People often tell me that they do not want to earn miles and points because they do not spend enough on a credit card or they do not travel often enough. But those are not the only ways to earn points.
It’s no secret that credit sign up bonuses and credit card spending are some of the easiest ways to earn points. There are also lots of posts about earning points without flying. So how do we earn points without credit card spending? In the examples listed below, it is under the assumption that you are using means to pay other than credit card (cash, debit, cheque, etc.)
Presenting Your Loyalty Card
Have all your loyalty cards handy wherever you shop. You can earn miles and points just for spending at a specific retailer or store.
For example, present your Scene Card when going to the movie, even though you pay in cash. Another example is presenting your Aeroplan card at Esso gas stations.
There are lots of survey program out there that earn you miles and points. Some of my favourite programs include AskingCanadians that earns you Aeroplan and E-Rewards that earns you reward dollars that are transferable to multiple loyalty partner programs.
Bonus Points Offers
Often times you may see bonus points awarded for reaching a minimum spend requirement. A common one that you may see is spending $50 at Shoppers Drug Stores, you can earn 20x the Shoppers Optimum points. Taking advantage of such promotions will really help you rack up points in a hurry.
Another example is bonus Air Mile miles on specific items at stores such as Jean-Coutu, LCBO, Metro, Rexall, Shell etc. Be sure to double dip and also buy the item when it is on sale, along with the bonus Air Miles.
Some people do not wish to have or do not qualify for a credit card. In which case, there are debit cards that offer rewards, such as the Scotiabank Scene and Bank of Montreal Air Miles Debit cards. They usually give a worse earning ratio than credit cards, but it is better than nothing!
Family and Friends Spending
I am guilty of this one. Whenever I go shopping with my family and friends, if they do not sign up for the loyalty program of a specific store, I would present my card and earn the points instead. Seeing as they did not sign up for the program, they didn’t want the points anyway!
Buying Points Outright
This one may be tricky to do without a credit card, but you probably use your debit card to buy points. This is valuable if you can leverage your points and get more value than what you purchased them for.
For example, the IHG Rewards Club has offered 100% bonus points for purchasing their points. Normally, it would cost $13.50 to buy 1,000 points. With the promotion, you can receive 10,000 points for spending $67.50 ($13.50 x 5, which gets you 5,000 points + 5,000 bonus points). You can leverage the 10,000 points to receive 2 free hotel nights using the Pointsbreak promotion. Getting 2 free hotel nights for $67.50 is a pretty sweet deal.