Best strategies for earning points and miles through non-traditional methods

Are you looking for new and creative ways to earn points and miles? While many travelers are familiar with traditional methods of earning rewards, such as through credit card sign-up bonuses and airline or hotel loyalty programs, there are many non-traditional ways that can help you earn points and miles with little effort. Let’s take a look at some of those strategies for earning points and miles through alternative methods.

1. Use shopping portals

Many travel rewards programs have their own online shopping portals, where you can earn points or miles for making purchases at participating retailers. These portals can be a great way to earn rewards on everyday purchases, such as electronics, clothing, and household items.

To earn additional points and miles through a shopping portal, first, you need to log in to the shopping portal associated with your rewards program. Then, browse the available merchants and click on the one you want to shop with. The portal will redirect you to the merchant’s website, where you can complete your purchase.

Example shopping portals:

By shopping through the portal, you will earn extra points or miles on top of the ones you earn from using your rewards credit card. It’s important to compare the rewards offered by different portals before making a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best deal. You can simplify this process by using a shopping portal aggregator.

Shopping portal aggregators

Shopping portal aggregators are a useful tool for maximizing your rewards when shopping online. They allow you to easily see the various shopping portals available for a given online store, and how many miles or points you can earn per dollar spent.

When you enter an online store into a shopping portal aggregator search bar, it will display a list of the different shopping portals that offer rewards for shopping at that store. Each portal will have a different earning rate, expressed in miles or points per dollar spent.

Here are some of the shopping portal aggregators that we like:

For example, let’s say you’re interested in shopping at a popular online retailer such as Macy’s. When you enter the store’s name into a shopping portal aggregator, it might show that you can earn 7 miles per dollar spent through one portal, and 2 points per dollar spent through another.

By using a shopping portal aggregator, you can quickly compare the earning rates of different portals and choose the one that offers the best rewards for your purchase. This can help you to maximize your earning potential and get the most value out of your shopping.

2. Dine at participating restaurants

Many rewards programs also offer dining programs, where you can earn points or miles for dining at participating restaurants. These programs often include a wide range of restaurants, from fast food chains to fine dining establishments, so there’s likely to be something for everyone. Simply register your credit card with the program and use it to pay for your meals at participating restaurants to earn rewards.

Here are some examples of the dining programs:

Keep in mind that many dining programs are affiliated with Rewards Network, so if you register a credit card with one program, you will not be eligible to participate in other dining programs.

3. Loyalty program promotions and bonuses

Many loyalty programs offer promotions and bonuses throughout the year. For example, an airline might offer double miles for booking a flight during a specific period. Or, a hotel might offer bonus points for booking a room during a certain time frame.

World of Hyatt Promotion
World of Hyatt Promotion

By taking advantage of these promotions, you can quickly earn significant extra rewards.

4. Rent a car

Renting a car is a convenient way to travel and can also be a great opportunity to earn points and miles with loyalty programs. Many car rental companies partner with airlines, hotels to offer rewards for their customers. By renting a car with your preferred loyalty program, you can earn points or miles that can be redeemed for future travel benefits such as flights, hotel stays, and upgrades.

It’s important to check the terms and conditions of each loyalty program, as some may have different rules and requirements for earning rewards. But, overall, renting a car can be a smart way to earn travel rewards while enjoying the convenience of a rental vehicle.

5. Take surveys and participate in market research

Many rewards programs also offer opportunities to earn points or miles by taking surveys or participating in market research. These programs often have partnerships with market research companies, and they will pay you in points or miles for completing surveys or participating in focus groups. While the number of points or miles you can earn through these programs may not be huge, they can add up over time and provide an easy way to earn rewards.

Here are some examples:

6. Refer friends and family

Many rewards programs offer referral bonuses, where you can earn points or miles for referring friends and family to the program. This can be an easy way to earn rewards, as all you have to do is share your referral link with your friends and family and have them sign up for the program. When they complete the required actions (such as making a purchase or signing up for a credit card), you will earn a bonus of points or miles.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can earn a signup bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points when you signup for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. This bonus alone is worth at least $1,200 in travel rewards when transferred to travel partners such as Hyatt!






75,000 points



7. Utilize multi-program partnerships

This strategy involves combining multiple loyalty programs to maximize rewards earning potential. For example, a partnership between an airline and a hotel loyalty program may allow you to earn rewards for hotel stays and flights through the same program. Another example is a transferable points program, where you can transfer points from one loyalty program to another for more redemption options.

Here are some examples:

  • American Airlines and Hyatt have a mutual loyalty program agreement, enabling their elites to accumulate points through stays at participating hotels or flying on American Airlines.
  • Delta Airlines and Starbucks recently announced a new partnership that allows members of Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards to connect their accounts to earn 1 mile for every $1 spent at Starbucks and receive double Stars on days of travel with Delta.
  • Marriott Bonvoy and Uber partnership offers customers the opportunity to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on Uber Eats, and Uber rides in the US by linking their accounts.

By leveraging these partnerships, you can earn more rewards for your travel expenses.

Bottom line

By using these non-traditional methods, you can earn points and miles in new and creative ways and boost your rewards balance. Happy earning!

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