Update: Some of the credit card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our credit card page for the latest offers.
Want to travel more? Did you know you can earn airline miles without leaving home? You can earn millions of frequent flyer miles without getting on an airplane. That’s how I’ve been able to fly First Class on Lufthansa, First Class on Cathay Pacific, and in the First Class Apartment on Etihad. Simply from earning airline miles the easy way – without flying. Knowing how to earn lots of miles without flying can help you take that dream vacation sooner. Here are 7 easy ways to earn frequent flyer miles without flying.
Posts related to frequent flyer miles and free travel:
- AYCE (All You Can Earn): Miles and Points Binging
- Extreme Mile and Point Collecting
- How to Travel for Free
- Tricks to Save Money on Airline Tickets
7 Easy Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying
There are many ways to earn frequent flyer miles. Earning airline miles, like life, should be simple. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 7 easy ways to earn frequent flyer miles without flying.
Here are just a few things you can do to earn frequent flyer miles without traveling. Most of these things you might already be doing.
1. Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
Let’s start with the biggest bang for your buck: credit card sign-up bonuses.
Credit card sign-up bonuses are the quickest way to earn the most airline miles. Sign-up bonuses range from 25,000 to 100,000 miles for each credit card.
Yep, you could earn up to 100,000 frequent flyer miles from a single credit card.
The airline miles are deposited into your account after you meet the minimum spending requirements which vary depending on the card.
And most importantly, pay off your balance each month. If you can’t pay your balance in full, you should not apply for new credit cards.
Paying interests on your purchases costs more than the miles you’ll earn.
Current High Sign-up Bonuses:
- 40,000 Southwest points from the Southwest Premier Rewards card
- 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card
- $150 cash back from the Chase Freedom card
Pro-tip: You don’t have to get an airline card to earn frequent flyer miles. Points earned with bank cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred transfer to airlines. And you can convert hotel points into frequent flyer miles.
You should read these posts related to flying free and credit cards:
- 7 Unusual Ways to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements
- How to Fly Free for Two Years
- Can Credit Card Points Earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
- How to Transfer Choice Hotel Points to Southwest
- 25 Credit Cards With Low Minimum Spending Requirements (Under $1,000)
You can earn up to 5 miles per dollar spent when dining out. No coupons or codes are needed. It’s as simple as swiping your credit card.
The beauty of this program is that it’s totally easy.
Created a free dining account with the airline you want to earn miles for, link your credit card, and pay with the linked card. Simple as that.
No coupons or codes required. No weird having to explain yourself. It’s all handled on the backend by computers. So no embarrassing bits. You’ll always save face.
Current Enrollment Bonuses:
- 1,000 bonus Alaska Airlines miles
- 1,000 bonus American Airlines miles
- 3,000 bonus Delta Airline miles
- 1,000 bonus Southwest points
- 2,500 bonus United Airlines miles
Pro-tip: You can also earn hotel points at restaurants. Here’s an offer for 2,000 bonus Hilton points.
Pro-tip: Split the bill into two charges. Paying each “bill” separately, even if using the same card, counts as two dines vs one dine.
3. Online Shopping
Have you been missing out on thousands of airline miles?
You might be if you haven’t been using the airline shopping portals for your online shopping purchases.
Depending on the promotion, you can earn up to 30 miles for every dollar you spend. Now if that’s not enough to get your shopping on, I don’t know what is.
Current Shopping Bonuses:
Pro-tip: Bank rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred also have a shopping portal where you can earn extra points.
Pro-tip: If shopping through an airline shopping portal, don’t pay with the airline credit card. If you return an item, you’ll lose your miles.
It’s not a lot of miles, maybe a couple hundred a month. But it could be worth it if you have free time and need to keep your frequent flyer miles from expiring.
Pro-tip: Use separate email accounts for each frequent flyer account. So you can earn miles for several airlines instead of just one.
5. Charitable Donations
Do something good for others and get a few miles in the process. Here are some the ways you can earn airlines miles by donating to charity.
- Up to 600,000 American Airlines miles a year for donations to Susan G. Komen Foundation
- Up to 1 million miles per year for donations to the National Foundation for Cancer Research (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines)
- Up to 600,000 American Airlines miles per year when you donate to Stand Up to Cancer
Pro-tip: Use your airline credit card to earn miles through Kiva. Kiva is a micro-lending platform that lets you fund small loans with your credit card. New to Kiva? Get $25 to lend when you use my invite code.
6. Banking & Financial Services
Tired of paying banking fees? Here’s how you can get a little something back.
- Earn up to 60,000 American Airlines miles a year at BankDirect
- Up to 48,000 Delta Airlines miles a year at SunTrust
- 50,000 American Airlines miles when you open a checking account at Citibank (this offer comes and goes)
- 50,000 miles for opening up a brokerage account with Fidelity (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines)
Pro-tip: Keep your money in the account for a month after the minimum requirement. That way you won’t lose the miles.
7. Pay Taxes
If you’re stuck paying Uncle Sam instead of getting a tax return, consider using your airline-branded credit card to pay your tax bill.
You’ll pay a fee of up to 2.25% when using a credit or debit card.
Pro-tip: If your tax bill is small, it might not be worth paying the fee to pay by credit card. Unless you have to meet minimum spending on a new credit card.
Knowing how to earn frequent flyer miles without flying means traveling now instead of later.
Flying First Class instead of coach. Or being able to take many trips a year instead of one every couple of years.
From credit card signup bonuses, dining out, to shopping, you can earn millions of frequent flyer miles a year.
What’s your favorite easy way to earn frequent flyer miles without flying?
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