8 Ways to Rack Up Air Travel Miles

Visit your airline's website to convert everyday purchases and online shopping into flight miles. Maybe next time, you'll fly free!

By George Hobica from Reader's Digest Magazine (adapted from Huffington Post) | July/August 2012

1. Eat

Feed your need for a vacation by checking out the airline's dining-miles options and registering your credit card online. Swipe for food at a participating restaurant and earn as many as ten miles per dollar spent! There are also sign-up bonuses. US Airways, for example, offers 1,000 miles after your first meal.

2. Shop

Over 400 online merchants—including Walmart, Petco, and Nike—participate in the airlines’ shopping programs. Register your credit or debit card and shop at some store locations, or through the airline's online shop, to earn one to 12 bonus miles per dollar.

3. Talk on the phone

Planning to extend your cell phone contract for another two years? Do it through your airline's website to get bonus miles.

4. Send flowers

You'll get 30 United miles per dollar at the gifts and flowers online shop. Most other airlines participate; just check their websites.

5. Invest

Put $100,000 into a Fidelity investment account, and you'll get 50,000 United or American miles; $25,000 earns 15,000 miles.

6. Take out a mortgage

Earn up to 50,000 United miles, for example, with a mortgage from Chase Bank.

7. Donate to a charity

Give to the USO or the National Foundation for Cancer Research and support a great cause while also getting up to ten American AAdvantage miles per dollar donated.

8. Rent a car

Always give the rental agency your frequent-flier number when booking a car (you might pay a small fee for collecting the miles).

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