Signing Up for and Cancelling TV Service to Earn (Hundreds of) Thousands of Miles

You can earn 25,000 American Airlines miles for signing up for DirecTV.

You can also earn 30,000 United miles for DirecTV.

Both offers have been extended through October 1 (they were scheduled to expire in July but keep getting extended).

You need to choose a ‘select’ package or above and take a 24 month agreement.

While the offers specify ‘new customers only’ I spoke to one participant at the recent Frequent Traveler University event in Seattle that had earned well into the six figures in miles by signing up for DirecTV offers.

Digging into the terms, the eligibility is:

Customers who have a current DIRECTV account, or have been a DIRECTV customer within the last 24 months are ineligible.

Mileage is posted after the account is kept current for 60 days, and then you have to wait 6 to 8 weeks to receive the points. So you should get miles ~ 4.5 months into your agreement. Early cancellation costs $20 per month for each remaining month of the agreement.

This is certainly an attractive offer for people that want DirecTV and it may be a reason to choose DirecTV over cable.

Some may even swap accounts with others in their household. Re-read the eligibility criteria. Count the number of people in your household.

But it’s not a way just to buy miles cheaply without valuing the DirecTV service at some level.

And for those who just prefer DISH Network, as Michelle reminded in the comments the last time I wrote on this offer you can earn 12,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards points for a DISH 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 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. Cheaply? Unless my math is off, that is $480 for 25K miles or the equivalent of a RT Domestic flight. 1.92 cents seems kind of pricey plus all of the hassles in dealing with DirectTV.

  2. @Ven I write “it’s not a way just to buy miles cheaply” this is only good if yo uwill otherwise need pay tv service (something lots of people choose to do)

  3. My husband and I used to switch back and forth until direct tv sicked it’s “fraud” department on us. I was well outside my 24 month contract and right to cancel and my husband wanted to sign up. They refused us service even after my husband made up the story that I was leaving him and he still wanted to have satellite. We were so turned off by their “customer service” and the harassing phonecalls from them (wtf?!?) that we’ve been with uverse ever since. Agree with the previous poster that this is a lot of money just for the miles. Great if you would get the service anyway and can pull it off, but buyer beware.

  4. For what it’s worth- and that’s not much, as I realize this is a particularly niche case- it’s possible to get these miles without paying the $480 ETF.

    I signed up with the promo, waited the 60(?) days for the miles to post, and then a month later (i.e. last week), went to cancel because I was moving. Of course, moving on its own does not remove you from your contract, even if you move to a place that specifically prohibits satellite dishes per lease/HOA.
    BUT if you move to a place that- for whatever reason- a technician determines has no appropriate location where they could place a satellite to generate line of sight (facing the right direction, not a walkway, etc), then the contract and early cancellation fee is waived.
    I did this- unintentionally- and confirmed on the phone I’d keep the miles and pay no fee.

    For me, I paid $100 or so total over 3-ish months for basic TV + HBO/Showtime AND 30,000 miles. Worth it. I imagine this could potentially be reproducible if you happen to own/have a friend who will let you use their ground floor, no skyline apartment. But otherwise, again, just thought I’d post a proof of concept.

  5. @Alex.. if memory serves, and don’t take this as legal advice, but i seem to recall that the telecommunications act of 1996 functions to prohibit homeowners associations from actually denying access to satellite communications of this sort. they can proscribe the manner in which dishes may look or be installed, but only to the extent that their rules do not encumber access to service.

  6. @Gary you are right on the telecom act. There are some limits but basically an HOA or apartment complex has to allow it at some level. Doesn’t matter though if it’s in the trees, etc.
    The thing that scares me about this is that you can sign up for the low level but you have to agree to 24 months and the price agreement is only good for 12 months typically. They can raise the price on you at that point. What they want you to do is agree to re-up for another 24 months for 12 more months of cheap svc ,etc. etc.

  7. My mom had DirecTV and switched to Uverse because it was cheaper but Uverse kept messing up so she switched back to DirecTV about 6 months later. I told her to sign up through AA to get the miles so she did but a representative said that she isn’t considered a new customer so she wouldn’t get the miles. He said that you cannot have DirecTV for 2 years in order to be considered a new customer and eligible for the promotion.

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