Use Monthly Expenses to Earn More Miles
Episode #9 of the course Travel hacking: Earn frequent flyer miles without flying by Chris Guillebeau
Look around at all the other places you spend money every month: banking, internet, car insurance, cable, cell phone, utilities, and more. These should all be earning you points. And what about mortgage payments, rent, and charitable donations? Yep, those too.
There are deals out there for practically everything that award points. Some examples include:
• Taxes: H&R Block and TurboTax both offer miles for their online services, with increased points per dollar offers during tax season. Find the best offer on a shopping portal via evreward.com
• Internet: Use GCI as your internet provider in Alaska and get one Alaska Airways mile per dollar spent.
• Cable: Earn 25,000 United miles when you become a new DIRECTV customer: United.directtv.com. Sign up for Dish and get 12,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points: Dish.com/southwest.
• Utilities: Earn 7,500 United Miles for your electricity in the states of IL, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OH, and PA when you use Energy Direct. Earn 15,000 AAdvantage® miles, MileagePlus® miles, or Rapid Reward points + 500 additional miles/points each month for 24 months if you live in Texas and use Reliant as your electricity provider.
• Rent: Use WilliamPaid, a site that helps you earn miles by processing online credit card payments for rent.
• Mortgage: Use Evolve, a site that helps you earn miles by processing online credit card payments for mortgages.
• Charitable donations: Make a tax-deductible contribution of $25 or more to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) and earn 10 award miles for every dollar you give: nfcr.org/united-airlines. Earn 10 American AAdvantage miles per dollar for donations to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
• Dentist: Yes! You can even earn points for getting your teeth pulled! Rittenhouse Orthodontics in Philadelphia will give you 1,000 Dividend Miles for starting treatment or for referring a friend who starts treatment: rittenhouseortho.com.
These types of deals aren’t only available in the U.S. Here are a few examples of international deals:
• Canada: Test drive a Volvo in Canada and earn 250 Aeroplan miles. Lease or buy a Volvo and earn 25,000 bonus miles: Aeroplan Partner Deals. Earn 1-3x Aeroplan miles per dollar whenever you fill up your car with petrol at an Esso gas station.
• Germany: Earn Lufthansa Miles & More points for golfing in Germany. Get one point for every Euro you spend on greens fees or at the pro shop.
• UAE: Collect points for your Etisalat mobile phone service and convert them to Etihad Guest Miles.
Deals like these can be discovered on the “earn miles from partners” page of your favorite airline and hotel websites. If you’ve got the basics down to earning miles on everything, use these tips to maximize your mileage earning even further. If you find a deal for a service you’re already using, call the company and ask for the reward you’re eligible for.
• Make a list of all of your bills and recurring expenses.
• Review the Earn Points page of your favorite airlines and note which of your expenses you could earn points for.
• Consider moving a savings account that is earning no interest to a program like Bank Direct that awards dividends in points.
There’s only one lesson left! Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up with something big—how you can use category bonuses to earn many more miles than usual.
Big finish ahead,
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