Earn Mountains of Miles for Valentines Day Purchases

by on February 8, 2011 · 6 comments

in Continental, Credit Cards, Delta

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The online flower retailers usually offer some of the most lucrative points bonuses, which translates to me that they must have incredibly inflated prices. In fact, some of the Valentine’s Day deals are jaw-dropping;  Continental’s Double Miles with Teleflora when using your Continental credit/debit card equals out to 50 miles per dollar spent! That’s cheaper than buying Continental miles outright at 3.2 cents each.

For example: 10,000 miles purchased from Continental = $320.
Whereas, all you need to do is spend $200 at Teleflora and you’ll get 10,000 miles. Not only that, make sure you register for Mileathon for even more credit. Each floral purchase gets you 3 points and activities can be repeated. The top award is 75,000 miles for 150 credits. If you wanted to go crazy with this promo, you could do the following:

Open up a Chase Continental Mastercard, which has a 50,000 point signup bonus after first purchase plus $0 annual fee for the first year and some lounge passes. This activity gives you 20 points towards Mileathon.

Simply order 52 of their most expensive product (that I could find) Your Majesty – Premium Item # T80-1C which is $249.95 plus a $14.99 service fee (which you wouldn’t receive the 50 miles/dollar). The goal of ordering the most expensive product is to minimize the number of $14.99 service fees which they tack on for each product.

$264.94 x 52 orders = out of pocket spend of $13,777, but just think about the miles:
$250*50= 12,500 miles earned per order
12,500 x 52= 650,000 base promo points, plus the 50,000 from the card plus 100,000 points for hitting 175 Mileathon credits 5,000 miles for hitting 35 Mileathon credits (thanks for correction from savvy TPG readers that Continental limits Shop Onepass to 15 credits) + 13,777 points for the credit card spend = 718,777 Continental miles for $13,777- a steal at just over 1.9 cents per mile.

Just to put in perspective, with 718,777 Continental miles you could get two Star Alliance First class Round the World tickets and 3 North American roundtrip first class awards and a with some miles to spare. While my example is extreme, you can see that accruing miles through this program is much more generous than their current stingy and expensive buy miles program- plus you can impress all of your friends and family with “thoughtful” arrangements! An entrepreneurial person could also probably find a way to sell the arrangements at a discount in order to bring the cost per mile down. I’m almost tempted, though I’m not sure my partner would like me turning our apartment into a greenhouse (and I also don’t have 13 grand to drop on flowers).

Continental isn’ t the only one offering stellar V-day deals. Delta and 1-800-FLOWERS are offering 45 miles per dollar for purchases, which also makes it cheaper than buying Delta miles normally, though they are running a 50% bonus right now.

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  • Angik

    I think floral purchases are limited to 15 credits in mileathon

  • Allen

    “Members are limited to a maximum of 15 credits per promotion period for ShopOnePass purchases.” Too bad, seemed like a great idea. And if you were going to resell, something like this, Ultimate Elegance Premium Long Stem Four Dozen Red Roses Code:1064RD for $269.99 from 1800-Flowers might make more sense since you could easily break it down to sell as dozens with the holiday coming up.

  • The Points Guy

    Shucks- way to ruin my Tuesday! I updated the post to reflect only 5,000 Mileathon miles earned. Still a pretty good way to get Continental miles for under 2 cents a piece (and a bunch of merchandise to boot)

  • Tao

    Interesting idea. But what are you going to do with all these flowers? Resell them on ebay? Not an easy task.

  • Chris L.

    Well, you could donate the flowers to charity and get the tax write-off. If you have a high federal marginal rate and live in a state with high state income taxes, you could recoup ~50% of your $13,777 cost as a tax deduction. That’ll get you down to a penny a mile.

    Additionally, I think you get 50 miles per dollar + 100 miles per order with Teleflora, so I think there is another 5,200 miles (52 orders * 100) that you’d get with this deal.

    It is fun to play with the math, but I couldn’t imagine actually doing it.

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