Your future travel piggy bank

by Tony Baker @TouringTony
Travel Columnist

I would think that it is safe to say, travel right now is out of the question, or, at the very least, not a good idea. At the time of writing, Covid-19 cases are surging, and although travel has slowly gone back up in the past month, it’s dropping sharply again, and for a good reason.

With all that said, this is a perfect time to save up points, miles, and frankly cash, to be more than ready to be able to travel again when one can. I always advocate for people to earn points and miles whenever possible. Right now, since we are staying close to home, and, if you’re anything like me, you’re spending money. All this money we are spending can earn us lots of points, miles and cashback.

There are so many ways to earn extra points, miles and cash. I have reviewed most of them before but will touch on them again since we need to be doing it.

Shopping Portals: One of the easiest ways to earn points and miles is to get them while you shop. Most airlines and some hotel chains have shopping portals where you shop like you usually would, but you go through their shopping portal. You earn based on what you spend, and the retailer pays them a commission, and in return, the airline gives you miles.

If you’re not already signed up with the major airline and hotel loyalty programs, you must! Even if they are not your preferred carrier. The reason is if is giving 20 miles per dollar on American Airlines (AA) site, but three per dollar on Delta’s, it’s kind of a no brainer!

All the major airlines are part of alliances with carriers worldwide. Even if you’re not an AA flyer, you can use those to fly a fabulous first class on, say, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific or others. I use the site,, to compare all the offerings and then choose which program I will go through.

Dining: Just like shopping portals, most major programs participate in a dining program. It works a little differently in that you register a debit or credit card, and whenever you use it at a participating restaurant, you earn points or miles. For example, Google “American Airlines Dining Program,” or your preferred program, and the sites should explain it all. Each program may differ as far as points, miles, and/or participating restaurants, so look at them all.

Points / Miles Credit Cards: Use those cards!  If you don’t have a points or miles card, get one. There are so many options but do your research as they are all different, and not all cards are created equal. I recommend one that allows you to transfer to other programs (flexible currency cards). With these, the points/miles (currency) are so much more valuable.

Buy Points or Miles: Most major programs are offering great deals on buying miles and points right now, to get cash flow. If you know you will fly that airline or stay with that hotel chain, buy them, because it is a great way to stock up on them.

Travel Account: A simple and easy thing to do is put money back every week to build up a travel fund, for when we can travel and for when points and miles won’t cover all or part of the trip we have this to fall back on.

Most of these programs are being very generous with points expiration and status extensions, so don’t worry, you’ll lose them, but still do your research. I would love to help you! Send me your questions at, and I will be glad to help you.

These few tips, along with others, will set you up fort post-COVID travel!

Thanks for reading, and please travel more! (eventually!)

Copyright The Gayly. 8/21/2020 @ 6:10 p.m. CST.