A few readers have asked me about earning miles on mortgage and rent payments. These are the biggest expenses most of us have, yet there isn’t a straight forward way to earn miles on them.
While you won’t be able to whip out your shiny mile-earning credit card without paying fees, there are a couple of ways to take care of these expenses at minimal cost.
Money Order. The Sunstrust Skymiles Debit card lets you earn 1 mile per $1 on both PIN and signature-based transactions, which is perfect for this method. You can simply go to “the world’s largest retailer,” buy a money-order with your Skymiles Debit card, and pay just $0.70 in fees. This is by far the cheapest way to earn miles on your mortgage and rent. Here is a list of other mile-earning debit cards you can use.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a new checking account with Suntrust, there are few other ways.
Bluebird + Gift Cards. This method involves a few extra steps, but it earns the most miles per $1. I use this for my student loans payments, but you can do this for virtually any expense.
Step 1: Get an Amex Bluebird Card. The card is free online or you can buy one at your local Walmart store for a fee. Bluebird has no account maintenance fees.
Step 2: Buy a Simon Mall or other PIN-enabled Gift Card using a mile earning credit card. These can be purchased at CVS, 7-11, and select retailers. They carry a fee of $2.95-4.95 per card and can be purchased in increments of up to $500. I recommend buying these in $500 increments to maximize the value for the fee you’re paying. You should also try to use a card that pays out a category bonus at the merchant you purchase these from.
Step 3 Load your Vanilla balance onto your Bluebird at online. This is a quick process and your funds are available immediately. Bluebird allows you to load up to $1,000 per day, up to $5,000 per month.
Step 4: Make a payment. Login to your Bluebird account, head over to Bill Pay and send a payment to your student loan company.
Extra credit! If you want to earn even more points cheaply, use your mile-earning debit card to purchase a money order and pay off the balance accrued on your mile-earning credit card! This can be done for all of your credit card payments. Rather than paying your balance from your checking account every month and getting no miles, this extra step lets you double up on points!
Do you know of any other ways to earn miles on your mortgage and rent payments? Please share below!
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