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.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a new checking account with Suntrust, there are few other options.
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: 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. Visa gift cards 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 your purchase these from.
Step 2: Buy a money order. Buy a money order with your PIN-enabled gift card. You’ll pay a fee of about $0.90 per $1,000
Step 3: Pay your landlord or mortgage company. Money orders get treated like checks, so make them out to your landlord or mortgage company. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable mailing money orders and relying on the mortgage company to cash them on time. But to each his own.
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!