This is the seventeenth 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 flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go. Previously Shopping Portals.

I’ve already talked about a ton of ways to earn miles: card sign up 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. 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 this program.

2. Car rentals- Almost any car rental can be credited to almost any airline for 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 credit card sign up bonuses, portal bonuses, all the deals I’ve mentioned in this post, and much more.

Continue to Airline Hubs and Alliances.

5 COMMENTS

  1. is the fidelity thing still alive? last i heard it didn’t work anymore if you cycled funds to and from to meet the minimum balance requirement

  2. The Points Guy summary of the Fidelity bonus is very outdated. You cannot cycle money. You must leave the money in for 6 months. Bonuses are available on a rolling 12 month basis if you play by the rules. If you put money in, get the points, and pull it back out, you MAY lose the points and the ability to do it again.

  3. Reviewing Fidelity’s T&C just two days ago, it looks like you can also ADD the required amount to an existing account. I already took advantage of the offer with $25k and the points are posted. My plan is to add another $1k to keep it open, at the end of 6+ months transfer $25k out and have my partner open a new Fidelity account with the money. As long as there are no other good places to park a small amount of cash, we may do this a couple more times.

  4. […] This is the seventeenth 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 flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go. Previously You Can Earn Miles Doing Anything. […]

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