Can you believe it’s that time of year again? Summer has come to a close and teachers and students are back in the classroom. But while the start of the school year always brings some much-needed peace and quiet at home (those of you with kids can surely sympathize), back-to-school supplies seem to require a budget of their own. Luckily, you can make the best of the shopping season by earning points and miles while gearing up for classes. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. 

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Go online!

Is there anything better than shopping from the comfort of your own couch? Several airlines actually offer the chance to earn points and miles when you shop for school supplies online. Alaska Airlines recently awarded Mileage Plan members an extra 400 miles for every $200 spent through their online shopping portal, along with a bonus of up to 1,500 miles for every $750 spent. With more than 800 online retailers to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem finding the perfect back-to-school outfit.

American Airlines also joined in on the fun by rewarding AAdvantage program members with 700 bonus miles for $350 spent on qualifying purchases in their online shopping portal. Similar to Alaska Airlines, members who spent over $750 earned the maximum number of bonus miles (1,500). Keep a close eye on your favorite loyalty programs so you don’t miss out on great earning opportunities like these.

And, if you’re an avid shopper, you can always earn points and miles year-round with your favorite hotel or airline by tapping into their earn malls and auctions.

Charge it to a rewards credit card

For those heading off to college soon, back-to-school shopping takes on a whole new meaning. On top of shopping for school supplies, there are dorm essentials like a mini fridge, TV, bedding and decor. Costs that quickly add up. The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card awards you one percent back on everything you buy for a dorm room and also offers cardholders three percent cash rewards on grocery and drugstore purchases. It’s a great way to grow your loyalty balances throughout the year on day-to-day purchases.

If you’re interested in using points and miles you’ve already racked up to help lower the cost of back-to-school shopping, check out the ThankYou Rewards Program from Citi. Members can apply their ThankYou points toward back-to-school purchases with a wide range of retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon. Just be sure to have your Citi Rewards credit card on hand when it’s time to check out.

With a little planning, back-to-school shopping doesn’t have the break the bank — and it can also help you get well on your way to your next travel reward!