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To loosely quote Love Actually, there’s nothing quite as wonderful as the arrivals hall of a major airport around the holidays. People are going home, people are in love, the world is excited. Joy is in the air. Of course, one of the greatest joys of the season is giving… ok, receiving presents. Many people don’t realize that without even signing up for a rewards credit card that they can be earning miles for every single present they buy, enough for a free flight…


Referral credit. The internet revolves around clicks, and airlines get paid when you go shopping at your favorite sites after clicking from their site. Since they get something, it’s only fair that YOU get something too, so they give you miles for every dollar you spend after clicking to your favorite online store from the airline site. The more they get paid, the more miles you get…

I Think I Get It, But Walk Me Through An Example…

We’re so glad you asked. So let’s say you want to earn Delta Airlines miles and you want to buy an iPad for your loved one. How generous! Well, if you go to Delta’s online shopping portal (almost every airline has one), you’ll see a list of miles per dollar spent offers from all your favorite stores. This time of year stores get competitive in how many miles per dollar they offer, so you may see that BestBuy (just an example) is offering 20 miles per dollar spent. In the case of an iPad, roughly $500, you’d earn 10,000 miles, enough for a one way flight in many cases…

What Kinda Stores Will I Find? Does My Airline Participate?

Saks, Nike, Apple, Asos, Amazon, Selfridges, Forever21, Zappos, we’re just getting started. Almost every major online store participates in these offers. All you need to do is find your favorite airline to earn miles with and then hit their online shopping portal, login and click to your favorite store. Here’s a handy list of many of the airlines that participate, with links to their stores… British AirwaysVirgin AtlanticAmerican AirlinesDeltaUnitedSouthwestVirgin AmericaJet BlueAlaskaAeroplanAir New ZealandBe sure to login once you’re on the airline shopping portal page, with your frequent flyer account number, which you can create for free if you don’t already have one.

When Will I Get My Miles? How Do I Know How Many Miles Is Enough?

Your miles will take at least a few days to post to your frequent flyer account, at least until the transaction closes. You do not need to use a travel rewards earning credit card to take advantage, though it will earn you extra miles if you do, which is always nice. With many airlines, one way free flights start at just 4,500-7,500 miles for shorter flights, and many retailers will offer 10-20 miles per dollar spent, so it’s not unrealistic for many people to earn enough for a free flight, or a great start towards one.

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