5 Tricks to Earn Credit Card Miles Fast Right Now

by Lyle Daly | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on June 27, 2021

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A woman sitting in a sunny plaza next to her suitcase while she looks something up on her tablet and holds her credit card.

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Now's the time to build a nice stash of miles you can use for your next trip.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, travel demand has been increasing, especially as more people get vaccinated.

If you want to save money on your next trip, then it's a good idea to stock up on credit card miles. These can help cover your travel costs, including flights, hotel stays, and much more.

Some people assume that earning miles without traveling is difficult. Fortunately, that's not the case. Traveling is just one of many ways to earn credit card miles, and there are several tricks that could earn you miles without going anywhere.

1. Open new travel cards for sign-up bonuses

Credit card sign-up bonuses make it easy to earn a large number of miles in a short amount of time. These bonus offers are available to new cardholders. They typically require that you meet a spending requirement on your new card to get the bonus.

For example, a card may offer 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after getting it. Once you hit the spending requirement, you receive the bonus miles within one or two billing cycles. Travel cards also earn rewards on all your purchases, so you'll get miles every time you use your credit card.

The biggest bonuses offer more than enough miles for a couple free flights. You're not limited to a single bonus, either. If you can manage multiple credit cards, you can open more and get more sign-up bonuses.

2. Make purchases through online shopping portals

Many airlines, including all the major U.S. airlines, have their own online shopping portals. Each online shopping portal has a collection of stores. If you visit a store through the shopping portal, then you earn miles on your purchase.

The number of miles depends on the shopping portal and the store. With some stores, you can earn 5 to 10 miles or more per $1 spent.

Before you do any online shopping, check if that store is available through the shopping portals for any airlines you use. It's a simple way to earn miles on your purchases. To make it better, there's a way you can earn even more.

3. Double up by using a travel card for shopping portal purchases

By using a travel card and an online shopping portal, you can earn miles with both instead of just one.

Start by visiting the online shopping portal and choosing a merchant. During the checkout process, use your travel credit card to pay for the purchase. You'll receive airline miles through the online shopping portal that you went through for the purchase. And you'll receive miles from your credit card, since it was the payment method.

4. Take advantage of limited-time offers

Credit card companies often roll out limited-time offers for bonus points. This has been especially common with the top travel rewards cards during the pandemic. Since travel slowed down so much, card issuers have frequently been adding new, limited-time bonus categories so their travel cards are still valuable.

Keep an eye on your email because that's usually how credit card companies notify cardholders about bonus offers. If any of your travel cards has a special offer available, check if you need to activate it and how you can earn bonus miles.

5. Buy gift cards in bonus categories

If you're trying to get more miles ASAP and you don't mind spending extra, one option is to buy gift cards that will earn you bonus miles. Let's say your credit card earns bonus miles on grocery store purchases. You could buy gift cards at the grocery store and use them later.

This is also smart if your credit card is offering a limited-time bonus. If your card earns 5 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores, but only until the end of the month, you could add some gift cards every time you go grocery shopping. That way, you can earn more bonus miles while you have the opportunity.

Credit card miles are your ticket to a cheap vacation. With the methods we just covered, you could rack up tens of thousands of miles in a matter of months.

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