7 Unexpected Ways to Earn Airline Miles

by  Kristine Hansen | Dec 1, 2016

Car rentals, hotel stays, and airline credit card accounts are mileage boosters across most carriers, but did you know there are other ways to earn miles? From eating at your favorite restaurant to riding with Lyft, here are seven everyday tasks you can do that'll help you rack up points in no time.

1. Dine out

Delta, United, and American offer incentives where you can earn additional miles at more than 11,000 restaurants by enrolling your credit card in their dining programs. The best part? They don’t have to be linked to the airline, so any credit or debit card will do; with all three, depending on the membership level, you can earn up to five miles per $1 spent. Delta’s system is called SkyMiles Dining, and you're awarded 500 miles after your first dine and up to 3,000 miles after completing three dines within the first thirty days of enrollment and the bill total is $30 or more. United’s MileagePlus Dining is similar to Delta's, as is American’s AAdvantage Dining. Each program has a searchable online database that can help you decide where to eat out, not just in your city but while traveling.

2. Book an Airbnb stay

Delta recently announced a partnership with Airbnb that gives SkyMiles members an opportunity to earn one mile per $1 spent on an Airbnb stay. What's more, new Airbnb customers can nab $25 off the first stay and up to 1,000 bonus miles. Hosts have the potential to score up to 25,000 miles when they sign up.

3. Enroll in a wine club

Delta, United, and Southwest all offer mileage boosters when you spring for a partnering wine club’s monthly or quarterly deliveries. United and Delta, for example, each have ventures with Vinesse that allow members to earn up to 5,000 miles. Are you a member of Southwest's Rapid Rewards? Sign up for Laithwaite's Wine and you'll get 2,000 bonus points.

4. Become a survey participant

If you don’t mind taking surveys, you can earn airline miles from Southwest Airlines’ Valued Opinions, Air France-KLM’s Opinion Rewards Club, and United Airlines’ Opinion Miles Club. Keep in mind that each of these surveys has a target demographic in mind so you might not always meet the criteria. Signing up and completing your first survey earns miles; Air France-KLM, for instance, is currently offering 250 miles.

5. Subscribe to magazines

MagsForMiles is a magazine subscription company that not only has reduced rates on magazine subscriptions (think: Time, Sports Illustrated, and People) but also rewards airline miles for programs by Alaska, American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Spirit, and United. Participants can earn as little as 400 miles or even up to 4,800 miles, depending on the carrier and subscription length.

6. Take a ride with Lyft

Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines rolled out a deal that links its Rapid Rewards program with Lyft trips. For those residing in select areas -- including San Diego, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Nashville -- a bonus of 1,100 miles is applied to your account after your first Lyft ride.

7. Order flowers

You might groan at the cost of floral deliveries, but not when you see how many miles you can earn. Just about every major airline’s mileage program grants you miles when you send a bouquet of roses or another floral arrangement across the country. American’s AAdvantage eShopping Mall has multiple floral-delivery vendors that dole out as much as 30 miles per $1 spent; Southwest, Alaska, and Delta offer similar partnerships.

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