A large part of my posting rotation is miles and points earning deals — portal bonuses, cheap miles for purchase, etc. While I’d love for you to be my captive audience and to come visit this blog each and every time you’re looking for a deal, I realize that many of you are curious about how to find these deals for yourself, and in the interest of transparency, I intend to reveal my process in this post.
Portal Alerts & Increased Bonuses
I’ve written extensively about shopping portals and think they’re a great way to augment your typical points and miles-earning regimen. Buying your typical products from the shopping portals on any given day is great, but you can make out a lot better if you wait for increased bonus offers. For example, American Airlines typically offers 1 mile for every dollar spent on Apple products, but sometimes you can find that offer as high as 7 miles for every dollar spent!
Evereward and Cashback Monitor work the same, except I prefer Cashback Monitor because it lays out all of the best offers in a dashboard-style format (more on CM after this).
To use Evreward simply type in the merchant you’re looking for in the ‘Reward Search’ tab (shown above). If you’d rather get more of a high-level overview, click the ‘Browse’ tab.
CM is my favorite portal offer website because of it’s dashboard overview page…
Here you can see merchants in alphabetical order spread across 6 major loyalty programs. The green highlighted amounts are the program that offers the highest return on your money. As you can see, the one limitation here is that the search excludes some other popular shopping portals such as British Airways and Delta. You can personalize your search by signing up for a Cashback Monitor account.
Flight Deals & Mileage Run Opportunities
Some of you may be familiar with Slickdeals, but did you know they have a dedicated travel section?
Any time I find deals here that are worth your while, I write a blog post about it, so why not just get it right from the source?
Buy Miles Deals
Another strategy that “seasoned travelers” use is buying miles when they’re on sale, but how do you know when these deals happen? Typically, the airline or hotel send you an e-mail, but if you’re like me and use GMail, these e-mails get filed to the Promotions tab which I never look at.
Here’s another way you can keep tabs on this type of stuff…
Hotel and airline websites
Sounds like a no-brainer, but hotels and airlines don’t just send you an e-mail (only if you’re specifically target); they also post offers to their website.
What I like to do is create a bookmark folder and add all of the offers pages from the major hotel chains and airlines that I use. Here are some of the big ones:
I do my best to post every day and post any deals I see as urgently as possible, but I have a day job and can’t always catch these types of things before and after work. As such, being able to read Greg/Nick, Gib, Gary, and Ben’s blogs give me a nice digest of all the most important info that I may have missed.
There you have it. This is my workflow for finding alternative ways outside of credit cards to earn points and miles. This is literally everything that I do, so I’m curious, how do you keep tabs on the latest and greatest deals?