Credit cards are the best way to earn airline miles quickly. First is the signup bonus, which gives you a large chunk of miles or points for completing a certain amount of spending within a few months of getting the card (usually 3 months). Then, you can also earn points and miles for using your credit cards for purchases. Many cards also gives you extra points on certain categories. You can check out credit card offers here.
But what if you do not have a card for the miles you want, or you don’t want to open new cards. Don’t worry, there’s other ways to add miles and points to your accounts without a credit card.
Shopping portals are probably the first thing that comes to mind when looking to earn miles and points. You go through the shopping portal to purchase something online and you earn miles. Sometimes these portals also offers extra bonuses, which make earning miles even easier. And it is for things that you would already buy. It’s still best to compare rates to other cashback sites, and decide for yourself if it’s better to go for miles, or just plain cash. Here’s some shopping portals that can earn you miles and points.
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping
- Amtrak Guest Rewards
- British Airways Avios eStore
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Choice Privileges Mall
- Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Shopping
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles Online Mall
- JetBlue Airways ShopTrue
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Shopping
- United Airlines MileagePlus Shopping
Dining programs are similar to shopping portals, but they reward you for dining out. If a restaurant participates in the Rewards Network, which serves most airlines dining programs for example, you will earn miles. Here’s some of the dining programs that can earn you miles and points:
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining
- American Airlines AAdvantage Dining
- Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Dining
- Hilton Honors Dining
- IHG Rewards Club Dining
- JetBlue Airways TrueBlue Dining
- Orbitz Rewards Dining
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Dining
- Spirit Dining
- United Airlines MileagePlus Dining
- Also check out Amex Offers that can earn you Membership Rewards points at some restaurants
Some airlines and hotels also let you earn miles and points for filling out surveys, leaving reviews and other similar activities. Some of these might take a while, so might not be worth the time.
- Alaska Airlines: The Opinion Terminal
- American Airlines: e-Rewards
- JetBlue Airways Points for Surveys
- Southwest Airlines e-Rewards
- United Airlines Opinion Miles Club
Always Use Your Rewards Program Number
Whether you’re flying or staying at a hotel, always use your rewards program number for that airlines or hotel. You can earn miles for every flight or stay, and those add up. If you book with the same brand over and over you can also earn a higher status which gives you even more miles or points.
Earn from Partners
Airlines and hotel chains let you earn miles and points for purchasing or booking with some of their partners. JetBlue or Delta for example will give you miles for booking Lyft rides. You can earn Southwest miles when you book hotels, car rentals etc. Check the list of partners for your favorite brand, and maybe you find something that will earn you miles for what you already do.
Open Bank Accounts
I usually post bonuses for bank accounts here. Most of these bonuses give you cash, but there’s also a few that reward you with miles and points and even let you earn them in the long terms by using your debit card. Citi for example has offers that can earn you American Airlines miles or ThankYou points. UFB Direct lets you earn 1 mile for every $3 spent.
As mentioned at the top of the article, the best way to get lots of miles or points quickly, is probably through credit cards. You can also buy them, but that’s rarely a good deal, unless there’s some kind of promotion. Then there’s the six options listed here that can fill up your accounts little by little in the long run. These options are also useful to keep your miles and points from expiring.
Let me know of any other options that aren’t listed here.