Targeted: Earn up to 7x bonus miles on your next flight
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
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Airlines have been especially hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak and are doing what they can to lure back travelers as soon as possible. In addition to updating cleaning procedures and offering great deals and flexible change and cancellation policies, some airlines are awarding extra miles to help spur new bookings.
American Airlines, Southwest and United are currently offering anywhere from 2x to a whopping 7x bonus award miles on summer travel. Some of the promotions are targeted and may require registration prior to booking or flying.
Here's a rundown of all of the bonus miles promotions airlines are offering.
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American Airlines is currently offering Barclays’ AAdvantage Aviator credit cardholders 3x bonus miles on paid flights booked by Aug. 13 and completed by Sept. 30, 2020.
If you register and book your flights by Aug. 13 for travel through Sept. 30, you’ll earn an extra three miles for every dollar you spend on the base fare of your ticket — up to 5,000 miles in total (which equates to about $1,667 in spending). TPG values AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents apiece, so this equates to an extra 4.2% return. If you max out the promotion, the 5,000 miles you’d earn are worth $70.
The 3x miles are in addition to the bonus miles you earn for using your Aviator card for American Airlines purchases. So, those with the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard and AAdvantage® Aviator® Blue Mastercard® would earn a total of 5x bonus miles per dollar spent and those with the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard would earn a total of 6x bonus miles.
This promotion doesn't apply to previously booked reservations, AAdvantage award tickets or flights operated by American's partners. Also, the bonus miles don’t count toward AAdvantage elite status or Million Miler status. However, keep in mind that AA is granting one mile toward Million Miler status for every $1 spent on a cobranded credit card between May and the end of the year.
Eligible members can find the full details and register for the promotion at this link.
The information for the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red, Aviator Blue and Aviator Silver card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related: Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers
Southwest Airlines is currently running a promotion where summer travelers will earn double Rapid Rewards on all flights between May 12 and Aug. 31, 2020.
Rapid Rewards points are calculated using the base fare. So with this promotion, general members will earn the following:
- 24 points per dollar spent on Business Select® fares
- 20 points per dollar spent on Anytime fares
- 12 points per dollar spent on Wanna Get Away® fares
Bonus points will not count toward A-List, A-List Preferred or Companion Pass qualification.
This promotion is not targeted. However, you must register for the promotion on Southwest’s website prior to booking and commencement of travel.
Related: 9 ways to earn points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards program
United is offering one of the most rewarding — but also highly targeted — promotions. With the Multiply Your Memories promotion targeted MileagePlus members can earn up to 7x bonus miles on paid flights booked and completed by Aug. 31, 2020.
To check what bonus is available to you, visit promotions.united.com/offers/multiplyyourmemories and enter your MileagePlus account number. Based on what we're seeing, targeted members can earn either 3x, 5x or 7x miles. It doesn't seem like elite status or cobranded cards play a role in determining eligibility.
Targeted members must register, book and fly by Aug. 31 to earn bonus miles with this promotion. Regardless of which bonus you were targeted for, you can only earn up to 50,000 miles. TPG values United MileagePlus miles at 1.3 cents apiece, so this equates to a 4.2% to 9.1% return. If you max out the promotion, the 50,000 miles you’d earn are worth a stellar $650.
This promotion doesn't apply to previously booked reservations, award tickets or flights operated by United's partners. Also, the bonus miles don’t count toward United Premier elite status or Million Miler status. This promotion is separate from United’s Mile Play promo.
Bonus: Alaska Airlines
While Alaska Airlines isn't offering bonus award miles, it deserves a mention in this list as it's offering a bonus on elite-qualifying miles. Through Dec. 31, 2020, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will earn 50% bonus elite-qualifying miles on all Alaska Airlines flights.
This promotion only applies to Alaska-operated flights — not flights operated by one of its global partners. This includes previously-booked flights and registration is not required for this promotion.
Related: Alaska offering bonus elite-qualifying miles through 2020
Maximize your earnings
You can earn even more miles by booking your flights with one of the best cards for airfare purchases, like The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel; starting Jan. 1, 2021 earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare) or the Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card, which each earn 3x on airfare (when booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com on the Amex Gold).
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.