Miles & Miles: 8 Ways to Earn Miles without Flying

Airline miles are a type of loyalty reward offered by airlines to their customers. Customers can earn miles by flying with the airline or through other activities such as using a credit card affiliated with the airline. These miles can then be redeemed for a variety of rewards, such as free flights or upgrades to a premium class of service. Here are my “Top 10 ways to Earn Miles without Flying”.

Table of Contents:

1: Credit Card Signup Bonuses

Photo by American Express

Probably the top method on every traveler’s list, credit sign up bonuses offer a lucrative amount of miles for minimal work. Most mid-tier credit cards carry an annual fee if around $90-$100, but some have the fee waived during the first year. These card typically offer anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 miles, with occasional offers higher than that range. By earning miles from a sign up bonus, you will most likely be able to redeem at least one round trip ticket baring award space avalaibility.

2: Shopping Portals

Shopping portals is a great way to stack on the savings (or earnings). Rakuten is one of the largest shopping portals, but many airlines also run their own shopping portal. American, United, and Alaska are just a few to operate their own shopping portal.

3. Credit Card Linked Offers

American Airlines credit cards are eligible to be linked with Simply Miles, a platform that allows you to add special offers many of which award bonus miles for shopping at specific stores. Delta Airlines Credit Cards are issued by American Express giving card holders access to Amex Offers. Meanwhile United Airlines also has the MPX app, which provides users a unique ability to both add offers to their card and purchase giftcards while earning bonus miles.

4: Hotel Bookings

Earn Bonus miles on American Airlines with Hyatt Stays, Photo of Andaz Maui from Hyatt

Some airlines have their own hotel bookings platform. American Airlines allows you to book hotels and earn an abundance of both American miles and loyalty points! This can be a great way to book hotels if prices are roughly the same elsewhere. Keep in mind that booking hotels through an airline platform will probably not qualify for elite benefits or earn hotel points. Make sure to double check before placing your booking!

5. Vacation Packages

Vacation packages are offered by airlines which can include flights, hotels, and car rental in a one package. Often times, in addition to earning points for spend, airlines will also offer extra “bonus points” for purchasing a vacation package.

6. Hotel Stays via Special Partnerships

Some airlines have a unique partnership with hotels brands than allow you to earn a small amount of miles per night. For example, if you’re staying with Hyatt, you can earn 1 mile per dollar on top of the usual earnings rate. This is a nice but unspectacular bonus that comes at 0 additional cost.

7. Ride Share

photo of person holding iphone
Photo by Thought Catalog on

Ride Share programs such as Uber and Lyft are becoming smarter and have begun partnering with airlines to offer dual earning. Lyft is one of the bigger players in the market, partnering with Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines to offer miles per ride. While you probably won’y earn an extra 25,000 miles a year from Ride Share groups, it is a nice cherry on top!

8. Refer a Friend

If you have a co-branded credit card, you can earn miles for referring a friend who successfully signs up for the card. I always (big emphasis on always) believe that you should refer and use referral links from those in your network(friends, family colleagues). Keeping referrals in network can be a great way to bolster everyone’s points stash. Just be sure to check if you’re getting the best sign up bonus possible when using a referral link as offers might differ.

Final Thoughts

You can earn miles in many other compelling ways that don’t require flying. Whether you’re earning bonus points for a hotel stay, Lyft ride, or credit card sign up bonus, these methods can easily help you build your stash of miles. What’s your favorite method to earn miles? Let me know if the comments below!

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