If You Want to Travel the World for Free, Buy Printer Ink and Roses


The title of this post might sound a little silly, but it’s completely literal.

You can honestly travel the world for free simply by purchasing printer ink and roses.

How? Well, simply by making those purchases via online shopping portals. The two examples in the title aren’t just hypothetical; I actually took advantage of both recently.

Roses Are a Gift for Her and Me


Back in July, I bought roses for my old lady. Before I did, I logged in to the Ultimate Rewards Mall to see what kind of bonus point multiples Chase was offering for flowers.

Not long after I noticed that FTD was offering 10 extra points per dollar spent. So I clicked over to their website, found a nice bouquet, purchased it, and anxiously awaited my bonus points.

A week or so later, I received an e-mail from Chase notifying that I earned 810 extra points by making that purchase. I also made someone’s day…

If I simply used the 810 points for cash back, it would only equate to $8.10. But if I transfer the points to a frequent flyer program, they’ll be worth a whole lot more.

For the record, ProFlowers is currently offering 16 extra points per dollar. However, I’m not a big fan of them…used them in the past and felt the quality was lacking. Still, they’ll probably get the job done.

How Does 22 Extra Points Per Dollar Sound?


More recently, I noticed my printer was low on ink. Instead of having to drive over to Staples or some other office supply store, I simply fired up the UR Mall again and lo and behold, 4inkjets.com was offering 22 extra points per dollar.

That’s pretty darn good, so I quickly clicked through to their website and made a purchase. For the record, their prices are pretty cheap as well because they sell remanufactured ink, which some people claim can hurt your printer.

But I’m not that worried about it. I know that buying the manufacturer’s ink will most definitely hurt my wallet.

Anyway, I earned a whopping 1,317 Ultimate Rewards points for a mere $60 purchase by going through the mall. That equates to about $13 in cash back, but much more if I use it for travel later.

In total, these two simple purchases netted me over 2,100 UR points, with little to no extra work.

Imagine a year of similar purchases and you start to get an idea of how many extra points you can earn.

If I consciously shop through the UR mall, I’ll be able to start earning free flights and hotel rooms in no time. And yes, eventually I could absolutely earn enough to fly abroad. And so can you, especially with the awesome sign-up bonuses these cards offer!

This is just one example of the many opportunities available via the UR Mall. And it’s just one of the many portals out there.

There are also shopping portals for other credit cards, and for major airlines like AA, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, US Airways, and hotels like Hilton that earn great bonus point multiples as well.

So if you’re looking to travel, as opposed to simply earning cash back, be sure to check out these portals before making an online purchase. You’ll be glad you did.

Tip: Make sure you don’t shop on the merchant’s site before using the portal to ensure there aren’t cookies that nullify your bonus points. It may be best to clear your browser history before entering the portal, then making your purchase right away to avoid any misreporting.

By Colin Robertson

Colin created this blog after spending several years in a job that required him to scour credit reports on a daily basis. His goal is to help individuals better understand their credit and get the most out of credit cards.

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