About a week and a half ago, the excellent Gary of Free Frequent Flyer Miles posted that the supposedly-expiring Fidelity brokerage offer for United miles has been extended, and that the American and Delta offers are still available. (Last year’s offer of American Express Membership Rewards points appears not to be available any longer.)
Fidelity will give you up to 50,000 miles based on the amount you deposit into your account within 90 days of opening.
- 15,000 miles for a $25,000 deposit
- 25,000 miles for a $50,000 deposit
- 50,000 miles for a $100,000 deposit
You can choose to earn the miles currently with three different programs. And you can even earn miles, apparently, with two of the three — not just one.
Yesterday The Points Guy wrote that he just got started on the United offer, intends to do the Delta offer as well, and reports that there is no credit pull when opening one of these accounts so it doesn’t stand in the way of churning credit cards for signup bonuses.
The United and American offers say that they are for first time accountholders only. The Delta offer’s terms and conditions does not include that same stipulation. So you want to choose United or American first. And then after you begin funding your account, register for the Delta offer. (An Apple Gift Card offer is also running through December 31 and apparently stackable with United or American and with Delta. I believe the gift card will be tax reportable.)
While it seems like a lot of money is required to earn the miles, you don’t need to actually deposit the money to earn the miles in a single go — based on the reports of many over time you can deposit, withdraw, deposit. So $10,000 in and out 10 times should earn the top bonus for a $100,000 deposit.
The minimum amount for initial deposit is $2500 and you could just keep cycling the $2500 deposit/withdrawal amounts. But since each cycle will take about a week, that amount is too low to get up to $100,000 total deposited — since it would take 40 weeks. You need to fund the full amount you’ll get bonused for within 90 days of account opening. So $10,000 seems doable, but it’s probably worth saving the hassle and using a larger amount if you have access to it.
It appears that the most you can deposit initially, without waiting for your linked account to be verified, is $25,000. If you want to do a larger amount right away just wait for the link to be processed.
Cycling certainly isn’t the intent of the promotion and it’s certainly the case that this could stop working at any time. There’s a couple of speculations out there that it’s already stopped, but based on no evidence other than a weekly expected mileage posting didn’t happen in late December but that’s also consistent with it simply being Christmas-time when lots of work seems to stop until the New Year.
You can also transfer in assets from another brokerage, some time back I took advantage of the TD Ameritrade offer for Starwood Starpoints and may go this route myself.
The TD Ameritrade offer of 20,000 Starwood Starpoints for a $25,000 initial deposit supposedly ends December 31. The other offers say the same thing, and require greater deposits for a similar number of miles (e.g. $50,000 deposit for 25,000 American Airlines miles and of course since 20,000 Starpoints transfer to 25,000 American miles I like the Starwood offer – which only requires a $25,000 deposit – better). Here’s the offers for United, Delta, US Airways, and Amtrak. These have been around for awhile and getting extended for years so if I had to guess I imagine the offers will get extended again but of course there are no guarantees.
In doing any of these deals, read all the terms and conditions, my post shouldn’t be considered financial advice. And while most don’t have a problem pulling funds out right away after miles post, the rules usually say you’re supposed to leave it in the account at least six months and there’s enough at stake that I’d follow those rules, occasionally there are at least unverified reports of folks who have closed out their accounts in less than six months having miles clawed back. I’m not sure how credible those reports are but I wouldn’t risk it.