One way to earn miles that isn’t discussed too frequently is opening a Fidelity brokerage account and funding it with a set amount of money. Currently, you could earn miles in one of three programs – United, American and Delta. All of these programs have existed for several years now and while the Delta offer was set to expire on 12/31/14, it has recently been renewed until December 31, 2015 while the offers for American and United are valid until March 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015 respectively. Based on the amount you deposit, you could earn 15,000, 25,000 or 50,000 miles in those programs (the offers are the same for each program).
For those who aren’t aware of the history of these offers, it used to be very easy to hit the minimum deposit amount needed for the miles as you could cycle money in and out until you hit the $100,000 deposit figure for the maximum miles. I used to do this in $10k increments years ago but unfortunately Fidelity got smart and cracked down on that practice.
This program is now slightly less useful for some of you as you need a large amount of funds to move into Fidelity. If you have investments with other banks or investment firms, you could consider moving them to Fidelity to take advantage of the current offers. As always, evaluate the fees, the type of investments and all other trading related or investment related items Fidelity offers compared to your existing bank or investment firm before deciding about switching – those matter much more then 25,000 or 50,000 miles.
If you are interested in taking advantage of one of the three offers (I would choose the United or American offer before Delta personally), here is a good summary of what you need to know.
- Must open a new non-retirement brokerage account OR fund an existing one with new money. Per the terms & conditions “Net new assets means external new money in minus money out, including distributions and transfers, during the qualification period.”
- Account must be funded within 60 days of registering for this offer
- You are allowed to take advantage of this offer once every 12 months
- Funds must remain the account for at least 9 months
- There is no language stating you actually have to make any sort of trades or transactions. You could just park the money here but instead you should buy an FDIC insured certificate of deposit (CD) for no fees to earn a little interest.
- You can only register for one of these three offers at a time (no double or triple dipping)
- I have never been issued a 1099 for the value of the miles
Links to Register:
Due to the deposit requirements, these offers aren’t for everyone. But if you can meet the requirements are you taking advantage of these offers? If so, which one?