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How to Earn Airline Miles Without a Credit Card

Can someone earn airline miles without a credit card? The answer is a resounding YES! There are multiple ways to amass those airline miles, and here we explore the most popular and rewarding ones.

Airline miles are a great way to save some cash on your next trip. But did you know that it’s possible to earn airline miles without a credit card?

Well, several travel hacks and tricks can be used to ruck up airline miles without going through the hassles associated with credit cards.

Airline miles, or at times referred to as travel points, are loyalty programs offered by airlines as well as some credit cards that allow you to gain redeemable points on every dollar you spend.

Not only do you get these points from flying, but you can as well ruck them up to buy stuff provided it’s covered under the loyalty program. Eventually, these points can accumulate to a substantial amount that would let you fly or stay in a hotel for free, among other options.

However, it is unfortunate that credit card rewards are not for everyone. Since credit card rewards have strict underwriting standards and other qualification woes, I’ll share with you a few tips on how to earn travel points without a credit card.

8 Ways to Earn Travel Rewards Without Credit a Card

The exciting bit about some of these hacks is that you may never need to fly or spend a fortune to earn those airline miles. Here are several ways you can earn airline miles without credit cards.

Earn from Shopping on Rewards Apps

airline miles through shopping apps

Besides shopping through an airline’s online portal, you can gain travel rewards without a credit card through rewards apps and extensions.

In a technological age where many individuals use browser extensions and cash-back apps to lower their online purchases, travel rewards apps have been on the rise.

Rather than receiving cash-backs, users using travel rewards apps receive travel points instead. These apps and extensions partner with certain airlines, hence the ability to offer airline miles while using them.

A perfect example of such an application is the InboxDollars app as well as Honey Cashback, which is among the most established travel rewards apps.

InboxDollars has partnered with some renowned airlines such as Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines. With InboxDollars, reward rates do vary based on the amount of cash spent. You can redeem gift cards that you can directly use to purchase flights.

Beyond InboxDollars, you can pair this with an app like Lifepoints to earn additional points and cash in a variety of ways. 

Earn Rewards from Dining at Restaurants

airline miles from dining

One of the coolest ways to earn airline miles without a credit card is by dining out. Most airlines have dining club programs that allow you to pile up your travel points by simply eating out at various selected restaurants.

Joining an airline’s dining club is a unique way to earn airline miles, as you just need to sign up, enjoy your meal, and earn points.

According to statistics conducted by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average household in the US spends over $3,000 a year on food away from home.

While that’s just an average figure, your household may probably spend more than $3,000. This would earn you some significant airline miles, depending on where you dine.

Some of the airlines that offer this type of rewards program include Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and JetBlue Airlines.

For instance, Delta SkyMiles Dining rewards up to 5 miles for every dollar spent; this means that an average household can earn 15,000 airline miles by spending $3000. How easy is that?

See Related: Ways to Book the Cheapest First-Class Flights

Use the Airlines Shopping Portals

Most airlines also have their shopping portals, a business model that allows them to diversify their source of revenue. Most of them will award you travel rewards for shopping through their online portals.

The amount of airline miles you amass depends on how much you spend. Since online shopping is the norm of modern shopping, why not earn some extra travel points from shopping through an airline’s shopping portal?

However, while this method can quickly earn you airline miles based on the amount you spend, it has its flipside. Online shopping can tempt one to overspend, thus neutralizing any rewards received. It is important to buy items out of need rather than solely because of the enticing rewards.

Some of the major shopping portals that can come in handy in earning airline miles without a credit card include:

  • Honey cashback (amazing browser extension
  • Delta SkyMiles Shopping
  • HawaiianMiles Online Mall
  • British Airways
  • Avios eStore
  • United Airlines MileagePlus Shopping

You can either select the highlighted airlines or inquire whether your current airline offers rewards through online shopping, and start piling up those points today.

See Related: Best Day to Book Flights: Is Tuesday the Cheapest?

Earn Points through Booking Apps

Online booking apps are primarily used for reservation management. They are great tools that you can use to plan your trips as they allow tour and activity operators to accept and manage bookings online.

Nonetheless, they can do so much more, including earning airline miles. Some common booking apps with rewards programs include, Marriott Bonvoy, Priceline, HotelTonight, and PointsHound.

PointsHound happens to be a good platform where you can easily book your stays and, at the same time, earn airline miles for every dollar spent.

Besides, PointsHound gives out free frequent flyer miles from time to time. You can regularly check their promotions and offers to land your chance. Some of the airlines that have partnered with PointsHound include:

  • Alaska Airlines,
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Icelandair

The app is easy to use since all you need to do is sign up with them and then choose your favorite loyalty program. Afterward, you are free to search for hotels and reserve your stay just with a click of a button. Surprisingly, you can luckily ruck up to 10,000 bonus miles in a single booking.

Earn Travel Rewards with a Debit Card

Using a debit card is another option to earn airline miles without a credit card. While debit cards are not as generous as credit cards in awarding travel rewards, they are a good option for individuals who are rather uncomfortable with credit cards.

Unfortunately, not every bank issues travel rewards debit cards, hence it’s advisable first to check whether your bank has such a program. If the bank does not offer travel rewards debit cards, you can opt to open an account with a bank that does.

Examples of banks with the debit card reward program include the Sable Bank Account and Debit Card where you’ll earn 1% cash back on purchases with your debit card.

In addition, Suntrust Bank has a SunTrust SkyMiles debit card. The Bank of Hawaii has two debit card options tied to the Hawaiian Miles program. Both options have a reward rate of a single mile or point per every $2 spent.

On the other hand, Suntrust’s travel rewards debit cards, have a reward rate of 1 mile per $2 spent and a welcome bonus of 5,000 miles after the first purchase.

Earn Airline Miles through Savings Account

Are you wondering how to ruck up airline miles passively? Well, this option might be your solution. While travel rewards credit cards earn miles by spending money, you can instead earn those points by saving your money.

Not only is this a good option to train yourself in a saving discipline, but you also receive free trips in doing so. One of the best and most productive ways to earn airline miles without a credit card is to open a savings account that earns travel rewards rather than interest.

An example that offers such an option is the Bask Bank, whose saving options earn American Airlines AAdvantage travel rewards. Flyers who frequently use American Airlines can greatly benefit from this savings program as it offers several bonuses for the customers in the first year.

To earn a mile, you need to deposit cash into your savings account and maintain that balance through an entire year since each saved dollar for a year earns one mile. This means that if you save $25,000 for an entire year, you will receive 25,000 miles.

Besides, there are other ways in which you can earn your airline mile by saving with Bask Bank. For instance, the bank usually has some offers for those who open a savings account for the very first time.

However, it’s advisable to keep checking the reward rates as they keep changing from year to year. It’s possible to rack up to 40,000 miles as a bonus within the first year of saving.

If you prefer something that earns interest, CIT Bank offers some of the best savings products, including money market accounts, certificates of deposit, and more.

See Related: Can I Travel During the Naturalization Process?

Earn Travel Rewards from Surveys

surveys for airline miles

Customer input and feedback are very valuable in any business. This data helps companies understand how they are faring in the market as well as understand their customers better. Therefore, your opinion happens to be very valuable when it comes to online surveys in market research.

Big companies and brands are always willing to spend a good amount of money to gather actionable information, and airlines are no exception.

Major airline brands work together with marketing firms to try and gain insights through issuing online surveys. In return, you can earn travel points for your honesty and time.

A good platform to gain airline miles is Survey Junkie or Swagbucks, which is popular for generously rewarding its survey participants. Nonetheless, earnings do vary from one survey to another and are dependent on various factors which may never be clear to the participants.

One notable factor is the length of the survey, as lengthy surveys tend to earn more rewards than shorter ones. With Survey Junkie or Swagbucks, you can earn airline miles without a credit card for travel brands such as Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.

You’ll just need to cash out your money and either buy miles directly or purchase gift cards.

See Related: Best Credit Cards for Travel Perks

Earn Rewards Through Promotions

If you still want more options on how to get frequent flyer miles for free, this might serve you right. Brands keep giving away travel rewards during their promotions.

You can follow your favorite airlines or hotels and watch out for those special promos they share within their loyalty programs. Social Media platforms are a good place to secure these free flyer miles for free.

Brands usually run their promotions on various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Given the structure of the promotion, you may win a bunch of points or a few points from sharing a post and participating in a hashtag.

You can start by following these brands on various platforms, as well as signing up for their mailing list, to get notifications of upcoming promotions and offers.

Although this option is not a guarantee that you will surely grab some free miles, the investment is minimal, and you might be the next winner. Besides, active participation will make you stand out among the vast fan base, and you may land a better deal than frequent flyer miles.

How to Earn Airline Miles Infographic


While the frequent flyer miles programs appear to favor the high rollers, there are still various ways in which you can ruck up more airline miles without overly spending on them.

If you can combine some of these travel hacks to earn airline miles without a credit card, then you can progressively pile up your points with time without spending much.