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How to earn frequent flyer miles without flying

Check out these new and revised ways for you to earn miles on the ground


Issuers, airlines and hotels are ramping up their methods to encourage cardholders to continue spending. Here are some new ways to earn miles even if you’re not traveling.

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Even when you’re not traveling, there are still plenty of ways to earn travel rewards points from the comfort of your living room sofa.

Successful rewards travelers know that most of our travel points are earned from non-travel actions anyway. Many of us don’t maximize these earnings like we should because we don’t have the time to think about the extra click it takes to double-dip on a daily basis.

Here are four new takes on old ways to keep earning miles from home.

Maximize online shopping rewards

You can always earn points on shopping, and one of the best ways to do that is via shopping portals, where you can double-dip on everything that gets delivered to your door. Additionally, you can use your best-earning credit card for all that supermarket spending you’re doing.

Shopping portals often offer buying bonuses. For example, you might get an extra 500 points for every $100 you spend or an increase of 3 to 10 bonus points for every dollar you spend at a specific store. Make sure you keep abreast of what bonuses each of your card issuers has on offer.

Earn dining points with local delivery

You also have several ways to support your local restaurants while earning points – and getting a night off from cooking.

Dining miles programs have shifted their models to highlight restaurant partners for takeout and delivery. If you’ve never been part of a dining miles program, it’s a great time to try. And you might even snag a 1,000-point sign-up bonus (or more) on your first dine (depending which airline you choose). How well this program will work for you will likely depend on where you live.

Your credit cards are also probably getting on board with some additional takeout and delivery dining deals. Here are a few examples:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card: complimentary DashPass membership gets you free delivery on qualifying DoorDash orders (usually $9.99 per month; must activate by 12/31/2024)
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Cardholders can receive up to a $200 Uber Cash credit annually on U.S. rides and eats
  • American Express® Gold Card: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits at participating restaurant partners, including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly,, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required). Plus, you can get 4 points for every dollar you spend on takeout, delivery and restaurant meals

Special credit card offers and benefits

These days we are seeing a lot of credit card special offers, so make sure you check to see what your issuer might be offering and keep your eyes peeled for emails about specials.

Some special offers of late include:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express is offering 80,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first six months
  • Get $900 cash back after you spend $6,000 in the first three months on your Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
  • The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is offering a $200 cash back bonus after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months of account opening (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)

Take online surveys

A program that has been around forever is taking surveys for airline miles to earn a small number of points to keep your miles from expiring.

While it will certainly take you a long time to earn enough points for an Emirates first-class ticket, taking surveys is a great alternative to spending hours scrolling your Instagram feed. American Miles for Opinions and United Opinion Miles Club are two good options.

Bottom line

Now that you know the different ways you can earn miles on travel without stepping foot outside your home, take some easy steps to maximize your rewards earnings. It won’t cost you anything but a bit of time and research – and in some instances, just a click – to come out ahead.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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