Miles and points can be a valuable currency, and it’s easier to earn them than you may think. Here are the insider secrets to racking them up.
Earn free miles and points for everyday spending
There are more ways than ever before to rack up free miles for doing the things you already do on a daily basis. Are you a frequent Lyft user? If so, link your Delta SkyMiles number with your Lyft account to earn SkyMiles for every dollar you spend with the car service—plus, get bonus miles for drives to or from an airport! Prefer Super Shuttle for your trips to the airport? You can earn miles for each ride you take on it with a variety of airlines, too.
Keep travel goals in mind when applying for credit cards
Before applying for a card, think about where you ultimately want to travel: a Caribbean cruise? Disney World? Hawaii? Then, research the best card for earning the points that will get you there. For example, on Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of having the card. Plus, you’ll get three miles per dollar spent on Hawaiian Airlines flights, double miles per dollar spent on gas, dining, and grocery stores, and one mile per dollar spent on other purchases. Best of all, Hawaiian Airlines tends to have more award seats from major U.S. cities than other airlines.
Eat your way to a free trip
With the Rewards Network dining program, you don’t even have to sign up for a new credit card to start earning points almost everytime you eat out. Register your card—for free!—and you’ll start earning a set number of miles with its airline and hotel partners when you pay with your card at participating restaurants in major metropolitan U.S. areas. Pull out a card that earns bonus miles or points, and you’ll earn that free trip even faster; with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get double the miles at restaurants and with Frontier Airlines World Mastercard from Barclays, you’ll get triple points per dollar spent. Find out how credit card reward programs can score you the best vacation ever.
Read the fine print for extra perks
This is one time when the fine print actually benefits you, says Jason Steele, a credit card and travel journalist. Some cards have little-known perks, including a free Priority Passmembership that gives you access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world (read the fine print to see if you can bring a free guest or two); fee waivers for traveler memberships, like AAA; car rental insurance; and compensation for hotels and incidentals during travel delays.