A huge part that helped me break free of the corporate grind was having a large stash (>500,000) airline miles saved. Knowing that I could get around the world for free as opposed to paying for $1,000 flights made the jump a lot less scary.
Here are five things you probably do in your day to day life that could easily help you stash some miles.
1. Eating Out
You eat out, right? How do you usually pay for it?
If your answer is cash, you’re doing it wrong. (There are exceptions to this: on a date with a girl. Don’t let the time it takes to use a credit card ruin the vibe.) Plenty of airline cards allow you 2 or 3x points for every dollar spent.
Spending $100 at a restaurant would equate to 300 points. Most of my one way tickets from California to Eastern Europe cost me about 20,000. As you can see, that would add up fast if you spend $100 a week eating out. And that $100 is probably not far off what your average person DOES spend in a week.
2. Buying Clothes
No matter if you buy from Amazon or a fancy retailer, many cards offer bonuses. Sometimes they do online promotions through their portals.
Can you imagine earning points with a 10x multiplier when buying shoes—things you need anyway?
The point is, if you’re looking for a new watch or new kicks—you can probably maximize it to ways you couldn’t imagine.
3. Paying Rent
Many apartment landlords now have credit card payment processors online. That’s a very easy way to hit the lucrative bonuses that credit cards offer (it’s usually spend $2-3k in 3 months and get 30-50k points)
If your apartment costs $1,000 a month, you could get 50,000 points just by using a credit card. That’s a round trip plus a bit more to almost everywhere in the world from the continental US. If your landlord doesn’t, consider using a service that does. You’ll pay a 2-3% fee, but in our example that’s only $30. For three months it would cost you $90. You might ask if it’s worth it.
Is a round trip ticket from Spain worth more than $90? There’s your answer.
PS: If you live mostly out of AirBNBs as a nomad, you get 2 or 3x the cost of the apartment by using a travel credit card.
4. Paid Dating Sites (*Sometimes*)
Certain dating sites have huge promotions that they sometimes run with airlines. Recently, Match.com did a 150x points promotion with British Airways. That means if you signed up for a month of that dating site at $70, you’d have earned over 10,000 miles. The jury is still out whether or not British Airways and Match.com actually honor this over the long-term. There’s been doubts about it.
While a 150x promotion is definitely not the norm, there are typically offers that are quite good. Some of these premium, paid dating sites are worth looking at once in a while. The usual problem with them is that they don’t have enough members to justify the cost. But, there are enough members that signing up every three months is worth it.
And even more so if you can get a free flight or two out of it.
5. Office And Household Supplies
This is especially true to you guys who run businesses, especially true if it’s of the brick and mortar type.
Because most small businesses spend a small fortune in office supplies. Pens, paper, and other organization materials. Quite a few of the very good credit cards offer 5x on these purchases. A business that spent a measly $1k a month on office supplies (nothing in the scheme of things) could easily net 5k points.
Home improvement type stores often run great specials on points, too—2 or 3x. If you’ve got a home project that’s going to cost a few grand, those points add up quick.
Do that for a year and again—you’re flying round-trip just about anywhere in the world. Always wanted to see Japan? Great, now you can just from buying printer ink. Crazy.
There are a lot of other ways to go about this, but you’ll notice I’ve left all the bells and whistles off this list; i.e. some of the really absurd and crazy ways to rack up miles. That’s for a reason.
I’m of the belief that you should use these kind of “life hacks” as a way to help yourself get ahead, but not let it define you. There’s little point in spending countless hours a week researching every in and out of the miles and points came so that you can get a few extra cents worth of miles.
It’s the same as the crazy nuts who show up to the cash register with 100 coupons in their hand.
You’re better off developing a mindset of a winner. Make more money, and don’t pinch pennies. Don’t be the dude who goes to Thailand so he can live off of $1,200. Be the guy who goes to Thailand and makes $1,200 a day.
With that being said, some of these are incredibly easy to implement in your life. In fact, I would wager that for most of you, doing these things would add no more than a couple of hours a month to your schedule (probably not even that). And the results are tangible, real, and allow you to see the world. Combine a huge stash of miles with a modest online income can be a lethal combination.
The possibilities? Well, they’re endless.