As a travel hacking enthusiast, I often get asked how I earn so many points and miles. Last year I gained over 1 million points and miles through credit card sign-up bonuses and spending. Here's my guide on how you can do the same.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Best for Travel
Use a rewards credit card for all of your purchases
Utilizing a rewards credit card is an optimal way to maximize your spending potential and reap the many benefits offered. Travel rewards can be beneficial with earning points toward free flights or upgrades, making those vacation expenses much less of a burden.
To get the most out of your new credit card, meet any minimum spending requirements to earn higher rewards and bonuses. Most rewards cards have no problem accommodating daily purchases such as gas, food, entertainment, and business expenses. Ultimately, having a good rewards credit card can give you a head start on travel savings while also helping you manage your budget responsibly.
Sign up for loyalty programs with your favorite airlines and hotels
With so many loyalty programs available to consumers, it is worth considering signing up for the dining and major airlines' loyalty programs. Not only can you earn points and rewards redeemable for flights, shopping, dining, and more with most airline frequent flyer programs, but some loyalty programs even offer a variety of membership tiers.
Depending on your status within the program, you may be eligible for exclusive promotions, discounts, or complimentary upgrades when flying or staying in particular hotels. Consider exploring your options with shopping portals, dining clubs, and major airlines to take advantage of loyalty programs' benefits.
Using Category Bonuses
Using category bonuses is one of the most popular ways to maximize rewards. Category bonuses are points per dollar spent on specific categories and can vary based on the credit card issuer and the category.
For example, American Express offers category bonuses for airfare, gas, and entertainment, while Chase Sapphire Reserve provides category bonuses for travel, food, and dining. With category bonuses, it can be easier to rack up points so you can get more out of the rewards program - regardless if it's cash back or miles - with less spending.
Earning Retention Offers
Earning more rewards through retention offers can be a great way to maximize the benefits of your credit card. Upon receiving a retention offer from your card issuer, take some time to consider whether the bonus points, minimum spend requirements, and other perks outweigh any potential risks associated with downgrading your card.
While the earning potential of a new credit card is often appealing, those offered due to retention can add even more earning opportunities. According to Bankrate's 2019 KFF Credit Card Retention Survey, earning retention offers can provide you with points bonuses that exceed those offered for signing up for a new card, making them worth considering if you're looking for ways to increase your rewards earning power.
Use a rewards credit card for all of your purchases to earn points that can be redeemed towards future travel. You can also sign up for loyalty programs with your favorite airlines and hotels to increase your points.
Utilize category bonuses and retention offers to maximize the points you earn on your credit card spending. What is your favorite travel destination? Let us know on Twitter @thepointsparty!
Benefits of Amex Platinum
The benefits of Amex Platinum cards are already known as being some of the best around, with access to discounts and offers some of the most prestigious brands around.