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Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Banking Miles

Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide

#12: Banking Miles

Not everyone has excellent credit to be applying for credit cards. Alot of people have taken financial hits during the recession, and credit card churning and app parties are just not an option. Thankfully, there are debit cards that are excellent substitutes. While their sign-up bonuses are minuscule in comparison, you can earn the standard 1 mile per $1 spent that most credit cards offer.

For bigger bonuses, some banks offer miles for opening and funding checking accounts. Below is a list of all offers that I’m aware of.

Debit Cards

UFB Direct Airline Rewards Checking (AAdvantage Miles)

  • 1,000 bonus miles for direct depositing $1,000 or more in a calendar months.
  • 0.5 miles per $1 on all purchases (includes debit transactions)
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements

Bank of Hawaii – Hawaiian Airlines Visa Check Card

  • 0.5 miles per $1 on all purchases (excludes debit transactions).
  • Funds deducted from your checking account.
  • Earn up to 10 additional HawaiianMiles per dollar when you use your Hawaiian Airlines Visa Check Card at any participating HawaiianMiles XtraMiles Partner on qualified purchases.
  • Monthly fee of $3 per card.

Checking Accounts

Bank Direct AAdvantage Checking Account

  • 1,000 AAdvantage miles for opening a Mileage Checking with Interest account.
  • 10,000 miles for receiving direct deposits for 6 consecutive statement cycles, totaling at least $2,000 per month.
  • 5,000 miles for using online bill pay to pay three different payees a total of $500 a month for 6 consecutive statement cycles.
  • 5,000 miles for using the BankDirect Visa CheckCard for at least 12 transactions totaling $500 per month for 6 consecutive statement cycles.
  • 25 or 100 miles per $1,000 earned each month, depending on your balance.
  • 1,000 miles for yourself and a friend, when you use a referral link.

Note: If you’d like to be referred for a BankDirect AAdvantage checking account, you can ask for one on this Flyertalk forum.

Citi Gold Checking Account. Occasionally, Citi will send out targeted offers for opening a checking account. The miles offered are usually around 20,000-30,000 AAdvantage miles. Unfortunately, Citi does send out 1099’s for the value of these miles, so proceed at your own risk.

Do you know of any other mile-earning debit cards, and checking account sign-up bonuses? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment below.

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Ariana Arghandewal

14 Comments

  1. Bank of Hawaii offers a Hawaiian Airlines debit/ATM card. 1 miles/2 dollars in debits, ATM withdrawals don’t count, haven’t tried to swipe at a walmart to add to a bluebird card, might work. no enrollment bonus, I asked when I signed up, put me on hold, then told me no bonus. Supposed to be a $3 a month fee for the card, haven’t been charged yet.

    • Thanks for the heads up, John. I’ll add this to the list. This card doesn’t let you earn miles on PIN transactions though, so you won’t be able to use it to load a Bluebird or buy a money order. Are you using the Hawaiian Toolbar? It let’s you earn up to 1,000 miles free each month just for using the search bar.

      • I have the toolbar, The Hawaiian Miles Finder, I’ve gotten a few miles, but have really not exploited it to the level I’ve read about here on your blog, perhaps I need some pointers!

        • I have a list of search terms I use to meet my monthly quota. If you’re interested, I’m happy to send it to you.

          • Yes, if you could, I’d like that. They lowered the maximum you can get to 1000 Hawaiian Miles for 3000 searches, right?

          • Yes, it’s now down to 1,000. But you can earn miles for family members by logging out once you’ve hit your maximum, and logging back in under their account.

    • You can’t get it, but if you already have it, it will work until May 31, 2014.

  2. One Vanilla at CVS is already a debit card to buy MOs at Walmart (not at cashiers) to deposit into a bank.

  3. Just found this post and would love your list of search terms you use for the Hawaiian toolbar.

    • Sure, I’ll email them to you. Unfortunately, you are now limited to earning 1k miles per month rather than 5k.

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