I do love a good double dip.
No, not the kind that gets you dirty looks at your office party and then promptly being uninvited to the Christmas one.... I am talking about using your credit cards and shopping portals to double (and possibly triple dip) for points on your spending!
Black Friday is coming up and many of you (myself included) probably has some sort of shopping plan in mind. With a little bit of planning, you can dramatically increase your points stash by taking advantage of various portals and card features available to you.
If you have a credit card issued by a major bank (Chase, AmEx, Citi) or a hotel/airline, chances are these card issuers or loyalty programs have its own shopping portal.
These shopping portals often offer miles and points on top of what you would already earn on your credit card reward programs, so I would definitely advise doing some basic planning this holiday season to list what you are looking to buy, and from what retailer, and look through your credit card's shopping portal to see if they offered any bonuses for your spend.
Some of these airline portals have been getting fairly aggressive with their promos this year by offering a stash of points for reaching certain spending goals. (All of the legacy airlines have some sort of offer this year, like United with 5,000 miles for $1,500 spend, or American with 4,000 miles with $1,200 spend)
Personally they are only worth it if I was already planning to do that volume of shopping. Unless you have planned shopping already that would allow you to meet these spending targets, athe earn rates is not generous enough I would go out of my way to meet them.
Remember that sometimes even within the same credit card issuer, they may offer different rebate rates for the same retailer, so it may pay off to do a bit of extra research between cards. I was looking for a new laptop with Dell earlier last month and was offered both 2 points per dollar spent on a personal Chase card, as well as 5 points per dollar spent on my business card. The difference can be significant.
EATING OUT WITH DINING CLUBS
And it is not simply shopping where you can double dip. If you have plan to eat out a lot, you may want to sign up with dining programs such as Yelp or an airline dining program to earn extra points wit affiliated restaurants. You can even triple dip if you use sites like Opentable.com where you can earn points for making reservations that can go towards additional gift certificates.
American Express card holders should also check their front page for Amex Offers on the regular as well. I have noticed some very interesting promos for sites like Amazon.com, Delta Airlines, Neiman Marcus, that often stacks with shopping portals. AmEx has been very active in pushing deals out lately so it is probably worth it to check if they have any offers to add onto your card on the regular before Black Friday.
HOTEL/AIRLINE CROSS REWARDS
Now that you loaded up your AmEx with additional bonuses and discounts,if you still end up paying cash cost for some of your holiday travels, be sure to check in on your airline and hotel loyalty programs that you may earn crossover rewards that grant you hotel points for airline miles and vice versa. Do take note some of these programs do require elite status with their respective programs in order to qualify for earning these extra crossover rewards..
There are some of the ways to double or triple dip. If you want to travel on a budget then you should take your time and plan to maximize your point earning on spending you will be doing. I would make sure to check all shopping portals, credit card promo offers, and discount codes, to leverage all components to secure the best deal for your dollar.
Sites like CashbackMonitor.com and Evreward.com also streamlines some of the research involved and gives you a 1 page overview to help you narrow down your options. I would just keep in mind where your travel plans will take you, so even one airline gives you way more points than anyone else, if you can't get to your destination on that specific airline's planes or reward program then it may defeat your purpose.
Here are some of the deals I have taken up on so far this week:
- 1000 Miles from United Airlines for a Wall Street Journal subscription. I signed up for a 2 months trial for $1.
- An AmEx offer for Hertz, 10% off my rental car for my upcoming Houston trip, which earned another 5,000 points from Marriott for making that booking.
- 2 miles per dollar spent at a local restaurant with Alaska Airline's dining club, which combo'd with earning extra points on Opentable for making a reservation, and I used my Alliant Visa for another 3% cashback on spend for an easy triple dip.
There are plenty of opportunities to earn some decent amounts of extra points this Black Friday shopping season. How are you taking advantage of it all? What are some of the best deals you found this season? Let us know below!