7 ways you can earn points and miles without traveling - Business Insider - Business Insider

7 ways you can earn points and miles without traveling - Business Insider - Business Insider

7 ways you can earn points and miles without traveling - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 17 Apr 2020 10:32 AM PDT

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on this page are from our partners, like Citi, but our coverage is always independent.

  • If you want to keep your rewards balances healthy, you'll need to find other ways to earn points and miles until travel picks up again.
  • Luckily, it's easy to earn travel rewards from home by using your existing credit cards or opening a new one and scoring a welcome bonus.
  • You can also earn extra points or miles when you shop online by clicking through a shopping portal
  • If you have a favorite airline, look into any additional partnerships that can net you bonus miles. For example, some airlines run dining rewards programs for eating with participating restaurants.
  • See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards.

If you generally earn most of your airline miles and hotel points through traveling, you might be going through withdrawal. Until travel picks up again, you'll need to turn to other methods if you're hoping to add to your loyalty account balances ahead of your next vacation. The lack of traveling has also impacted many traveler's quest to renew or maintain elite status, though many airlines and hotels are offering extensions or modifications to elite status requirements for 2020.

Luckily, there are several ways to earn miles and points without leaving home.

We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Everyday spending on credit cards

The first way we'll talk about to earn miles and points without traveling is probably the most common and, for most people, the easiest to implement. Putting your everyday spending on an airline credit card, or a rewards credit card that earns points that you can redeem for flights, can be a great way to rack up tons of miles and points.

Depending on your travel patterns and spending habits, you might have already been getting a healthy percentage of your total miles and points from credit card spending. 

Credit card bonus categories

Credit card bonus categories are key if you want to maximize the rewards for every dollar you spend. A bonus category is a type (or multiple types) of purchase that will earn you more than 1 point or mile per dollar or more than 1% cash back. Many cards include dining and groceries as bonus categories.

Some examples of credit cards with attractive bonus categories include:

Making sure that you're maximizing these and other bonus categories can really help you increase your mileage account bonuses.

Credit card welcome offers

One of the easiest ways to make a substantial impact on your miles and points balances is to take advantage of welcome offers that come with signing up for a new credit card.

If you have the financial ability and discipline to pay off your credit card in full each month, you can get a large sum of miles or points by opening a new credit card and meeting its minimum spending requirement to earn the intro bonus.

Let's consider the example of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. The current welcome offer is for 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after you spend $2,500 in the first three months from account opening.

If you spent that $2,500 on one of your existing cards, you're likely to get only 1 mile per dollar, for a total of 2,500 airline miles, ignoring any possible category bonuses. But spending that $2,500 on your new Citi AAdvantage Platinum card would give you 20 miles per dollar spent (50,000 miles/$2,500 spent). Hopefully that example gives you an idea of the impact opening up new cards can have.

Refer a friend to open a rewards card

Another great way to earn miles and points without traveling is to refer friends and family to sign up for new cards. Many credit card issuers offer refer-a-friend programs, where you can earn anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 miles or points by successfully referring a friend to get a new credit card. If any of your friends or family are interested in opening a new rewards credit card, this could be a win-win situation where they get the welcome bonus for signing up for the card and you get a referral bonus.

Shopping portals

You're likely buying more things online now since many retail stores are closed. If that's the case, then unless you're using a shopping portal, you're missing out on miles and points with nearly every purchase you make online. Most domestic airlines have a shopping portal that lets you earn miles with them from shopping online:

If you've never used a shopping portal before, it's quite simple. Simply go to the shopping portal of the airline of your choice before you make a purchase online. Find the shopping partner, and click through from the shopping portal to the retail partner before making your purchase. You can earn anywhere from 1 to 10 miles or more per dollar spent through the shopping portal.

Partner offers

Another way to earn miles and points without traveling is through partner offers. Many airlines and hotels team up with various other companies as a way to earn extra miles. You can earn airline miles for things like eating out at restaurants, buying flowers, refinancing student loans or mortgages, signing up for a savings account, or even donating to charity.

Most airlines include a list of their partners on their websites, often under a "Ways to Earn Miles" or similar section. Here are links to a few airline and hotel sites:

Buying miles and points

The last item to mention would be buying miles and points directly from the airline or hotel program. I include this for completeness as a way to get miles and points without traveling, but generally I don't recommend buying miles and points speculatively. It's true that buying miles and points can make sense in some situations, but unless you have a specific redemption in mind and you just need to top off your account, it's not a great deal.

The 5 Best Stocks to Buy for Beginners As Markets Rebound - Nasdaq

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Chase Extends Sign-Up Bonus Spending Period - One Mile at a Time

Posted: 14 Apr 2020 04:42 AM PDT

We're seeing credit card issuers make some changes to reflect the current environment.

For example, Brex has adjusted rewards to reflect that most businesses are working remotely, Chase is offering a $100 statement credit towards the annual fee for select Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, and Amex is extending the period in which you can complete minimum spending for a welcome bonus.

Chase has just joined Amex in extending the period in which you can complete spending on cards, with some limitations.

Chase extends sign-up bonus spending period by three months

There can still be a lot of value in signing up for the right travel rewards credit card (assuming it doesn't cause you to spend irresponsibly, or cause you to spend more than you otherwise might). However, a lot of people are struggling to meet the minimum spending requirements that are needed to earn the sign-up bonuses on cards.

As a result, Chase is giving some new card members an extra three months to complete the minimum spending for sign-up bonuses on card accounts. As reported by Miles To Memories (per a Chase spokesperson):

  • This is valid for card accounts opened between January 1 and March 31, 2020; so this doesn't apply to cards being opened now, though personally I wouldn't be surprised to see this policy extended, given that this situation is ongoing
  • Cardmembers don't need to do anything — the eligible spending period will automatically be extended by three months
  • This applies to eligible US consumer and small business cards issued by Chase

Bottom line

It makes perfect sense for card issuers to give new members more time to complete minimum spending on credit cards.

Many individuals and small businesses are spending significantly less than in the past, and may no longer be able to complete minimum spending on a card as fast. Similarly, this could be a good incentive to get people to sign up for cards now.

I wouldn't be surprised to see other card issuers introduce a similar policy.

Will you benefit from this Chase grace period on completing minimum spending on recently opened cards?


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