Earning Miles for Most of Your In-Airport Purchases

ThanksAgain is the service you link your credit card to and then you earn miles automatically when shopping with participating merchants.

It’s like making purchases through an online shopping portal to earn miles for what you’re buying anyway, only it’s for in-person retail purchases.

And it functions like Rewards Network (formerly known as iDine but which to me will always be Transmedia), you hand over your credit card for the purchase and the miles credit automatically nothing else to do and the store clerk doesn’t see any difference between those who earn miles and those who don’t.

I first wrote about ThanksAgain in 2007 when they were giving 500 miles in your choice of program just for signing up. Back then it seemed like most of their partners were dry cleaners, none of which were near me.

I’ve used them for partner transactions in promotions like the US Airways Grand Slam in the past as well, in that case through one of their online rather than brick and mortar shopping options.

They’ve really grown their retail shopping base, with a focus on airports, and tomorrow are launching across Dallas Fort Worth airport where they expect most purchases will count towards mileage earning.

You can choose to earn miles with Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, United, US Airways, or Hilton.

Most merchants offering one mile per dollar spent (or two hotel points), with some merchants restricting earning to specific cards (eg not to higher processing cost American Express cards).

In addition, there’s a bonus based on the amount you spend cumulatively each 90 days.

  • Earn 500 bonus miles/points when you spend $250 or more (2 miles/points per dollar spent)
  • Earn 1,500 bonus miles/points when you spend $500 or more (3 miles/points per dollar spent)
  • Earn 4,000 bonus miles/points when you spend $1,000 or more (4 miles/points per dollar spent)
  • Earn 25,000 bonus miles/points when you spend $5,000 or more (5 miles/points per dollar spent)

With Hilton the bonus points earning is double, but the points are worth less. My own earning choice would be United, followed by American and then Alaska, but your preferences may vary.

There’s currently a 100 mile signup bonus with your choice of program, no transactions required.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Unfortunately I am not in DFW. Hopefully they add a bunch of other airports soon. At least I can earn miles when I get ripped off for a $4 bottle of water.

  2. Good timing. I’ll be flying through DFW this weekend and was planning on buying a new pair of Bose headsets (I need them for the trip, hence why I’m not buying them online…no time). I wonder if I’ll get any miles…

    Come to think of it, does that Bose stand sell items or is it just a “showroom?”

  3. Gary, do you think there is any conflict with idine? can you enroll in both?

  4. I have used rewards network for a while, but a quick thought occured to me. Is it possible that you don’t get the regular reward points/miles for purchase from the credit card since you are getting it from them?

    Do you get miles/points from credit card like you always do for ALL purchases and then in addition to that you will get extra from ThanksAgain or RewardsNetwork?

  5. Gary, I know you sort of allude to it but you might want to further clarify that this is on a per-merchant basis WITHIN the airport; the airport itself is not a merchant. So, doing some searching, for example, @A.S. would get his points for buying headphones at DFW through Airport Wireless, but not from the Bose kiosk itself. And @MileageUpdate would get points at DCA for being ripped off for a $4 bottle of water at CNBC news, but not at Hudson.

  6. @CW — In fact, right after posting here I did try to search for Bose and saw that they don’t participate, so I’d have to buy them at another store (like Airport Wireless, for example). These headsets have a pretty much set price and I’ve never seen any coupons, so it’s all the same. Unless anyone knows something that I don’t know… 🙂

  7. “With Hilton the bonus points earning is double, but the points are worth less.”

    Gary, I think you accidentally inserted a space where it didn’t belong. 😉

  8. Do you need to put a promo code in the box for the 100 miles? I can’t find one if you do.

  9. I substituted my home airport (GEG) for DFW in the URL to discover that Spokane participates in the program and that the airport authority will give miles/points for parking!

    Signed up.

  10. The better question is who the hell spends $5000 in an airport (assuming plane tickets are excluded) — even when adding up 90 days’ worth of purchases?’

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