus points and special savings.
Let’s compare the different aspects of ShopDiscover and ShopAmex and see how they rate.
- ShopAmex: More than 90 retailers
- ShopDiscover: More than 150 retailers advertised, more than 100 offered
Winner: ShopDiscover offers more retailers. There is some crossover; you can buy from places like Target.com and Wineenthusiast.com through either site. At first glance, it looks like Discover offers more “bargain” retailers, like Kohl’s, JCPenney, Target and Overstock.com, but that’s not the case. Amex just prefers to highlight some of the high-end retailers on the ShopAmex home page, but the program also includes inexpensive retailers like Wal-mart.
- ShopAmex: ShopAmex offers special quarterly sales with added savings of 10 to 30% off purchases. Currently, the ShopAmex “special offers” page shows 10 special deals — most involve free shipping but some are unspecified. In the past, I’ve noticed percentage discounts, free merchandise with a purchase, and more.
- ShopDiscover: Most ShopDiscover discounts involve free shipping on purchases. Cashback Bonus CardMembers can earn up to a 20% cashback bonus, depending on which retailer they shop with. Miles CardMembers earn double miles every time they shop.
Currently, ShopDiscover Miles has seven discount offers — six involve free shipping. ShopDiscover Cashback Bonus shows eight special offers, of free shipping or free merchandise with a purchase, and eight retailers offering a 20% cashback bonus.
Winner: The savings on both sites are fairly comparable, but the quarterly deals on ShopAmex put the website slightly ahead in terms of deals and discounts.
- ShopAmex: ShopAmex lets you search by retailer, the amount of points you want to spend, product category, or browse the special deals.
- ShopDiscover: At the Discover shopping website, you shop by retailer based on an alphabetized list.
Winner: Neither site is rocket science to navigate, but ShopAmex provides more options to find the products you want. It’s also better for “window shopping,” if you have points to spend but don’t know what you want to buy.
Points values and bonuses on both web sites change frequently, so it’s hard to judge which site offers the best overall prices. ShopAmex makes it easier to compare prices across their partner websites to find the best deal.
Ultimately, either site is a great way to redeem your bonus points or miles as an American Express or Discover card holder. If you have both cards, the only way to get the best deal every time is to comparison shop across the sites and weigh the value of points against the overall price and the discounts offered.