5 things you can do NOW to go to the BPM Festival for free.

BPM ParadiseUpdate October 27, 2014:  None of this has changed since I published this article in January so I am reposting it again for anyone who might want to go.

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for the BPM Festival.  This 10 day music festival brings all the best DJs from around the world into a beachfront community about an hour South of Cancun for day and night parties.  I’ll start out with the Diynamic party with Solomun, then the Circo Loco party on Friday daytime, the Innervisions party on Friday night, All Day I Dream with Lee Burridge during the day, Music On during the night, then the closing parties on Sunday.

Now that I have made you interested here are 5 things you can do now to get to BPM Festival for Free like I am this year:

  1. Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer 9,000 of the 40,000 Ultimate Reward sign up bonus to British Airways Avios and just pay the international taxes of $72.  This is exactly how I got here this year and is truly the best use of your points if you are traveling from Miami. BA Summary 2Check out our Full Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card here and find out why it is our #1 travel card for people who want to get started with already established credit.
  2. Get the Chase British Airways card and use 9,000 of the 50,000 Avios sign on bonus for the same ticket we listed above.  If you play your cards right, you could even take 5 of your friends with you to BPM with this bonus!BA BannerRead this article about how to book American flights with British Airways points which is exactly what I did.
  3. Apply for the Barclaycard Arrival card and use the 40,000 Mile sign on bonus (worth $400 in travel expenses) to pay for a ticket.  This has the benefit of earning you miles for the flight as well since you are in essence paying for the ticket using the miles. ArrivalBanner The better use of this bonus would be for the hotel portion of your trip.  Some friends and I are staying at the Fusion Hotel which is right in the middle of everything for 3 nights for around $400 total.  This could be fully paid for with this sign up bonus!
  4. Get the Citibank American Airlines Platinum Personal Mastercard and use 35,000 of the 50,000 sign up bonus to book an American Award seat from anywhere in the US to Mexico.  Citibank BonusThis option obviously pales in comparison to numbers 2 and 3 since you have to use 35,000 miles for the exact same award seat that you could get for 9,000 Avios, but it might make sense for people who aren’t in Miami.  For example, British Airways if you fly from Seattle to Cancun via Phoenix costs 35,000 miles.  This is exactly the same amount as if you booked with American Airlines miles.  So if you are a long way from Cancun, then this option might be equal to the Avios option.
  5. Shop online with the British Airways online mall.  If you have read our article about How to Make Mega Miles with Shopping Portals, then you know how just by shopping online you can earn miles.  You just need to earn 9000 Avios to have enough for a round trip ticket from Miami. Here is a chart of some of the merchants they work with (but there are a bunch more!)BA Shopping$1125 at Shoes.com, $1125 at 1-800-Petmeds or $750 in flowers or Rosetta Stone can get you enough Avios to go to BPM!

Conclusion

There you go, 5 things you can do now to go to BPM next year.BPM CrewNext year, this could be you!

As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!  And don’t forget to share this article with anyone who might be interested using the handy social share buttons right below this post!

AAdvantage shopping gives you another easy 3000 AAdvantage Miles

Have you liked TravelWithMiles on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter?  Make sure to do it today so you don’t miss any of our great deals to travel the world!

Today we have another post from our “No Credit? No Problem!” Series.  These are offers you can get even without a miles earning credit card or good credit.

Making extra miles with online shopping portals is one of our favorite ways to make thousands of miles without flying.  AAdvantage shopping just had a promotion that ended recently for 2500 bonus miles when shopping.  They have just announced another promotion today through December 22, 2013 where you can get 3000 bonus miles for a cumulative $250 in purchases.

AA Shop 3000Since I know everyone will do at least a little holiday shopping, this is a great promo to start with.  You will get 13.3X bonus miles per dollar if you reach the $75 or $150 levels and 12X if you reach the $250 level, which actually makes the $75 and $150 level a little better value.  But 12X is still great and better than the 10X of the last promo so I will be taking advantage of the $250 level to get the maximum 3000 miles.

There aren’t any real standouts right now as far as merchants offering high rates to take advantage of this promo, but my old favorites Sears and KMart are both 3X.  Buying physical gift cards at Sears has still been giving points even though the terms and conditions say otherwise.  The only merchant excluded from this promo is FTD.com which is offering a huge 30X miles per dollar so I understand why they excluded it.

Remember since the offer is cumulative, you can make multiple purchases at any of the hundreds of online stores in the AAdvantage Shopping portal and as long as it totals $250 (usually before tax and shipping) it should work for this promotion.  Bonus miles will post 6-8 weeks after the promotion ends.

If you are still confused about how online shopping portals work, read our article on them here.  So what are you waiting for, go get some Christmas shopping done and make some extra miles.

How I made 16,000 points and $215 on Black Friday shopping

Note: We are in the middle of a contest to give away two round trip plane tickets to The BPM Festival in January.  Make sure you have gotten your entries in!

Have you liked TravelWithMiles on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter?  Make sure to do it today so you don’t miss any of our great deals to travel the world!

Black Friday is a crazy time of year for promotions and this year was no exception.  I thought it might be interesting to share some of the deals that I came across for Black Friday and took advantage of.

Earlier in the week, Amazon had a promo on the Nexus 7 32 GB tablets that I like to buy for resale for $239.99 including free shipping and no tax.  I had a bunch of Amazon gift cards I had gotten from Plink so this was a perfect way to turn those gift cards into cash when I resell that same tablet in my Amazon store for $269 after the Black Friday sales are over!

Nexus7

Then on Wednesday, I got an email from Staples with a $50 off coupon for any tablet so I ordered another of the Nexus 7 32 GB for $269-$50 = $219.  I had to pay tax on this one so my total cost was $234.33.  If you read my article on Shopping Portals for Mega Miles, you know that I always get extra miles by starting at a portal.  This time I used UPromise for an extra 5% back in cash.  Staples also has a rewards program where I get another 5% back in Staples bucks to use towards a future purchase.  I also get Plink Points for Staples so will get another $3 back. I used my Ink Bold card to pay for it which gives me 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. This makes my net cost $210.09 plus I get 1174 Ultimate Rewards points.  I will resell this for around $269 through my Amazon store.

The last deal I was really happy about.  OfficeMax was offering a promo where you could buy a $200 gift card for $180.  Since there is a $6.95 activation fee, this means you would make $13.05 on the card after the promo.  And since I was going to use my Chase Ink Bold Card, I would get 5 Ultimate Reward points per dollar since it is an office supply store.  I got there shortly after they opened at 8 PM on Thanksgiving (we did a Thanksgiving lunch instead of a dinner so I was free).  They had them right up front when I asked about them and they told me “You can buy two per transaction but there is no limit on the number of transactions.”  What!?!  OK, I will take them all then!

officemaxEach of those is two $200 gift cards.  So I ended up with 16 $200 gift cards for a total of $3200 in cards for a total cost of $2984.  Since I used my Ink Bold, I will get another 15,000 Ultimate Rewards on top of making $215!  Gotta love it! If you read my article about Spending Money without Spending Money you know I can use my Bluebird account to take these gift cards and immediately pay off the Ink Bold card I just used to charge it!

I am not sure if there is anything else I will be buying this weekend, but I wanted to share these deals with you so you could get some ideas on how you can make extra miles too! How did you make miles on Black Friday?

How to use shopping portals to make mega miles!

I love shopping portals.  I have literally made hundreds of thousands of points all at one time by taking advantage of shopping portals. See how I made 264,000 Ultimate Rewards Points + $1000 shopping at Sears or how I made 189,000 Rapid Rewards Points + a companion pass shopping online. But what exactly are shopping portals and how do they work?

What are Shopping Portals?

A shopping portal is just like the name describes it is a portal (like a doorway) that takes you shopping online.  Think of it like a mall.  It is full of many shops that are all owned by different companies.  What if I told you if you went through one entrance of the mall that you could get 5 miles for every dollar you spent? And if you went through another entrance you could get 10 miles for every dollar?  And if you went through yet another entrance you would get no miles at all!  That is how they work!  But it’s easiest to explain with an example.

How do Shopping Portals Work?

Let’s say you have gone through our Getting Started Page and have already signed up for a free United MileagePlus number.  If you haven’t, go do it now! We are going to use the MileagePlus Shopping Portal in our example. This portal gives you United Airlines Miles for shopping in their mall.  Some malls you need to create a separate login, but this one you can just log in with your United MileagePlus number and PIN or password you use to access your MileagePlus account online.

After logging in, search for the store you want to go shopping in. FYI here is their version of how the online shopping portal works.

shoppinghowitworks

In our example we are going to use Walmart.  Online is about the only way I will ever go to Walmart. I search for Walmart in the search box and it brings up a screen that shows details about that merchant.UnitedWalmartYou can see that they are offering 1 Mile for every dollar that you spend. This means if you buy a $500 LCD TV from Walmart on Black Friday, you can get an extra 500 United Miles just by starting your shopping session through this portal!  They also list some sale and coupon codes that you can sometimes use. Since you are already logged in just click on the Shop Now button and you will be transported to the exact same Walmart.com as if you went their directly.  Same products, same prices.

1 Mile per dollar is pretty much the bare minimum you will find and many of them offer much higher rates.  I have even seen up to 60 Miles per dollar on occasion which is incredible!

The miles will typically show in your account after a week or so, but sometimes it might take up to a month to see them reflected. You can see your earning history by clicking on the My Account link at the top right of the screen.

recenttransactions

What shopping portals are there?

Almost every major US airline, most hotel chains and even some random point programs have shopping portals.  Here are a few of them.

There are also some straight Cashback shopping portals that give you cold hard cash instead of miles such as:

How do I know which shopping portal to use?

Luckily there are web sites whose whole purpose is to help you decide which portal to use.  Of course if you are specifically after United Miles then that might be the best one to use.  But you should at least compare a few of the portals to make sure a much better deal isn’t available.  The shopping portal comparison site I like to use is EVReward.com.  If I go to that site and type in Walmart for instance, here is what I see.

EVRewardAs you can see, UPromise and ShopDiscover are offering 5% cash back.  I would rather have that than 1 mile per dollar all day long!

Conclusion

I hope this has showed you how easy it is to make extra miles and cash by shopping online.  You really shouldn’t shop online without utilizing a shopping portal.  If you don’t, you are simply leaving free miles on the ground that you should be picking up.  If you have any questions then leave them in the comments and I will answer them.

How to use Plink to automatically make extra money when you shop.

One thing I love about the points and miles world is it is always changing.  There is always a new way popping up to make extra miles, points or cash.  Plink is one of those things that I just found out about recently, but one that has already made me an extra $1500 since I found out about it!  If you want to see a few examples click here to see deals where I used Plink. Today I am going to show you exactly how to sign up for Plink and use it the first time.

How does Plink work?

  • When you make purchases you get “Plink Points”. The rate varies by Merchant and amount of purchase.
  • When you have saved up enough Plink points you can redeem them for gift cards at places such as Amazon.com and Walmart.

An example:

Plink is currently offering the following points when you shop at Staples.

Staples PlinkIf you make two $60 purchases at Staples (or one $120 purchase but have them run the credit or debit card two times for $60 each) then you will receive 600 Plink Points.

You can then take 500 of those Plink points and redeem it for a $5 Amazon.com card.

Plink RedeemThey will email you an e-gift code that you can use right away!  It’s that easy!

But I don’t shop at Staples?

  • Since it is a new service, they have a rotating selection of merchants.  My favorites are Sears, K-Mart, Burger King, Quiznos, Outback Steakhouse, and Advance Auto Parts.Plink Merchants

What do I need to make extra money with Plink?

  1. A credit or debit card that you have signed up for online access.

That’s it! Plink uses the same networks that megasites like Mint.com and Intuit use so you can feel secure since you have to give them your banking login information so they can track your purchases.

To get started, head over to plink.com and sign up for an account. You can use your FB or Twitter if you don’t want to create a separate account.  I like to keep my accounts independent so I used the email option.

signup plinkOnce you are logged in, it will prompt you to add a bank card.  This can be a credit card or a debit card but you can only add one that will be tracked.  As I mentioned this site uses the same security that Mint.com and many other large financial data companies use so I don’t worry about my identity getting stolen or anything.

Plink BankAfter you put in your debit or credit card name, you will be prompted for your banking login (Don’t freak out about this! It’s safe! 🙂 )

Plink Bank 2

You will then be taken to “Your Wallet” which initially has 3 slots for different merchants.  You can click on the merchants to the right to see the details of each one and add them to your wallet. You can get extra wallet slots by things like downloading their mobile app or other ways.plink walletAnd that’s all to get signed up!  Then you just charge like you normally do and watch the Plink points roll in.  Since they retrieve your transactions automatically there is nothing left to do.  So when you buy that #4 at Burger King, you will automatically be getting 70 cents back that you can use for Amazon.com gift cards! They also have a mobile app where you can “Check In” to the location you used on social networking for an extra 5 plink points.

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up now with Plink and make some extra money with no hassles!

Have you liked TravelWithMiles on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter?  Make sure to do it today so you don’t miss any of our great deals to travel the world!

Spend $250 online, get 2500 American AAdvantage miles! Up to 6250 Miles at Walgreens.

AA 2500 BonusHave you liked TravelWithMiles on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter?  Make sure to do it today so you don’t miss any of our great deals to travel the world!

Today we have another post from our “No Credit? No Problem!” Series.  These are offers you can get even without a miles earning credit card or good credit.

AAdvantage shopping is having an awesome special right now through December 2, 2013 where if you spend $250 at any of their 1000+ online stores you get a bonus of 2500 American AAdvantage miles.  This is an awesome deal and one you should definitely take advantage of. This is a cumulative total so you can make multiple purchases before the 2nd and still qualify if the total is enough.  As you can see from the above banner, you can also get the bonus miles if you meet smaller thresholds. Spend $75 get 750, Spend $150 get 1500 and Spend $250 get 2500.

My usual advice is to buy Sears physical gift cards for the 3X miles that they are offering, but right now through November 23, there is an even better option.

Walgreens 15XAAdvantage Shopping is offering 15X at Walgreens through November 23 which is pretty awesome when combined with this offer.  This means you can get effectively 25 Miles for every dollar you spend at Walgreens during the period!  So if you can come up with $250 to spend there, you can get 15 for the Walgreens shopping and 10X for the bonus which will give you a massive 6250 Miles! It’s time to stock up on household goods, paper towels, toilet paper, whatever!  There is free shipping on any purchases over $25 so no reason not to order some stuff and get some miles!

And since this is an online shopping deal, you can use your debit card as well as your miles earning card such as your Barclays Arrival Mastercard.  Click here to get started at the AAdvantage Shopping Mall.

How I made 1800 United Miles from $75 in online shopping. Debit cards OK!

United 1500Check your email for one from United Mileage Plus Shopping titled “Earn 1,500 miles simply by shopping”.  If you have it like I did then you have been targeted for a special promotion for extra miles.  This promotion is only open to those who received the email.  If you didn’t receive the email, sign up for mileage plus shopping so you can get the next one! The promotion gives you 500 United miles after you make a $25 purchase, then 1000 miles when you make two more purchases totaling $50 more. This ends up being 24 Miles per dollar on these purchases which is pretty awesome! All of the purchases have to be made by November 11, 2013. Here is how I am going to maximize it:

  1. Click through the United Mileage Plus Shopping page to K-Mart and buy one physical $25 gift card using my Chase Sapphire Preferred that I have registered with Plink.  You can use your debit card if you don’t have a miles earning card yet.  This will give me 25 UR points for the purchase plus 100 United Miles for the 4 miles per dollar plus 500 Miles for the first bonus plus $1.25 in Plink points.kmart mileage plus
  2. One day later I will buy two physical $25 Kmart gift cards in separate transactions, again with my Chase Sapphire Preferred.  For each purchase this will give me 25 UR Miles, 75 United Miles, and $1.25 in Plink points.  I will also get the 1000 bonus United Miles.
  3. Keep in mind that you can do this even if you only have a debit card and still get the 1800 United Miles and the Plink points.

This means I will receive a total of 1800 United Miles, 75 UR Points and $3.75 in Plink points for $75 in purchases.  I will receive even more miles and points when I use the gift cards at Sears or K-Mart.  What a deal! I love this game!

Feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions and don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!

1800 Delta Skymiles with a total of $100 in online purchases. No Credit needed!

DeltaSkymilesShoppingCheck your email for one from Delta Skymiles Shopping titled “Member Exclusive! Make 1,500 Bonus Miles When You Shop Three Times”.  If you have it like I did then you have been targeted for a special promotion for extra miles.  This promotion is only open to those who received the email.  The promotion gives you 500 Skymiles after you make a $50 purchase, then 1000 Skymiles when you make two more purchases totaling $50 more. All of the purchases have to be made by November 4, 2013. Here is how I am going to maximize it:

  1. Click through the Delta Skymiles Shopping page to Sears and buy one physical $50 Sears gift card using my Chase Ink Bold that I have registered with Plink (with K-Mart chosen as one of my wallet entries since Sears issues their gift cards from K-Mart).  This will give me 50 UR points for the purchase plus 150 Skymiles for the 3 miles per dollar plus 500 Skymiles for the first bonus plus $3 in Plink points.searsskymilesbanner
  2. One day later I will buy two physical $25 Sears gift cards in separate transactions, again with my Ink Bold.  For each purchase this will give me 25 UR Miles,75 Skymiles, and $1.25 in Plink points.  I will also get the 1000 bonus Delta Skymiles.
  3. Keep in mind that you can do this even if you only have a debit card and still get the 1800 Delta Skymiles and the Plink points.

This means I will receive a total of 1800 Delta Skymiles, 100 UR Points and $5.50 in Plink points for $100 in purchases.  I will receive even more miles and points when I use the gift cards at Sears.  What a deal! I love this game!

Feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions and don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!