How I Scored 50,000 AAdvantage Miles with Fidelity, Again

Apr 9, 2015

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For years, Fidelity Investments has run lucrative promotions offering sign-up bonuses of up to 50,000 miles when you open and fund a new brokerage account. You can earn miles with American, Delta, or United, and the funding requirements are the same for each:

  • Deposit $25,000 or more, earn 15,000 miles
  • Deposit $50,000 or more, earn 25,000 miles
  • Deposit $100,000 or more, earn 50,000 miles

Fidelity’s terms and conditions state that offers are “limited to one per individual per rolling 12 months and may not be combined with other offers.” However, I earned 50,000 miles each with United and Delta back in 2012,  which led me to believe there was some room for interpretation in the second half of that statement. With that in mind, I decided to apply again this year for both the American Airlines and United Airlines offers.

The results were mixed. About 3-4 weeks after opening my accounts and meeting the funding requirements, I was awarded 50,000 AAdvantage miles. I value American Airlines miles at 1.7 cents apiece, which makes the sign-up bonus worth $850. However, I’m confident that I can get even more value than that by maximizing my redemptions with Oneworld partners and in premium cabins.

Unfortunately, it looks like Fidelity has tightened up, and is now adhering more strictly to the limit of one bonus across all offers per rolling 12 months. While I was able to open and fund a second account, I was flatly denied a second bonus for the United MileagePlus offer, even after a lengthy conversation about ambiguity in the terms and conditions. If I want to earn 50,000 United miles (or another 50,000 from American), I’ll have to wait until next year.

Fidelity AAdvantage offer banner
Fidelity has extended the promotional offers beyond the original March 31 deadline.

While these offers were meant to expire at the end of March, Fidelity has since extended each of them to varying degrees:

The main requirements to keep in mind are that accounts must be funded within 60 days of opening to earn the bonus, and that you must maintain the minimum qualifying account balance at Fidelity for nine months from the date on which the reward is received (minus any losses related to trading or market volatility, or margin debit balances). That’s a long time to lock up your money if your sole intent is to earn the bonus, but if you’re looking for an investment account, this is as strong of a bonus as you’re likely to find.

If you do decide to take part in one of these promotions, I recommend the American Airlines offer over the others, since I value AAdvantage miles above MileagePlus miles and SkyMiles. However, if you’re in a Delta or United hub, you might feel differently.

If you’ve earned one of these bonuses previously, share your experiences in the comments below. If you have questions, please post those as well!

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