If you don’t have a thousand dollars worth of expenses in three months, you are either doing something very right, or very wrong. If you are flying 50,000 miles in three months, you are either doing something very awesome or are a lunatic. The economics of earning frequent flier miles without flying are staggering. Earning miles enables free travel, earning enough means travel in elevated classes offering unbelievable amenities. Here are a couple examples of flying versus earning from other means. Sit on the couch and earn enough miles for business class or get on a plane for 136 hours in coach....
Delta is offering 60,000 miles for U.S. customers to sign up to their Platinum Delta American Express card. It's not the best card in the world, but that is 60,000 miles for spending $2,000 in three months. Throw some car insurance, cell phone bills and meals on there and you hit 2k in no time. You just earned 60,000 miles for nothing. To earn 60,000 miles while flying you would need to take the longest flight in the world round trip just under four times. Yes, Dallas to Sydney non stop for roughly seventeen hours of torture will net you 8,500 miles each way. If Dallas and Sydney aren't your cup of tea, you could take the worlds tenth longest flight (which I'm taking in February) a full four times round trip to earn that 60,000 miles. Either way, you are looking at roughly 136 hours on a plane to earn the equivalent miles if you're actually flying. After the spending and the bonus you would instantly have enough miles to experience Virgin Upper Class One Way.
For you UK readers crying after seeing that US offer, you can still earn 25,000 British Airways Avios or 18,500 Virgin Atlantic Miles from a card sign up. Both of these sums are greater than the longest flight in the world more than once. Flying from London to New York you would need to return more than three times to equal the miles earned from the British Airways bonus. Throw in the ability to earn a companion ticket for the same amount of miles and that's the equivalent of 84 hours of flying and thousands of dollars/pounds in expenses in booking those 84 hours of flights. To reiterate, buying flights is an outlay, spending money on every day expenses and earning miles means that you are not actually spending any money to earn the miles, you are just spending money you usually would and getting rewarded. It's a fascinating and lucrative concept you simply cannot pass on.
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