Lot of folks think that you can accumulate airline miles and hotel points only by flying or staying at hotel. Flying and staying in hotel are definitely good way of accumulating miles/points, but that would cost lot of $$ if it were the only way. There are ways much beyond that which can help you take that free flight or a hotel stay. Most of the miles and points hoarders are creative when it comes to accumulating stash of miles and points. In this post I will highlight few ways of getting on with this.
1. Credit Card Signup bonus: If you are one of those with good credit score and do not have need for "real" bank loans or mortgage this one is by far the most easy way to accumulate lot of miles and points. The best way is to do a little research before signing up for new cards so as to get the "best available bonus". Most of the best deals are available here. You could potentially take up to 2 or 3 credit cards every quarter without affecting your credit score. Make sure you apply for credit cards which are spread across Equifax, Experian and Transunion. You can find which credit-agency report is pulled for a particular credit-card application by searching the database here for your state of residence. If you are wary that "too many credit cards would spoil your credit history" I would say that is simply not true. As a safe bet you could easily do 4 to 6 credit-card applications in a year.
2. Daily purchases using credit card: Since most of the airline or hotel co-branded credit cards earn's you miles or points, using these cards to spend on things of day to day living would also help you to accumulate miles and points. Some credit cards also has category bonus points for shopping on grocery, dinning, gas or travel. Using the card that earn's bonus points for purchase in that category can increase your earning rate quite rapidly. Take for instance Chase Freedom Credit Card which earns 5x rotating category bonus where the category changes every quarter, or Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card which earns 2x points on travel and dining. So know your credit cards and earn bonus points by doing what you do everyday! -- Purchasing stuff you need.
3. Airline / Hotels bonus promotions: You will always find that the airlines / hotels run promotions where you earn bonus miles or points for flying a specific route or staying for X number of days. If you are anyways going to fly or stay in a hotel why not take advantage of this promos to earn more miles and points. To maximize your earning and get targeted promotion you can register for the mileage account for airlines you would want to use for your dreams vacations as well as for the points account of your preferred hotels. You can check frequentflyerbonuses website for all the latest promotion available.
4. Airline & Hotels partner earnings: This is the most unknown/neglected and easiest form of earning lucrative miles and points. Each airline and hotel have ongoing promotions with various vendors like car rental companies, online streaming companies ( for e.g. Netflix), wireless/internet connection companies (verizon, t-mobile), financial companies, identity theft protection companies, home security companies, energy delivery companies etc etc. These are valuable miles for services most of which you might be using anyway. For all the available partner offers you can visit the airline/hotel home page and search for partner offers. For e.g. here is the link for United miles earning partner offers.
5. Dining partner network: Lot of airlines and hotel groups partner with Dining partner network, where in you earn additional 3 to 5 miles per dollar for dining at their in-network restaurants. You can register for this as you would be surprised to find lot of restaurants where you lunch or dine anyways are partners and can earn you miles. You can register here for united partner dining program.
6. Online Shopping portal: Most of the airlines and few hotels have their own shopping portals which would earn you "miles" rather than cash-back. These websites also have promotions going on now and then which would award bonus miles for meeting specific spend on them. The beauty of these portals is that most of the stores where you shop anyways are listed on there and thus you can earn miles/points by shopping online at these stores through the shopping portal. You will find stores like walmart, target, home depot as well as amazon on these shopping portals! You can take a look at United airlines online shopping portal to see what I mean. To check which portal gives the best miles/points or even cash-back refer to my post on getting started.
So how are you earning miles and points today? Let me know if I missed something in this list? Your feedback is welcomed.
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