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Mother’s Day gifts can lead to a free flight

SmarterTravel

Mother’s Day is more than a day to show your mom how much you appreciate and love her; it’s also a great time to earn a few extra frequent flyer miles for yourself. Just be sure to shop for a gift from companies that offer miles for purchases, and you’ll be that much closer to a free flight. If you’re short on gift ideas, here are few suggestions for ways to shower your mom with presents while you shower your frequent flyer account with miles.

Flowers

A bouquet of flowers is a traditional Mother’s Day present that never fails to bring a smile to your mother’s face. Flowers also rack up the miles because many popular merchants offer bonus miles for Mother’s Day purchases.

Teleflora’s Flower Club and FTD.com currently have miles promotions with several airlines. Here’s a quick rundown of the offers:

  • Teleflora’s Flower Club: Earn 15 Alaska miles per dollar spent; 10 Northwest miles per dollar spent plus 150 bonus miles; 10 US Airways miles per dollar spent plus 200 bonus miles; or 600 Continental miles for each order of $35 or more and 100 miles for every $10 spent over $35.
  • FTD.com: Earn 10 Northwest miles per dollar spent plus 250 bonus miles (use code 8548); 10 US Airways miles per dollar spent plus 200 bonus miles; 20 America West or United miles per dollar spent; 10 Midwest miles per dollar spent plus 100 bonus miles; or 15 Delta miles per dollar spent.

These retailers also offer miles on other airlines for purchases, but do not have specific Mother’s Day bonuses with these partners. In addition, other flower shops, such as Butterfield Blooms and 1-800-FLOWERS, offer miles for purchases, so you have lots of choices of ways to earn miles on flower arrangements. Check the SmarterTravel.com Mile Finder for the complete list of flower partners.

Online purchases

Perhaps mom would like a new scarf, a book, or a spa gift certificate. Before you head to the mall, check out your online options first. Many airlines have mileage malls and retail partners that allow frequent flyers to earn miles for online shopping. Not only can you avoid crowded stores and shop at any hour of the day or night, but you can earn between one and 20 miles per dollar spent on gifts for mom (and yourself!).

Credit card purchases

No matter where you shop, you can earn one to two miles per dollar spent if you pay with a mileage-earning credit card. These airline-affiliated cards allow you to earn miles for all purchases charged to the card. Or, get a bank card that allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for frequent flyer miles or air travel. With one of these cards, you can splurge a little on your Mother’s Day gift, and you’ll get rewarded for your thoughtfulness with even more miles.

Can’t decide which card to get? Read our article about the differences between airline and bank credit cards.

A visit from you

Your flight back home may cost a few hundred dollars, but it will also earn you valuable frequent flyer miles. If you don’t want to impose on mom, stay in a hotel and earn even more miles when you stay at chains that partner with the airlines, such as Hilton, Marriott, and Hyatt. Check the Mile Finder to see which hotels partner with your preferred airlines.

Plus, several airlines and hotels offer last-minute Mother’s Day sales, so you can save on your travel as well.

You don’t need a holiday to earn miles

These tips will also come in handy once Mother’s Day has passed. Need to buy something for yourself? You can still earn miles with mileage malls and affiliated credit cards. Friends’ birthdays? Send them flowers and send yourself some extra miles. Business travel? Don’t forget to provide your frequent flyer number to earn miles for your trip. No matter what you’re doing, you can often find a way to earn miles from your activity. Won’t that make your mama proud?

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