5 Things I Wish I Knew About Miles and Points When Starting Out

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A key to faster achievement is to learn from the mistakes of others. That way you save time by not having to make those mistakes yourself!

1. Having a Lot of Credit Cards Does Not Hurt Your Credit Score
In fact, using credit responsibly may even help to boost your credit score!

When you pay your bills on time each month and maintain good relationships with the banks, you'll have an excellent chance of getting the best credit cards. This is the fastest way to earn more miles and points!

2. Have a Strategy
It's better to have a lot of miles or points in a single program instead of spread out. In other words, 20,000 points each in 5 different programs is usually NOT as good as having 100,000 points in 1 program.

Assess your travel goals. Create a plan. Then figure out how to make that plan happen rather than take the shotgun approach to miles and points. And if you can't decide, try a flexible points program!

3. Be Organized
Use a spreadsheet to track things like autopay, what bonuses you get with each card, spending requirements, annual fees, and annual benefits. This will help ensure that you get the full bonus without looking up each one individually. You can also use sites like to track miles and points across many different airline and hotel programs."

4. Use Shopping Portals to Boost Your Balances
When you shop online, always click through a shopping portal if your merchant participates. It's worth checking to earn extra miles or points. It also extends the expiration date of your miles so you have more time to use them. Evreward or Cashback Monitor are terrific resources for checking which portal has the highest return at each individual store. We also like Giving Assistant.

5. The Best Use of Miles Is for What Brings You Happiness
Too often we can get caught up chasing the highest points redemptions possible...the international First Class flight, or the luxury hotel stay in an exotic location. And while it's fun to do that, it's also important to use travel as a way to be closer to our loved ones.

It may be great to explore on your own and experience other cultures, meet new people, and learn about yourself along the way. However, it's just as important to use what we've learned to spend time with Mom. Or absorb Grandma Vena's last 3 lessons. Or to take your family some place new.