Up until recently, collecting points and miles was pretty much a full time job. It was on my mind constantly and I was so pre-occupied with it that I easily earned hundreds of thousands of miles every month. Nowadays I’m insanely busy and barely have time to think about which card I’m using to pay for lunch to maximize the category bonus, let alone strategize massive earning sprees. But there are a few things I do to make sure I’m earning a ‘respectable’ number of points and miles every month, without a ton of effort, and you can do the same:
Pay Your Rent or Mortgage With a Credit Card
This doesn’t make sense for everyone, but if you can accrue referral credits to cover Plastiq fees, then it’s a great way to generate lots of points with practically no effort. How do you get referral credits? Get your friends and family to sign up for Plastiq and you’ll both get Fee-Free Dollars. Plastiq also occasionally has promotions where the fee is discounted.
Another option? Urbanr, a new service that lets you pay rent with a credit card. The great thing about this service is that the fee is just 1.5%. If you have a card like the Discover It Miles (which earns 3% cash back during the first year) or you’re trying to meet a spending requirement, then paying this fee might make sense. Regardless of which option you go with, keep this in mind as a way to generate more points and miles every month.
Take Advantage of Amex Offers
If you’re not frequently checking your Amex Offers, you’re missing out big time. I save hundreds of dollars every year and earn thousands of bonus points on everyday purchases thanks to Amex Offers. I’ve gotten cash back at Banana Republic, Apple Pay, Gap, and even hotel chains. I’ve also received bonus point offers on gas and grocery spend, which is always an easy way to generate more points. The fancy benefits of upscale Amex cards are great, but for me the real value lies in all the points and cash savings I get from Amex Offers.
Sign-up for Hotel Promotions
Normally, I try to sign up for hotel promotions the minute I get a notification via email. However, I manage loyalty accounts for four family members and I get crazy busy with work during the week, so I can’t always get to it right away. At the beginning of the month, set some time aside and make sure you’re signed up for the latest hotel promotions so that when it’s time to book a last-minute trip, you don’t have to agonize over whether you’ve signed up for that double Hilton promotion or not.
Re-evaluate your point-earning goals
This one slips past us too often, but it is important to consider what you’re earning points for and whether it’s time to use a different credit card for your daily spending. Do you have a trip you’d like to take in the next 6-12 months? Maybe start thinking about which currencies you need to stock up on and maybe switch out a few credit cards. Last month I was very into my Citi Prestige Card because of the category bonuses. With the SPG-Marriott merger on the horizon, I’m shifting my focus to the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express this month. Needs change and you should re-evaluate them at least once a month.
These are a few simple steps I take every month to make sure I’m not only earning more points, but the most useful points. That being said, I want to hear from you: What do you do every month to ensure you’re not losing out on big point paydays?
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