I understand the apprehension when it comes to signing up for rewards programs. You might think this is something you’ll only use once (if at all) and you don’t want your inbox to be inundated with junk mail or worse, your information sold to third parties. I get it.
But hear me out on this one. You really should sign up for the loyalty programs for these airlines and hotels even if you don’t think you’ll ever use them again. They really only help, and when you’re booking your flight, it’s just one extra step of inputting your member number in the reservation. Not only are they free to join, but you might get free miles just for having signed up. When Alaska merged with Virgin America, Alaska gave out 10,000 miles to anyone with a loyalty number regardless of whether or not you’d ever flown with them. Considering you can get a one way short haul flight for 12.5K miles, you were almost given a free one way flight just for being a member.
Being a member may also allow you to get discounts from retailers you already shop at. Sure, it may not be a lot, but are you saying you’d decline a 10% discount for doing nothing? Also, you can earn miles every day at the places you normally shop or dine. Instead of going directly to a retailer’s website, just click through a link on the airline’s website. Not only will you get points on your rewards card, but you’ll also get miles from that retailer. The same holds true with restaurants.
Using these loyalty programs in conjunction with these credit card rewards programs is probably the easiest way of earning points towards travel with no disruption to your everyday life. Basically using your credit card to purchase every day items through the loyalty program’s website allows you to earn points twice for the same purchase. Once for the amount spent at specific retailers through the portal and once for the amount spent on your card.
Basically there is very little downside to signing up and huge potential to earn miles WITHOUT ever flying.