Welcome to Deals We Like! If you are new to points and miles, this is a great way to learn and understand the tips and tricks on saving money and traveling on a deal. Most of my families vacations over the past decade plus have been paid for using hotel points, airline miles or other credit card rewards. This allows us to take many vacations a year, both domestically and internationally. It also allows us to stay at some amazing beach front properties, truly at no cost to us.
Understanding the points and miles world definitely takes some time, but once you know the basics, it is smooth sailing. This site will help folks of all levels understand ways to earn and redeem points as well as save money along the way.
Here is a guide to help you get started:
1. Credit Card Bonuses are the Easiest Ways to Earn Points and Miles
If you do not fly for business, usually the easiest and quickest way to earn a decent number of points and miles is by the credit card welcome offers. Many credit card companies will incentivize customers to sign up for a particular card by offering a certain number of points or miles. To see all the offers currently available, my Credit Cards page lists out every cards offer and benefits.
Tip #1: All points and miles are not created equally. If two cards are offering 50k points, for example, that does not mean they have the same value.
Tip #2: Some cards offer more than just a hefty welcome offer. Look at the benefits that come with the card too, just a free hotel night certificates, travel credits, etc.
Tip #3: Only sign up for credit cards if you can pay the balance in FULL on TIME.
Tip #4: Always apply for the best credit card offer available. There are typically many varying offers for the same card available at the same time. Make sure to do your due diligence and ensure it is the best offer available. HINT: Cards you find on Deals We Like will always promote the best available offer, even if it is not an affiliate link (many bloggers only promote inferior affiliate offers, so be on top of the offers).
2. Make Your Life Easier
Starting out in the points and miles world can absolutely be overwhelming. Fortunately though, there are many tools to make your life easier.
- Travel Freely: This tool is 100% free and will help you keep track of all of your credit cards. It will also hold your hand through the process of cards you are and are not allowed to apply for (based on cards you have) and will remind you when you are eligible to apply for another card. Best of all, you are not sharing your credit card info, so there is no security issues. Related blog post.
- Juicy Miles: Once you earn all your miles, some people have a hard time redeeming them for their ideal flight. There are many tricks on redeeming for less miles, which many times include partner airline programs. This award booking site will do all the leg work for you and find you the best milage redemption flight for your needs, although there is a fee. Related blog post.
- Award Wallet: This tool will help you keep track of all of your hotel points, airline miles and credit card reward points in one place. The site will also help you keep track of expiration dates and will alert you if there has been activity in your account. The site is 100% free, although there is a paid option as well for enhanced featured.
3. Continue to Earn Points and Miles
While there are many ridiculous things I have done in the past (and will continue to do in the future) to earn points and miles (such as flying my 3 year old and 8 week old to Newark roundtrip in one day with a 30 minute layover), there are many easy ways to continue to earn points and miles throughout your everyday life.
- Use online shopping portals: If you are looking to make a purchase online, first go to an online shopping portal where you’ll earn bonus points, miles or cash back for your purchase. The rewards earned add up quickly and can absolutely help you towards that next free flight or hotel room.
- Use the right credit card: Make sure to use the best credit card for your purchase. Every credit card offers a different number of points on every category, so making sure sure to maximize your purchase is quite important. I personally write the number of points I earn on every credit card I have so I always know which one to use for a particular purchase.
- Pay your bills: Many companies allow you to use your credit card to pay their bills (for no fee), for these opportunities, always use a credit card and do not leave points and miles on the table. For other bills that come with a fee, consider using a bill pay service service such as Plastiq. While Plastiq charges a fee, there are many promotions throughout the year and using the right credit card could help you come out ahead. It is also a great way to increase your credit card spend to meet a certain sign up bonus or credit card reward.
4. Follow the Deals
The only way to know about a particular offer or deal is to stay in the loop. I suggest adding your favorite bloggers to your social media channels and signing up for their emails. For Deals We Like, you can subscribe and receive one email newsletter a day (usually around 7pm ET) which includes all the posts from that particular day. This is a great way to quickly read through the headlines and click on the articles that might interest you. All blog posts also get auto published to social media, so this is a good way to be in the know as well.
Need More Help?
If you need more help getting starting in the points or miles world, or have any specific questions, always feel free to send me a note at dealswelike [at] gmail [dot] com. I am happy to help in any way possible.
I truly hope you enjoy Deals We Like and have fun traveling on a deal!