Earning points and miles when you are jetting off somewhere every week is easy. It takes additional skill to be able to rack them up when you’re not traveling. That’s where stacking comes in. If you aren’t familiar, this is a next level strategy for maximizing how you earn your points and miles!

What is Stacking?

The term “stacking” when used for points and miles means earning in multiple programs from a single transaction. Let’s say that you need a new laptop. If you purchase it from an office supply store with a Chase Ink Card, you’d earn 3x bonus points on that transaction. If you order it online, using a shopping portal, you’d then earn additional points with that program. Thus, stacking to increase your earning potential.

Or, let’s say that you’re taking advantage of the 5x bonus point offer on groceries from American Express Gold. But what if you want to earn those bonus points on more than just groceries? Well, you can purchase gift cards to tons of merchants at most grocery stores. That way you can earn a higher rate of points with the same amount of hard spend with a merchant like Amazon. This also works well with restaurants, in case you don’t have a card in your wallet that earns you bonus points on dining. You can also purchase items online through shopping portals, earning additional miles with those partners, when paying with the gift cards.

More: MASTERING THE ART OF CREDIT CARD AWARD TRAVEL

But, Is It Worth It?

When I first started getting into this game, I thought that it might not be worth the time and effort, but there’s a way you can design a system to help make this less tedious. First off, I always suggest putting small labels on your cards (or some signifying mark) that will help you quickly see which card has which bonus category.

Then, you want to make sure that if you have a card like the Chase Freedom, you’re checking to see what some of the rotating quarterly bonus categories are. Lastly, you want to get to know which various shopping portals and loyalty programs have partnerships with which brands. There are helpful apps that provide this info, in addition to Chrome extensions. That way, whenever I go shopping online, the minute I land on that store’s site, a pop up will inform me if there is a points/miles earning opportunity (and if there is a bonus or not).

You’d be surprised how quickly these points start adding up if you can find a way to start this type of habit. For example, I’ve earned 525 United MileagePlus miles this year so far just from Starbucks. I simply buy Starbucks gift cards through their MileagePlusX app and they now even automatically add the funds to my Starbucks card on my account so I’m earning those stars too! In total, I’ve earned over 11,000 United miles just this year alone simply by using the app when making purchases with up to 5 points/$ at places like Jiffy Lube and Petco!

The post It’s Time to Start Stacking Points & Miles was first published on Coworkaholic.

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