Whether you’re an online shopper, a frequent traveler whose laptop is a constant companion, or just your average Internet user, you can earn miles just for getting online. Most major airlines partner with one or more of the big Internet service providers, and you can earn up to 10,000 miles for signing up and logging on. With so many miles piling up in your account, you’ll be glad you have the Internet readily available to research and book your next free flight.
Log on to more miles
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For a quick boost to your mileage balance, you can sign up for EarthLink dial-up, DSL, or cable modem Internet service. You’ll earn 10,000 miles with American and Delta, 5,000 miles with Northwest, or eight credits with Southwest. Miles will post after your second, fourth, or sixth month of service, depending on your plan. Or, consider AT&T Worldnet, which lets you earn 6,000 miles with American, Continental, and Delta, or 5,000 miles with Northwest.
AOL, one of America’s largest Internet providers, partners only with Delta. You can earn 1,000 SkyMiles after each month of paid service, for a total of 5,000 miles. Newcomer PeoplePC now offers 3,000 American miles or 4,000 to 5,000 Delta miles when you sign up for Internet access.
If you’ve got a laptop and like to travel around the corner or even the world with your computer, you can earn 10,000 American, Delta, or United miles when you sign up for T-Mobile HotSpot Wi-Fi Internet service. Or, pick up 1,000 American, Delta, United, or US Airways miles when you register or renew a domain name or purchase personalized e-mail addresses or five-page websites from Network Solutions.
Before you log on
There are a few things you should know before you order Internet service. The first is that, in most cases, bonus miles are only available to new subscribers. If you already have a service provider, you will have to switch to a different company in order to earn miles.
The second is that bonus miles usually accrue after a few months to a year of paid service. Read the fine print carefully to determine how long you must be a subscriber in order to get the full miles, as well as not to incur any charges for service cancellation. If you intend to subscribe for only a few months, some of these offers may not work for you.
And finally, always choose the Internet service that works best for your computing needs, and then see if that company has a miles offer. Getting your home wired for the correct Internet service can often be a hassle, so you don’t want to be changing DSL or cable modem services frequently. In addition, you never want to pay more for a service just because it offers miles. Do the math to figure out whether the value of the miles is greater than the price difference you’ll pay.