Keeping Miles from Expiring With Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions

When your miles are expiring there are plenty of ways to extend them, depending on the program.

  • Some miles don’t expire – like Delta’s and Jetblue’s.

  • Some programs don’t let you extend — Singapore Airlines, Etihad Guest for instance.

  • Others require you to actually fly (Air France).

  • And still others require you to spend on their credit card every month to avoid expiration (Lufthansa).

In general though programs let you extend your miles by earning miles in an account or by redeeming miles. (Avianca LifeMiles extends expiration via earning activity only.)

You can extend your United, American, or Alaska miles by making an online shopping purchase through their portal, by transferring points into your account, or by buying miles.

One of the things I’ve often done for family members’ rarely used mileage accounts I manage is redeem miles for magazines. I’ll choose the cheapest magazine option they’ve got. I can’t tell you the number of Cigar Aficionado subscriptions we’ve had.

Seven airlines let you redeem miles for magazines through Mags4Miles:

I’d personally find a Wall Street Journal redemtion to be useful. I’m currently on a six month free trial with them that started five years ago. I keep suspending delivery, 60 days at a time. That extends the free trial. And while delivery is on suspension you still have access to the Journal’s online content.

What I had forgotten though (so thanks to @rapidtravelchai) is that there’s also Newspaper Rewards to redeem miles for newspapers. Five programs let you do this:

There’s actually a couple of interesting options for me based on my zip code:

The Dallas Morning News has gotten pretty tight about paywalling content (and preventing access via incognito browsing so redeeming miles for access may be useful. At least until Conor Shine left a couple of months ago their American Airlines coverage was pretty good.

And the Financial Times often has great content that Google News flags for me, I could use a subscription.

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. There’s something more “rewarding” than a crummy newspaper or magazine; sign up for the Rewards Network, where you eat and pay with a registered card. Great way to score points/miles, and get fed. You can only use one card for each rewards program; United card for the United program, American card for the American program, etc. Works for me.

  2. Time to switch from Cigar Aficionado (800 miles) to “China News” for 100 miles!

  3. I got a one-year subscription to Cigar Aficionado to keep some United miles alive several years ago. The Rewards Network is a much better option.

  4. Do watch out for sneaky renewals. In my case they now send you a small postcard saying that they’ll auto-renew your subscription on your credit card at regular rates with a tiny number to call to cancel. That number has some annoying voice prompts for extra bonus deals, but it does let you cancel. Mostly watch out if you put your credit card down and send the mag to a family member. You may be paying for a while.

  5. Tougher question: How would you keep a Singapore airlines account alive that currently only has 1,000 miles in it?

  6. Looks like AA has gone to print-only for the WSJ. 🙁

    Thanks for the idea, it’s a great one!

  7. Impossible to cancel. They start auto renew and you can’t cancel through magazine site. I have no idea who they are now a year later!!

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