Who doesn't like to win points with their spouse! Not only does it contribute to an early exit from the proverbial "doghouse" but we experience a measure of joy from the act of giving our spouse something that makes them happy.
What if we could double this effect—and also win points with our credit card?
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How to Win Points With Our Credit Card
Most credit cards offer rewards—receiving miles, points, or cashback from each transaction. The amount of rewards earned varies with each credit card; not all are created equal. The best credit cards will generally offer new card members a welcome bonus for hitting a minimum spend requirement.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a must-have credit card for anyone getting started with Award Travel. It currently packs a punch with a welcome offer of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards®! It also has recently enhanced its rewards! You can apply for this card here! Learn more about this spectacular card in the following post: Chase Sapphire Preferred—The Best Credit Card Just Got Better!
Logically, using a credit card to make your purchases is the first step in winning points with your credit card. In fact, not using your credit card for transactions could result in leaving money on the table. Learn more about this in the following post: Why You Lose Money When Using a Debit Card.
Let the Reward Stacking Begin
Reward stacking refers to the process of accumulating miles, points, or cashback from multiple sources on one purchase. This typically involves using an online shopping portal—such as Rakuten. Use this link and get $30 for setting up an account! A more in-depth discussion of reward stacking is found in the following post: Double-Dipping—Making Your Miles & Points Go Further!
Let's now discuss an example of simultaneously winning points with your spouse—and your credit card! This is an experience involving a recent celebration of me and my wife's 15th-year anniversary celebration.
My wife loves flowers, and I made sure to surprise her with a bouquet of flowers. The smile it brought to her face was worth the time, effort, and expense involved in having them delivered; it also won me points with her!
"Being able to make your spouse happy and increase your credit card rewards in the process is a win win scenario."
I used the United Quest℠ Card to make the purchase. It actually is my wife's credit card—we are currently on level 2 of the welcome bonus. The first level resulted in 80,000 welcome bonus miles; the second level will result in an additional 20,000 bonus miles once we complete the minimum spend! You can apply for this card here! To learn more about this "sock-drawer" credit card, read the following post: United Quest Card—The Best Airline Credit Card!
My wife and I have been able to strategically work together to increase our miles & points. In the award travel arena, this is known as "two-player mode." Essentially, this is a way for two individuals to work together to increase their credit card rewards which can then be redeemed for award travel, cashback, or other valuable redemptions. The following post provides a more in-depth discussion of this strategy: Getting Approved for a Credit Card While Unemployed—Why You Don't Want to Miss Out!
1-800 flowers.com Here We Come!
Now, back to the flower purchase! Step 1 was to active the 10% "cashback" Chase Offer associated with my wife's United Quest℠ Card. I selected the merchant I was ordering flowers from—1-800 flowers.com. The 10% is applied to the total amount of the transaction and comes in the form of a statement credit.
Step 2 was to use the Rakuten online shopping portal.
I have modified my Rakuten account so that I earn American Express Membership Rewards® as opposed to cashback. Membership Rewards® are valued by some points enthusiasts at ~1.5 cents per point; as a result, I have more value earning Membership Rewards® than cashback—which is 1 cent per point. I then proceeded to select the merchant—1-800 flowers.com—which had a 15X offer! (15X Membership Rewards® or 15% cashback.)
Step 3 was to select the bouquet of flowers and proceed to the checkout page. The total original amount, including the service charge and tax, was $84.89. I proceeded to apply the promo code to the flower purchase at checkout; it provided a 15% discount or a "cashback" amount of $9.00. (The promo code did not cover the service charge and tax.) This reduced the transaction amount to $75.22. You should be aware that some promo codes will invalidate the rewards earned from online shopping portals, such as Rakuten.
Step 4 was to use the United MileagePlus X app and purchase an eGift Card for the exact amount of the bouquet of flowers—which was $75.22.
We earned 1X, or 75 United miles by using the United Quest℠ Card, 5X, or 376 United miles from the eGift Card purchase, plus a 25% bonus in United miles because of having our United℠ Explorer Card registered to the UnitedPlus X app, or 94 United miles. The sum total of United miles earned—545! You can compare and apply for one of these credit cards here!
Finally, we completed the transaction on the checkout page from 1-800 flowers.com.
Now, let's calculate the different sources of miles, points, and cashback earned to see the net cost of the bouquet of flowers versus the costs without earning any credit card rewards. If we assign a value of 1.2 cents per point to the United MileagePlus loyalty program, factor in the 15% promo code, and the 10% Chase Offer, the "actual" amount of the bouquet of flowers is $61.16. This yields a multiplier rate of 28X—an amazing return on spend! Although I received an email that I would be receiving Membership Rewards® from the purchase, I didn't end up receiving any—some coupon codes will invalidate rewards from online shopping portals—and it may take a week or so for you to be made aware of the decision. Nevertheless, the reward sources were still quadrupled! They were quadrupled in the following manner:
Using the United Quest℠ Card;
Purchasing the eGift Card through the UnitedPlus X app;
Using the 15% promo code; and
Using the 10% Chase Offer associated with the United Quest℠ Card.
This is a much better value than using no credit card at all—and paying the original $84.89 amount. When this type of behavior is repeated over and over again for an entire year, the actual value can easily climb into thousands of dollars! Learn more about this topic in the following post: Credit Card Miles & Points—The Secret You Didn't Know About!
Getting Started With Miles, Points, and Award Travel
Entering the arena of credit card rewards, reward stacking, and other topics related to credit card use can be confusing—even overwhelming. At AwardYourMiles, we have created proprietary tools that you may use for free. Visit awardyourmiles.com/tools to learn more about how these tools may be of benefit to you.
One tool that is extremely useful is our Credit Card Selector Calculator. It uses an algorithm to provide you with the first-year value of all our credit cards contained within our database based on your spending habits. This allows you to select the best credit card!
Of course, you can always seek out a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant. They will take the time to walk you through the various steps associated with earning miles & points and redeeming those miles & points for award travel. The knowledge and experience you gain working with a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant will put you on a path where you will learn how credit cards can help you stretch your dollar farther!