The holiday season is right around the corner and shopping can always be a challenge, especially for picky friends and family. Instead, give the ultimate in flexibility with a gift card from the recipient’s favorite stores. The good news is, rather than shelling out cash, you can tap into your points and miles to pay for gift cards.
Whether you’re planning out your holiday shopping or simply want a gift card to your favorite store, here are several ways you can swap points and miles for gift cards.
Take advantage of airline-specific programs
Some airline loyalty programs include gift cards as one of their redemption options, and it’s a great option for anyone who has miles to burn but doesn’t have any upcoming travel planned. For example, United MileagePlus partners with more than 100 retailers, allowing members to exchange their miles for gift cards. Some offers include a $100 Amazon gift card for 15,500 miles or a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card for 7,500 miles. On the other hand, United also allows its members to trade in gift cards they already have in exchange for miles. So if you’ve received a gift card and don’t want anything from that particular store, all you have to do is enter the gift card information, and United will convert the value into award miles and deposit it into your account.
Another option is Delta SkyMiles. If you’re a SkyMiles Medallion member or have a Delta SkyMiles credit card from American Express, you can shop through the SkyMiles Marketplace, which has partnered with a variety of retailers. With the long list of retailers, you have your choice of options, including Starbucks and iTunes gift cards starting at 3,000 miles, and Target gift cards starting at 6,000 miles.
Redeem credit card rewards
If you have a rewards credit card and have been earning points and miles on everyday purchases like groceries and gas, you might be able to exchange these earnings for gift cards. Some credit cards even have specific rewards targeted toward gift card redemption. For example, Discover Cashback Match™ cardholders can earn one percent back on purchases, which you can then redeem toward gift cards, e-certificates and Amazon.com orders. Capital One QuicksilverOne cardholders have a similar option, enabling them to earn 1.5 percent cash back on purchases and redeem the cash for gift cards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is another program that has an option to redeem your points for gift cards. As an Ultimate Rewards cardholder, you can redeem your points for gift cards at a ratio of one cent per point (for most retailers). So, a $100 gift card could be yours for 10,000 points. Gift cards are available for top retailers and other businesses, including Home Depot, Sears and Marriott hotels.