Archive for 'Earn Points, Miles and Rewards'
Posted on 23. Jan, 2013 by PointsAdvisor.
Happy New Year!
We hope you had a good break and are ready to earn even more points and miles in 2013. To get you started, we have a special guest on the blog today: Tracy Soldan. Tracy is one of our Points.com super-users and someone who knows points and miles inside out.
We asked Tracy to share his top 4 tips for earning more points and miles in the new year. Here’s what he had to say!
Points.com asked me to offer some tips on how to use their services more effectively, and how to collect points and miles quickly. Either could be a whole series of blog posts, but I’ll stick to a few basics to get you started.
A few hundred or thousand points/miles you aren’t using can be worth it to obtain an award flight or hotel stay, a gift card, or to accept a trade for what you *really* want.
2. Take advantage of bonus point promotions when they are available.
You can find these on the loyalty program websites, and some are only available through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Many programs have promos where you have to follow the link they send you to register, so be sure to sign up to receive emails from them. They often come in the form of either points per dollar or a bulk amount for a transaction.
3. Use everyday spending to accumulate points/miles.
Most programs have shopping portals that earn you points/miles if you go through the portal first; many also let you register cards that earn even in-store when you use them! Dining programs that earn on registered cards when you dine at participating restaurants are also quite common. Here are a few popular shopping portals to get you started: the JetBlue ShopTrue store, the Amtrak Points for Shopping store and the Choice Privileges Online Mall.
4. Use co-branded cards.
Most programs offer credit cards issued by major banks that earn points/miles in that program on all purchases, and even more when you spend on that program itself. Some programs even offer co-branded debit cards with certain banks. Using co-branded cards with shopping portals will earn on both the portal and the cards!
Even better – combine these tips to double or even triple dip your purchases!
Bio: Tracy Soldan only got interested in loyalty programs a few years ago, but made up for lost time quickly and has earned around half a million points and miles since then. He’s not just a points hoarder, though. This year he will be taking several award trips, and plans to take his sister and nephew to Japan in the fall using airline miles and hotel points. He recently moved from Seattle to the Atlanta area, which prompted him to review which programs suited his needs best in his new home city.
Thanks to Tracy for sharing his insider secrets!
Here are a few examples of places where you can earn points and miles in your favourite programs when you shop this week:
- 1-800 FLOWERS: 20 points/miles per $1 spent
- Preflight Parking: 1 mile per $1 spent with their Frequent Parker program
- Clarendon Hotel in Arizona: 1,000 – 2,500 per qualified night
- Digitized Logos: Up to 50,000 miles with your purchase
How do you plan on earning more points and miles in 2013? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on 06. Sep, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
It is the rare individual who doesn’t have an everyday purchase they need to make whether it’s picking up a carton of milk or making plans for a family getaway. Here are a few ways to make those every day purchases more rewarding by earning points and miles while you shop!
1) Choose Your Stores Wisely
Some of us are old school. We like getting in the car and heading to the store. We like to be able to see, feel and touch what we are about to buy. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck in the past when it comes to loyalty programs. We can pick and the choose retailers we frequent to ensure we’re taking advantage of miles and points on offer. If two stores offer essentially the same items at relatively the same price but one is going to give you points for your loyalty, well then the decision is simple. Points please.
2) Use a Rewards Earning Credit Card
If you don’t have a rewards credit card then you may be missing out. Imagine earning points or miles on every purchase you make. Yes every purchase. That means your morning tea, your afternoon soup and after work drink(s). If you can earn while you spend then go for it. You may consider putting together a monthly budget, using your credit card for all purchases and then paying it off at the end of every month. Watch the points and or miles just roll in.
3) Be Choosey When You Shop Online
You may be cyber savvy and do most of your shopping online. Yes there are people that even do their groceries online. And while they tend to miss out on the tasty samples they appreciate the time saved and convenience of online ordering. Others enjoy shopping for clothes online as they can take their time and scour the web for sales, discounts and unique finds. And almost all of us book our travel online. It’s beneficial to search for retailers and service providers who offer miles and points in exchange for loyalty. Especially if you know you will be a repeat customer. Net-a-porter anyone? Bonus tip: use your rewards earning credit card to make online purchases to double dip.
4) Leverage Partnerships Between Programs
If you’re a member of one loyalty program you may be eligible for the privileges of another. Many programs have partnerships with other relevant loyalty programs. For instance if you travel a lot and have a particular airline loyalty card you just might be eligible for discounts, savings or additional points/miles at a partner hotel. Check out the choice privileges offered by Jet Blue and Hawaiian, two loyalty programs with plenty to make you feel like one of the privileged few.
5) Purchase Points or Miles to Top Up
Now for the crazy points and miles collectors out there who are super savvy when it comes to getting the most out of their loyalty programs. They probably know the terms of their program inside out and could repeat it verbatim. In short they live to collect points and miles. For this special group, and the rest of you eager to get in on the action, look into your particular loyalty programs about points and miles for purchase. Most make the purchasing of extra points a cinch. So if you need to top up for a key reward, go for it. You might also want to look at transferring miles and points between your loyalty programs. And if you want to make an trade with someone, you can do that too.
Do you have any tips on how to earn points and miles on every day purchases? Leave a comment below!
Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
The school season is upon us! If you’re still finishing up your back-to-school shopping,why not shop through an online shopping portal that offers points/miles for your purchases? You’ll get your back-to-school-shopping finished, and earn points/miles while doing it.
Online shopping portals or earn malls are websites that you can use to access hundreds of online retailers, and then earn points or miles for your purchases. The number of points/miles you earn for each dollar you spend will vary by program and by store. For more on how earn malls work, check out this post about earn malls from the holiday season.
Several of our partner programs host earn malls; we’ve compiled a list below for you. Even better, several of these loyalty programs have earn mall promotions right now. Be sure to check with your favorite loyalty program to see if they have an earn mall before you finish your back-to-school shopping this year!
- JetBlue ShopTrue: Shop at select JetBlue’s ShopTrue stores now until September 4, 2012 and earn double points. Visit the JetBlue ShopTrue Online Shopping Mall
- Choice Hotels Choice Privileges: Shop at Choice Privileges’ online mall and earn 2x the points from now until September 30, 2012. Visit the Choice Privileges Online Mall
- Amtrak Guest Rewards: Get double Amtrak Guest Rewards points when you shop at their online earn mall now until August 31st. With over 1,000 retailers (!), you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Visit the Amtrak Shopping Mall
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/ywel
Posted on 23. Aug, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
Know Your Loyalty Program Lingo!
Remember the first time you walked into a Starbucks and didn’t know a vente from a grande or an extra shot versus a shot of vanilla? Yeah, it was intimidating to say the least. Loyalty programs can be a little like that too. They often use jargon and terms that the newbie might not be so familiar with. So to help get you acquainted here’s an introductory guide to some basic loyalty terms. (You might want to grab a tall bold for the adventure.)
Orphan miles are essentially miles that you have earned through a loyalty program that you are not likely to use. You probably don’t have enough miles to redeem for anything and you probably aren’t going to be collecting any more either. These types of miles are accrued by people belonging to loyalty programs who actually aren’t that loyal to the program.
For instance you may have become a member of an airline loyalty program when planning a trip somewhere you’d never been and are likely to never visit again, like say Johannesburg. You flew the airline, collected some points, ate some curried impala and put the card away somewhere safe in your wallet, never to see the light of day. But before you cut up the card and toss it in the trash, check to see if you can transfer your points to another loyalty program. It would be a shame to see them go to waste.
Redeeming points or miles means trading them in for some other goods or service. They can be considered currency and have their own value. Loyalty programs offer extensive lists of products available in exchange for points or miles, or you can redeem points/miles for gift cards or into your PayPal account on Points.com. Most loyalty programs also provide items for redemption at various point and mile values. That means if you want to save your points for something more expensive like a big screen TV you can, it will just require more miles or points than say a $25 restaurant gift card.
Trading points or miles means that you trade your loyalty points or miles with another person belonging to a different program. Maybe you’re planning a family vacation and need a few more points or miles to get there. You can post your “wanted ad” and it will be seen by thousands of loyalty users itching to make a deal, or you can accept one of the offers that someone else has already posted. It’s kind of like putting up a “wanted” or “for sale” flyer up on the community bulletin board, albeit a digital bulletin board. Not too toot our own horn, but the only place you can do this in on Points.com. Please note that there is a fee for trading – you can learn more about the trade fees here.
If you are a member of more than one loyalty program and chances are that’s big yes, you can transfer points between programs for your convenience. Some loyalty programs will let you do this on their websites, and some allow you to do this on Points.com. On Points.com, a handy calculator will determine how many points or miles the conversion you wish to make will give you. This way you can see if it’s an exchange you wish to make before you make it. For a list of which programs exchange on Points.com, visit our supported programs page.
Earning points or miles simply refers to how you acquire them. Once you’re a member of a loyalty program this usually means making purchases. And with these purchases you will get points or miles that non-members will not. You will also be able to redeem these miles or points for goods and services. How many points or miles are needed for redemption and how many points and miles you acquire through purchases vary and are different for all programs whether you’re shopping in-store or online. These days there are lots of ways to earn: online shopping portals, shopping in retail stores, flying, staying at hotels, renting cars etc. Be sure to check out your program’s website to find out all the ways you can earn.
Posted on 09. Aug, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
Getting married? It can be one of the most exciting not to mention busy times of your life. So before you get carried away with five layer cakes and pearl encrusted silk gowns it’s important to take a breath and get organized. A plan to help you save money can go a long way to help spending stay on track and keeping stress to a minimum. Even better? A plan that helps you earn points and miles too.
Read on to find out how to earn points and miles planning your wedding, and how you can use your loyalty programs to save money on your big day.
Planning Your Wedding:
It can take months to plan a wedding with deposits required along the way for just about everything: venue, caterer, photographer, DJ, flowers, limousine, dress, etc. etc. A points-earning credit card can be a huge asset in this regard. If you’ve saved money for your wedding consider paying for as much of it as you can on a points earning card in order to take advantage of the major points earning potential and then paying off the balance in full. If you’re going to have to lay out huge amounts of cash, you might as well get something in return. Here’s a tip: for out of town guests consider booking their accommodation through your own loyalty program. This way you can collect points and your guests need not lift a finger except to reimburse you for the cost of the room.
Gifts for You and Your Wedding Party:
Picking out gifts for you and your beloved can render you both kids in a candy store. In your excitement don’t forget gifts for the lovely people in the wedding party, and friends and family that have taken time out of their busy schedules to help you with yours. By the time you get around to thinking about what to gift your bridesmaids and groomsmen you may have spent a bundle already. Looking at your loyalty programs and seeing where you might be able to redeem points for something special is always worthwhile.
Along with best wishes and congratulations guests are going to want know what it is you need/want for a wedding gift. Don’t be shy. Register at a favourite store where you currently collect points and when no one buys you the proverbial gravy boat you can pick it up by redeeming points that you have already in your account.
Jet Blue and US Airways both offer gift registries for all kinds of occasions. It’s super easy for guests to buy or transfer points and or miles to you and your sweetheart, then the two of you can use them as you please. Personalize your registry and have someone in the wedding party spread the word, discreetly of course.
So you’ve planned the wedding down to every last detail. It’s set to go off without a hitch. Now isn’t there something you’re forgetting? The honeymoon! Shop around and look for the best deals on redeeming points and miles for savings on destination packages, individual flights or that once-in-a-lifetime five star hotel.
You can also suggest that in lieu of a traditional gift that guests transfer frequent flier points/miles or buy points/miles towards your honeymoon using a unique flight and travel gift registry. The choice is yours, a pupu platter in Hawaii or another ecru-coloured serving platter with built in dip receptacle. Yawn.
When You’re the Guest:
Maybe you’re not the one who’s getting hitched. Maybe you’re going through that phase of life where all your friends are walking down the aisle and it seems like you’re attending a wedding every other weekend. That often means shelling out for travel, gifts and hotels. Why not redeem some loyalty points for such expenses and save yourself a few dollars. It could mean not having to open your wallet at all, except to pull out your loyalty card or shudder, in case of a cash bar.
If you’re in the midst of matrimonial planning, stay strong, stay calm and use your loyalty programs to your advantage. Great preparation can really pay off. But when it comes to tossing the bouquet, feel free to throw caution to the wind.
In case you missed it, you can read last week’s post here: How Many Loyalty Programs Are Too Many?
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/shezita
Posted on 19. Jun, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
If you buy or gift US Airways Dividend miles now ’til June 30th, 2010, you can earn up to 100% bonus miles! Double miles!
You can buy US Airways Dividend miles here: Buy Miles
Or Gift them here (Gift just means that you can purchase them for someone else): Gift Miles
Posted on 08. Feb, 2012 by PointsAdvisor.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now is a great time to start planning for your points/miles funded summer vacation. Warm days at the beach may seem eons away right now, but some smart planning in the winter can make for a less expensive (or even free) vacation this summer. We’ve compiled a list of promotions to get you started. Full disclosure: these promotions are on our site or with our partners.
Buy, Gift & Transfer for More:
bmi Diamond Club: Buy miles now till March 15, 2012 and automatically receive a 20% bonus on the number of miles purchased.
Virgin America Elevate: Buy or Give Elevate Points and get up to 50% more points. Now till February 29, 2012
Alitalia Mille Miglia: Receive a 30% Bonus when you buy or gift miles before 23 March 2012.
La Quinta: Receive a 20% discount when you buy or give La Quinta points before March 31, 2012.
Amtrak Guest Rewards: Now until March 31, 2012 whenever you buy Amtrak Guest Rewards points, you’ll receive a 30% bonus.
Earn points/miles while you shop online:
You can earn points/miles in the program of your choice when you shop online at the following retailers. You make a purchase and then choose to earn in any of these programs:
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™
American Airlines® AAdvantage®
Best Buy Reward Zone®
Hawaiian Airlines® HawaiianMiles®
Priority Club® Rewards
US Airways® Dividend Miles®
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Earn with these retailers:
T- Shirt Now: T-Shirt Now features an assortment of witty Ts with slogans and phrases from your favourite TV shows, movies and celebrities.
Kanto AV Systems: Katno AV Systems has a wide range of AV products, including TV mounts, cables and speakers.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/saavem