Many credit cards now offer special programmes that allow you to accumulate points or airline miles. These programmes are a great way to get a little extra value out of your card, but many creditors and airlines have recently made earning and redeeming points more difficult. You can still get the most out of your points or miles by using the right credit card and accumulating them efficiently. Then it’s just a matter of keeping and using those points or miles.
Part 1 Choosing a Card to Maximize Points and Miles
1. Determine the type of travel for which you will use your points or miles. Every card and programme is unique, but knowing what type of travel you want to redeem your points or miles for will help you choose a point earning strategy. An international flight will necessitate a different strategy than a domestic flight.
When considering this, it is beneficial to be specific. You should at least know which class you want to fly in, which airlines you prefer, and whether your flight will be domestic or international.
It might help to write down exactly what kind of trip you want to take with your points. This way, you’ll know exactly what you want to get out of your points or miles.
2. For domestic travel, cash back cards should be prioritised. The majority of programmes award points or miles based on how much you spend. Cards that give you a percentage of what you spend allow you to earn points at a lower cost.
When applying for a card like this, make sure you’ll also be earning points or miles. Some credit cards may only provide a percentage of cash back on purchases.
3. Choose flexible credit cards for international flights. Cards that allow you to spend your points or miles in a variety of ways give you more options when it comes time to redeem those points or miles. Furthermore, many of these cards allow you to transfer points to loyalty programmes or other airline programmes.
Some cards, such as this one, reward you with points or miles for using your card more frequently. Check your credit card’s terms and conditions to see if this is the case for you.
4. Choose a credit card that allows you to earn points or miles on a daily basis. Consider your daily and weekly expenses when choosing a credit card. You can earn points quickly if you choose a point card that offers bonuses for things you buy frequently, such as groceries or gas.
5. Remember to enrol in point or mile programmes. Simply because a bank representative or creditor informs you that you can earn points or miles with a card does not imply that you have been signed up for a point or mile programme. Make sure to ask the agent who is handling your credit card application something along the lines of: ” “I’m just checking to make sure I’m signed up for the point or mile rewards programme. Is there anything else I should be aware of regarding the card and these points or miles?”
Part 2 Accumulating Points and Miles Efficiently
1. Dine out or order in to earn points or miles. Hotel and airline dining programmes that allow you to earn points or miles are very common. These frequently require you to enrol in the programme and register your credit cards. After that, when you use your card to dine, you’ll earn points or miles.
When awarding points, these programmes frequently include tax and tip. Company dinners or expensive meals can be very profitable in terms of earning points or miles.
2. Earn points or miles by shopping online. Your credit card or airline may have a special shopping portal that awards points or miles for any purchases made through the portal. If you already shop online frequently, you should investigate whether or not these online shopping points are available to you.
Some websites or portals may provide more points than others. This will vary depending on the site and card, so you’ll have to do some research to find the best one for you.
3. Use a credit card to book hotels and earn points. Many creditors have alliances with specific hotels and offer points or miles in exchange for money spent on purchases from them. However, you can increase your point or mile earnings by using online shopping portals to earn additional points on top of what you would receive from a partner purchase.
Many hotels will give you bonus points if you stay for multiple nights. This is typically done on an ascending scale, with the point value increasing with each night spent at the hotel up to a certain limit.
4. When travelling for work, you can earn points. You may have to pay for business travel and expenses up front with the understanding that you will be reimbursed later by your company. While travelling, accumulate points with a suitable credit card, then use the reimbursement to pay off those expenses.
This is also a good way to improve your credit. If your credit score is low or not where you want it to be, paying off these short-term debts should help to raise it slightly.
Even if your company has pre-paid for your flight, points or miles usually revert to the flyer. Make sure you have your frequent flyer information handy if you want to earn more points or miles.
5. Earn points or miles by participating in social media or online promotions. Many businesses provide special promotions or social media campaigns. These are frequently available on popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. In many cases, you can earn points simply by watching a video and entering your point or mile account information.
These types of promotions are also an excellent way to stay up to date on specials, new routes, and other point or mile programmes.
Part 3 Maintaining and Using Points and Miles
1. Learn about the point or mile expiration policy of your card. Each credit card and point or mile policy is unique. In general, your points will be valid for 18 months, though some programmes’ points may expire sooner or later.
To avoid forgetting about a point or mile expiration date, set a reminder in your phone or mark your calendar.
2. Keep your account active to keep your points or miles. Account inactivity is one of the most common causes of points expiration. Even small purchases made with your point or mile earning credit card, such as purchasing a song on iTunes or Amazon, will keep your account active and your points safe.
3. To keep your points or miles, redeem them. Most of the time, redeeming points counts as account activity. This means you can spend a small amount of points on something like a magazine or a clock to keep your account active and your points usable.
Some programmes may also allow you to donate your points to a charitable organisation. This should also be recorded as account activity, preventing your points from expiring.
4. When appropriate, reinstate expired points or miles. If you’ve lost track of time and your points or miles have lapsed, you may still be able to recover them. This frequently entails paying a fee, which can be quite high depending on how many miles you have.
If you intend to reinstate your points or miles, do so as soon as possible. Most companies only allow your account to be reinstated for a limited time after it has expired.
5. Make good use of your points or miles. International flights frequently provide excellent opportunities for point or mile redemption. However, don’t let the prospect of a freebie influence your decision. Flight upgrades can sometimes be more valuable than a free flight.
Domestic flights under $300 frequently cost the same number of points or miles as a significantly better upgrade or longer-distance flight, though this is not always the case.
6. Try to avoid the busy season. During peak travel season, many point or mile programmes restrict the redemption of points or miles. Even if yours does not, flights during these periods frequently cost more points or miles than usual, devaluing what you have earned.
You should also try to book flights using points or miles as far in advance as possible. This will help you avoid being stuck on a flight with multiple layovers.
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