Hey there, you’re reading an outdated post! The updated series from March 2013 can be found here.
This is the twenty-seventh post in a monthlong series. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.
I’ve already talked about a ton of ways to earn miles: card sign up bonuses, card retention bonuses, category bonuses, online shopping, dining programs, among others. But there are tons more, a few I’ll highlight in this post, and the rest I’ll tell you where to find.
For simplicity, I’ll be looking at ways to earn United miles in this post, but most of these ways work with every airline’s loyalty program. On United’s homepage, put the cursor over Mileage Plus and click Earn Award miles.
Look at the category marked “When you spend…” and click on its links. I’ll highlight a few of the most popular deals:
1. Netflix- 2,000 miles for signing up. Current and previous members are ineligible, and other airlines are offering more miles.
2. Fidelity- Earn up to 50,000 miles depending on the size of your deposit into a new non-retirement brokerage account. Thepointsguy has a great post on exploiting this program.
3. Others: you can earn miles by changing your phone company, energy company, buying flowers, joining a wine club and dozens of other ways.
Some of the options to get miles are incredible values, and some are marginal. The point of this post is simply to open a beginners’ eyes to the fact that almost everything you buy could be earning you miles. It may be worthwhile to root around on United’s Earn Miles page and the comparable page of your other favorite airlines.
What if you don’t want to spend time sifting through all those pages? The easiest way to keep abreast of the best opportunities to earn miles is to check Flyertalk’s MilesBuzz! forum daily. In it you’ll find all the best credit card sign up bonuses, portal bonuses, all the deals I’ve mentioned in this post, and much more.