This Is the Best Way To Earn a Ton of Points and Miles (2024)

There’s a collective agreement among points and miles aficionados that credit cards are always the best way to pay for things. We can feel insulated at times by thinking that everyone also believes this.

However, many others subscribe to other ideas, including paying cash for everything because it’s simpler.

I discovered this many years ago, as I was raised in a household that leaned heavily into leveraging credit card rewards. We were much more into cash-back than points and miles, but the concept was the same. But figuring out others didn’t have the same knowledge as me was a core concept I hung on to. And while it’s not a new idea to pick up a restaurant tab and have your friends Venmo you to earn the rewards, I’ve taken it many steps further.

There’s only so much spending 1 person or family can do without overspending. However, if you have open conversations with your friends and family about your points and miles goals, they can quickly become your best advocates to amass a healthy rewards balance.

Here are a few ways I’ve found help around me to earn credit card welcome bonus offers and further my spending to earn heaps of credit card rewards.

Swipe Then Venmo

Every purchase, whether large or small, makes a difference in your credit card earning journey. For me, I regularly ask friends and family if they have any large purchases coming up.

Sometimes, it’s a no, and that’s OK. But other times, they have expenses that are a perfect opportunity for me to slide my card over to them to use. In the last few months, I’ve been able to earn rewards on these purchases:

  • My mom bought a small fishing boat recently from a large retailer. I was able to put the down payment on my Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to help me earn the welcome bonus offer.
  • My grandpa had a large medical bill, along with furniture upgrades to his backyard. He’s not one to pay with credit cards, so I was able to help him out here.
  • A close friend of mine was remodeling his home and needed to purchase an expensive bathtub. Even though he uses credit cards regularly, I asked him for a favor to earn the welcome bonus offer on my CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage®Platinum Select®Mastercard®. He was kind enough to let me, and I sent him a thank you gift in return.

In each of these cases, they either sent me a Venmo or a check for the exact amount. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with strangers, but working with friends and family in this capacity has been extremely helpful in earning rewards. Additionally, I was able to score rewards by using a shopping portal for my grandpa’s outdoor furniture, which he purchased through Wayfair.

The short version is that people are always spending money. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can use your card instead — just be sure it’s someone you trust. And as a thank you, do something nice for them in return.

Hot Tip:

If you partner with someone you trust, you can likely add them as an authorized user and have the card shipped to them at no additional cost. Some cards even offer incentives for you to add an authorized user.

Do the Work, Reap the Rewards

The year 2017 was when I became hooked on travel. It was all I could talk or think about. I posted about my travels on social media, and friends and family regularly asked me to help them get on their next trips. I decided to open a travel consultancy based on a simple value proposition: Let me do the heavy lifting of searching and booking travel, giving people the simplicity of paying and enjoying.

I wasn’t a travel agent, so I wasn’t making any money, although I did receive the occasional gratuity. But the travel I booked for others was on my cards, so I earned all of the credit card rewards, which turned out to be massive. Over the course of a year, I earned roughly 500,000 points across several cards like The Platinum Card®from American Express and the U.S. Bank Altitude®Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.

»Related:Earn 175K Points With New Amex Platinum Card Bonus [Current Public Offer is 80k]

One of the best redemptions from earning these points was a flight from Tokyo (NRT) to Los Angeles (LAX) on Singapore Airlines in business class. The remainder of those points helped fund my travels as a digital nomad, and I lived on the road for 112 days across Asia and the South Pacific.

This Is the Best Way To Earn a Ton of Points and Miles (1)

This business was fun to operate, as it fed my wanderlust and that of many others. The takeaway from the business is that booking travel can be a pain, and many people want someone else to do it for them. Knowing that I earned heaps of credit card rewards that may have otherwise gone to waste.

Talking About Points and Miles World Can Do Wonders

This year, I will hit country No. 30. This isn’t a brag but a demonstration that wanderlust is attainable for nearly anyone.

But the typical question isn’t about the sights and sounds of a country, but “How do you afford all of this?”

It’s a valid question, as the price of travel has soared in the last few years. Although airline fares have crawled downward recently, the total price of a trip remains stubbornly high.

This Is the Best Way To Earn a Ton of Points and Miles (2)

My answer to this question has remained twofold: being frugal and leveraging credit card rewards in my favor. The former is a harder sell for some, but credit cards are nearly universal for consumers. And even if someone doesn’t have a credit card, they’ve probably seen advertisem*nts with flashy welcome bonus offers.

The hurdle isn’t consumer awareness of credit card rewards but taking the time to be intentional about which card you use, what you’re earning toward, and, most importantly, redeeming them efficiently. And this is why sites like Upgraded Points exist.

With my friends and family, I’ve become the de facto financial adviser, helping them choose a credit card, and developing a plan to redeem their rewards for travel. Occasionally, I send them my personal referral links and score a few points along the way. It’s rewarding (pun intended) to help those close to me go see the world, but I also love teaching others about points and miles.

Final Thoughts

Points and miles aren’t a zero-sum game. The more people earn and use, the more we can learn from one another. So as you’re thinking about your own points and miles strategy, consider other people around you.

Maybe someone you know is purchasing new furniture, paying for college tuition, paying for a wedding, or buying a car. Or you just had a conversation with someone who wants to take a trip for the holidays. These opportunities can only happen by building relationships with the people around you. And it can seem self-serving to earn the rewards for yourself, but who knows where the conversation may lead?

There are plenty of chances to engage in the conversation, so I encourage everyone to talk more about their travels and how you can see the world for much less than you expect.

The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

This Is the Best Way To Earn a Ton of Points and Miles (2024)
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