Earning Miles and Points

Please also read Getting Started and The Basics.

Earning Miles and Points

There are many websites and blogs that discuss this topic but I am going to talk about my experience and what works for me.

First of all, some miles and points are more valuable than others.

The main ways my husband and I earn points are

  1. Sign-up bonuses.  Depending on the airline, hotel, or bank credit card, sign up bonuses are usually anywhere from 25,000-100,000 miles or points.  It is important to know that not all points are equal, so just because a sign-up bonus of 100,000 is offered, it may not necessarily be a great deal.
  2. Everyday spending. Seems obvious, but we put everything on a credit card. It is also important to know which cards have category bonuses.  For example, my Chase Sapphire Reserve card gets me 3 points per dollar at restaurants, but most of my other cards only get 1 point per dollar. It may not sound like a big deal, but extra points per dollar add up quicker than you think.
  3. Shopping portals. My husband just loves all the boxes we end up having to break down and put in the recycling bin. NOT! But he does love all of the points we earn by ordering everything we can online.  For example, instead of going to Target to buy diapers, I order them through Target, Walmart, Sam’s, or many others on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards shopping portal and I earn 1-2 bonus points per dollar, so 2-3 points per dollar total.
  4. Earning Part 4: Manufactured Spending.  We do not really do this for 2 reasons:1) Since we’ve built up a large stockpile of points over the years, we don’t apply for as many cards as we did when we first started, so we’re not trying to meet multiple minimum spends2) there aren’t really any methods that are convenient enough to do on a regular basis.  With that said, if you’re needing help meeting the minimum spend to get the sign-up bonus for some new credit cards, it may be worth it to look into some sort of manufactured spend.Since we do not do manufactured spending, don’t expect to see much about it on this blog.  If I come across any methods that seem easy and convenient, I will post about them.  At this time, I don’t have much to offer for those looking to MS!

Out of these 4 things, sign-up bonuses yield the most points by far.  We sign up for 2-3 cards at a time every 6ish months.  Some people aren’t comfortable with more than 1 at a time and that’s okay.  Just understand it may take longer to earn points and miles.

On the other hand, some people sign up for more, and more often.  Do what you’re comfortable with.

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