Saying to someone that their dream trip is only 100,000 miles away may sound like an eternity to most, but what if you were earning 2-5x faster? Sound a bit better. One very simple trick to earn more miles than ever before is to pay attention to category spending. Here's everything you need to know!


Ok, So What's Category Spending In A Nutshell?

If you have a rewards earning credit card, let's assume everything and I mean everything you buy will earn one mile per dollar spent. Category spending is where you can earn between 1.5 to 5x for each purchase, depending on category. So for example, with Card A you might get 2x points on travel purchases, whereas Card B gives you 3x points on travel purchases...

How Do I Know Which Card To Use And When?

That's on you! Knowing the benefits of your cards are one of the most overlooked areas in travel. Look at what's in your wallet, go to the website where your card is offered and look into what counts for what. Some cards offer no category bonuses while others offer double on dining, triple on travel and some even offer five times on certain rotating categories. 

Give Me A Great Example

Ok, so let's say I have an Amex Gold, A Chase Sapphire Preferred and A Chase Freedom. When I book airline tickets direct with an airline I'll book with the Amex Gold because it earns 3x points. The Chase Freedom rotates 5x earning categories every three months. This quarter I'll earn 5x at grocery stores, so therefore I'll use that card because no other card offers more than 2x. For dining, it's a toss up between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amex Gold.

Expert Tips

I always advocate for people to do all their spending on credit cards. Use it just like you would a debit card, never buying things you can't afford and paying in full each month. If you follow those guidelines and maximize category bonuses, just by doing some basic research you'll find yourself with more points than ever with minimal effort. Enjoy the rewards!