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Earn Up to 100,000 United, American & Delta Miles With Fidelity Brokerage Accounts

by on December 26, 2011 · 62 comments

in American, American Express, Delta, Fidelity, United

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Update: deal is now for 50,000 miles.

If you’ve got cash to invest, you can rack up a ton of frequent flyer miles by opening Fidelity Brokerage accounts. I’ve been meaning to research this ever since I left Morgan Stanley and now completely manage my investments, especially since I no longer have any restrictions about outside brokerage accounts that are in place at many financial firms.

Coincidentally, a couple weeks ago I received a flyer in the mail from Fidelity offering me up to 50,000 United miles if I created a brokerage account with them. 15,000 miles for depositing $25,000, 25,000 miles for $50,000 and 50,000 miles for $100,000.
After researching the rules and costs of doing such a transaction, it seems like a pretty good deal if you are eligible and have the funds. In fact, after researching and reading this Flyertalk thread, you can actually get either 50,000 United or American miles plus 50,000 Delta miles. The United and American offers are for new account holders only, but Delta is for new and existing Fidelity account holders. Read this post by HikerT (who is also a TPG blog reader and can hopefully chime in if anyone has questions).

United account registration
American account registration
Delta account registration

I value United miles the most so I just signed up for that and deposited $20,000 and will cycle in the rest of the money once my account is verified. You have 30 days from registering for the promotion to fund the account, so I’m not too worried about timing.

Later this week I’m going to sign up for a Delta account as well. I don’t want to do them on the same day just in case they see it as a duplicate account registration.

Once your account is verified, you can deposit and withdraw until you hit the $100,000 mark. It doesn’t have to be $100,000 all at once – you could do it in $20,000 cycles depositing and withdrawing – all that matters is that $100,000 is deposited into the account in the required time period. Read through the Flyertalk thread to see how people have managed it on small budgets – of course this is much easier if you can just deposit in lump sums and the miles generally post much quicker than 8 weeks.

I recommend reading through the complete rules before you do this. I’ll update with my experience once my miles (hopefully) post! To me, 100,000 miles is worth about $2,000 so I’m looking forward to doing this promotion – especially since it does not count as a hard inquiry on your credit - only a soft inquiry so they can verify your identity.

United promotion T&C:
Only prospective customers who currently do not have a Fidelity retail account are eligible. This promotional offer is limited to one per household and per lifetime of the individual(s) named on the Fidelity account. Only individual or joint Fidelity Accounts are eligible. The promotion is not available for business accounts, trust accounts, retirement accounts including, among others, Fidelity IRA, Roth IRA, SEP and SIMPLE accounts; 401(k) and 403(b) workplace retirement plans; fiduciary accounts (including custodial accounts and estate accounts); college investment trust accounts; 529 college savings plan accounts; annuities; Fidelity accounts managed by Strategic Advisers, Inc. (for example Portfolio Advisory Services); and clients of registered investment advisors working with Fidelity Investments. Offer not valid for government officials, candidates for federal, state or local office, or union officials or employees, non-U.S. residents or persons and members of their immediate families and households affiliated with or employed by FINRA or its member firms, Fidelity or its affiliates, a securities exchange or its members, or the media. Public officials or candidates for office may be subject to state or local gift laws.

Transferred assets will be valued, for the purposes of determining eligibility for this promotional offer, at the close of business Eastern time on the business day or next business day, if on a weekend day or holiday, following receipt by Fidelity Investments of the assets into the account that is eligible for the promotional offer. Funding must come from an external, non-Fidelity source via any standard monetary transfer method (a standard Transfer of Assets form, check, electronic funds transfer, ADM deposit, etc.). Please allow eight weeks from the opening and funding of the eligible account, with the qualifying dollar amount of assets, for United MileagePlus or OnePass miles to be credited to your MileagePlus or OnePass account. Your Fidelity account must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date that the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account.

New accounts must be opened within 30 days of registering for the offer. Additional deposits to the eligible Fidelity account may earn you a higher mileage award provided such deposits result in the cumulative deposits in the account being at or above the next eligibility tier (up to a maximum of 50,000 miles). Initial and subsequent deposits must be made within 90 days of Fidelity account opening.

MileagePlus or OnePass miles are redeemable miles and do not count toward elite status. All United MileagePlus and Continental OnePass program rules, respectively, apply to MileagePlus and OnePass program membership, miles, offers, mile accrual, mile redemption, and travel benefits. To review the rules, please visit www.united.comThis content will appear in a pop–up window. and click the MileagePlus tab or go to the Frequent Flyer section of Continental.com. United, MileagePlus, and the United logo are service marks or registered service marks of United Airlines. Continental, Continental Airlines, OnePass and any other names or marks of Continental Airlines referenced on this Web site are service marks or registered service marks of Continental Airlines, Inc. Unless otherwise indicated, all service marks, trademarks, and logos, whether registered or not, as well as trade dress, located at the Web site are the sole and exclusive property of Continental Airlines, Inc.

United Airlines and Continental Airlines are not responsible for goods or services offered by Fidelity. United Air Lines, Inc. and its affiliates are not broker-dealers and do not offer investment advice or financial planning services. United and Continental receive compensation for introducing Fidelity to their customers. Fidelity Investments makes no representations or warranties regarding MileagePlus or OnePass program membership, offers, mile accrual, mile redemptions, or travel benefits.

Fidelity Investments is not affiliated with United Air Lines and Continental.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Scott

    Please take note that the Delta Fidelity promotion (https://scs.fidelity.com/other/offers/registration_delta.shtml) is open to current and new customers. You can fund a new account or an existing one.

  • guest

    Brian,

    There is a looming possibility that the cycling of deposits is now ‘corrected’; I have a ‘friend’ for whom the cycling is complete, but no miles have shown up, for a few weeks. Others on FT are reporting the same. Fido changed their process recently (having you immediately opening the account instead of waiting for an email response), and they may have corrected the underlying software language. YMMV… Delta I’m not sure about…

  • Kafsdfasdfas

    will they 1099 you??

  • Brian (J)

    I am currently doing the Ameritrade 15k UA miles for $10,000 for nine months. The first 7.5K post right away. Very easy to set up and fund with an direct transfer, takes about an hour tops. My strategy is to do one for me, one for my wife, and then do a straight no-tricks $50K to the Fidelity account for another 25K, total.

    The Ameritrade deal is less miles but a lot less dollars, and I am into ‘lazy’ miles, no coins or cycling money in and out. I think this deal expires 12/31/11 so move fast if you like it.

  • Makru

    Will this work?

    It states ‘Your Fidelity account must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date that the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account.’

  • Anonymous

    Correct- I have that noted in the post

  • Anonymous

    Not to my knowledge

  • Anonymous

    Keep the account open, but you don’t have to leave the money sitting there. The nature of brokerage accounts is that money will be going in and out.. this isn’t a bank account where they’d want you to keep an average daily balance of X amount

  • Simon

    I just opened a Fidelity account for the UA miles promo – and did a $25k bank transfer. I’ll wait for the 15k UA miles to post, then register for the Delta promo, and do another $25k transfer – and then sit and wait to see if another 10k UA miles + 15k DL miles post.

  • tom

    Any idea if there is a limit to the number of times you can withdraw from the account a month? I recall a little while back ING froze my savings account temporarily because I (accidentally) had withdrawn more than five times on one month. Apparently it was some governmentregulation on savings accounts I was told.

  • Dan-lauz

    Is it working for canada ?

  • PV

    any worries of account being locked down because of rotating money through it? I saw one post on flyer talk about it.

  • Anonymous

    Anything is possible. Nothing ventured nothing gained. There’s no cost to do this so it’s worth a shot. Obviously depositing the full 100k would be ideal

  • Anonymous

    US only

  • Rsamstein

    You should also register for the apple promo by Dec. 31st since some are reporting that they got credit for that also https://scs.fidelity.com/other/offers/registration_tieredapplegiftcard.shtml

  • Hvsmith69

    completely garbage,

    who has $100K lying around these days?? only vicious wall street schmuks like yourself

  • HikerT

    Well, I’m not a vicious wall street schmuck but was able to find $100K. It did require thinking out of the box. My solution was a home equity line of credit from my local credit union. It didn’t even cost me a credit inquiry. If you don’t have access to $100K you can try cycling smaller amounts. If not, find a pacifier and move on.

    If you can tap 100K, the best way to do this is as I indicated in that FT post. Sign up for the AA or UA offer. Wait a week or so for your bank account to get verified before transferring any money. Once your bank account is verified, transfer the 100K to fidelity early in the week, then apply for the DL offer, wait for miles to post over the weekend, then pull it out. It cost me $75 (pre-tax) to borrow 100K for a week at 4% interest and netted me 50K AA and 50K DL miles back in June. YMMV. I have no idea whether cycling still works or whether the double dip with DL is still working.

  • guest

    Has anyone tried churning the Delta Fidelity promotion?

  • DBAUM

    This is per the policy statement which seems to contradict the above am I reading this wrong? “Your Fidelity account must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account.”

    Still likely worth it if you hav the extra cash, considering moving some funding around.

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  • Mike

    You wasting your time. I work for a brokerage firm that offers promotions and we all keep very detailed records of the inflows and outflows. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME if you plan to cycle the money.

  • Asdf

    I can’t tell if you’re trying to prevent people from gaining knowledge, or if you’re just clueless. I’ve managed to cycle money through all large brokerage houses that I’ve seen promotions for so far. Just because records exist doesn’t mean someone checks them.

    My experience suggests that you should try something before you tell everyone it doesn’t work…without even trying.

  • Sanrafaelca

    Juts got off the phone with Fidelity and the representative said that funds must remain in the account for SIX MONTHS

    “Your Fidelity Account® must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date that the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account.”

  • Rudy

    I did the TD one too. 15k points for 10k dollars is a great ratio. I wish these offers would apply for retirement accounts too, as I’ve got a lot more money in them…

  • Schnizz

    Brian- have you received any miles yet? Someone please post immediate experience.

  • Syed

    Quick question for HikerT…for the Delta offer, do you choose the “Open and fund a new account” option or the ‘Fund an existing account”

    I want to first get the Continental One pass miles (50k miles) and then get Delta miles

    Thank you

  • oldmanpeabody

    Enough threadcrapping, geez. TPG, thanks for the heads up. I keep an eye on Flyertalk but a lot of times those 150+ page threads are so unmanageable. This is definitely worth a shot and I’m going to see if I can make it work – will update on my experience. Thanks as always!!

  • Ariana

    I’m thinking of doing this for the 25k mile bonus but am skeptical about a few things. 1. Has anyone been able to bypass the rule about keeping the entire qualifying balance in your account for 6 months? I believe it was Ameritrade that allows you to get away with keeping a minimum balance of $2500 for 6 months AND still getting the entire bonus. I don’t think Fidelity allows this, or am I wrong? 2. I keep reading that people are opening accounts for themselves and their spouses. I thought this deal was restricted to 1 account/household/lifetime? 3. Has cycling worked out for anyone? If anyone has been able to bypass these rules, I’d love to know how. I can’t keep the money in the account for 6 months, so I’d love to know if there’s another way to get the entire 25k.

  • Huff Daland

    I did this with TD & Delta a couple of years back – I did keep the full $50,000 in for six months, wasn’t aware there was a loophole.

    I’ve signed up for the UA Fidelity account and will fund it in January, then attempt a run at DL.

    Stay tuned.

  • HsInAz

    After I am done with Fidlty/AA deal how can I open another account with the same broker i.e. Fidlty for the Delta deal? Am I allowed multiple accounts for the same SSN?

  • Ariana

    @ HsInAz, you simply go to the Delta offer page and select “open account”. Yes, you’ll be opening a new account. I did this and received my Delta points the day after my funds were received.

  • Thepointsguy

    It’s rather simple. Just click thru on this Delta promotion link below and then select “fund an existing account” and complete the sign up there. It doesn’t require a new account. When you get to the “fund your account” step you can stop there. You don’t need to fund it any further if you have already funded for the AA promotion. If you click that link before a Thursday, it will likely post to Delta by the following Sunday. It’s a great deal.

    https://scs.fidelity.com/other/offer…on_delta.shtml

  • abc

    I tried this, opened an account, 25k miles were posted to united after 50k deposit but after cycling to make it 100k cumulative, another 25k miles have not arrived. I think now they would deposit 50k miles only if the account actually has 100k.

  • Ddavid1101

    Hey Pointsguy, so did you end up getting your miles? Did you also apply for the Apple GCs? Looking for a followup to your article

  • Anonymous

    Yep I got the 50k Continental. Going to do Delta and apple as well. Also waiting on TD Ameritrade 25k SPG

  • Kbyucd

    Did this work? Have the miles posted? I’ve done the first half of what you did (UA), thinking about doing the second half (delta).

  • Anonymous

    Did you have to open a new account for delta or fund an existing account… thanks! Its not clear which one to select… I suppose if we open a new account… are we required to cycle as well or miles will post giving credit for the prev cycling?

  • Ddavid1101

    Hey Pointsguy, how long after the initial deposit/acct open did you receive the initial mile credit?

  • Anonymous

    I concur with the other “Thepointsguy” (with the capital T…) He/she is correct. cycle 100k for the UA and then apply (fund an existing) for delta + apple = 100k miles and gift card. ive yet to receive the GC, but the UA and delta points have posted. to be clear you dont have to cycle another 100k for the delta miles – just apply. Seemed like i basically did no work to ‘earn’ these points. quite possibly the easiest 100k ive racked in so far. well AA 150k and BA were quite easy too. ha. And also, I dont plan on taking the cash out any time soon, if anyone from Fidelity is reading…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MVC7NPVOIRJU33XJHT5Q3VKHDU pazz0

    Thank you Points Guy for highlighting this opportunity. Worked perfectly and I now have 100,000 of the most easily earned miles (50,000 UA, 50,000 DL). Opened United tied account first, and then selected “fund an existing account” with Delta for all future funding transactions. Thanks!

    Timing of miles showing up in accounts: United = 3, 3, and 2 days after funding transactions; Delta = 18, 11 and 3 days after funding transactions.

  • Sharon308

    After u sign up for fidelity.. Did u received any confirmation email regarding the free miles promotion? I only got a generic confirmation email receive opening the fidelity account @_@ wondering if I did it right. I funded 25K Sunday (funded immediately via chase) and another 25K today (Tuesday) so far..

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  • Rimbaudslastpoem

    If i already have a 401k with fidelity, will I still qualify for the promo?

  • Jruiz2159

    Is the Fidelity offer still going on for United/American and Delta miles if you deposit 100,000 dollars? When is the expiration? Thank you

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  • Justk1234

    It seems like this offer has changed, now requiring 100k deposit. The fine print says that says funding must be in eligible account for six months, am I reading this correct?

    “Transferred assets will be valued, for the purposes of determining eligibility for this promotional offer, at the close of business Eastern time on the business day or next business day, if on a weekend day or holiday, following receipt by Fidelity Investments of the assets into the account that is eligible for the promotional offer. Funding must come from an external, non-Fidelity source via any standard monetary transfer method (a standard Transfer of Assets form, check, electronic funds transfer, ADM deposit, etc.). Your Fidelity account must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date that the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account.”

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/crackers8199 matt greco

    since it seems these are now limited to 1 per rolling 12 month period, would it make sense to do the american one first (since it expires september 2012), then delta (feb 2013, so i guess you probably wouldn’t be able to get this one), then united (expires in 2014)…is that right?

    how often do these things get extended past the original expiration date?

  • Billy Frame

    NO-GO…

    They denied me the Delta Points.
    The guy on the phone said, I didn’t
    qualify, because I already got the
    United deal.

    I signed up for the United deal in March
    and got my points in April, I applied
    for the Delta deal in the first week of
    April and no points.

    Did they change the Fine-Print in the
    deal details?

    Billy Frame

  • thepointsguy

    Why’d you do it over the phone? Just do it online- everyone I know who has done it that way has gotten the miles

  • sfbay

    Just got denied the Delta and Apple program. They said “airlines required them not to combine the program”…. I think they are starting to flag account for whatever reason…. Quite disappointed. I’m going to open another fidelity account and tried the delta miles and apple again……

  • Billy Frame

    Hey TPG….

    Applied online,
    Got Email saying I didn’t qualify,
    Called to change that,
    He told me I didn’t qualify because I had already got
    the “United Deal”, and that It was in the print on the
    offer…

    I was also wondering, If they might pull the United
    points when I withdrew most of the funds in a short
    amount of time…

    Billy Frame

    PS, Tks for the tips

  • AlwaysTravel

    I had a similar experience. When I applied for both AA and Delta for myself over a month ago, all went well and I received my miles. Then my husband opened an account the same way I did – with AA, then tried the Delta offer. He got the AA miles but got the same “this account does not qualify” email from Delta. They tell you to call them, so he did and he was told he does not qualify since he just got the AA offer. We’ve tried several times over the past two weeks and he just keeps getting the same email.

  • Dannyrudd38

    Do subsequent deposits need to be made through the initial sign up page under “Fund an existing account”? Or just through a regular Fidelity transfer after the new account is setup.

    Thanks

  • Pacific2929

    Okay dudes the party is over. You now gotta let the money sit for 6 months with NO churning else you get no points. If you withdraw early Fidelity will charge you for the points. This deal has gone south, so should you. Goodnite all.

  • Doesun

    appears the Delta deal is dead. just got the UA miles, then registered with Delta link funding existing account. got an email, then called agent and told me we got UA miles already and cannot get Delta.

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  • dhammer53

    Brian,

    Can this be funded with a CD transferred in from another bank?

  • Jeff

    Thanks very much for the heads up and link to AA miles and the simple double dipper info.
    Got the 50 k UA and soon the AA .

  • pw72357

    checked the links today, AMR and DAL both show that the offer is valid for opening and funding a new account and funding an existing account. Do you think I can open and fund 100k for the AMR offer and then fund an additional 100k to the same account to get the DAL miles? I’d prefer not to have to deal with two accounts.

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