Making Purchases Work for You

So, when I say easy, how easy is it really?  Or better, how little of a hassle is it?  Well, try it.  Sign up for one airline loyalty program.  Start with an airline you enjoy flying, you fly the most, or is most convenient for you.  If you live near a major city, you’ll have your pick of the litter.  If you’re in a smaller market, your choice might be made for you.  Personally, I prefer Alaska Airlines but you might choose Delta if you’re near Atlanta, United if you’re near Chicago, or American if you’re near Dallas/Ft. Worth since those are major hubs.  Of course there are more hubs but you get the idea.

After you sign up, check out which retailers will reward miles through their program.  On Alaska’s website, it’s under the Mileage Plan tab.  I think you’ll be surprised to see how many retailers are there.  If you do any type of online shopping, you’ll more than likely find your retailer.  You click on the link of the retailer you want and a new window should pop up, directing you to that website.  It’s that simple.  

After you make your purchase, you should get an email confirming the number of miles you just earned for the purchase (through the loyalty program, not through the credit card) and it’s that simple.  The points you earn on from your credit card will be noted on your card statement online.  

You’ll also see that some retailers will reward more points for purchases instead of the normal 1:1 ratio.  Those change fairly regularly but say you’re shopping at Macy’s and they’re offering a 2 miles/dollar deal.  A $50 purchase just earned 100 miles via the loyalty program plus an extra 50 points through your credit card.  If you have large families where you’re constantly buying gifts or buy groceries online, you can see how quickly this can add up.  

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