3

Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points: Maximizing Credit Card Category Bonuses

Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points

#8. Maximizing Credit Card Spending

In addition to making online purchases through shopping portals, you should charge all of your expenses to relevant mile-earning credit cards in order to maximize your spending. For example, the Chase Ink Plus earns 5 points per $1 in the cable, internet, phone, and office supply store category, use your card for those expenses. While the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express earns more miles than the Ink Plus on cable, internet, and phone service, Hilton points are not as flexible as Ultimate Rewards and convert to airline miles at a 2:1 ratio. Below is a comprehensive list of the top bonus point categories:

Credit card wallet

All spending

All point and mile-earning credit cards earn 1 point per $1 in all spending categories, except for the following:

Club Carlson Rewards Visa Business Card  –  5 points per $1

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card  –  5 points per $1

Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card  –  3 points per $1

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card  –  3 points per $1

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express – 3 points per $1

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express  –  3 points per $1

Discover It Miles Card – 3 miles per $1 spent during Year 1 (1.5 miles thereafter)

Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard –  2 miles per $1

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card  –  2 points per $1

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card  –  2% cash back

Bank of America Virgin Atlantic WorldElite MasterCard  –  1.5 miles per $1

Chase United MileagePlus Club Card  –  1.5 miles per $1

Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – 1.5% cash back/1.5 points per $1 spent

Cable, Internet, Phone 

Chase Ink Plus Business Card  –  5 points per $1

Chase Ink Cash Business Card  –  5% cash back

Dining

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express  –  6 points per $1

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express –  5 points per $1

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature  –  Up to 5 miles per $1*

Chase Freedom  –  5% cash back/5 points per $1 (during select quarters)

Chase Sapphire Preferred –  2 points per $1

Hyatt Credit Card – 2 points per $1

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card –  2 points per $1

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card –  2 points per $1

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card –  2 points per $1

Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard  –  2 miles per $1

Drugstores

Citizens Bank Cashback Platinum Mastercard  –  5% cash back

Wells Fargo Cash Back Card  –  5% cash back (for the first 6 months)

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card –  3 points per $1

Gas

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express –  6 points per $1

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express –  5 points per $1

Chase Freedom  –  5% cash back/5 points per $1 (during select quarters)

Wells Fargo Cash Back Card  –  5% cash back (for the first 6 months)

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card –  3 points per $1

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express  –  3% cash back

American Express Premier Rewards Gold  –  2 points per $1

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  2 points per $1

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card –  2 points per $1

Chase Ink Plus Business Card –  2 points per $1

Chase Ink Cash  –  2 points per $1

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card  –  2 points per $1

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (excellent credit)  –  2 points per $1

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (average credit)  –  2 points per $1

Groceries

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express –  6 points per $1

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express –  5 points per $1

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express  –  6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent per year (1% after)

Wells Fargo Cash Back Card  –  5% cash back (for the first 6 months)

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card –  3 points per $1

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express  –  3% cash back

Amex EveryDay Preferred – 3 points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent (plus a 50% bonus after 30 or more purchases per month)

Amex EveryDay  – 2 points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent (plus a 20% bonus after 20 or more purchases per month)

American Express Premier Rewards Gold –  2 points per $1

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard –  2 points per $1

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card –  2 points per $1

Office Supply Stores

Chase Ink Plus Business Card –  5 points per $1

Chase Ink Cash Business Card  –  5 points per $1

SimplyCash Business Credit Card from American Express – 5% cash back on the first $25,000 per year

Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Business Card  –  2 points per $1

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card –  2 points per $1

Retail

Chase Freedom  –  5 points/5% bonus during select quarters

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express  –  3% cash back (select department stores)

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  2 points per $1 (hardware & software providers)

Shipping and Advertising

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  2 points per $1

Travel

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card –  5 points per $1**

American Express Premier Rewards Gold –  3 points per $1***

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  3 points per $1***

Hyatt Credit Card –  2 points per $1**

Chase Ink Plus Business Card –  2 points per $1*****

Marriott Rewards Credit Card  –  2 points per $1***

Chase Sapphire Preferred  –  2 points per $1

Utilities

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (Excellent credit)  –  2 points per $1

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard (Average credit)  –  2 points per $1

** Airfare and car rental

*** When booked directly through airlines

**** Travel booked through American Express

***** Hotels

Subscribe via email for more points, miles and free travel

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Ariana Arghandewal

3 Comments

  1. Ariana, I see that Citi HHonors earn 3 pts / $1 at Drugstores. Does this apply to purchasing Vanilla reloads at CVS?

Leave a Comment