Travel hacking and points: Return of the Hat trick

Travel hacking and points: Return of the Hat trick

Travel Hack Planning

Back in May of 2020, I wrote about an event that I was very proud of.  I performed the rare occurrence of scoring a travel hacking hat trick.   I got awarded points 3 times, from 3 different points programs for one transaction.  (Hat Trick:  In field hockey and ice hockey, a hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single game.)

At the time, that was a rare feat for me, but, now, with Chrome extensions, I perform this feat every time I make purchases at some of my favorite e-commerce sites.

I’ve used travel reward points from various credit cards such as the Capital One Venture Card and the United Explorer MileagePlus Card.  You earn points every time you make purchases with the card.  At this time, I use the Venture Card most often for many of my purchases.  I pay bills with it every month earning 2 points for every dollar spent.  I am also part of two separate points programs.  I’ve earned free flights for me and my wife and two sons to Mexico, Bermuda, Hawaii, Orlando, and the Bahamas.

American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping Program is their travel points program.  You can earn points when buying from their business partners.  You can earn points if you shop at the website of partners such as Old Navy, Samsung, H&R Block to name a few.  You can go there and access these deals but they’ve provided a much more efficient way to take advantage of these points.  They have a Google Chrome Extension. When you go to the site of a partner, a pop up appears to give you the opportunity to activate the points.

Aadvantage

 

Mypoints.com is the same concept as the AAdvantage eShopping Program.  They have partnerships with various stores and brands and you earn points from shopping.  Those points can be used for a lot of things, but, for the sake of this article, you can redeem the points for gift cards for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United. There are three tiers:  $100, $250, and $500.  These gift cards, naturally, can be used to purchase flight tickets.  Mypoints.com also has a chrome extension that will pop up when you land on a website of one of their partners.

MyPoints websiteMyPoints website

 

The first time I took advantage of the points hat trick, I received a sales email from AAdvantage promoting FTD Florists for Mother’s Day.  I decided to buy flowers for my mother and wife, knowing that I’d earn some AAdvantage points, but, to my surprise when I got to their site, Mypoints was also partnered with them.  So, I was going to receive points from both AAdvantage and Mypoints, but, I also used my Venture card to make the purchase.  Three different rewards points.  That was a one-time thing.  Now, there are two sites I shop often, and I’ve started receiving points from all three programs more frequently.

The Vitamin Shoppe.  This is a recurring hat trick because I often purchase things such as vitamins and Goli Gummies (Apple Cider Vinegar), protein shakes, and all things I and my family need for good health.  These are never big-ticket items but a $60 purchase can bring in over 200 points.  I get 2 points for every dollar with AAdvantage, 1 point per dollar from Mypoints, and 2 points per dollar when I use my Venture card.  I buy things from the Vitamin Shoppe just about every week, so by the end of the month, I have accrued a decent amount of points.

The Vitamin Shoppe website

BJs Wholesale Club.  This is another recurring hat trick but the purchases can get to a good size.  I can easily spend a few hundred dollars on grocery shopping and that happens a couple of times per month.  Where BJs really kicks in is when you make big purchases and I just recently bought a 70-inch tv.  At BJs I get 1 point per dollar for Mypoints, 1 point per dollar for AAdvantage, and 2 points per dollar for using the Venture card.

BJs Wholesale Club website

 

These are both nice ways to “always be earning points”.  Each program offers different points for different sellers.  I stumbled across a great deal when I went to purchase McAfee Virus Protection for my computer.  AAdvantage was offering 15 points per dollar but Mypoints was offering a whopping 90 points per dollar.  A $60 purchase netted me almost 6000 points for a single purchase.

McAfee Website

 

This is a great way to “always be earning” points when you do normal, routine things you perform every month, every week, or even every day.  Believe me, it feels really great to earn a free flight to a place you’ve always wanted to travel to.  These latest points are going to go towards a flight to the Maldives, or Santorini, Greece.  I haven’t decided yet.

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