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Happy Toes: 7 Easy Ways to Earn Rewards Faster

Looking to get those toes in tropical water, faster? For many of us, it's the business travel perk we like the most - getting to accumulate points and miles. If you haven't started strategizing yet, here's how you can get you started, easily. And if you are already paying attention, these tips may help you accelerate your point accumulation. Who knows, maybe your next vacation can truly be free!

Without a lot of effort, time, or the risk associated with buying up gift cards, for example, these 7 tips will help you accumulate more points and miles faster, and with ease:

1. Got a favorite airline or hotel chain?

It's worth signing up for a rewards program with a hotel or airline if you prefer it over other chains or hubs. In fact, you might even be able to find a credit card with a sign-up bonus and no annual fee, that caters to them both. If the annual fee is waived for the first year, it still may be worth it. For example, some cards/clubs will offer at least 50,000 bonus points, as long as you spend $3,000 within a six months. This really can be worth it. Just make sure you patronize the airline and hotel so the miles and points continue can grow.

2. Trust someone to join in on the fun?

If you have someone in your life you trust to share these kinds of points and miles rewards priorities, consider adding her or him as an authorized user on your new card. It can help you double your points quickly. Be sure you keep track of these cards, though, because at the end of each month, you'll be responsible to pay them both off.

3. Use this card for business travel

In recent years, many companies started to try and reclaim points and miles from their employees, but have relinquished this control after business travelers balked at the unfairness of it all. So be sure to check your company's policy first. If allowed, always use your personal reward cards for your travel expenses. You'll get reimbursed by your company, of course, but think of all of those added points and miles!

4. Group dinner? Pick up the tab and let your friends pay you back

Next big GNO, offer to pay the bill! Big points grab! If any of them travel, they'll get it immediately. Be sure to get the math right so you'll get paid in full. And of course, always pay off your monthly balance to make sure all of this is worth it.

5. Make plastic your way to pay

You may love the benefits you'll get when you use plastic instead of cash, in addition to racking up the miles and points. For example, every month you'll see an itemized list of where you're spending your money. And then, at the end of the year, your taxes become a breeze - everything's itemized! You may love this. Again, be sure to pay this card off monthly. Those fees, interest and any late charges negate the gains quickly, so make it your new normal.

6. Participate in dining programs

Check out your new card or club for restaurants you love and participate regularly. So many people forget to even look. You may be surprised to find a coffee shop, lunch or dinner haunt that you actually love and already frequent. So be sure to check so you don't miss out!

7. Watch for limited-time offers

So many of us hate emails - they are annoying, time consuming and distracting. But to take advantage of limited time offers, you'll need to be sure read the emails/updates from your new card or club regularly. Typically, these offers can be high-value, but limited-time offers. So be sure to check. They can be really meaningful and help you get those last few miles you need for the free vacation of your dreams.

Have you been happy with your rewards programs? Join the Go Jane Go Exclusive Group and share your tips for getting real added value out of your business travel points and miles. We share advice on a broad range of topics - we'd love to have you join us, too. We're a truly unique community of business travelers. Find us on Twitter, follow us on Instagram, and consider liking our Facebook Page. Here's to success on every business trip.

~Journey On, Janes

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