This is part of my introduction series for new readers that may not know of these ways to use miles and points.
Here are five easy ways to earn frequent flyer miles without actually flying. Before you know it, you will be looking back through the curtain at coach as the flight attendant tops off your champagne in first class.
- Dining – Did you know you can earn miles and points from eating at particular restaurants? Most US airlines (and even hotels) participate in a nationwide program that gives you 1, 3, or 5 frequent flyer miles or points for every dollar you spend. Just, eat, swipe, and you’ll be on your way to a trip soon. Check out rewardsnetwork.com to sign up.
- Shopping online – Almost all airlines and hotel chains also have their own online shopping malls. Participating retailers are some of the same shops you buy from online. If you go through the airline’s shopping mall first, the airline will give you miles for every purchase you make. You can earn hundreds if not thousands of miles per order. I like aadvantageshopping.com to earn American Airlines miles.
- Debit cards – A few banks offer airline miles for your purchases. There are details here about all the banks and ways to do this but act fast – US Airways, Alaska Airlines, United and Delta all previously had debit cards that earned their miles too – but sadly they have all closed to new members.
- Credit cards – For those that want a trip right away, credit card sign up bonuses are the easy way to tens of thousands of free miles. Remember that you do not have to carry a balance and incur fees on your credit card, just pay off your balance at the end of every month. Most offer at least enough for one round trip ticket in the US, but currently there are several available that even offer two roundtrip tickets at sign up. I like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
- Taking Surveys – If you have more time than money you can sign up at e-miles.com and take short 1-3 question surveys awarding you usually 5-10 miles per survey. Sometimes there are opportunities for even more points and miles, but if this was your only method of earning miles it would take a few years to get to a free ticket. I have used this (and still do occasionally) though the other methods are significantly faster ways to reach your mileage goals.
BONUS: Did you know you can also earn miles and points at hotels and on car rentals? Even road warriors can rack up their miles and points, literally while they sleep!