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Earning credit card rewards can be a great feeling, and so can redeeming those valuable points and miles for free travel. As a result, it’s no surprise that many people are interested in learning how to repeat this accomplishment again and again. 

Through a combination of smart everyday spending on the right rewards credit cards and strategic sign-up bonuses, you may be able to earn more credit card points and miles than you thought possible. In fact, some people earn millions in credit card rewards.

If you’ve ever daydreamed about earning a big stash of credit card rewards that you could use to travel the world, learning from people who have accomplished this goal could be a great place to start. We interviewed four points-and-miles millionaires to learn how they earned credit card rewards, and we discovered common mistakes to avoid as well.

Recommended Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards Rate Annual Fee Bonus Offer Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

$95 60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

$99 Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

$0 $200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

$0 $200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Use Your Credit Card for Every Purchase (Large and Small)

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Most credit card rewards enthusiasts agree that one of the best ways to earn points and miles is to use your credit card for nearly every purchase. Not only do many points-and-miles millionaires tend to use their rewards cards for everyday purchases, but they also pay for big-ticket transactions with their credit cards as well. 

Lee Huffman, Slickdeals contributor and podcast host of WeTravelThere.com, has earned close to four million points and miles from credit card welcome bonus offers alone in the past decade. Based on his success, he recommends timing your new rewards credit cards applications to cooincide with major purchases.

“Large transactions make it easier to meet the minimum spend requirements on new credit cards,” says Huffman.

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Remember, it’s essential to pay off those large purchases in full before the grace period on your credit card account expires. This good habit can help you avoid late payments and expensive interest charges. 

“Those interest charges are often more than the rewards you’re earning,” warns Huffman.

Huffman's Favorite Rewards Redemption

Huffman currently has a little over two million credit card rewards in his accounts ready for redemption. The Nashville-based credit card expert says he plans to visit two Hyatt all-inclusive resorts in Cancun with his wife this winter to escape the cold weather. 

“I paid around 100,000 Hyatt points for each reservation of four nights,” says Huffman. “For two people, these resorts typically cost between $600 and $1,000 per night. We earned the points from our World of Hyatt credit card and transferred points from Chase Ultimate Rewards®."

Earn Rewards on Business Expenses

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Another potential way to earn credit card rewards by taking advantage of great business credit card offers. As a business owner, this approach is one of the most effective ways Winnie Sun, Managing Director of Sun Group Wealth Partners, has been able to earn well over three million points and miles. 

Sun has used business rewards credit cards to pay estimated taxes, car and office building maintenance, and cover all other business expenses her company requires. She also uses personal rewards credit cards to rack up more points and miles for personal expenses that she and her family incur. 

“Essentially, we strive to put 100% of our spending on some form of rewards or cashback-earning credit card,” says Sun.

In addition to the typical advice to manage your credit cards responsibly with on-time payments and avoiding credit card debt, Sun encourages people to research and learn about travel rewards. 

“This will not only enable you to travel more affordably,” Sun says, “but also allow you to allocate the savings towards other significant financial objectives, such as college savings or retirement funds. It's also an excellent opportunity to engage in discussions with your children about financial responsibility and shared family goals. We absolutely love it!”

Sun's Favorite Rewards Redemption

Sun’s favorite type of reward redemptions are the ones where she can cover the cost of all travel expenses other than food (e.g., airfare, hotel, etc.) with points and miles. 

“I particularly enjoy the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, utilizing cards such as Chase Ink Business Cash® credit card and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card,” she says, “and transferring points earned from business expenses to Hyatt for hotel stays. Additionally, we appreciate transferring American Express Membership Rewards points from our Amex cards to British Airways for flights to and from LA to Hawaii.”

Mix and Match Credit Cards to Earn More Rewards

When earning points and miles, it’s important to understand that a single credit card might not be the best choice for every transaction. Instead, consider opening multiple reward credit cards to maximize your rewards-earning potential based on the bonus categories available from different credit card issuers. 

This strategy is one that finance, technology, and travel writer Eric Rosenberg, has used to earn well over a million points and miles over the past decade. “I mix and match [credit cards] to earn the most rewards possible when at restaurants, paying for travel, buying gas and shopping elsewhere,” he says.

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Rosenberg is also careful to take his time and look up multiple options when redeeming his credit card points and miles to evaluate their worth and make sure he gets the best deal possible. “I try to get the most value per point,” he says, “and all redemptions are not created equally.”

Rosenberg's Favorite Rewards Redemption

One of Rosenberg’s favorite credit card rewards redemptions was flying his father to Israel in business class. “We flew a combination of United, Lot, and Turkish Airlines for about $72 each out of pocket,” he says. “I paid 340,000 points for the round-trip flights from the United States.”  

Don’t Let Your Points and Miles Sit for Too Long

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Nearly every experienced points and miles enthusiast agrees on one piece of advice. Don’t hold on to the credit card rewards you earn for too long. If you do, their value might decline. And in some situations, your rewards might even expire. 

“The longer you save the rewards you earn,” says Nicolette Kay, travel expert at Semi-Budget Travel, "the bigger chance they have to be de-valued by the airline, hotel chain, etc. But if you’re creative enough, you can maximize your redemptions no matter what.”

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Southern California-based Kay has earned more than one and a half million points and miles over the years. The experienced travel expert also recommends being strategic about the new credit card bonuses you decide you want to earn. If you choose the wrong bonus opportunity, you could wind up with a collection of credit card points you can’t use. “For example, don’t get a United branded card,” Kay says, “if you will only ever fly American and its partner airlines.”

Kay's Favorite Rewards Redemption

Kay has cashed in the points and miles she’s earned over time for over 30 different travel redemptions. But one of her favorite redemptions were round trip flights last year for her family of four to Europe. 

Kay used a combination of United MileagePlus Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to United for the redemption of 312,000 miles. By comparison, the cash price for the roundtrip flights would have been over $8,000. 

“It is such a joy to be able to travel more and travel further with my family because of the value of points and miles,” she says. “The experiences we've had really are priceless.”

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Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.