Signing up for an airline credit card is the quickest way to build a large mileage account but it might seem unnecessary, especially if you aren’t regularly flying to assignments. However, if you could accumulate an immense amount of points and miles from your regular expenses even if you drive to your contracts, would you get one? The truth is you can earn more airline miles by driving and spending the money on gas than you could earn it in the sky. Who knew?
Some of the easiest benefits come with your accommodations. Using a long term stay hotel like Staybridge (part of International Hotels group) you could quickly accumulate tens of thousands of points redeemable in Paris, Bali, Tokyo or something closer to home. Another great resource for housing is AirBnB, but great places for long term can be tough to come by. On a current promotion for a 13 week contract, a travel nurse would amass 65,000 points, enough for six nights at a Holiday Inn. You would also earn elite status, giving you benefits like priority check-in, 50% bonus points, room upgrades and an elite only priority reservation line.
But wait, there’s more.
Opening an airline credit card used to be the only way to earn easy bonus miles, but now you can do the same by opening a checking account and setting up a direct deposit. This is a great solution for those that don’t want to add another line of credit or are repairing their score. On top of mileage bonuses (up to 30,000 miles) you also earn one mile per dollar spent, and if you choose a credit card, two miles on gas, restaurants and groceries. Doing some back of the napkin math, travel nurses could easily rack up 60,000 miles their first year with the card.
You can earn miles for almost anything. Airlines have branded online shopping malls where you can earn miles for purchases at Wal-mart (1 mile/dollar), iTunes (2 miles/dollar), and tons of other everyday purchases. For travel nurses who spend time on the road, you can get 2,500 miles for a new Netflix subscription, 1,500 miles to send your flowers for Mother’s Day, 900 miles for Omaha Steaks for your Dad’s birthday. The earning opportunities are endless.
As a traveling professional you give a lot up to serve communities that need you most and should be likewise rewarded. Your travel spend is important to tons of companies – they want you to spend money with them and will give you a reason to do so.
So close your eyes. Dream of a destination that you have always wanted to visit. Find a program that makes this an achievable goal, and do it! You have the opportunity and the capability. The only thing holding you back from a free trip to Tokyo is… you.