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This is the ninth post in a monthlong series that started here. 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 flyer 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 the big ways to earn miles:

To me, these represent the best ways to earn the most miles, but you can earn miles doing almost anything.

I’ll highlight a few ways in this post, and the rest I’ll tell you where to find.

  • How can you earn 50,000 miles by opening a brokerage account?
  • What constantly updated forum tells you the best mileage earning opportunities?

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 “Everyday activities” and click on its links.

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I’ll highlight a few of the most popular deals:

1. Fidelity

Earn up to 50,000 miles depending on the size of your deposit into a new non-retirement brokerage account. Check out Fidelity’s page on the offer for more information.

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2. Car rentals

Almost any car rental can be credited to almost any airline for miles. Usually, there is an additional fee to earn airline miles on a car rental, so make sure the fee is worth the miles.

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. For each one you have to do the math of how much the miles are worth and how much time or extra money you’re spending to acquire them. You also need to consider if the miles are worth less than any extra costs associated with earning the miles.

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 portal bonuses, all the deals I’ve mentioned in this post, and much more.

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

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