6 easy strategies I use to earn over 500,000 points and miles a year

Editor’s word: It is a recurring publish, repeatedly up to date with new data.

I am unable to rely what number of occasions I’ve heard one thing like this sentiment: “I do not spend additional factors for business-class tickets or fancy accommodations as a result of I would run out of factors.” I am right here to dispel the parable that you must fear about working out of factors and miles.

Associated: Premium economy vs. business class: Are the differences worth an upgrade?

Certain, factors do not develop on timber. Nevertheless, I exploit just a few easy methods to earn 500,000 factors in a median yr. Here is how you are able to do the identical and guarantee you might have the factors and miles you need in your subsequent dream journey.

Bank card welcome bonuses: 300,000 factors per yr

The quickest, best approach to amass giant numbers of factors and miles is thru bank card welcome bonuses — generally known as “sign-up bonuses.”

When you may earn as a lot as a ten% return on spending out of your day by day purchases (extra on that under), it is extra seemingly that you’re going to earn 3%-5% again on most purchases. With welcome bonuses, nevertheless, you may count on to earn a windfall of factors by way of a 30%-plus return on spending in lots of instances.

Bank card welcome bonuses will present tens of 1000’s of factors — or a whole bunch of 1000’s, relying on the cardboard — after finishing the preliminary spending necessities. Your greatest technique is to at all times have a brand new bank card with which you might be engaged on a bonus. My spouse and I each use this technique, and I personally earn 300,000 factors and miles from sign-up bonuses in a median yr.


Nevertheless, it’s essential to perceive credit card application rules and bonus restrictions to maximise this technique. Planning functions and understanding if you end up (or aren’t) eligible for bonuses with every financial institution will enable you maximize your earnings whereas avoiding pointless rejections.

My spouse is extra conservative since she would not like making pointless cellphone calls. Nevertheless, I do not thoughts calling a financial institution’s reconsideration division if there is a distant probability I is perhaps permitted for a bank card. Thus, I apply for playing cards so long as I believe there’s an opportunity I may persuade a cellphone consultant to approve me for the cardboard if my software is rejected at first.

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Associated: Your guide to calling a credit card reconsideration line

Bank card retention gives: 75,000 factors per yr

Retention offers might be simply nearly as good as sign-up bonuses. It may really feel like incomes the bonus on the identical card a second time, relying on the give you obtain. The cherry on high of this cake is that you simply need not apply for the cardboard, hope for approval or add a hard pull to your credit score report; that is as a result of these are bank cards you have already got.

Associated: Your ultimate guide to credit card retention offers


A retention provide is when a bank card issuer gives a bonus of some kind to persuade you to not shut your bank card, remaining as a buyer of that financial institution. Retention gives usually are available one in every of three varieties:

  • A waived or lowered annual payment.
  • A bonus of factors, miles or money deposited in your account.
  • A bonus that’s tied to a sure spending requirement.

It is value noting that accepting a bonus or annual payment incentive means the financial institution expects you to maintain your bank card open for one more yr. Take that into consideration earlier than you settle for any of those gives.

I name for reconsideration each time I am contemplating closing a bank card, and I name as quickly because the annual payment exhibits up on my account. I additionally think about upfront what kinds of gives I might settle for. TPG’s monthly points valuations are helpful right here, so I perceive the worth of any provide I would obtain.

Associated: How 5 minutes of chat got me 85,000 points plus $150

Retention gives range by bank card issuer, card kind and likewise how a lot cash you might have spent in your bank card previously yr. When you might obtain a pair of enormous bonuses by way of retention one yr, it is also attainable that you’re going to obtain much less the following yr. Thus, I will assign this a median of 75,000 factors and miles per yr.

Focused spending gives: 20,000 factors per yr

Because the phrase “focused” implies, not everybody receives the identical gives, which means that is the least-predictable technique on this article. Nevertheless, bank card issuers repeatedly use focused gives to incentivize clients to spend on their bank cards. Take a look at these examples for Citi credit cards and Chase credit cards.

These gives might embrace 5 factors per greenback on utility funds, 3 factors per greenback at Amazon or different elevated incomes charges for bonus factors. Since I do not management what gives I obtain or how often they arrive, I’m assigning a low quantity right here. I try to maximise these gives each time attainable with out spending cash unnecessarily.


It is also value contemplating whether or not you should use a spending class with bonus factors to do your buying in a class that does not have bonus factors. For instance, in case you obtain a proposal for five factors per greenback at workplace provide shops, examine which reward playing cards your native workplace provide retailer carries.

You probably have the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, you may earn 5% again (or 5 Final Rewards factors per greenback in case you maintain different Chase bank cards) in your first $25,000 of purchases at workplace provide shops every account yr (then 1% again). Buying reward playing cards right here for a retailer the place you’ll in any other case earn simply 1 level per greenback may help you maximize spending gives and add additional factors on purchases you’ll make anyway.

Referral bonuses: 50,000 factors per yr

I am fortunate. I’ve launched my spouse and fogeys to the world of factors and miles. Along with serving to them perceive the way to use their factors and consider which bank cards to open subsequent, I can also refer them to bank cards.

Most banks have a referral program for bank cards. By producing a hyperlink that your good friend, relative or enterprise colleague makes use of to use for a bank card, you may earn a bonus if that individual is permitted for a brand new card.

Associated: How to refer friends and earn points, miles or cash credits


How these packages work varies by financial institution. With American Express, you can create a general referral that permits the opposite individual to select from quite a few bank cards. Chase lets you refer a household of playing cards, resembling all of the United Airlines credit cards. Capital One, alternatively, solely lets you refer one other individual to your particular bank card.

Wherever attainable, my spouse and I refer one another for bank cards when it is time to apply. I additionally refer my mother and father for playing cards if attainable.

I’m not aggressive with referrals, and I do know individuals who earn important quantities of factors and miles by way of referrals annually. Nevertheless, utilizing minimal effort right here permits me to earn a minimum of 50,000 factors yearly.

Licensed consumer bonuses: 25,000 factors per yr

I’m fairly selective about these bonuses, however they assist me earn additional factors and miles annually. Chances are you’ll obtain focused gives so as to add a certified consumer to your card and obtain bonus factors after finishing a required quantity of spending.

Whereas this sounds straightforward, there are some negatives, therefore why I put a low quantity on this class.

Associated: Points of View: Should my partner get their own card or be added as an authorized user?


First, you want the opposite individual’s permission and Social Safety quantity so as to add them to most bank cards. Many individuals are cautious of being added as an authorized user on another person’s bank card.

Second, relying on how new your account is, this may have an effect on your licensed consumer’s credit age, 5/24 status or different components. If this individual participates within the factors and miles pastime, they could not wish to be added to a card lower than two years previous.

Lastly, you want loads of belief when including somebody as a certified consumer. You belief that individual to make use of the cardboard responsibly (or not use it in any respect, if that is your want); do not forget that you are still chargeable for paying the invoice every month on any purchases this individual makes. On the flip aspect, your good friend must belief you to not damage their credit score rating by accruing giant balances.

While you take all of that into consideration, discovering somebody you may add to your card for licensed consumer bonuses is not frequent. It is even tougher to do it repeatedly for a number of bonuses in a short while.

Associated: Credit cards with the greatest value for authorized users

Day by day bank card spending: 100,000 factors per yr

Usually, one of the best bank card to make use of for any buy is the one the place you are working towards a sign-up bonus. The second-best bank card for any buy is the one which earns probably the most factors or probably the most money again on that transaction.

Maximizing your earnings on every particular person buy is a foundational a part of my points and miles strategy.

To perform this, you want bank cards that earn bonus factors the place you store often. You additionally want a good credit card for everyday spending to cowl these “different” purchases. Seek the advice of the next sources:

I additionally love telling individuals you must by no means earn simply 1 level per greenback when buying on-line. By utilizing shopping portals, aggregators and the suitable bank card, you must earn 2 factors per greenback on purchases at a minimal. Nevertheless, just a few additional clicks ought to enable you pull in a number of factors per greenback on most of your purchases.

Associated: Your guide to maximizing shopping portals for your online purchases


Here is the place the maths is available in. As an example that you simply spend $3,000 per thirty days in your bank cards. That is $36,000 of bank card purchases per yr. For those who can earn a median of three factors per greenback in your spending, you may earn 108,000 factors per yr.

Backside line

Utilizing the six easy methods on this article ought to enable most individuals to earn greater than half 1,000,000 factors annually. No matter your journey targets, incomes extra factors and extra miles will enable you meet these targets. Meaning extra journeys in financial system seats to finances accommodations or extra journeys in first-class to a luxurious resort.

Utilizing these methods, you may earn a whole bunch of 1000’s of factors annually. You would additionally search for less-common methods to earn additional factors to assist enhance your stash.

Associated: Off-the-wall things my family has done to earn more points and miles

For those who’re fortunate sufficient to have a companion or different members of the family who can earn their very own factors, this makes trip planning even simpler. And, in case you’re actually fortunate, you might have extra factors than you understand what to do with. If that is the case, think about upgrading your travels to get pleasure from additional consolation and luxurious.

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