How to Earn Airline Points Without Flying or Using a Credit Card
The holiday season is approaching and I'm already semi-stressing out about making my Christmas list and starting my Christmas shopping. I'm naturally a giver, and I really LOVE giving gifts...especially at Christmas time. As much as I enjoy gift-giving, I'm not a fan of actually getting in my car and driving to the mall to fight the crowds during the holidays. Honestly, I’m not a fan of going to the mall during any season!
Because of this, I, like a lot of people, have come to prefer online shopping. Especially for gifts! And ever since I discovered that I could earn airline and hotel points by shopping online, I rarely step foot into a mall. Every year, I earn at least enough points to cover a one-way flight on Southwest. Wanna know how?
Shopping portals offer you the opportunity to earn a certain number of points or miles for every dollar you spend at stores you shop at all the time like Target, Macy’s and even Groupon. These portals offer points for HUNDREDS of stores, and typically offer bonuses or increased points around the holidays.
A lot of people think that you need a specific airline credit card to earn points by shopping online. This isn’t true! While having a specific airline credit card will allow you to maximize the points you earn, you don’t need one to earn points by shopping online. Here is what you do need to do:
1. Sign up for airline rewards programs. I suggest picking one airline to focus on to earn your points. You’ll want to choose an airline that has a hub in your home city, because usually, you’ll find the best deals that way. For example, Southwest is based in Dallas, so there are usually great deals on Southwest flights departing from Dallas.
I fly Southwest often domestically and to the Caribbean, so Southwest is one of my chosen reward portals. I also use the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but you do have to have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards Points.
Once you're signed up, you'll receive emails about sales, system-wide bonus points, and stores that are offering increased points during certain time-frames. You can always adjust the frequency of the emails or opt-out altogether.
2. Once you sign up for the rewards program, you’re ready to start earning those points! You can log in to your account on your chosen airline’s website and access the portal through there. You’ll usually be able to find the portal buy clicking an Earn Points or Earn Miles tab.
Southwest has made it even easier by creating an extension that you can add to your web browser. It alerts you whenever you’re able to earn points from a specific website. Then, all you have to do is click activate and when you buy something from that site, you’ll get your points! I just added on my button and I’m so happy that I don’t have to log in to the portal each time I want to shop. You’ll see below that the point option even shows up when I did a Google search now for a specific store.
3. If you choose to sign up for multiple rewards programs, you can compare the rewards offerings on sites like Evreward, to ensure you’re getting the most points for per dollar. For example, below I typed in Macy’s and based off the two rewards programs I use (Southwest Rapid Rewards and Ultimate Rewards), it makes more sense for me to shop through Southwest Rapid Rewards at Macy’s because I can earn 4 points per dollar instead of the 3 points per dollar Ultimate Rewards offers.
So that’s it! A super easy way to start earning airline points without actually flying or having to use a credit card. I’m currently in the process of making my Christmas shopping list now, so that I can knock it all out in one weekend….from the comfort of my couch!
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