8 Great Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Points Without Flying

Believe it or not, it is pretty simple to earn frequent flyer points without flying. I love optimizing point earning potential and I am revisiting this topic.

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Earn Frequent Flyer Points Without Flying

1. Earn Points When Shopping Online

Many airlines have online shopping malls from which you can earn frequent flyer points without flying. Prices are the same as buying directly from merchants, so you might as well earn bonus frequent flyer points for buying clothes, household items, and more. Here are links to shopping portals for major US airlines: American, Delta, Southwest, and United. In order to keep frequent flyer accounts active, I have made purchases as small as 99 cents.

earn frequent flyer points without flying: American AAdvantage Mall
American AAdvantage Mall

2. Earn FF Points For Restaurant Dining

Earn frequent flyer points when eating at restaurants. Simply register a credit card one time and frequent flyer points are automatically earned after paying the bill at participating restaurants. Register each credit card you have but each card can only be registered in one dining program.

earn frequent flyer points without flying: Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining
Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

3. Receive Points for Retail Shopping

Use your point earning credit card for any and all everyday purchases. Some cards offer bonus points, like double points at gas stations and grocery stores or 5x points for office supply store purchases.

4. Credit Card Sign Up Bonus for Points

This is probably the most lucrative category. Signing up for a new credit card might come with a 50,000 point bonus; some offer even more points! After qualifying for and receiving such a new card, make sure you meet the minimum spending threshold in the specified time—for instance, $3,000 in 6 months. Oh, and always, ALWAYS, pay your entire balance every billing cycle. When you hear about people earning one million points without flying, this is how they do it. They sign up for dozens (yes, dozens) of new credit cards each year.

earn frequent flyer points without flying
Marriott Credit Card 70,000 point bonus

5. Purchase Miles and Earn Points

Buying points are handy for reaching certain award levels. If interested in this method, pay attention to bonus offers. American Airlines recently offered up to 50% bonus points. Buy 70,000 miles for $2,065 and receive 35,000 bonus miles; at just under 2 cents per mile, this is a great deal if redeeming for an award valued higher (see my post, Determining the Value of Travel Points). Some airlines occasionally offer 100% matching bonus points. You can also give or receive miles; again look for matching or bonus promotions for best value.

earn frequent flyer points without flying
American Airlines, Buy Miles Promo

6. Earn Points Through Surveys

You can earn points (small amounts) for taking online surveys.

7. Manufactured Spending

I have recently started using a credit card to pay my mortgage even though my lender does not accept credit cards. I can do this through my Target Prepaid Card and the associated American Express Serve bank account. An upcoming post will describe this process.

8. Receive Points for Hotel Stays

Perhaps, like me, you enjoy road trips. Hilton is famous for offering Double Dip opportunities. Stay at a Hilton property—including Hampton, Embassy Suites, or any other Hilton family brand—and earn hotel points AND airline points. Another option is to earn hotel points (from stays and/or with hotel brand credit card) and transfer points to your preferred airline program.

These are fairly consistent recurring methods of earning frequent flyer points without flying. One occasional, perhaps even one time, method is to update your frequent flyer account information. In your account profile, checking a box to receive email notifications of fare sales or go paperless with your statements may trigger bonus points.

These methods are also valuable if you want to keep accounts active.

How do you earn frequent flyer points without flying?

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10 thoughts on “8 Great Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Points Without Flying”

  1. Pingback: 9 Easy Ways to Earn Travel Rewards You'll Actually Use - NerdWallet
  2. I have done all except for number 7. I read your recent post and still do not get it. I have red Target credit card and would love to pay mortgage and get points. What do you mean by loading the card? Do I need a special bank account to pay my mortgage from it? I would like to see step by step how you do it. Thanks!

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