Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » The Best Ways To Earn Airline Miles Without Flying
Advertiser Disclosure This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

The Best Ways To Earn Airline Miles Without Flying

Earn airline miles without flying by purchasing through credit card shopping portals, using a co-branded card, or buying from travel partners
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

Flying can be an extremely expensive component of a vacation. Because of this, many people attempt to earn airline miles in order to pay for their next flights instead of bearing the burden financially of paying themselves.

There are many different ways to earn airline miles, it could be through credit cards, without credit cards, and many other ways to earn airline miles that will be covered throughout this article.

1. Online Shopping Portals

Many airlines participate in online shopping portals that allow consumers to earn points and miles by simply going through their portal when shopping at different retail stores. Consumers are able to earn points when ordering a new computer through the portal, or even a grocery order as long as you go through the portal.

For each shopping portal, consumers will need to add that specific website extension to their web browser in order to earn points.

Calculate How Many Points You Can Earn

For consumers looking for a complete list of websites that are available to earn points by shopping online, they can go to cashbackmonitor.com. This website has all of the online stores available to earn miles online, along with the rate that they will earn per airline.

For example, if shopping online at Ace Hardware, consumers are able to compare the reward bonus between Alaska Mileage Plan (1 mile per dollar spent), American AADvantage (2 miles per dollar spent), Southwest Rapid Rewards (1 point per dollar spent), and United Mileage Plus (2 miles per dollar spent).

A great feature here is that consumers are able to see what the reward would be for each website for every airline rewards program right in one spot.

2. Travel Credit Cards And Card Shopping Portals

Many travel cards offer points and miles that you can convert to airline miles through credit card shopping portal.

  • Amex Membership Clubs – Amex does offer the opportunity to transfer their reward points into miles.  For Amex members, points are typically worth one cent a piece when booking their flights through the issuer’s portal. 
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase cardholders are able to transfer their ultimate reward points to 11 different airlines. The transfers are completed at a one to one ratio, and must be transferred in 1,000 point increments.
  • Citi ThankYou – Citi Card holders are able to transfer their points into miles, but it will depend on the type of card that they have. 

 

Chase
American Express
Citi
Capital One
JetBlue TrueBlue
Delta SkyMiles
Singapore Airlines
Aeromexico Club Premier
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Alitalia MileMiglia
Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club
Asia Miles
United Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Avianca LifeMiles
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
JetBlue TrueBlue
Thai Airways
Emirates Skywards
Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
Qatar Airways Privilege Club
British Airways Executive Club
Air Canada Aeroplan
Air Canada Aeroplan
Qantas
Air Canada Aeroplan
Aer Lingus AerClub
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
JetBlue TrueBlue
Etihad Guest
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
Finnair Plus
Iberia Plus
Iberia Avios
EVA Air
Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
Emirates Skywards
Aer Lingus AerClub
Etihad Guest
Qantas
Singapore KrisFlyer
Aeromexico Premier
Emirates Skywards
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
ANA Mileage Club
The Avianca LifeMiles
TAP Miles&Go
Avianca LifeMiles
Asia Miles™
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
Aeromexico
Virgin Red
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
Emirates Skywards
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Etihad Guest

Sign Up for

Our Newsletter

Join our community for the latest credit card comparison tips, expert insights,
and special member-only perks.

Which Travel Cards Can Earn Airline Miles?

More times than not, credit card companies will usually partner with airline companies by offering a high reward system for consumers to earn extra miles. The following are a few of the best credit card to earn extra miles.

  • Capital One Venture Rewards – This credit card is the highest rated in terms of earning extra miles. They are currently running a sign-up bonus offering a one time bonus of 75,000 miles once they spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Furthermore, they also offer 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, plus 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel .
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent way to earn points towards flying, especially if you and your family enjoy eating out as they offer 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services. 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. .
  • Discover it Miles – Discover it Miles is a great card to earn extra miles, especially within your first year of having the card as Discover offers an unlimited match of all miles you earned at the end of your first year. Furthermore, you will automatically earn 1.5 times miles on every dollar for every purchase.
  • Citi Premier Card – For 2024, Citi Premier offers an introductory offer of 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel portal through June 30, 2024 points, which is about +$1,000 worth of airline miles. A great added benefit is that the cards point transfer to 16 different airlines so you are not limited to a specific airline when flying.

There are many travel cards where you can earn points and convert them to airline miles. Here are additional cards to consider:

Card
Rewards
Bonus
Annual Fee

chase_sapphire_preffered

2X – 5X 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases and select streaming services. 2x on other travel purchases. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$95

Amex gold

1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Venture X Rewards

1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
$395

World of Hyatt

1X – 4X 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels. Plus, 5 Base Points from Hyatt per eligible $1 spent for being a World of Hyatt member. 2x Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting as well as fitness club and gym memberships. Plus, earn 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Up to 60,000 Bonus Points 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.*Opens offer details overlay Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
$95

1X – 10X

5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals and dining when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$550

amex platinum

1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

3. Airline & Hotels Shopping Portals

You can earn airline miles if you use airline or hotel shopping portals. Here are some examples:

Southwest does offer an online shopping portal for consumers who have a Rapid Rewards account. Simply start by signing in when going to the Rapids Reward Portal, and pick from one of the 1,100+ online stores to shop from.

A few examples would be at Adidas, where consumers can earn 3 points for every dollar spent, so if you spend $100, your account will be accredited with 300 points. For an idea about how much your points are worth, every Rapid Reward point is worth about 1.5 cents each, meaning 15,000 points is worth $225.

To start earning towards JetBlue, start by signing up for a JetBlue shopping account, and then select the store you want to shop at.

JetBlue offers many different stores, a few examples would be Apple (30 points per $10, example: $1,000 spending earns 3,000 points) and Home Depot (earning 5 points per $10, example: $1,000 spending earns 500 points). JetBlue reward points are worth 1.5 cents for every point.

At Wyndham, consumers are able to sign up for a Wyndham Rewards account, in which only one person will be allowed to earn points per account. Simply sign in to your account on the Wyndham shopping portal, and you are able to start earning at a number of different online stores.

Apple is one of the most commonly shopping online stores for their iPhones, computers, and iPads, which will earn consumers 5 points for every dollar spent (1,000 purchases will earn 5,000 points).

The Wyndham account will be applicable for airline miles for many different airlines, but. Some of the most common are Frontier, Turkish Airlines, and United MileagePlus Miles. In terms of value for the points, each point is worth about 1.1 cents each for airline miles.

In order to earn points towards Amtrak Rewards, you must first sign up for a free membership.

Once signed in, consumers are able to earn at many different online stores, like Macy’s which offers 5 points for every dollar spent, meaning $50 spent earns 250 points. The reward points are worth an astounding 1.85 cents each, meaning 1,000 points is worth $18.5.

4. Book With Travel Partner

You can earn airline miles by purchasing hotel, car rental, and other travel products through travel partners. Here are two examples:

There are a number of different websites that will turn your next hotel booking into an opportunity to earn airline miles.

To earn miles through United Hotels, sign up as a MileagePlus Premier member, go to this United hotel partner list, make your hotel reservations, and you will automatically earn miles toward your next airline ticket. Here are the main United partners and how much miles each of them earns:

United Partners
Miles on United
IHG One Rewards
2 award miles per $1 spent
Radisson Rewards Americas
Convert points into miles
World Of Hyatt brands
500 award miles per stay
Choice Privileges®
250 award miles per stay
Wyndham Rewards®
Up to 2 miles for every $1 spent
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
500 award miles per stay
Book a car with Avis or Budget through united.com
Up to 1,250 award miles
Hilton Honors
Convert points into miles
Marriot Bonvoy
500 award miles per stay

In order to earn airline miles when purchasing a car rental, one could go through Enterprise.

To do so, you must first sign up for the free Enterprise Plus loyalty program. Furthermore, you must book directly with Enterprise in order to qualify for the benefits, so you have to avoid third-party agencies like Expedia or Orbitz.

You will earn one point per every dollar spent on qualifying car rentals as an Enterprise Plus member. Enterprise Plus does partner with four different airlines: Air France-KLM (earn four miles per qualifying euro), Lufthansa (up to 500 miles per rental), Turkish Airlines (up to 1,000 miles per rental), and Virgin Atlantic (up to 1,200 points per rental).

5. Purchase or Transfer Airline Miles

Purchasing or transferring airline miles can be way to earn miles without flying:

  • Purchasing Airline Miles – It is a relatively simple process to just purchase airline miles that could make purchasing airline tickets much cheaper.

To do so, start by visiting the airline website, find the appropriate button to purchase points or miles. You would then log in with your. Frequent flyer information, input your method of payment, and your points will be deposited into your account.

  • Transfer Miles – Many companies do offer the option to transfer consumer’s points into airline miles. It does not matter if they are points that were supposed to be for hotels or car rentals, companies also allow people to transfer them into airline miles as long as the airline is partnered with where you are earning your points.

In the following example, we can see how it works on Hilton. To transfer Hilton points to an airline travel partner, simply log in to the airline you have a membership with, select the option to exchange points, select the amount of points you wish to transfer, and hit transfer.

hilton transfer points to travel partners

6. Take Surveys

Another option to earn airline miles is taking surveys. While this isn’t exactly a great way to earn a lot of points, it could help close the gap on having enough points for a free flight.

Furthermore, many airlines offer a promotional sign up for completing surveys, so it could be a great way to earn points. An example of this would be taking surveys with The Opinion Terminal, which is Alaskan airlines survey partner.

One consumer completed two hours of taking surveys, which earn 391 hours, totaling about $7.20 for Alaskan airline miles. Again, it may not be a major mile earner, but it could be a great way to close the gap on a free flight, or if you just have some free time!

Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Bottom Line

Overall, while flying can be an expensive form of travel, many airlines offer travelers the opportunity to earn miles in order to lessen the financial burden on their consumers.

There are a number of different online shopping portals that allow travelers to earn miles by just shopping online, which is how a majority of America completes their shopping. Furthermore, credit cards often offer a great way to earn a high number of points by using the card at specific spots like restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations.

Finally, there are a number of ways to earn the miles without using credit cards or flying like hotel accommodations, car rentals, purchasing airline miles, transfer points, and even completing surveys.

If you are planning on flying within the next year or few years, it may be a great idea to start earning some points to lower the traveling prices for their next trip.

           

FAQs

In order to earn Alaskan Airlines miles without flying, consumers are able to earn points the easiest by becoming a Mileage Plan member.

Once you are a member, you are able to shop through their website portal and then complete your shopping as usual. Furthermore, card holders are able to earn extra miles for every $2 spent at Mileage Plan Dining restaurants.

Make sure you check the list of approved restaurants to ensure you are earning extra miles!

American Airlines offers an AAdvantage program. With this program, consumers can earn miles in a variety of ways.

AAdvantage members can sign in to the AAdvantage eShopping mall and earn points by shopping at one of the 950 stores available to earn miles.

Many different credit cards are excellent for cardholders to earn airline miles. Some top credit cards for the 2024 include Capital One Venture Rewards, The Platinum Card From American Express, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Premier, Capital One Venture X Rewards, and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit cards.

First of all, consumers should sign up for a United Airlines MileagePlus account, this is your key to earning points. To earn the most miles, consumers should look into the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, where consumers can transfer their points to their United Airlines MileagePlus account.

Furthermore, consumers could complete their online shopping through the MileagePlus Shopping portal, where they are able to earn miles for every dollar spent when going through the portal.

Those looking to earn for Delta should start by signing up for a Delta SkyMiles account. Account holders will earn the most points by using one of the American Express credit cards. Furthermore, consumers can shop through the SkyMiles Shopping portal, enabling users to earn points by just shopping!

Review Travel Credit Cards

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Search
Best Cards Per CS
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

#1 In credit Cards

Our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for secret credit card tips, insider advice, and exclusive deals straight to your inbox

Start saving smarter with

Our Credit Card Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and gain access to expert advice,
insider knowledge, and exclusive offers