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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

Credit Card Bonus Points on 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

Amex Blue Business Plus Credit Card – 2 points per $1 spent on the first $50,000 spent per calendar year

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

Credit Card Bonus Points on Cable, Internet, Phone 

Chase Ink Plus Business Card  –  5 points per $1

Chase Ink Cash Business Card  –  5% cash back

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – 3 points per $1*

Credit Card Bonus Points on Dining

Premier Rewards Gold Card from Express –  2 points per $1

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)

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% cash back on the first $50,000 per year

Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3 points per $1 on travel

Citi Prestige – 2 points per $1 on dining and entertainment

Chase Sapphire Preferred –  2 points per $1

Hyatt Credit Card – 2 points per $1 (at participating Hyatt restaurants only)

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

Credit Card Bonus Points on 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

Credit Card Bonus Points at Gas Stations

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

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% cash back on the first $50,000 per year

American Express Business Gold Rewards – 3 points per $1

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – 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

Credit Card Bonus Points on 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)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – 2 points per $1

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

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard –  2 points per $1

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

Credit Card Bonus Points on Office Supply Stores

Chase Ink Plus Business Card – 5 points per $1

Chase Ink Cash Business Card – 5 points per $1

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 5% cash back on the first $50,000 per year

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

Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express – 5 points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases.

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

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card – 2 points per $1

Credit Card Bonus Points on Retail

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

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% cash back on the first $50,000 per year on U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  3 points per $1 spent on computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers.

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

Credit Card Bonus Points on Shipping and Advertising 

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% cash back on the first $50,000 per year on shipping

American Express Business Gold Rewards  –  3 points per $1

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – 3 points per $1*

Credit Card Bonus Points on Travel

The Platinum Card from American Express – 5 points per $1 spent on flights booked directly through airlines or Amex Travel. 5 points per $1 on hotels booked through Amex Travel.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express – 5 points per $1 spent on flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel

SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express – 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent on direct hotel and airfare purchases.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold – 3 points per $1 on airfare purchased directly from airlines.

American Express Business Gold Rewards – 3 points per $1 on airfare purchased directly from airlines.

Citi Prestige – 3 points per $1 on air travel and hotels

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – 3 points per $1*

Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3 points per $1 on travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred  –  2 points per $1

Hyatt Credit Card –  2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.

Chase Ink Plus Business Card –  2 points per $1

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card –  2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline and at car rental agencies.

* 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year

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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?

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