Reaping Your Rewards

Big financial moves can add up to big rewards


If you’re looking to buy or sell a house or refinance, don’t miss out on the thousands of points you could earn just by going with a bank offering a big promotion

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A lot of people know that refinancing your home can save you a lot of money in mortgage payments. But a lot of people probably don’t know that refinancing can also earn you boatloads of reward points.

People go to great lengths to earn reward points, but buying or refinancing a house just for the purpose of earning points doesn’t make a lot of sense. Those financial moves have substantial upfront costs, though they can save you money in the long term as interest rates are still historically low.

However, if you know about some of the deals for reward points that are out there, and you are considering buying or refinancing a house, then you might want to investigate the incentives dangled by credit card companies and airlines. In some cases, you can earn 100,000 bonus points by receiving a home loan from the right vendor.

It is always delightful to earn points for things you were going to do anyway. It can make a lot of sense to pay attention to offers that are out there so you can take advantage of them when life circumstances arise.

Home buying and refinancing points offers
Capital One offers 100,000 points to holders of its Venture or Venture One cards when they buy or refinance a home through Capital One. Applicants have to apply by phone and mention an offer code, and when the deal closes, the bank places the miles in the customer’s credit card account.

Chase had a similar offer that expired in August 2017, but don’t be surprised if it revives the deal at some point.

American Airlines also has a few partners that offer AAdvantage miles for housing-related services. It has teamed up with Sirva, which can help in a variety of ways.

The company pairs home buyers or sellers with a real estate agent, and if the sale closes, the customer receives 5,000 miles for every $25,000 in home value. Financing the mortgage through Sirva’s mortgage unit earns 1,250 miles for every $10,000 financed. And the company also has a deal with moving companies: Use one, and it’s another 5,000.

The company has a chart on its website showing how selling a $250,000 home, buying a new $250,000 home, financing $200,000 and using the movers would result in 155,000 American miles – the equivalent of six domestic round-trips or 2.5 tickets to Europe.

American has a similar program called “Miles from Home” with Cartus: Use a real estate agent referred by the program to buy or sell a house, and earn 2,000 miles per $10,000 of home value. That works out to 50,000 miles on a $250,000 house.

United Airlines has a similar but less lucrative deal with Quicken Loans: Close a home loan, and earn 25,000 MileagePlus miles.

Points when refinancing student loans
Even if you aren’t buying or selling a house, there are financial moves you can make that can earn you rewards.

JetBlue has a partnership with SoFi that offers up to 50,000 JetBlue miles when customers refinance their student loans.

Of course, before you make any major financial move such as buying or selling a house, or refinancing a mortgage or student loan, you’ll want to consider the ramifications. Banks and airlines and their partners stand to make money off the arrangement, so make sure that you are receiving the best financial deal before signing on with one of these programs.

The sheer number of points or miles you can earn from these companies is staggering, but be careful not to make a poor financial move just for the sake of banking some easy reward points.

See related: Rack up rewards by charging your home-buying costsScoring a great rewards card from your existing bank, 5 questions to ask before making a big purchase for rewards 

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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