When it comes to collecting miles, the best type of miles are the ones that you acquire for free! There is however another category of miles that should not be over looked and those I like to call “Cheap Miles”.
“Cheap Miles” are miles that you pay for, however the cost of the miles is substantially less than the intrinsic value of the miles. (ie. You buy 100,000 miles for $1000 but then you redeem those 150,000 miles for a First Class ticket to China that might cost $15,000).
A lot of people scoff at the idea of paying for miles when you can easily sign up for a Credit Card and get 50,000 miles for doing nothing. While I tend to agree with that sentiment, there are times unfortunately when you need a few extra thousand miles for an award ticket and you don’t have the time to apply for a Credit Card and wait for the miles to post.
For example if you wanted to fly to Europe on a Continental Award ticket, at a minimum it would cost you 60,000 miles. Even if you signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and did the $3,000 minimum spend, you would still only have 53,000 miles. This means you would still need 7,000 miles to book your European Award ticket.
To get those 7,000 miles, you would have two options.
Buy the miles from United or Chase at 3.7 cents per a mile (when you include tax). So 7,000 miles X 3.7 cents = $263.38.
Unfortunately, as we have seen during the Recession, most people don’t like to plan ahead. It doesn’t matter if it is a rainy day fund, emergency savings, or in this case earning some extra miles for when you need them. People just don’t like to plan ahead!
That being said, for those that would like to save some money, today I got an email from American Airlines saying that if I join Netflix, I would get 3,000 miles. Unfortunately, with these types of Netflix offers, there aren’t any trial periods, so you have to pay up front for the first month ($8). However once your miles post in a few weeks, you can cancel your account and still keep the miles. If you have taken part in this promotion before for AA, I don’t think you are eligible. However, if you have previously taken part in this promotion for another Airline, as long as you use a different email address and credit card to sign-up you should be fine. I did this promotion last year for United and got 4,000 miles for $8. I just signed up for this AA promotion and did not have any problems.
$8 / 3,000 miles = 1/4 of a cent per a mile.
To buy 3,000 miles from American Airlines would cost = $88.50
Or the other option would be to spend $3,000 on an American Airlines Credit Card.
Personally, I’d rather (and actually just did) paid $8 to get 3,000 AA miles.
If AA miles aren’t your thing, New Girl In The Air lays out all the other Netflix promotions going on for United, Delta, US Airways, and Priority Club. Once my AA points have posted and I have closed the account, I’ll probably take advantage of the Delta, US Airways, and Priority Club ones!
What is great about AA (I don’t say that too often!), is that they have 1-way awards.
From doing a few of these random AA promotions over the years, I racked up 12,500 miles which was enough for a 1-way Domestic Saver Award Ticket. I probably spent maybe $30 total in acquiring those miles, which I redeemed last summer for a 1-way flight from San Francisco to Chicago. That flight would have cost around $175. Not a bad deal.
As I was writing this post, I decided to check my AA balance and lo and behold, I am 966 miles short of a 1-way award! Hmm how on earth am I going to get to 12,500 miles? If only there was another option besides purchasing them from AA……..
Unfortunately, I know 95% of the people who read this post will either pass on this opportunity or put it off for another day and then eventually forget about it. However to that 5% that takes advantage of this promotion, you are 3,000 miles closer to your next flight!
Disclaimer: Although it had no impact in my writing of this article (as this promotion will probably end up costing Netflix money), just to be 100% transparent, I own a substantial amount of Netflix stock.