Remember to Earn Miles for Everyday Purchases (“AKA Shopping Online While At the Apple Store”)


I went to the Apple Store to buy a new computer. I had already done my research and knew what I wanted. I just needed to verify a few things in person, which I did with the helpful associate. “OK, I’m ready,” I said—and then I logged on to a website from the in-store computer to make the purchase.

The associate was a little confused. “I can ring you up right here, and for the same price.”

“I know,” I said, “But this way I’ll earn more miles.”

I bought the computer through the AA shopping mall and selected “In-store pickup.” For pickup time, I selected “Now!”—as in, literally that moment.

Fifteen minutes later I was out the door with the new computer.

As a good travel hacker, I earn points and miles for every dollar I spend. I once rented out an entire zoo, in what’s been the largest charge I’ve had to date (lesson: whatever you think it costs to rent a zoo, it’s probably more). But in addition to earning 2,000 points for the base purchase of $2,000, I knew I could tack on some additional points.

For starters, by using the AA Mileage Mall, I’d earn an additional point for every dollar of spend. Finally, I also noticed that AA was running a limited-time promotion for even more miles:

AA Mileage Mall

Total Mileage Earning for this Purchase

  • 2,000 Starwood points for the base spend
  • 2,000 American Airlines miles for using the AA Mileage Mall
  • 1,050 additional AA miles for purchasing during the promotion

Note that this process didn’t take long. I already had an account with the AA mileage mall. It was a little odd to log-in on a store computer and make the purchase, but whatever—I got over it.

You can earn miles for shopping at your choice of retailers. Often, there are bonuses where you can earn a lot of points. And if you don’t want AA miles, you can earn them from your choice of several other carriers by going through their own shopping portals.

Our new guide, Upgrade Unlocked, includes hundreds of additional tips and strategies that you can put to work right away.

Always be earning!


Image: Rick

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