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There’s Still Time to Stock Up on Shopping Miles

There’s Still Time to Stock Up on Shopping Miles

OK, for better or worse, Christmas 2012 can now be spoken of in the past tense.

But the bonuses on offer at most airlines’ mileage malls — networks of online retailers that award miles for purchases — remain in place through December 31.

So there’s still time to get that Kindle that wasn’t under the tree on Christmas morning and earn bonus miles, too.

Speaking of which, a search on American’s AAdvantage eShopping site shows Kindles available through several merchants (although not directly through Amazon, which steers clear of mileage promotions). The best deal looks to be through OfficeDepot.com, which is offering double miles plus a $15 discount on orders of $150 or more.

In addition to merchant-specific offers, some malls are offering site-wide bonuses.

Through United’s MileagePlus Shopping, for example, shoppers will earn 500 bonus miles for every $250 spent at any combination of retailers, up to 2,500 bonus miles.

Not all the deals include bonus miles.

For instance, at the JetBlue ShopTrue mall, there are no extra points on offer for purchases at the Apple store, but you can save $30 and get free shipping on the Jambox wireless speaker.

But the best buys are often those that allow you to double up, getting both bonus miles and a discount or free shipping.

Example: At US Airways’ Dividend Miles StoreFront, purchases at Sears.com earn six miles per $1 spent, versus two miles per $1 normally, plus there’s a code to receive a $50 discount.

Shopping Tips

  • As always when shopping via mileage malls, be sure to log in with your frequent flyer account number before buying anything. If your account isn’t linked to your purchases, you won’t earn miles. And you cannot apply retroactively.
  • The mileage malls typically comprise 500 or more online merhcants, each offering thousands of products. To avoid information overload, use the search functions, which in most cases work well and will highlight the best deals.
  • Be sure to charge your purchases to a rewards credit card to earn an extra mile per $1 spent.

Where to Shop for Miles

Following are links directly to some of the larger U.S. airlines’ mileage malls:

Reader Reality Check

Did you maximize your mileage earning for Christmas shopping?

Do you plan to earn miles for after-Christmas purchases?

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