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Get Your Paws Off My Miles — How the Points Pups Earn Points

July 31, 2019
6 min read
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When maximizing miles for your family, there's no reason to leave the furriest family members out of the fun. Whether you have a points pup or a first-class feline, there are plenty of ways to turn those monthly orders for food, toys, pet supplies and more into your next vacation (we're just not responsible for what your pets may do when they see your suitcase come out — again).

The points pups require lots of food and toys
The Points Pups require lots of food and toys

Maximize Miles on Pet Food

One of the best shopping revolutions of the 21st century is having 40-pound bags of pet food delivered right to our doors thanks to online shopping (and strong delivery people). Luckily, when you order pet food and other supplies online, you can easily rack up the rewards just as you do most other online purchases.

Shop Through an Online Portal

The quickest way to spot how many miles per dollar you can earn for your online pet food order is to head to cashbackmonitor.com and look for the online shopping portal that is awarding the most miles per dollar where you want to shop. These rates can and do vary, so check each time, but a few current examples include:

  • PETCO: 5 British Airways Avios per dollar
  • Walmart: 3 JetBlue points per dollar
  • Dog.com: 4% cashback from TopCashBack
  • Target: 2 Amtrak points per dollar

Related: Guide to Maximizing Online Shopping Sites

Check the United MileagePlus X App

You can earn United miles by purchasing immediate electronic gift cards within the United MileagePlus X app. For example, if you are at Petco and have a bill of $85.84, you can open up your app and immediately purchase a PETCO gift card for that exact amount and earn bonus miles paying at the register with your new gift card. This also works when paying for an order online. Currently, PETCO e-gift cards are awarding 2 miles per dollar, which will stack with the miles you can earn by going through a shopping portal site.

In addition to PETCO, within the app you will often find bonus mile opportunities at pet-friendly shopping destinations such as Walmart, Sam's Club and more. Those with a United Airlines credit card, such as the United Explorer Card, get a 25% bonus on miles earned via the app.

Stack and Save on Amazon

If you order your pet supplies via Amazon, there are lots of ways to stack earnings and save money. First, get your orders set on an Amazon subscribe-and-save subscription

for up to 15% off items like dog or cat food, treats, etc. that you need regularly.

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Next, you'll want to stock up on Amazon gift cards to truly maximize your earnings. You can buy Amazon gift cards at a U.S. supermarket with an American Express® Gold Card to earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar on those purchases (up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x). Alternatively, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card could be used to purchase Amazon gift cards at an office supply store to earn 5x (on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year). The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is also an option that would give you 5% back on Amazon purchases.

Here's a full rundown of the best credit cards to use for Amazon purchases.

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Save Money on Pet Supplies

In addition to earning miles or points, your rewards credit cards can help you save money on pet costs. Two main ways to save money thanks to your cards are via Amex Offers and Chase Offers, both of which you can add to your cards online. You can then use your cards that have the offers loaded to automatically save money or earn bonus points. The exact pet-related offers come and go, but some current offers include:

  • Bark Box: 10% cash back (Chase Offers)
  • Kriser's Natural Pet: 10% cash back (Chase Offers)
  • Rover: Spend $50, Get $10 Back (Amex Offers)

Best Credit Cards for Pet Costs

The average cost of owning a pet each year can easily top $1,200, so from vet visits, to boarding, supplies and beyond, it pays to use the right credit cards for those costs. For charges like vet check-ups and grooming appointments that fall outside routine credit card bonus categories, a solid everyday credit card is probably your best in show choice for pet expenses. A few of our suggestions include:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1.5% (1.5x points) on purchases
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 2x Venture miles on purchases
  • The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express: 2x Membership Rewards points on purchases on the first $50,000 in purchases each calendar year; then 1x
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: 1% back when you buy and 1% back when you pay

For online purchases, a great choice might be the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card, which awards 3% back on your choice of rotating categories, one of which is online shopping (up to $2,500 per quarter; then 1%). To make things even sweeter, depending on your banking relationship with Bank of America, you might get that total to go as high as 5.25% back.

Bottom Line

The TPG Points Pups (or, at least their puppy parents) stack many of these opportunities to turn dog treats into beach retreats. For example, you can shop through an online portal for 5x miles, buy a gift card on the MileagePlus X app to earn 3x miles and pay for that gift card with a card that earns 2x miles to really rack up the rewards. Once your own pups help earn all these miles and points, it's only fair to explore how to take them along on your next vacation.

Points Pup on vacation (Photo by Danielle Vito / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees