Beginners blast - How to get tons of miles and points so you can travel for free!
Updated: May 13
Here are the three main ways to get lots of points and miles:
Credit cards - Big bonuses from signing up, then meeting a minimum spending requirement. Also, just using the card for regular expenses, and then further using the card on purchases that get extra points or miles. During the pandemic, we have seen all kinds of bonuses for everyday spending as well. Look for category bonuses such as 5x points/miles for spend on dining or supermarkets or gas.
You can apply for a ton of cards and either cancel them after getting your signup bonus or hold onto them. My credit score remains over 800 and I have 5 Amex, 4 Chase, 4 Citi, 3 Barclays, and 1 Bank of America cards right now. I am always looking for new cards to get for the big bouses. Credit card points have excellent value and can be used for many options but are best for travel.
Here are some of my favorites:
Earn 125,000 bonus points with IHG® Rewards Club Premier credit card or 60,000 bonus points with IHG® Rewards Club Travel Credit Card. I can be rewarded too, learn more.
Flying on a plane or staying at hotels - You can sometimes take advantage of promotions that can add quite a bit to your hotel stay or flight. Always sign-up for the latest promos for the big chains (Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Hyatt, Choice, Wyndham). While I was on vacation in Dubai, Marriott offered me a promo to get 2 free nights after staying twice. I made a slight change to my plans and now have 2 free nights in my account. Most promos involve getting bonus points for stays.
Add even more by using a hotel or airline branded credit card. The Amex Hilton Aspire above will get you a whopping 34x on Hilton stays. This can add up quickly if you travel a lot.
Buying hotel or airline miles direct. This is normally not a good deal, but each brand does special sales a few times a year that sometimes can bring the prices down to reasonable levels.
The only two airline miles I have made purchases from are Alaska Airlines Mileage Plus and Avianca Lifemiles. I have never flown with either airline, but I have used the miles for amazing deals in first class to Asia and Europe many times on some of the world's greatest airlines including Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, ANA, and Emirates.
Always put your frequent flyer number on your reservation and keep in mind, you can credit your flight to a wide variety of airlines. Check here to see where you will get the most miles for your flight: https://www.wheretocredit.com/
Create a Twitter list of all the people that post deals. Sometimes you can get miles for a survey or for an Uber ride. Maybe even for ordering food. The deals come and go fast, and Twitter is the best way to find them fast. Check out my list...copy or change what you like and check it often.... https://twitter.com/i/lists/4699300
Try and use your points or miles for high value redemptions. Point valuations have been made all over the internet like here: https://onemileatatime.com/value-miles-points/ .
Singapore Airlines first class booked with a points transfer from Citibank, 2015
Keep in mind the cost of taxes/resort fees and remember that holding onto your hotel points or airline miles is not a promising idea, as they always fall in value eventually.
Everyone's situation is unique, so evaluate what works for you based on your own finances, lifestyle, and choices.
Do not use your points/miles for anything other than travel, as the other options provide extremely low value. Use airline miles for flights, hotel points for hotels, and credit card points are usually best for flights.
Related post: https://www.solotravelr.com/post/travel-tips-and-tricks