Buying Flowers As a Way to Purchase Miles at a Discount

The spectacular margins on online flower purchases mean that FTD, 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora, and similar outfits are willing to offer significant kickbacks to savvy consumers on their purchases. I once earned 100 Delta miles per dollar at 1-800-Flowers. Even the standard ‘better’ offers represent a less expensive way to buy miles than making a mileage purchase from an airline website much of the time.

Mommy Points illustrates that the current AAdvantage offer of 1500 American miles for any order at FTD lets you buy miles at two and a quarter cents apiece (if you make the least expensive purchase FTD offers), which is less than American’s buy miles price — and you get a free teddy bear.

She thinks you should then donate the bears to “Homeless shelters, Child Advocacy Centers, Child Protective Services offices, family violence shelters, etc.”

I think you should do that for the tax deduction, reducing your effective cost per mile further.

Here are some other useful flowers offers:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I look at it this way:

    -I need to buy flowers.
    -The flowers tend to be a bit more expensive than the flowers I can get without miles.

    So take the cost of airmiles flower-cheapest flower=actual cost of miles.

    That math drives the cost per mile down even more.

  2. The thing I think about is – for accumulating 100K miles, you would need to buy about $3K of flowers… that sounds like a big expense on flowers 🙂

  3. It’s an okay deal, not great. Using MP’s numbers, you would buy the whole deal for $33.45. Let’s say you’re paying 33% to the Feds, you’ll get about $6.67 back in the form of the deduction. Total is now $26.78, or 1.8c per mile.

  4. Apu, you’re right–except if a savvy traveler wanted to fly F, then he/she could purchase 6K worth of flowers and fly F just about anywhere in the world r/t…for about $6K and change. Too rich for my blood, but nevertheless a discounted F ticket.

  5. Buyer beware-at least with FTD, I’ve seen significantally higher prices via the miles-earning website vs. the regular FTD site.

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