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Collecting points and miles is an awesome hobby, and many of you know the incredible feeling of booking a trip for little or no cost. In most of our points and miles videos, we focus on how to earn credit card points. This time, we are doing something a little different. We’re going to review the crazy habits and behaviors of a points and miles collector.
Keep in mind that this is just meant to be fun, but I’m hoping you can relate to some of the weird things that we do to earn points.
1. Searching for places to maximize points:
This is especially the case when you have a broader category like Apple Pay or Android Pay. For example, since Apple Pay was one of the bonus categories on the Chase Freedom card in quarter one 2018, I actually looked for places where I could get lunch using mobile payments. What I found was that the Chipotle near my work allowed me to pay for food using Apple Pay via their mobile app. As a result, I probably ate more Chipotle than I should have!
A bonus tip: You may already know this, but if you order a veggie bowl at Chipotle, you get free guacamole with your order. Guacamole is usually extra, so getting it for free while reducing my meat intake seemed like a good compromise to me.
2. Offering to pay for dinner or travel:
This is a common scenario for me. If I am out to dinner with friends or coworkers, and we decide to try and split the bill multiple ways. Inevitably, one or two people want to pay with cash. To make it easier, I’ll often volunteer to pay for it on my card and let everyone pay me via cash or Venmo.
This works even better if your work is reimbursing you for travel or dining expenses. Even though submitting an expense report can be a pain, I’ll volunteer to pay the bill to earn the points, especially when I know that I’ll get reimbursed.
3. Volunteering to buy gifts:
A few weeks ago, a co-worker of mine and his wife were expecting the birth of their second child. So, we decided to pick-up a gift card as a baby shower present. Guess who volunteered to buy the gift card? I know it’s shameless, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to earn points.
And in case you’re wondering where I bought the gift card, I went to Rite Aid since they accept Apple Pay, and at the time, it was a 5% bonus category on my Chase Freedom card.
4. Carrying lots of credit cards in your wallet:
Once you get deeper into the hobby, you’re likely to start carrying more than one credit card. I’m used to carrying multiple cards now, but I know my friends still comment when they see how many different credit cards are in my wallet.
5. Cringing when you see people pay with cash or debit card:
As someone who tries to squeeze points from every dollar that I spend, it hurts to see people pay with cash or debit card when they have the option to pay by credit card. And when people say to me, “well, paying with debit cards is so much safer than credit cards”, I have to really hold back the urge to explain why that is not actually true.
6. Changing your auto-payment cards frequently:
Perhaps you’re familiar with this drill. You realize that there is a new bonus category or you need to make a minimum spend requirement. You immediately ask your gym to update your auto-pay credit card. Or perhaps it’s your phone or internet provider. If I tracked how many times I have changed my auto-pay cards on different accounts, it would seem like I’m insane.
7. Obsessing about your spending and credit score:
This hobby can definitely make you a bit neurotic about measuring your spending and your credit score. I won’t lie. I literally have a weekly reminder to check my credit score on Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. And when I have a minimum spend requirement, I make sure that I am tracking toward meeting my spending goal so I don’t lose out on the opening bonus.
8. Getting annoyed with a charge that is coded improperly:
This one drives me nuts. One of my biggest pet peeves is finding out that a travel or restaurant expense is not coded properly, meaning that I don’t earn the extra bonus points. This recently happened to me at a hotel in Sedona, Arizona. I charged our two-night stay on my Sapphire Reserve card, but didn’t get the triple bonus points for travel since the charge was coded as an “online, mail, telephone transaction.”
9. Getting annoyed when salespeople try to push store cards:
This is an annoying situation in general, but it’s even more irritating when you’re a points and miles collector. While it might just seem like another credit card, points and miles collectors know that it means another credit pull that can potentially prevent you from getting another credit card in the future, and usually not worth the effort unless you do spend tons of money at that specific store.
10. Avoiding cash-only businesses:
This is a tough one to admit, but I really hate having to pay cash for things. Even worse is when a merchant posts a sign saying that they only accept credit cards for transactions over a specific amount. I know that merchants hate the fees imposed by the credit card companies, so I understand their frustration. However, I think it hurts businesses to deny or limit credit card transactions, especially as we become more digital.
Can you relate to these situations? What crazy things do you do as a points collector? Please share in the comment section below.
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