So you’re interested in earning miles and points, but how do you do that? There are a couple of ways that you can earn miles and points, it’s not just about flying with an airline or staying at a hotel to earn points. I don’t only earn miles from flying or points through hotel stays but I also take advantage of promotions and programs that offer increased earnings to these programs.
Signup For Loyalty Programs
If you even want to accumulate miles and points then you need to be a member of these loyalty programs. It’s usually best to already have established accounts with these loyalty programs instead of signing up for them when you need them, this can same time and headache when you’re attempting to utilize a program or deal in a pinch.
Once you sign up for these programs you’ll want to keep track of membership numbers and other vital information. I opt for a hybrid method of using Google Sheets with a quick access list of all my loyalty program numbers and a points manager, AwardWallet. This online program not only keeps track of your loyalty programs but keeps you up to date on when those points may expire.
Credit Card Spending
If you’re dedicated to a certain airline or hotel program it may be a good idea to pick up a co-branded credit card that earns miles or points for the program that you want. For example, I like the versatility of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints so I’ve picked up one of their co-branded credit cards and anytime I have a purchase that doesn’t fit any of my regular cards I put it on that card and earn myself points without even staying at a hotel.
This method is the best for those with high spend on non-bonus categories and have a dedication to that program. This sometimes can be the fastest way to accumulate miles and points by just using a co-branded credit card. However, there are some things to understand about if you plan to pickup one of these co-branded cards including the ability to offset any annual fees, or if the card issuer is sensitive to too many credit inquiries.
Earning More From Promotions
Credit cards are great but most times they only earn 1-point-per-dollar on everyday spending and can sometimes be tough to reach your goals. If you want to go the extra mile be on the lookout for any offers that may offer increased rewards. Sometimes it’s as simple as using a credit card that earns more than 1-point-per-dollar on certain transactions or shopping through an online portal that offers extra miles for purchases.
One big example is using a secondary retailer to purchase gift cards to the places you eat or drink at the most. For example, I love to drink coffee and I usually get my hot cup from Starbucks. Instead of reloading my Starbucks card for purchases I go to an office supply store and use my Chase Ink Business Cash credit card to purchase gift cards netting me 5X the points for my purchase.
To really get into the miles and points game you have to think about every angle to earning points in a better way.
Utilizing Shopping Portals & Dining Programs
Earning miles and points on everyday purchases is the fastest way to build up your bank, most programs offer shopping portals and dining programs that allow you to earn bonuses for your purchases.
By using shopping portals you’re essentially giving the program an affiliate commission for purchasing your products. The program will earn money and they will pass part of that down to you by awarding you miles or points into your account. Usually the offerings for many major retailers are very generous often earning 2-10 miles-per-dollar spent on products bought through these portals.
In addition to shopping portals dining programs can be a huge incentive to boost earnings while going to your favorite restaurants. Most of these programs use the same program, only branded specifically for them. You register your credit card with these dining programs and if the restaurant is participating you’ll earn a multiplier of miles or points for your dining purchase.
Most of these methods won’t net you enough points alone to fund a flight or hotel stay, but it’ll increase your earning ratio and get you even closer to your next redemption. Every last mile counts and we take whatever we can get. The whole idea here is that you’re earning extra miles and points for your everyday activities.