Apple's Giving You an Easy Way to Earn Bonus Airline Miles Today
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
If you've been waiting for "the best time" to pull the trigger on that new iPhone, Macbook Pro or other high-dollar Apple gadget, today's a great day to do just that.
From time to time, Apple rewards its fans with elevated shopping portal rates. This time around, a number of major carriers are participating in the bonus boost so you won't have to choose between better earning rates and your favorite airline.
As of the time of this post, elevated earning opportunities include:
- Alaska Mileage Plan: 5x/dollar, up from 1x/dollar (9% return via TPG's valuations)
- United MileagePlus: 5x/dollar, up from 1x/dollar (7% return via TPG's valuations)
- Delta Sky Miles: 4x/dollar, up from 1x/dollar (4.8% return via TPG's valuations)
- American AAdvantage: 3x/dollar, up from 1x/dollar (4.2% return via TPG's valuations)
Be careful to note the fine print as new AirPods, iPad Air and iPad mini, gift cards, gift wrap, Bose products, Apple Developer Programs, and shipping are not eligible for portal bonus miles from any of the airlines listed above. For most eligible items, you can purchase up to five (5) units per product, except iPhone, which are limited to only two units within a 30-day period.
With many portals, you can only utilize coupon codes that are offered on the portal site; outside discounts or coupons will void your earning eligibility.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan shoppers can earn a 500-mile bonus this week when spending a cumulative $200 or more with partner retailers. Note that you do not have to spend the $200 all at once or with the same partner; you only need to spend a total of $200 across all purchases made through the portal during the bonus period, which ends April 19. This bonus can be stacked with the current elevated rates at Apple: a $200 purchase at the tech giant would net 1,500 Alaska miles, worth $27 according to TPG"s valuations. It's rare to see such high rates with Alaska and Apple, so this is definitely a promotion worth considering.
Portal earnings are accrued in addition to any points or miles earned from your credit card spend. It's unclear when the elevated shopping portal rates for Apple will end, so if you have a purchase in mind don't delay.
Whenever you make a large electronic purchase such as a thousand-dollar smartphone or $2,000 laptop, be sure to use a credit card with purchase protection and extended warranty benefits. Benefits will vary from card to card, so you may have success getting compensated if your product gets damaged or destroyed during the coverage period; for example, TPG Global Editor Emily McNutt once nabbed a $399 credit from her Platinum Card® from American Express to cover damage to her Apple Watch. And TPG Backpacker columnist Brian Biros recently scored a $449 reimbursement check from the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card after his phone became a casualty of his epic two months in the South Pacific, thanks to the card's built-in phone protection coverage.
Although the purchase protection may not be as good, other solid options for online shopping include the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card for 3% back on online purchases, up to $2,500 each quarter in choice category, then 1% (which can go up to 5.25% if you have Bank of America Preferred Rewards elite status) or The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express for 2x Membership Rewards on all purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year; then 1x.