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As you go through your points and miles journey, you may become a little bit addicted. It’s normal to want to rack up as many points and miles as possible so that you can enjoy your dream reward redemptions. When you have a good strategy in place, it’s easier to reach your goals faster. Today we’ll share with you some helpful tips that can make it possible for you to earn more points and miles more quickly!
Make sure that you do your research before applying for new credit cards. We have many guides on our site to help you learn more about your options. Take a look at the bonus points being offered with credit card sign up as well as the earning potential of each card. Some credit cards offer only 2x points for every dollar spent while others may earn 5x points for every dollar spent—that makes a big difference.
You don’t want to miss out on a big points payout because you didn’t hit your minimum spend within the set offer timeline. With multiple credit cards to keep track of, things can get tricky. We recommend that you create a spreadsheet to keep track of each credit card. Be sure to notate the offer details and your spending progress so that you can hit that bonus!
Not all credit cards are created equal. Some cards have a higher earning rate for specific purchase categories. This means you may get more points for purchases like travel, gas, or dining out. Knowing your cards and the earning potential of each can help you decide which one to pull out of your wallet at the right time. This can make a huge difference in how many points you earn and how fast you earn them.
Some cards will reward you with additional bonus points for adding an authorized user. If you have someone close to you who you trust—a spouse, partner, sibling, or parent for example—add them as an authorized user. You’ll be responsible for their spending on the card, but it may help you reach your points goal faster! Credit card companies are always changing things up (Chase used to offer this perk, but no longer does)—so keep an eye out for new card options with this extra perk.
Hint: The Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard is a credit card that offers this bonus perk.
While you should never use your card for purchases outside of your spending means, it’s a good idea to use your card as often as possible in your everyday life. Instead of using a debit card or cash, you can earn points for the purchases you’re planning to make anyway! Typical everyday expenses include grocery shopping, travel, dining out, and gas purchases. Only carrying minimal cash can get you in the habit of pulling out your card more. Just be sure to pay your credit card bills in full each month, so you’re not paying interest.
Business credit cards are another great way to maximize your earning potential. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s a no brainer! Many business cards have high earning potential and also offer a great sign on bonus. Just remember to use your card to pay for all of those business expenses. (You can thank me later!)
Hint: Check out our favorite business credit cards. (link to 7 of the Best Credit Cards for Small Business Owners)
For some utilities and regular living expenses, you can use a credit card for bill payment. I always thought that I had to pay my cable bill with a checking account—but a few months ago I realized that isn’t the case. I now have auto bill pay set up with my cable company and my favorite business credit card —and I’m earning 3x points for every dollar I spend on that everyday expense. Now is an excellent time to make a list of regular living expenses and utility bills. Then, see if they accept credit card payments and enroll in auto bill pay to make earning easier. Do be aware of merchants that pass a credit card service fee on to you—it’s likely not worth the points to charge those bills.
When you already plan to buy something online, be sure first to check your credit card’s rewards portal. These portals feature additional ways to earn points and miles if you’re planning to shop with certain brands. For example, the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal has ways to earn extra points when buying from brands you already know and love. For the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal, all you need to do is log in and click “Earn Bonus Points” then browse the online stores and start shopping!
If you’re already flying a good bit—you want to make sure that you’re getting rewarded for all those miles. While it may feel like it takes forever to accumulate miles with an airline, it’s still worth signing up for their program. Even a few flights a year can add up those points and miles, especially if you tend to be loyal to one airline. In the future, you can transfer over your earned credit card points or miles to make your stack of points more significant. Take some time to make sure that you’re signed up for all mileage programs that make sense for you and ensure that all future ticket purchases are linked to your membership number.
If you’re out with your friend group and plan to split the check, offer to pay the bill in full with your credit card and have everyone else give you cash or send you money via Venmo or Paypal. This is a MUST if you have cards that reward you big time for dining purchases (Hello Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Gold, and Capital One Savor Cash Rewards—we see your dining out earning capabilities!).
Hint: Splitewise is an easy app to use to keep track of split expenses with friends.
Earning points and miles can quickly become a fun hobby that rewards you well. These ten tips will help you earn more points and miles so that you can cash out faster or save up for better, more exciting rewards! The smarter you are with your credit card strategy, the more value you’ll get for your spending.
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