Well once you get into it, it is hard not to go whole hog. Here are the latest schemes to get more points. It's earned us a whopping $300 or far just from Xmas shopping rebates, so here is what is in progress.:
- Bluebird. This is an Amex debit card that let's you write checks and use it for all your cash transactions like paying your taxes even. It doesn't itself have a point system. The key is to load the Bluebird from sources that do earn points. There a couple of ways. The main issue is how to fill it, it costs $4 for $500 to use a vanilla refill with a points earning card at CVS or 7-11 (so you are basically in that sense getting points for your bluebird transactions). Y There are very few that earn miles, but the Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold has a 5x at Office supply so this the multiplier that you get. Or use your regular credit card at a CVS or 7-11 to buy Vanilla Reloads load up as they appear to allow it. There is a 5K maximum per month for bluebird.
- The Point Guy points out you can load $1,000 a month for free from a debit card. This only makes sense if our debit card earns points. Alaska Airlines used to have such a card, but it stopped in Nov 2013 and points stop in May 2014. You can also have a direct deposit from your company and this loads the card up for free. There is a $1K per month maximum. Finally once you do this, you will get either more points on your credit card, ink plus or bold. Seems like the main thing to do is to get an ink plus if you can 't find a CVS or 7-11 near you and don't mind standing there at 11PM putting $5K into a card while everyone is standing around watching you!
- Chase Ink Bold. This is a debit card for business which also earns point. It is $95 a year, but you get 5x bonus on Chase points from Office Depot. You can redeem this for United points (worth 1.8 cents or so), so quite worth it if you can use it for Vanilla reloads. The Ink Plus by the way is the credit card. So you connect this to Bluebird and you can spend for anything. Plus you get 50K points for spending $5K in the first three months.
- Alaska Airlines. This is a 3x per dollar spent on Alaska purchases. So good for maximizing there as these miles are at least 2 cents per point. So good for business travel. There is a 25K bonus plus a $99 companion fare aware for $95 a year. There is also sometimes a $100 bonus.
- Barclay Arrivals. This is the one that the Point Guy recommends. You get 40K in the first $1k spent in the first 90 days. 2.2 points per dollar. There is a version with no annual fee and one with a $89 fee (20k more bonus miles and there is a 2x on everything vs just travel on the no fee). It also has a 10% dividend and then you get a bonus for Expedia, hotels, cruise lines for the no fee. There are also no transaction fees. AT 2.2% this is no great deal, but worthwhile as a backup.