In case you somehow have not noticed, it is already summer, and we are well into June already! That means we are coming up on a potential US Airways Grand Slam in a hurry. Last year, the Grand Slam was announced in August and began in September. I think the Grand Slam is the very best way (outside of credit card sign-ups) to rack-up large numbers of airline miles in a hurry. My goal is to help make sure that you are ready for the Grand Slam, if it comes back, so that you can get as many miles as possible, for the lowest financial outlay possible. Part 1 covers some Grand Slam basics, and is a good place to start if you think Grand Slam are reserved for Denny’s and baseball games!
2012 Grand Slam Preparations Part 3: Join e-Miles Now (this post)
Oh e-Miles, how I love you and loathe you at the same time. I’ll start with why I love e-Miles – it was a free hit in last year’s Grand Slam. Free is good, especially since some of the hits can get a bit pricey. However, we all know that most things that are “free” do have a downside. In this case, the downside is the time investment that is required to get the free hit. If there is one thing I have less of than money, it is time. For those unfamiliar with e-Miles it is a site where you view ads and fill out surveys in exchange for points. When you reach 500 points, you can “cash out” for a transfer to an airline or hotel partner. In the case of the Grand Slam, you will turn your 500 points into 500 US Airways miles.
Some of the opportunities are for 5 points and some are for hundreds. Typically the ones that are for hundreds cost money. However, this hit can be done for free, it just takes more time to knock out the 5 and 10 point opportunities. You can get over 100 points just by completing the initial e-Miles surveys where they learn more about the things you are interested in (so that they can send you more surveys and ads related to those topics). This goes without saying, but if you aren’t interested in very many things, then they may not send you very many opportunities.
If you are only going to go for the free opportunities, it may take a couple months to go to 500 points. If you are very dedicated to it, perhaps it could be done in a couple weeks. It is going to depend in part on which surveys/ads are sent to you for review. I have to admit that this year I just don’t have time to chip away at this in 5 and 10 point increments, so I spent some money to get this hit done in a hurry. I donated to an organization that will help feed children in America. It was a $15 initial donation that netted me 350 points and just one subsequent month will get me the other 150 points I need. I am happy to trade $30 instead of spending hours on e-Miles. However, I did go the free route last year, so if you have a little free time then I recommend giving that a shot!
According to the e-Miles website:
- e-Miles miles not deposited expire one year from the month in which they are earned.
- You must respond to at least one e-Miles marketing message per month for your e-Miles miles to remain active.
I have certainly gone more than a month without responding and didn’t lose my points, but just be aware of the official rules. For those who are e-Miles pros, do you have any additional tips to share? Do you go the free route, or do you spend some cash to save some time? Regardless of whether you want to try to make this hit truly free or not, I recommend signing up sooner rather than later!