Turning Back to School Purchases Into Thousands of Airline Miles

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Back to school shopping is here, and so are the corresponding miles and points bonuses that I will outline below. It was somewhat surprising to me that families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of about $688 on back to school purchases this year, up a little from last year. That does not include those with kids in college, as that total is several hundred dollars higher. Of those surveyed, 44% plan to do back to school shopping online (are the other 56% crazy?!).

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If you fall into the 44% of back to school households that plan to do an average of around $688 in school shopping online, you can easily turn those new laptops, jeans, shoes, pencils, backpacks, lunch kits, and more into literally thousands of airline miles by using one or more of the bonuses below.

If you haven’t don this before, by clicking through the airline shopping sites linked below you can still get right to Apple, Gap, Pottery Barn Kids, Staples, Walmart, Target, or almost anywhere online that like to shop. You will earn a certain number of airline miles per dollar spent, depending on the retailer you are utilizing, and then the bonuses outlined below are on top of that based on your cumulative purchases during the bonus timeframe. You can only earn one bonus per shopping site per account, but you could take advantage of say both the United and the Southwest bonuses if you were so inclined. Or, you and your partner’s United accounts could both be used to get the bonus twice.

Remember that these bonuses also do not factor in the miles you earn by paying with your credit card of choice.

Earn up to 2,000 Bonus Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

July 24, 2017 – August 18, 2017

  • 250 bonus points for qualifying purchases of at least $125
  • 900 bonus points for qualifying purchases of at least $300
  • 2,000 bonus points for qualifying purchases of $550+

Earn up to 1,000 Bonus Delta SkyMiles

July 25, 2017 – August 3, 2017

  • 500 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of at least $150
  • 1,000 bonus miles for qualifying purchases of at least $350+

Earn Up To 2,000 Bonus American AAdvantage Miles:

July 23, 2017 – August 18, 2017

  • Spend $150, get 500 bonus miles
  • Spend $300, get 1,000 bonus miles
  • Spend $500, get 2,000 bonus miles

Earn up to 3,000 Bonus United Miles

July 21, 2017 – August 18, 2017

  • 500 miles for qualifying purchases of at least $150
  • 1,500 miles for qualifying purchases of at least $350
  • 3,000 miles for qualifying purchases of $600 or more

Earn Big By Stacking Offers

As the individual retailers try to attract your Back to School dollars, I expect we will see some stores increases their bonuses, and that will stack nicely with this sitewide offer. For example, ShoeMall.com was recently awarding 10x AAdvantage miles per dollar for purchases. If you had $150 in shoe purchases at that rate you could earn 1,500 miles from your ShoeMall.com purchase made by first clicking from the AAdvantage Shopping site, and that would ensure you triggered at least the 500 bonus miles offer mentioned above for a total of 2,000 miles for just $150 in online purchases.

Of course I also recommend tracking your purchases with the Citi Price Rewind tool so you can easily get money back via statement credits if the price drops in the 60 days following purchase if you paid with a Citi credit card.

How do you plan to turn your family’s back to school purchases into airline miles?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

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