April 13 2014

The Not-So-Glamorous Side of Earning Frequent Flyer Miles

Despite spending part of my Sunday afternoon on some rather mundane errand running and bill paying, I managed to eke a few thousand miles out of it.

Today’s haul was 3,285 credit card points. Since the majority of them are easily converted to airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, it’s the same as earning that many miles.

The point of this post is not to share the minutiae of my ever-so-glamorous afternoon of grocery shopping. Rather, my intent is to demonstrate how easy it is to rack up miles without spending too much extra time or deviating from your normal life.

But here’s the sorta-glamorous part:

LAX-OGG input

LAX-OGG output

See, a free ticket from Los Angeles to Maui requires 12,500 miles through British Airways. And for going maybe 20 minutes out of my way to earn some extra miles, I’m more than 25% of the way to that free ticket.

Three more errand runs like this and I’ll have myself a free ticket to Hawaii.

And I made $68 in profit in addition to the miles. Not too shabby for 20 minutes of work.

Here’s a breakdown:

Earning summ

Basically, I needed groceries and a household item requiring an in-person visit to Lowe’s. So on my way to those places, I stopped by a couple of other stores (both of them adjacent to where I was already going) to take advantage of some other promotions.

Again, important to emphasize that all the spending was on stuff I would normally spend on anyway (gas, cell phone, Internet) or cash equivalents like Visa and MasterCard gift cards (which I will use to pay my housing and utilities expenses — without fees, of course).

In case you’re interested, here are details of the promotions:

A: The Staples offer from Amex described in this post.

B: This promotion at Staples which ends April 19 (I paid with my Chase Ink credit card which earns 5 points/$ at office supply stores):

Staples Visa GC promo starting Apr 12

C: This promotion at Vons which ends April 22 (I paid with a credit card that earns 2.2 points/$ at grocery stores); apologies for the poor resolution:

Vons GC promo

D: The Lowe’s offer from Amex described in this post.

E: This promotion (available to targeted Bank of America cardholders); Kmart sells gift cards to other retailers so I bought Shell Gas cards:

BofA Kmart promo

F: After grocery shopping, I went home and paid bills (nothing but glamour, eh?). Thought I’d mention the cell phone and Internet ones because paying those with my Chase Ink credit card also earns 5 points/$.

If you read all the way through this post, don’t despair – I will bring you actually-glamorous content soon! Just booked the (free, naturally) flights for my Amsterdam trip. 🙂

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Posted April 13, 2014 by Admin in category "Deals", "Tips

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