Before my current trip push, I never paid too much attention to miles shopping portals. For some reason I thought the number of miles I could earn through them was paltry and that I’d be better off shopping through Ebates.
I was wrong about that.
I started really paying attention to the American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping portal about a month ago, because they were running a sweepstakes and every $50 purchase you made got you an extra entry. I’m gonna assume I didn’t win the sweepstakes, but I don’t even care, because once I started using this site, I realized that I could rack up some serious extra mileage without spending too much money there. And one of the best parts is that these miles are credited fast — generally two days after making the purchase.
Here are the purchases I made to rack up more than 3,000 extra miles in a month. Don’t forget that I also got miles from the various credit cards I used for the purchases — airline shopping portal miles are on top of the miles you get from your credit card. I actually likely earned more than 3,405 miles during the month, because some of them probably haven’t credited to my account yet.
Autozone: I spend $58 on a two-pack of car headlights (which we later had to return at the store) at a rate of four miles per dollar to earn 228 miles.
Blue Apron $37.92 for two meals (with a signup coupon) = 1,200 mile one-time sign up bonus
The Container Store $188.22 for a mesh dresser for my daughter’s closet at 3 miles per $ = 565 miles
Office Depot $58.99 for printer cartridges x 2 miles per $ = 118 miles
Kohl’s $103.60 for new towels, a shower caddy for the Miles Dad to use at work and a couple of Christmas gifts for the kids x 2 miles per $ = 207 miles
Home Chef $49.60 for two meals x 15 miles per $ = 744 miles
Bed Bath & Beyond $79.99 for a duvet cover for my daughter’s bedroom remake x 2 miles per $ = 160 miles
Petco $61.09 for flea drops and cat food x 3 miles per $ = 183 miles
It’s worth noting that in some cases, getting miles by shopping one of these portals is cheaper or close to the cost than buying the miles from the airline outright. For instance, if I needed to buy 1,000 miles from American to get enough miles in my account to book an award flight, it would cost me $29.50. I got 1,200 miles by spending $37.92 at Blue Apron — very similar to the price of buying them, and I also got the food.
Would I have purchased all these things from these stores if it hadn’t been for the miles? Most of them, yes. I probably wouldn’t have signed up for Home Chef and Blue Apron, though. I had been meaning forever to take advantage of deals to try those out, however, so I actually appreciated that the incentive of miles got me to finally pull the trigger.
The only downside of earning miles this way is that sometimes you have to do some legwork. For instance, while researching this piece, I noticed that I never got miles for a purchase I made from Boden USA through the portal. This might have happened because I used an unauthorized coupon code or because my Honey app kicked in and wiped out the AAdvantage referral on my browser. Normally, I would take the time to email Boden to complain that they didn’t credit me the miles. However, I ended up returning my entire Boden purchase because none of it fit, so I won’t bother.