Frequent Flyer Miles Mortgage

[UPDATE:  You can no longer use the steps below to pay your mortgage, student loans, etc. with a credit card.  HOWEVER, there is another, even better way.  Click here to learn how.]

(Want to see a video of me doing it?  You can check it out here!)

Earning frequent flyer miles for big, recurring monthly bills, such as a mortgage, rent, or student loan payment, has been the holy grail of frequent flyers for years.  They’ve searched high and low for ways to do it, but to no avail…

Until now!

Let me show you, step by step, just how to earn frequent flyer miles for paying your big monthly bills.

Step 1:  Apply for a Bluebird card

How to do it:

  1. Go to bluebird.com and sign up for your free Bluebird card.
  2. You’ll receive it in the mail in a few days.
  3. Activate it online at bluebird.com

Cost: $0

Step 2:  Buy Vanilla Reload Cards At CVS with a Credit Card

CVs is the only place I know that allows you to buy Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card.

Make sure you are buying the Vanilla Reload card that looks EXACTLY like this:

VanillaReload

Get the card that looks EXACTLY like this!

How to do it:  

  1. Find the Vanilla Reload cards that look exactly like the one above.  Don’t buy anything that says Vanilla but doesn’t look the same (Frequent Miler has a great round up of all the Vanilla cards).
  2. Make sure to load each Vanilla Reload card with $500.  Again, you’ll have to pay the $4.95 activation fee regardless of the denomination, so always load with $500.
  3. Pay for the Vanilla cards with your credit card.

Cost: $3.95 activation fee per card.

Step 3: Load the Vanilla Reload Cards on to Your Bluebird Card

How to do it:

  1. Go to Vanillareload.com.
  2. Put your Bluebird card number in the “Card Number” box.
  3. Scratch off the back of the Vanilla Reload card and put that number in the “PIN Number” box.
  4. The money will automatically be transferred to your Bluebird card.

Cost: $0.

Step 4:  Use the Bluebird Card to Pay Your Mortgage or Student Loans

How to do it:

  1. Go to Bluebird.com and sign in to your account.
  2. Go to Pay Bills.
  3. Search for the company you want to pay (i.e. I’ll search for Wells Fargo for my mortgage).
    1. If it shows up, simply select it and enter your account information.
    2. If it does not show up (ex. Discover Student Loans did not show up for me), input the information and the address and Bluebird will send a check.
  4. That’s it.  You’ve paid a major bill that you previously were never able to earn miles for.

Cost: $0

Step 5:  Watch Those Miles Roll In

Self explanatory!

Is It Worth it?

I would say that this is definitely worth it to help you meet the minimum spend requirement.  As long as you live near a CVS, it’s pretty painless.

Also, because you are paying $3.95 for 500 miles, you are buying those miles for 0.8 cents per miles.

While doing this every month when not meeting a minimum spend requirement may be too much of a hassle for some people, I do it each month.

0.8 cents per mile is much less than an airline charges you to buy miles outright, and so it’s definitely worth it for me.

So, who is going to be running to the nearest CVS?

And if you’re already doing it, what places other than CVS allow you to buy Vanilla Reloads with a credit card?

Comment below, folks!

(photo courtesy of kenobiwanX)