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

Jul 31, 2019

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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.

Next, you’ll want to stock up on Amazon gift cards to truly maximize your earnings. You can buy Amazon gift cards at a US supermarket with an American Express® Gold Card to earn 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar on those purchases (up to $25,000; 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 and Ink Business Cash 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:

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)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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