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How to Earn Airline Miles Without a Credit Card

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Can someone earn airline miles without a credit card? The first part is setting everything up to earn points and miles on autopilot. 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 cash on your next trip. But did you know that earning airline miles is possible without a credit card? 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.

You get these points from flying, but you can also 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 unavailable to everyone. Since credit card rewards have strict underwriting standards and other qualification woes, I’ll share tips on earning 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. Travel rewards apps have increased in a technological age where many use browser extensions and cash-back apps to lower online purchases.

Rather than receiving cash-backs, users using travel rewards apps receive travel points instead—these apps and extensions partner with certain airlines, allowing airline miles to be offered while using them.

A perfect example of such an application is Capital One Shopping, InboxDollars app, and Honey Cashback, among the most established travel rewards apps. InboxDollars has partnered with renowned airlines such as Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines.

With InboxDollars, reward rates 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 various ways. 

Earn Rewards from Dining at Restaurants

airline miles from dining

Dining out is one of the coolest ways to earn airline miles without a credit card. 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 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 airlines that offer this type of rewards program include Delta Air Lines, 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; 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 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 extra travel points through an airline’s shopping portal?

However, while this method can quickly earn you airline miles based on your spending, 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:

  • Capital One Shopping (an excellent browser extension)
  • Honey Cashback (another good browser extension)
  • Delta SkyMiles Shopping
  • HawaiianMiles Online Mall
  • British Airways
  • Avios eStore
  • United Airlines MileagePlus Shopping

You can 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 Hotels.com, Marriott Bonvoy, Priceline, HotelTonight, and RocketMiles.

RocketMiles 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, RocketMiles 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 RocketMiles include:

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

The app is easy to use since you only need to sign up with them and choose your favorite loyalty program. Afterward, you can search for hotels and reserve your stay 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 uncomfortable with credit cards.

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

Examples of banks with debit card reward programs 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 single mile or point reward rate for 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 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. 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 significantly benefit from this savings program as it offers multiple bonuses for the customers in the first year.

To earn a mile, you must deposit cash into your savings account and maintain that balance throughout the year since each saved dollar for a year earns one mile. 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 offers savings accounts to those who open them for the first time.

However, it’s advisable to keep checking the reward rates as they change yearly. 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 lot of money to gather actionable information, and airlines are no exception. Major airline brands work together with marketing firms to 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, popular for generously rewarding survey participants. Nonetheless, earnings vary from one survey to another and depend on various factors that may never be clear to the participants.

One notable factor is the survey length, 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 need to cash out your money and 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 flyer miles for free.

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

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

Although this option does not 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.

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

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