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Introducing Bask Bank, a new way to earn miles

Feb. 03, 2020
5 min read
American Airlines B777-300ER
Introducing Bask Bank, a new way to earn miles
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If you like to travel using frequent-flyer miles, there's a compelling new way to increase your airline-loyalty program balance that doesn't require any spending.

The opportunity comes from Bask Bank, an all-new digital bank that launched in January 2020. It's offering a savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of interest.

Even if you don't often fly American, you may find that AAdvantage® miles offer enough flexibility to justify opening an account. That's because American is one of the largest airlines in the world, with an extensive domestic and international route network. It also has more than a dozen airline partners, and is part of the Oneworld alliance.

For modern travelers interested in alternative ways to rack up miles, Bask Bank's offer deserves a close look.

Here's how it works.

For every dollar you deposit, you'll earn one AAdvantage® mile. For example, let's say you deposit $60,000 into the account and maintain that balance for 12 months. You'd earn 60,000 AAdvantage® miles. There's no limit to the number of miles you can earn annually, which means bigger savers reap bigger rewards.

One thing to note is that you earn miles instead of interest with this account.

But, say you have $60,000 in your current savings account earning the industry average of .09% or less. That yields $54 in interest over the course of one year. Saving $60,000 with Bask Bank instead, you’ll earn 60,000 miles — and at TPG's current valuation, one AAdvantage® mile is worth 1.4 cents, making those 60,000 AAdvantage® miles worth $840.

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60,000 AAdvantage® miles are enough for a round-trip ticket to Europe. Within the U.S., you can score a domestic round-trip flight for just 13,000 miles, or fly business class from coast to coast for 32,500.

Bonus opportunities

Bask Bank's initial bonus opportunities offer some relatively easy ways to collect miles, especially if you tend to carry a high balance. Here's a look at the special incentive offers:

  • Feedback bonus: This is by far the easiest to earn. Completing the Bask Bank online feedback survey within 60 days of opening an account will earn you 1,000 bonus miles. The offer is valid through 2/29/2020.
  • Account opening bonus: Simply opening an account before 3/1/2020 and depositing $1,000 will earn you 5,000 bonus miles. If you open an account between March 2020 and June 2020 and deposit $1,000, you'll earn 1,000 bonus miles. For both offers, you must hold a $1,000 balance for 30 consecutive days within 60 days of opening an account.
  • Balance bonus: Bask Bank will reward you for maintaining certain balance levels. Savers who maintain a $25,000 balance for 12 consecutive months within the first 14 months of opening an account earn 10,000 bonus miles. That moves up to 20,000 bonus miles for maintaining a $50,000 balance for 12 consecutive months and 40,000 bonus miles for maintaining a $100,000 balance. Bonus miles are awarded within 10 business days upon meeting offer qualifications and may take 6-8 weeks to post to your AAdvantage® account.

Should you earn miles this way?

Collecting miles for saving can be a nice supplement to your travel-rewards cards. If you're tired of earning paltry interest rates on your savings, and are willing to forgo earning interest on your savings, this can be a relatively simple way to boost your miles.

How to sign up

You can sign up by visiting the bank's website and clicking "Open An Account." The digital bank allows you to complete the entire sign-up process online.

There's no minimum funding amount required in order to open an account. And there are also no fees. You can fund your account via ACH transfer by initiating a transfer from the Bask Bank website or mobile app, by initiating a wire transfer from an account at another bank or by depositing a mobile check using the mobile app.

To be eligible for opening an account, you must be at last 18 years old, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number and have a valid U.S. address. You must also provide an AAdvantage® account number in order to receive miles.

About Bask Bank

Bask Bank is a new digital bank that launched in January 2020. It currently offers the only savings account that rewards customers with AAdvantage® miles instead of interest. Though it's a new bank, with a new type of savings account, it's backed by an established bank; Bask Bank is a division of Texas Capital Bank, N.A., which boasts a 20-year relationship with American Airlines.

Bottom line

Bask Bank is offering a novel way to earn miles for travelers interested in racking up AAdvantage® miles instead of interest on their savings. It's not a replacement for your main savings account, but it is an opportunity to fund your AAdvantage® airline-loyalty program while stashing away cash in a FDIC-insured account. Those who can maximize AAdvantage® miles and the bonus opportunities will find it an especially attractive banking product.

If you want to supplement your travel rewards cards and earn miles for saving, you can sign up for the Bask Savings Account here.

Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, N.A. The sum of your total deposits with (i) Bask Bank; (ii) BankDirect; and (iii) Texas Capital Bank, N.A. are insured up to $250,000. Member FDIC

Featured image by An American Airlines B777-300ER in flight (Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.