7 Surprising Ways to Earn and Use Reward Points

Just when you think you’ve exhausted all the ways to earn and redeem reward points, there are more avenues to explore. And in many cases, you can collect perks for things you’re already doing. 

This was the focus of our recent Twitter chat on January 31, where @LandLopers, @ThePointsGuy, @RoadWarriorette and @EarthXplorer hosted a lively Twitter discussion about earning and using points in 2013. Here are some highlights:

  1. Spend strategically – Use one miles-earning credit card for all purchases. This was the #1 recommendation during the Twitter chat.
  2. Go shoppingUnited MileagePlus Shopping and Delta SkyMiles Shopping give you a portal to shop on popular sites like Macys.com and earn points for each purchase.
  3. Go out to eat – Several major airlines and hotels participate in dining reward programs, so you can earn miles when you nosh at participating restaurants.
  4. Join a wine club – Alaska Airlines serves up bonus points when you sign up for Vinesse.com, an online wine club.
  5. Skip housekeeping – The Starwood “Make a Green Choice” program rewards bonus SPG points for opting out of housekeeping during your stay.
  6. Go somewhere new – There’s nothing to lose if you’re using points to pay for a vacation. Try a destination you’ve always been curious about, but didn’t want to pay out of pocket for.
  7. Travel like royalty – One of my personal favorites is to use United MileagePlus miles to stay at 5-star hotels. Another chat participant said she finally took the vacation of a lifetime to Hawaii for her 10th anniversary using points.
 

What tips would you add to the list?

Join us for our next Twitter chat using hashtag #TripItChat on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 11a PT/2p ET, and follow @TripIt on Twitter for other helpful travel tips.