How to Earn Airline Miles With Credit Cards: Maximize Your Rewards

Last updated
Fact Checked By
How to Earn Airline Miles With Credit Card

Most of us love to travel, and who wouldn’t want to make every dollar count toward our next trip? According to a survey by Airlines for America (A4A), 81% of us think earning extra points and miles for travel with our credit cards is super important. And it turns out a lot of us – 73% to be exact – keep a close eye on those precious points.

Considering we spend a good chunk of our budget on travel every year, somewhere between $2,000 to $3,000 on average, it’s no wonder we’re all about maximizing those airline miles. This blog is about showing you how to do just that with your credit card and why, sometimes, selling those miles could be your best move.

Let’s look into how you can earn more miles today and what you can do with them.

What Are Credit Card Airline Miles?

Credit Card Airline Miles are the points you earn whenever you swipe, tap, or type in your credit card number for a purchase. They are like a little “thank you” from your credit card company, which can be American Express or any other big name in the game, all of whom are big on rewarding their cardholders.

The gist is simple: spend money and earn frequent flyer miles. These miles can then fly you to destinations on your travel bucket list or, depending on your card’s terms, turn into cash back, goodies, or even once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The more you spend, the more miles and points you get. It’s like a game where everyday spending brings you closer to your next big adventure or reward.

Types of Credit Cards Providing Airline Miles

You have two main routes when earning airline miles with your credit card. Let’s break it down into simple terms.

First off, we have travel credit cards. These cards offer miles not just for flights but for a whole range of travel experiences. Whether booking a flight, reserving a cruise, or planning a road trip with rentals, these travel rewards credit cards have got you covered.

And it’s not all about travel; some let you swap miles for cool stuff from retailers or other merchants. Cards like the American Express Gold Card, Chase Ultimate Rewards Card, and the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card stand out in this category.

Then, there are the co branded credit cards. These are like loyal friends who have an exclusive deal with one airline. Flying frequently with Delta? The Amex Gold Delta SkyMiles Card might be your ticket to free checked bags and frequent flyer programs.

Prefer the friendly skies of the Southwest? The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card could be your gateway to earning more on flights, plus perks at partner hotels and car rentals. Each card has its own perks and preferences, so think about what fits your travel style and spending habits the best.

How to Earn Airline Miles With Credit Card

Earning airline miles with your credit card can feel like finding hidden treasure in your everyday spending. Here’s how to make the most of it:

Leveraging Welcome Bonuses

Getting a sign-up bonus from a new credit card is one of the easiest ways to earn many miles or points quickly. These bonuses can be huge, sometimes requiring only one purchase, or you might need to spend a certain amount, like a few thousand dollars. Once you reach that spending goal, you get a lot of miles or points as a reward. The bonus you can get for signing up often increases yearly, making it an easy first step to collecting miles or points.

For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers a sign-up bonus where you can earn 185,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months of having the card. There’s an annual fee of $650, but the bonus points are estimated to be worth about $1,480. This bonus is almost twice as much as what was offered before, making it an excellent time to consider getting this premium Marriott card.

Similarly, the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card has a welcome offer where you can earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 in the first six months. This card also has a $650 annual fee, but the value of the welcome offer is about $1,200, considering the value of Delta SkyMiles.

Shop Your Way to More Miles

Thanks to credit card category multipliers, your daily spending can easily earn miles using a shopping portal. Whether for online grocery purchases, filling up the tank, dining out, or booking your next getaway, using your card in these bonus categories can speed up your miles earning. You can earn up to 5 miles for every dollar spent on travel dinners or office supplies. It’s all about making your credit card miles work for you in the correct categories.

For those who use AAdvantage eShopping, here’s what you could earn:

  • You can earn miles at over 1,200 stores.
  • Shopping at lets you earn 3 miles for every dollar.
  • At Sephora, you can earn 4 miles per dollar, up from the usual 2 miles.
  • Eddie Bauer,, and Shutterfly each offer 1 mile for every dollar you spend.
  • Adidas now provides an increased rate of 3 miles per dollar.

Using these shopping portals for regular purchases can significantly increase your miles balance without extra effort.

Stick to One Airline

an airplane flying in the blue sky

Airlines have a sweet spot for their regulars. Committing to their free flights can be rewarding if you frequently fly with the same airline. By sticking to one airline and joining their frequent-flyer program, every trip can inch you closer to your next free flight. It’s their way of saying ‘thanks’ for being a loyal customer.

For example, by being part of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program, you can benefit from its unique position in the rewards space. KrisFlyer is notable for its compatibility with all four major flexible rewards currencies, offering a versatile way to accumulate points.

Whether you’re earning Membership Rewards that you’d prefer to allocate to ANA Mileage Club or Citi ThankYou Rewards you wish to convert to Avianca LifeMiles, KrisFlyer allows you to consolidate points from various sources.

Refer Your Friend

Got friends or family who could benefit from the same card? Referring to them can land you bonus miles. Once they’re approved, you both win. It’s like sharing a secret handshake that rewards you with travel miles.

How Do Credit Cards Offering Air Miles Operate?

Here’s the scoop on how they work:

Just by going about your daily routine-think grocery runs or fueling up your car-you’re earning air miles. These miles then become your ticket to free or discounted travel adventures.

Some cards are tied to airline frequent flyer programs or specific airlines like United Airlines, funneling your miles directly into your account with them. An airline loyalty program may offer more flexibility, allowing you to redeem your points across various airlines and allowing you to shop around for the best flight deals.

A Closer Look with a Case Study – Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card:

Let’s break down how a specific card operates to give you a clearer picture. Take the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, for instance. This card is a powerhouse for those who love flying and dining out with Delta. Here’s what it brings to the table:

  • Flights and Food: Using your card for these purchases not only feeds you or gets you to your destination but also feeds your miles account.
  • Baggage Bonanza: Do you hate paying for checked bags? This card waives the fee for you and up to nine people on your reservation. Imagine the savings for a family trip!
  • Fly More, Get More: Hit a spending threshold of $10,000 a year, and you’re looking at a $200 flight credit for your next adventure. It’s like getting paid to use your card.
  • Perks Galore: From free shipping on certain purchases to complimentary rental car insurance, the card takes care of you beyond just flights. Shopping becomes more rewarding, and renting a car on vacations is less problematic.

How to Use Credit Card Airline Miles?

Credit card airline miles offer numerous possibilities. While miles and rewards credit cards can open doors to rewards like hotel stays, airline tickets, and more, it’s essential to strategize their use effectively due to expiry dates.

Selling Your Miles: A Practical Alternative

Despite the array of redemption options, the cleverest move might be selling your miles. Here’s why selling frequent flyer miles to a trusted partner like Top Dollar Payouts can be advantageous:

  • Immediate Value: Convert miles into cash quickly, offering flexibility in using your rewards.
  • Avoid Expiration: Eliminate the worry of miles expiring without being used by turning them into a tangible benefit.
  • Expanded Flexibility: The cash from selling miles offers unrestricted freedom, unlike the sometimes limited options for mile redemption.

Redeeming for Flights and Upgrades

A primary and widespread use of miles is redeeming them for flights while traveling with partner airlines or seat upgrades. This is where you can notice the difference without the total weight of airfare costs, thanks to partnerships with major airlines and rewards from programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

Booking Hotel Stays

Your miles can also get you nights at luxury hotels, courtesy of hotel loyalty programs and hotel rewards programs. This means turning your miles into comfortable stays and enhancing travel experiences without additional expenses.


Beyond travel, some programs allow you to redeem miles for goods and services. Whether it’s tech gadgets, fashion items, or dining experiences, your miles can be the currency for eligible purchases in online shopping portals and airline dining programs. This versatility adds a layer of convenience and utility to your miles, making everyday purchases more rewarding.

Car Rentals and Experiences

Your travel system can expand with miles, covering car rentals and unique experiences through car rental companies and their bonus miles. From behind-the-wheel adventures in new cities to exclusive tours and activities, miles can transform into memorable moments beyond flights and hotels.

Using your miles for transfer points, in-flight purchases, hotel stays, shopping portals, or car rentals can be excellent. But if you want to cash them in, selling your miles can be an intelligent move that lets you get rewards immediately. It’s worth considering if you’re into earning credit card rewards.

Step-Step Guide for Selling Airline Credit Cards Miles

Transforming your airline miles into cash value is a relatively easy process with us. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you understand how to convert your miles into monetary rewards:

Completing the Online Submission Form

Begin by visiting our website and filling out the submission form. We’ve designed this form to be intuitive, ensuring you can quickly and easily provide all the necessary details about your miles.

Receiving a Quotation

Shortly after your submission, within 15 minutes, you’ll receive an email from us. This email will contain a personalized quote based on the current value of your miles. If the quote meets your expectations, a link will guide you to the next steps.

Telephone Confirmation and Negotiation

A man smiling and talking on the phone while gesturing with his hand at a laptop negotiating Air Miles points.

Following the quotation email, expect a call from us. This step is integrated into our process to remind you of the offer and provide an opportunity to discuss and adjust the quote if needed, ensuring you’re fully satisfied before proceeding.

The next phase involves securely submitting your account information for validation. With the encrypted link provided in our prior conversations, you can be assured that your data is treated with the highest confidentiality and security.

Finalizing Through PayPal

Once your account information is validated and everything is in order, we initiate the payment process. PayPal is our primary method for its speed and security, enabling you to receive your funds within a day of the final approval.

We understand that preferences vary, so we offer flexibility beyond PayPal. Should you prefer a bank wire transfer or need assistance booking a flight with your miles before selling them, we’re here to accommodate. Our adaptability ensures that you receive your payment or enjoy your travel benefits in a way that suits you best.

Final Words

So, there you have it – a simple and easy way to turn those accumulated miles into something you can actually use: cash. Whether those miles are just sitting there because you’re unsure when you’ll travel next or just looking for extra money, we’ve got you covered. Your miles have value, and we’re here to help you gain it.

Selling your miles shouldn’t feel like a chore or a complex puzzle. With us, it’s as easy as filling out a form, chatting, and seeing your miles transform into money in your account.

Ready to turn your unused miles into cash? Start today by filling out our easy online form.


Can You Earn Miles from a Credit Card?

Yes, you can earn miles from a credit card, especially if it’s designed for travel rewards or is an airline credit card. These cards provide miles or points for every dollar spent, which can be used to pay for flights, upgrades, and other travel-related expenses.

Do You Get Airline Miles If You Book with Credit Card Points?

Yes, when you book flights using credit card points, you can still earn airline miles for those flights. The airline recognizes the booking as a paid fare, allowing you to accumulate miles as you would with any other paid booking.

How Do I Check My Air Miles Points?

To check your air miles points, log into your account on the credit card’s website or the airline’s loyalty program portal. Most issuers and airlines provide a detailed summary of your point, miles balance, and transaction history.

How to Get Free Miles from a Credit Card?

You can get free miles from a credit card primarily through sign-up bonuses, where you earn a substantial amount of miles after meeting a minimum spending requirement within a specific period. Some cards offer anniversary bonuses, referral bonuses, and special promotions that allow you to earn extra miles.

How to Earn Air Miles Using a Credit Card?

Earn air miles using a credit card by making everyday purchases, taking advantage of bonus categories (like travel, dining, and groceries), and leveraging sign-up bonuses. Some cards offer additional miles for specific types of spending, such as flights booked directly with airlines or through their travel portals.

Which Credit Card Gives Free Air Miles?

The United Gateway℠ Card is an excellent example of a credit card that gives free air miles without an annual fee. It offers 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. This card is a solid choice for those looking to earn miles without the commitment of an annual fee.

How to Use Credit Cards for Airline Miles?

Choose a credit card appropriate for your travel habits and goals when using it to earn airline miles. Use the card for your daily and significant purchases to accumulate miles. Pay attention to any bonus categories to maximize mile earnings. Redeem your miles through the credit card’s travel portal or directly with the airline, depending on your card’s options and partnerships.