Sunday, February 19, 2012

Optimize Your Earnings for Airmiles, Cashback or Points! Don't make these often made mistakes!

Even those of us trying very hard to accumulate miles often make mistakes. I've outlined some of the mistakes I've made or I've seen others make. If you would like to optimize your earnings for airmiles, cashback or points don't make the following mistakes.

MISTAKE: Before purchasing airline tickets, not checking the booking class to see if your preferred airline will award airline miles with the allied airline partner in that booking class.
When I purchased a ticket for my husband one way with Continental and the return with Austrian Airlines I made the mistake of not checking first what the booking class was of his ticket to is if Continental would award him airline miles. Austrian Airlines is one of Star Alliances partner airlines, so I just assumed that he would be awarded at least some miles with Continental. Well, this assumption cost me 7,000 miles that could have gone towards our goal of him becoming Elite Gold with Continental. Before purchasing a ticket, ask what class it is in and find out if you will be able to earn miles with your preferred airline.

MISTAKE: Using online bill pay for CHARITY when you can use your credit card. 
We tithe every month and for years I've been using online bill pay. Up until recently, I didn't realize that most charities have a website that one can just plug in one's credit card information and donate money. Now I'm earning a ton on these donations, even helping me with my minimum spend.

MISTAKE: Using online bill pay for BILLS that you can use your credit card for. 
I suggest going through all your bills, calling up and finding out if you can pay via credit card. I recently found out that I can pay my community trust fees via credit card. This will be an extra 2760 if counting 1 point per dollar or 5520 if counting 2 points per dollar using my Capital One Venture Card and getting credit of $55 towards travel! We waste so much money each year and we don't even realize it!

MISTAKE: Not using your credit card to pay PRIVATE SCHOOL tuition or COLLEGE FEES.
Years ago I remember someone telling me that with the points they get for paying for private school for their kids, they get free airline tickets each year. So when my children started going to private school, I was able to make payments via my credit card. But once I switched them to another school, this option wasn't open to me anymore.

MISTAKE: Using Cash!
I recently went to visit my Mom with my first free awards ticket. The first time she used cash I gave her a good telling off, and explained to her how much money she was throwing away. She never used cash again in my presence, for the rest of the trip. I really hope this has helped her see the light! If you are someone that is able to pay off their balance every month and not overspend, there is no reason you should be using cash. Don't throw money away!

MISTAKE: When making purchases online, not going through an online portal.
There are so many online portals, where you can earn airmiles, points or cashback for free! You can go through your preferred airlines program's shopping portal,, or the many cashback websites that exist, like Ebates, MrRebatesBigCrumbs or Pennful or check out Click here for a detailed post I wrote about cashback websites.

MISTAKE: If you have bad credit, you give up on being able to earn airmiles, points or cashback!
Instead, work on building your credit. There are differen't things that you can do. Check your credit report and make sure that everything is accurate, and if it's not, write to the consumer reporting company about the inaccuracy. See this article for a sample dispute letter and tips of what to do to improve your credit. Pay your minimum monthly dues on time and slowly your credit will improve.

MISTAKE: Thinking that you have all the time in the world to build your credit.
Even if you are young and in college, if you are a sensible, responsible person, you should sign up for a credit card. They have many student credit cards out there that award you miles, points or cashback for paying your balances or minimum dues on time every month. When you are older, you will appreciate the fact that you were so wise when you were young. If you are a parent of a responsible college aged student, you might want to seriously consider recommending this to your child. The older ones credit history is, the higher the score you will have. According to 15% of your credit score is comprised of the length of your credit history.
Below is what comprised the length of Credit History according to

Length of Credit History
* Time since accounts opened
* Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account
* Time since account activity

MISTAKE: Not knowing your preferred airline/s shopping portal.
Get to know your preferred airline/s by going and reading their website. Read through it and see if you can get bonus miles for things you would do anyways, like purchasing valentines flowers through their online shopping portal. Sign up for their promotional offers in order to never miss an opportunity. For instance, I was able to get 3,500 bonus miles for just trying out a service for 30 days. After the 30 days, I just cancelled the service. Airlines also offer specials on flight, award flights and more. I've been able to take advantage of quite alot of these opportunities. Don't forget about your spouse! You can sign him/her up also for all these offers!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

TwitterFacebookGoogle PlusLinkedInRSS FeedEmail

Delivered ByFeedBurner


Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner