If you only travel by air once or twice a year, it can take a long time to accumulate enough frequent flyer miles to earn a free ticket. It’s easy to boost your mileage balance from the comfort of your home, however, through a few different methods. I will address these programs in this and future blog postings. Today, let’s focus on earning miles while shopping.
Major airlines offer you miles for purchases made with companies participating in their bonus miles programs. Typically, you go to the airline’s shopping website, and click a link to access the site where you wish to shop. This launches a tracking mechanism that records the amount of your purchase and credits you with bonus miles based on that amount.
For example, Delta’s Skymiles Shopping site is currently offering deals like these:
- 4 miles per dollar spent at Home Depot
- 5 miles per dollar spent at Lands End and Kmart
- 6 miles per dollar at Sears
United Mileage Plus deals include:
- 3 miles per dollar at Barnes & Noble
- 2 miles per dollar at OfficeMax
- 3 miles per dollar at the Nike Store
The American Airlines AAdvantage E-Shopping Mall has:
Mileage amounts offered at specific retailers change periodically. To earn miles, you will need to create an account at the shopping sites and provide your frequent flyer number. There is no charge for using the sites and no fee to get the bonus miles.
If you return an item for which you received bonus miles, the corresponding amount may be deducted from your frequent flyer account.
If you have a credit card which earns frequent flyer miles, you may be able to get two sets of bonus miles for a single transaction. For example, a Gold Delta Skymiles cardholder would get 30 miles for a $30 purchase made on the Home Depot website (1 mile per dollar on all card purchases), plus 120 bonus miles for using the airline’s shopping portal.
To get the most out of these shopping programs, bookmark the portal site for your favorite airline’s shopping program and make a habit of going there each time you make an online purchase. If you forget to go through the virtual mall to get to your shopping site, you can’t earn miles.