How to use Capital One Shopping to save money and earn rewards in 2024

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If you’re looking to maximize your savings and earn rewards effortlessly while shopping online, Capital One Shopping is one of the best options out there.  This free browser tool is unique because it scours the web for the best prices, applies available coupons seamlessly during checkout and rewards you for your purchases. Best of all, it’s open to anyone – not just Capital One customers. If you’re catching up on any purchases you didn’t get from the holidays or are taking advantage of all the exceptional deals retailers are offering this time of year, you might want to incorporate Capital One Shopping into your rewards strategy. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Capital One Shopping:

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What is Capital One Shopping?

Capital One Shopping is a portal and browser extension that helps users save money and earn rewards while shopping online. The portal works by offering cash-back rewards on purchases at select online merchants. The browser extension offers a price tracking feature to find the best deal and provide alerts if there’s a lower price. Another unique feature of the browser tool is that it searches for coupons and applies them to your cart before checkout. These features can help you save money when shopping online and earn cashback you can redeem towards gift cards. 

It’s worth noting that Capital One Shopping is distinct from Capital One Offers. Both are completely free to use. However, Capital One Offers is a cash-back program whereby cardholders receive statement credits when shopping with select merchants. Meanwhile, Capital One Shopping earns cash back that’s only redeemable in gift card form. The tool is also open to everyone – you don’t need a Capital One credit card to use Capital One Shopping.

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How to earn rewards with Capital One Shopping

There are two ways to earn rewards with Capital One Shopping: By using the online portal or by downloading the browser extension. Regardless of which option you choose, you have to first create a Capital One Shopping account. Once you’ve registered, you can use the online portal to search for specific products or merchants 

Capital One will generate a list of merchants that provide cash-back rewards, along with the lowest prices available. This way, you can compare and find the best deals. You’ll then earn rewards when clicking through the designated link and making a purchase.

Capital One Shopping results page

 The Capital One Shopping browser extension is the better option, since it requires a one-time installation and automatically looks for rewards opportunities when you shop online. You’ll get alerts when a merchant qualifies for cash back. You’ll simply select the “activate” button before checkout and earn cash back on your purchases. 

Capital One Shopping page - Dyson hair dryer

In addition, Capital One will notify you if the item you’re purchasing is available for cheaper on a different website. Overall, the browser extension provides added convenience, since you can shop normally rather than going to Capital One’s website and looking up individual merchant deals.

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How long does it take to see your rewards?

After making a qualifying purchase, you’ll get an email from Capital One confirming your rewards are on the way. These rewards should hit your account within 30-90 days of purchase. You can view your transaction history on the Rewards and Savings page.

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Ways to maximize Capital One Shopping rewards

While earning rewards with Capital One Shopping can be straightforward, you can increase your rewards substantially by taking a few extra steps. Here’s how to maximize Capital One Shopping rewards: 

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Download the browser extension

Downloading the Capital One Shopping browser extension ensures you don’t miss out on deals when shopping online. The tool will alert you when a website you’re visiting offers cash back on purchases. It will also automatically look for and apply for coupon codes before checkout. Most notably, you’ll be alerted when there are opportunities for you to save money by purchasing items with a different merchant. These features pretty much automate the savings process, requiring fewer steps to earn rewards than most shopping portals do.

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The Capital One Shopping browser extension scours the web for the lowest prices and best deals
The Capital One Shopping browser extension scours the web for the lowest prices and best deals © iStockphoto/ Getty

Sign up for email notifications

If you sign up for email notifications, Capital One Shopping may target you for special offers. On occasion, users might receive elevated cash-back offers after using the Capital One Shopping tool to browse for merchandise. It’s worthwhile to try this if you’re in the market for a high-priced item, especially during the holiday shopping season. 

You can update your email preferences by heading to your account settings page and opting in for marketing emails. 

Stack them with Amex, Chase or Citi Offers 

American Express, Chase and Citi have their own merchant “Offers” that you can stack with Capital One Shopping. These programs all operate similarly, allowing cardholders to register their credit cards for targeted deals at popular merchants. These deals get updated frequently and consist of either bonus points or statement credits on everything ranging from household bills to dining at restaurants and shopping online.

All you have to do is visit the designated Merchant Offers page, log in with your credentials, and browse available offers. Then link the one you’re interested in to your credit card of choice. When you make a qualifying purchase, the bonus points or statement credit is applied to your account within a specific period.

Stacking one of these offers with Capital One Shopping can be very lucrative and save you a significant amount on your purchases.

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Use credit cards that earn higher rewards

You can maximize your Capital One Shopping rewards by choosing the right credit card for your purchases. Ideally, you should choose a rewards card that helps you maximize every dollar spent. If you have a spending requirement to complete, then using that card with your Capital One Shopping purchases can be a great opportunity to earn more rewards. 

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. If you have some big purchases coming up, then using this card in conjunction with Capital One Shopping can be a great way to stack rewards.

If you don’t have a spending requirement to complete, you can still benefit from using the right credit card. Look for one that earns elevated rewards in your spending category. For example, if you’re shopping at office supply stores, you can earn up to 5% cash back with the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card. If the merchant falls outside of a category that earns bonus points, use a card that earns at least two points per dollar spent on any spending. Here are a few examples:

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card– 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.
  • Citi Double Cash® Card – 2% cash back on all spending (1% when you spend and 1% when you pay it off).
  • Bilt Mastercard® – 2 points per dollar spent on Rent Day for purchases that normally earn 1 point per dollar spent. 

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Refer a friend

While Capital One Shopping regularly features a refer a friend sign up bonus, there is no current referal bonus at this time. 

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How to redeem Capital One Shopping rewards

Rewards earned through Capital One Shopping usually post within 30-90 days of purchase, at which point they can be redeemed for gift card purchases. You can see the status of your rewards by selecting the “My Rewards and Savings” tab on the Capital One Shopping homepage. You’ll see both the amount of qualifying shopping you’ve done, the amount of current available rewards and a precise breakdown of rewards earned.

Capital One has lots of popular merchants to choose from, so you’re bound to find something that fits your spending habits. To redeem your cash back rewards, select the “redeem now” button on the “My Rewards and Savings” page. You’ll be taken to a page where you can select a gift card for the balance in your account. Capital One currently has more than 50 gift cards to choose from, including popular brands like Adidas, Athleta, DoorDash, Macy’s, Nordstrom and more. You can even opt to make a donation to a charity. Current options include the CDC Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Once you’ve selected your gift card, you need to specify the amount. You’ll see an available denomination range listed. You can enter your desired gift card amount, which can’t exceed your rewards balance. 

Capital One Shopping - how to redeem points

If you’re redeeming rewards for the first time, you’ll see your email listed on the right side of the page. You’ll need to confirm it’s correct by selecting “verify account.”

Next, you should receive an email confirming your email address. 

Capital One Shopping redeem points - check your email

When you’ve verified your address, you’ll be taken to a redemption page. You’ll have to fill out a brief form with your name and address.

Capital One Shopping

Lastly, check the box next to the non-refundable policy statement. Then select “place order” to complete your transaction. Your gift card should arrive within 2-3 weeks.

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Is Capital One Shopping worth it?

From finding the best deals to applying coupons automatically at checkout, Capital One Shopping streamlines the process, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck. Considering it doesn’t cost anything (but rather offers rewards, especially if you join with a referral code), it can absolutely be worth it. There’s little downside to downloading the browser extension and letting it scour the web for deals and coupon codes before you make a purchase.

While savvy consumers like to compare shopping portal rates through an aggregator like Cashback Monitor, that can take time and effort. The Capital One Shopping portal can be a great alternative for consumers who want to earn rewards and save money with minimal effort. It’s a practical, user-friendly tool that can help you save money and earn rewards on autopilot. 

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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a Capital One credit card to use Capital One Shopping?

You do not need a Capital One credit card to use Capital One Shopping.

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Is Capital One Shopping different from Capital One Offers?

Capital One Shopping is different from Capital One Offers. For starters, it’s a shopping portal available to everyone, regardless of whether they’re Capital One customers. Capital One Offers is a special portal specifically designed for Capital One customers. 

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How do I use my Capital One Shopping rewards?

You can use Capital One Shopping rewards for select merchant gift cards.

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What is the benefit of Capital One Shopping?

The benefit of Capital One Shopping is that it offers cash back at popular merchants and it scours the internet for the lowest price and promo codes to save you money.

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How long does it take to get Capital One Shopping rewards?

It usually takes 30-90 days to get your Capital One Shopping rewards. Once you’ve redeemed your rewards, your gift card will arrive within 2-3 weeks.

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What is the best way to use Capital One Shopping rewards?

The best way to use Capital One Shopping rewards is for a gift card to your favorite store.

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Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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