I was not aware of e-miles until I received an email through United Airlines. United was offering 400 miles for signing up. Since I am always interested in ways that I can earn airline miles, I went to the site to check it out. Since there was an option to earn airline miles for free, I signed up and opted to receive notifications whenever there were earning opportunities.
United is not the only e-miles partner – you can also earn airline miles through American Airlines, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest. Should you prefer you can also earn hotel points through Hilton or IHG.
There are 3 ways to earn airline miles or hotel points through e-Miles:
1. Through Surveys
This is the way that I earn my airline miles as there is no cost involved. Typically the mile offers are from various not for profit organizations who use e-miles as a platform to promote their charities.
The e-miles surveys are not a survey in the traditional sense. You click on the offer and are typically either re-directed to a website or prompted to view a short video about the work that the charity does. After you are done, you answer a few multiple choice questions about your interest or awareness of the charity and miles are added to your account.
The hook with the free option is that you have to be quite patient. The offers are only 5-10 miles each and there are only 1-2 offers a day.
2. Through Donations
If you choose to donate to one of the causes you can receive bonus miles. Depending on how the offer is structured, you could earn a few hundred or up to a thousand miles for your donation.
While I am not an accountant, I believe that your donations should still be tax deductible less the value of the miles that you received as an incentive.
3. Through Shopping
e-miles has their own version of a shopping portal where you can earn e-miles miles. I do not recommend purchasing anything here as the earn rates are typically always lower than the airlines shopping portals.
In order to move miles from your e-miles account to your airline or hotel miles account you have to transfer a minimum of 500 miles/points (this is the way it is for my United miles). If you are only participating in the free earning opportunities it can take quite a while to get enough miles to transfer.
I am the type that will stop to pick up a penny on the sidewalk. While I know that I can’t purchase anything with it, if I continue to pick up every penny I see, it will eventually grow into a larger amount of money.
I see e-miles in the same way. Some would argue that the effort of earning 5 miles at a time through e-miles is not worth it. While I agree it is more work than many would want to put in, it is a free and easy way to earn miles.
Choose your award partner carefully. Once I signed up through United, I was not able to change my redemption to a different partner.