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With less than a week to go before Valentine's Day, procrastinators are running out of time to send love-signifying gifts to their significant others (or to their teachers or parents or ... ).
While there are other options, one of the most popular ways to make the holiday rewarding for both givers and receivers is by sending flowers from one of the online florists affiliated with an airline loyalty program. The lovee gets a nice bouquet—or candy, jewelry, or another romance-appropriate gift—and the lover gets frequent flyer miles.
No doubt, that's what Cupid had in mind from the beginning.
This year, of the airlines surveyed, Continental had the best mileage deal: 50 miles per $1 spent at 1-800-FLOWERS.com.
That's great for Continental loyalists—and for United customers, since Continental and United miles will eventually be merged. But miles earned in those programs aren't worth their face value to partisans of other schemes, so here are some options for those vested in other popular programs:
- Alaska - 25 miles per $1 spent at FTD
- American - 30 miles per $1 spent at FTD
- Delta - 45 miles per $1 spent at 1-800-FLOWERS.com
- JetBlue - 20 points per $1 spent at FTD
- United - 30 miles per $1 spent at FTD
- US Airways - 25 miles for every $1 spent at 1-800-FLOWERS.com
- Virgin America - three points per $2 spent at 1-800-FLOWERS.com, FTD, ProFlowers, or teleflora
Naturally, you'll want to use your program-linked credit card to pay for the flowers, adding an extra mile per $1 spent to the above payouts.
The Clock Is Ticking
This year, Valentine's Day is on a Monday, complicating the delivery scenario.
While online florists' two-day and next-day deliveries are typically handled by FedEx or UPS, the larger florists can also deliver on the same day an order is placed, through their networks of local stores.
FTD and 1-800-FLOWERS, for example, advertise same-day delivery on orders received by 2 p.m. While I'm sure the florists are equipped to handle same-day deliveries on most days of the year, I wouldn't risk holding them to it on Valentine's Day.
To avoid disappointment, rush fees, and a possible relationship crisis, I'd suggest placing your order by Friday, February 11.
Reader Reality Check
Have you found any better mileage deals for Valentine's Day gifts? Share the love!
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.