Are you unable to travel right now? Perhaps it’s a busy season at work, you are taking care of a loved one, or travel restrictions got you grounded for the foreseeable future. While that’s a bummer — it doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your travel dreams completely. In fact, now is a great time to build your travel hacking expertise and beef up your points and miles portfolio. In this episode, we discuss ways to earn points and miles without traveling including lucrative credit card sign up bonuses, anniversary bonuses, and more.
*NEW WORKSHOP* On January 22, 2022, join the live workshop Intro To Travel Hacking: Earning Points & Miles Workshop — learn how to earn more points and miles beyond those lucrative credit card sign-up including how to pick the right credit card for your travel goals and lifestyle, determine if the annual fees are worth it, get tips for organizing your points and miles portfolio, and more.
A special thank you to Tempe Tourism for sponsoring this episode of The Thought Card Podcast — discover three Tempe art attractions in Episode 91 – Where To Experience Culture & Art in Tempe, Arizona.
You may be surprised to learn that Tempe Arizona has a vibrant art scene in the sonoran desert Tempe Arizona prides itself in being a progressive and inclusive community and you can learn about its art scene by listening to episode 91 where we explore three Tempe attractions, ace, you damage the desert botanical garden and A. S. U. Art Museum. Mhm. Welcome to The Thought Card a podcast about traveling money. We're planning saving and creativity leads to hoarding travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financial savvy travelers. Mhm. Hey financially savvy travelers and welcome back to another episode of the Thought Card podcast. My name is Danielle Desir Corbett and thank you for joining me on this special solo episodes, which are kind of rare these days. But I'm really excited to just sit and chat with you all now. If you are new here, join me every other week over here at the Thought Card podcast where we explore the mindset habits and hacks that lead to traveling the world, paying off your debt and also building wealth. This podcast is so special to me. Not only because I created it and I host the show, but because it's one of the rare places on the internet where you can talk about traveling the world traveling abundantly and also managing our finances and building wealth. So the Thought Card podcast is a very special place for me personally as the host and I hope that you also feel the same. So, question for you are you unable to travel right now? Perhaps it's a busy season at work when I used to have my full time job, I would be unable to travel three times a year. So if that is you, I totally understand and get that or perhaps you're taking care of a loved one or you're ill yourself. So travel may not necessarily be on the horizon for you right now, or maybe you live in a place that there are lots of travel restrictions that has you grounded for the foreseeable future. While all these scenarios are a bit of a bummer and it definitely was holding us back from traveling, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to abandon your travel dreams completely. In fact, when you're unable to travel, it's a good time to plan, get your finances in order and to continue to day dream. So part danger, We're gonna part taking action steps and specifically in this situation, I truly believe that now is a great time to build up your travel hacking expertise and also beef up your points and miles portfolio as well. For example, in the beginning of the pandemic, I had a special guest Lizette Austin, you could listen to her episode in episode 59 where she shared how she has saved over $110,000 in travel costs using points and miles, which is pretty incredible and in the episode, Lizette casually mentioned how she is eight points and Miles millionaire, meaning that all her accounts right now she has gained points and miles that accumulate up to a million plus and I was so inspired by that and I said, even though, you know, I can't travel right now, but I can continue to build up my portfolio and reached this million mark, which essentially what this truly means is that I'm going to be able to travel some more places, Be able to give travel to my family and friends and do a lot more than I could with my necessarily cash. So this was a big goal for me and I'm super happy and thrilled that at the time of this recording, which is in December 2021 and that high um 200,000 points and miles away from hitting that one million mark. I am so much further along now than I was a year ago and even a few months ago. So again, these strategies going to talk about, it's just really good for anyone to be honest, even if you're traveling a lot right now or even if you're not traveling, but specifically, I definitely understand how difficult it can be for folks who want to travel, but for some reason or another situationally they can't. So I wanted to angle this episode a bit more to those folks. So in this episode we're going to talk about ways to earn points. Miles without traveling. So no need to have on a flight to rent a car and do any of those amazing travel things that we love to do. All right now, if you enjoyed this episode on january 22nd 2022 you can join me live for workshop where I'm going to teach you how to earn points and miles beyond their credit card sign up bonuses. So in addition to talking about things we talked about today, we're also going to talk about how to stay organized if the annual fee is worth it or not, and a bunch of other different strategies for picking the right credit cards. So if you are interested in that, definitely head over to podcast dot dot card dot com forward slash points to join the live workshop. Now, just in case you're listening to this episode later on and the live workshop has passed. Don't worry, the replay and all of the assets that come with this workshop will be available to you via the link in our show notes as well. So regardless when you listen to this episode, head to show notes, sign up for this workshop and take your strategy to the next level. Okay, so let's go ahead and jump into the topic. So how are you earning points of miles when you aren't flying? So, I have a few ideas for how you can do that. We're going to start off with the simple ones and the ones that you probably know and then we're going to dive into ones that are a bit more off the beaten path or a little bit more complicated. All right, so the first thing I wanna mention is these lucrative sign up bonuses. What's wonderful about when you're able to sign up for a new credit card. These credit card companies are really excited and they want to incentivize you to sign up with them so they're willing to offer these lucrative sign up bonuses. So we're talking about 30,000, 60,000, 100,000 points depending on the credit card, which is a great way to really propel you and boost you closer to whatever goal that is whether that is to go on one trip, several trips, go on a business class flight, whatever the case may be. So the sign up bonuses are definitely one way to get started and it's one of the best ways for you to earn a lot of points at one time. Now the second way for you to earn points miles without necessarily flying is to use your credit card for everyday purchases in person. And also on line. Now I definitely recommend downloading the card pointers app. This app will help you to know when to use the right credit card for every type of purchase that you have. So either when you're on the go at the grocery store or you're shopping online. You can hop onto the card pointers app on your phone and you can look at the category and you'll help you determine which credit card to use, which I find to be very very helpful. I also do have a notes app on my phone and I definitely keep track of all of my spending categories as well. But I definitely like the automation that card point is app provides so that helps me to make sure I'm using the best credit card at check out. Okay. I really really also try not to be stressed or rushing this process because I want to make sure I'm using the best credit card at the time which may mean looking at the card points app, looking at my notes to make sure that I'm picking the right credit card instead of only earning one point per dollar, I want to maybe earn five points per dollar. And that may be possible depending on the spending categories. Now I also wanted to mention that some credit card companies also have online shopping portals as well. So if you haven't had a chance to take a look at the benefits that your cards offer, take some time to refresh yourself and re acclimating yourself with what your credit card benefits offer. And if there is an online shopping portal and you are a big online shopper or you do it pretty regularly make sure you're going in there and you are using those online portal links versus your own typing in W. W. Dot like whatever website that is. So there's lots of opportunities for you to earn in your everyday purchases and also shopping online. So the third way that you can earn points and miles is your special email offers. This is my special sauce and one of my favorite ways because you never know what offers are going to be coming down the pike and it's really important to take advantage of. This is to be in your inbox and seeing what offers your credit cards are sharing with you at the time. So for example Through my email I saw that American express was offering me a special offer throughout the year where when I spend $10 at a restaurant, they'll give me $10 back her month. So this has been something that has been on my radar because I saw it in my email inbox. You also have to make sure some of these special bonuses and special offers are click to activate. So you have to actually go into your inbox, look at the email and actually click on the link to activate it versus it being an automated benefit that comes up. So again, making sure that you're looking at your email and you are paying attention to what special offers come up by checking my email today. Actually, I also saw that I received a special offer where I can save and earn some more points on my cable bill and also my phone bill for a limited time and I had to actually click on the link to activate that. So again there are lots of different offers that may be coming via email. If you're not checking your email, you may be losing out on this. Another thing that you may see in your email inbox is that you may also receive special offers to upgrade your card to maybe a premium version of the card you already have or you may actually get pre selected to sign up for new cards, including business cards as well. So look to see what's in your in box. There's plenty of goodies and you can shift through to see what you want to keep and what you want to activate and what is not necessarily in line with your travel goals, especially for the holiday season right now, I definitely want you to keep an eye out for your emails around october november december. Keep an eye out because a lot of these credit card companies want you to spend money. They want you to use your credit cards while you're shopping for the holidays. So make sure you're taking advantage of all of their bonus offers. Here's a bonus tip for you. I recommend creating an email folder specifically for your points and miles. So you can keep track of all of the offers that come your way if you are also like me and you have hundreds of emails that come through your email account. You can also search for terms like american Express or capital one. Just search for them and you can just shift through the offers that came in chronological order. So that can be another way for you to stay organized. Now. The fourth way that you can earn points and miles is by referring a friend. Yeah this is a great way to share the wealth. And there are a few credit cards that in the show notes, I'm going to have the length to them that not only do they have a great perks but also I really like that they have a refer a friend program. So when I share my referral linked with my friends and family and they sign up, I'm able to earn additional bonus points and miles as well. So in the show notes I'll have a link to two of my favorite credit cards that offer this refer a friend program. So that could be a really great beneficial way to get started and you can earn two bonus points. Here is also an additional tip for you. So let's say you have a partner and that partner is open to opening new credit cards and points and Miles. What you can do is give your partner your referral link that they can sign up and get the sign up bonus, that's one but also you can get your for a bonus as well. So make sure utilize not only for your friends and family but also your significant other as well. So that could be a great way to boost up your points and miles. I recently did this with Kyle and it works really, really well and I enjoyed seeing that extra bonus for referring him to this credit card that I really, really do love. Yeah. All right. So the last tip that I wanted to share with you is these anniversary bonuses. Now, this is not necessarily open to all credit cards, Only a select few credit cards offer this particular category, anniversary bonus. So definitely again, I encourage you after listening to this episode carve out some time in your schedule To go back and to look at all of your credit card benefits to see if this is something that you can take advantage of. So for example my barclays JetBlue credit card offers 5000 bonus points every anniversary. So every year that I continuously keep this card open, I can receive this extra 5,000 of bonus points. Some credit cards maybe offer, let's say 10% of your total spending, they'll just add that off the top at the end of the year. So again, it's really important to go back into your benefits to go online, type in your credit card and benefits and to review what your credit card offers also from time to time, you may realize that your credit card may actually reinvent their programs. So Chase Sapphire preferred. Recently revamped their credit card and I was really happy to see that they actually offered more benefits and things that I can be taken advantage of a lot of time when they revamp these programs to actually offer less, but you never know. So it's really important to go back from time to time and audit your credit card and see which ones are useful. Winters are no longer useful and the ones that are offering these annual bonus points every year, maybe another thing that makes you want to stay with them for one year longer. All right. So just a quick recap, we talked about the different ways that you can earn points and miles and there's only a few. So definitely make sure if you are free January 22 to join us in the live workshop. We're going to cover way more points and miles strategies. So taking advantage of your lucrative sign up bonuses that is like a number one and go to you for a lot of travel hackers. Also your everyday purchases in person and online definitely make sure you grab the card pointers apps that can help you determine which is the right card to use. It's one of my favorite apps and I really do rely on it every day when I'm at the grocery store when I'm paying a certain bill or whatever the case may be. So your everyday purchases also, that's another place for you to really be maximizing your points and miles, your special offers via your email are so important. Do not just flag them all this junk. There's some really great opportunities in there. A lot of them. You have to actually activate them depending on your credit card. So making sure that you have a folder to keep track of all your points and miles offers for for a friend. If you have a credit card that has a refer a friend program make sure you share that out and see if anyone is interested in joining you on an upcoming trip. And by open again in credit card. And if you have a significant other you could also refer them as well and still air in the points and miles and then lastly your anniversary bonuses depending on your credit card can be another great way to just fluff up your account. So I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet episode but I hope you get a lot of value out of it again. Don't forget join in 20 seconds. We're going to do the live work shop and I'm going to teach you all about earning points and miles of course but also how to stay organized how to pick the right cos if you should pay the annual for you're not. And so so so much more. All right so I'll see you all in the next one. I hope you enjoyed this episode. But don't forget there's way more where that came from when you become a supporter of the show, you'll get bonus episodes, additional tips on affording travel, real time updates, as well as strategies for building wealth and creating multiple income strings. Head over to thought car dot com, forward slash join to support. Also be sure to follow me on instagram. I'm at the Danielle Desir, slide in my DMS and share with me your thoughts about this episode. What did you enjoy? What stood out to you? Let me know. I'd absolutely love to connect with you outside of the podcast. See you in the next one.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
If you enjoy this show please consider supporting me on Buy Me A Coffee. This will help me continue to bring valuable personal finance and travel content to the podcast every other week.
You can also leave me a rating and review on Apple Podcasts here. I really appreciate all of your support.
How To Earn Miles When You Aren’t Flying
Here are (5) simple ways to earn points and miles without traveling:
- [6:00] Lucrative sign up bonuses (when opening a new credit card)
- [7:00] Everyday spending (in-person and online shopping/online shopping portals)
- [9:00] Special email offers (card upgrades)
- [12:00] Refer a friend
- [13:40] Anniversary bonuses
CardPointers App: Helps you use the right card for every purchase — when you’re on the go or just shopping online — all automatically.
Jet Set 101: Becoming a Travel Hacker (course): In this course, learn how to turn regular spending into airline miles and hotel points, saving thousands of dollars in travel costs.
Affording Travel: Saving Strategies For Financially Savvy Travelers (book): Discover the best savings strategies for affording travel and how you can set money aside to make it part of your lifestyle.
Refer a Friend Bonus
Here’s a list of my favorite credit cards that offer bonus points when you refer a friend:
- American Express Delta Skymiles: Earn 40,000 Delta SkyMiles after you make $1,000 in purchases on their new card.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months with a new card.
- Capital One Venture Card: Earn 60,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months.