I’d Do Anything for Miles. But I Won’t Do That.

Whether under the name Vinesse, or American Cellars, you can earn miles for shipments of very bad wine.

Paul B. forwards me their new Spirit Airlines Free Spirit offer.

Here’s what they’ll give you:

In my experience this is very bad wine, although the offer may match Spirit perfectly. They used to sell wine in a can onboard. It was something they were proud of, heavily promoted and with coverage in USA Today, Time, the LA Times and elsewhere. Unfortunately it’s been discontinued. But Spirit Airlines customers can still drink bad wine!

I did this once. Back in 2009 there was an offer of 4836 Northwest Worldperks miles for a single $41.94 order. I cancelled after the first shipment and did get the miles.

But the wine was so undrinkable that no matter how many promotions there have been over the past five years since that, I haven’t bitten. I gave the bottles away from that one wine shipment. I still hear about it, and not in a good way. Even when Vinesse counted as a ‘partner’ in the US Airways Grand Slam, I just couldn’t do it.

The experience taught me a simple lesson. To paraphrase Meat Loaf, whose portrait hangs in the American Express Centurion lounge in Dallas, I’d do anything for miles, but I won’t do that.

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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Comments

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. I did this a year or two ago for United miles, figuring the <$5/bottle I was paying would certainly be worth it. Unfortunately, this ended up serving more as Draino, when it was so bad I ended up feeding it to my sink.

  2. I’ve been wanting to send my brother & sister-n-law some wine for awhile. I finally did w/ American miles. The first shipment finally arrived so I could cancel. they actually liked it – no accounting for taste

  3. I signed up the the United “Opinions Club”, but no way – their surveys are much too invasive for the 600 points offered.

  4. @Smoky One of the things I am doing IS the opinions surveys thing-ees. I save them for when I am tired and bored, or sitting and eating (I live alone and watch no TV while eating). Kills some time and slowly I am earning points. What the heck, might as well do some earning when not doing anything else, right?

  5. @Carl Some of these polls are for just 90 points, right? They are asking personally identifying and (in my opinion) intrusive, intimate questions. I know, marketers already have lots of information about us, but these particular questions go too far for my taste. I guess we can each make our own decision about whether these points are worth it to us.

  6. @Smoky,

    Oh I agree, it is totally YMMV. But I figure SO many companies and the gummint already know everything about me, what do I care? Like I said, for me it is something to do to kill time,l etc. Not knocking your view at all, just adding my 2 centavos (2% of a A Skypeso)

  7. If you don’t want to drink it don’t use it for cooking. I am ok with using a good wine that was opened a few days ago for cooking but would not use a bad wine.

  8. Most airlines give you at least 5000 miles for first order, sometimes more with a promotion. Just think of it as buying miles for less than a penny each. As long as you value the airlines miles as more than that, who cares what you do with the wine. Just remember to cancel after first order.

  9. I’ve haven’t bitten on the wine deal yet. Not being a wine drinker, they aren’t appealing. Like Carl above, I do a few surveys but had one that started out with all kinds of “you won’t disclose this or that, or object to this or that or blah blah”. totally just exited that one. Asking me to give up rights? No.
    I must have gotten the last 30k NWA worldperks miles for switching to MCI for long distance service back in the day. Right after that, offers of miles for long distance disappeared.

  10. You can steam meat with bad wine. When I do chicken or turkey with the rotisserie on the grill, I put a throw away pan under the bird to prevent flare ups and keep filling it with a couple inches of bad beer or wine and some fresh herbs. The steam keeps the bird moist and just adds a subtle flavor.

    I bit once many years ago. Never again. My daughter is a certified somm. We have more open bottles of good wine leftover from practice blind tasting than I can use. I don’t need crap around too. I tried freezing leftovers in ice cube trays. Won’t do that again either.

    It is tempting though to buy miles/wine and throw away the wine.

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