One month into writing this blog, back in June 2002, I explained how you could fly Concorde for $1258.95 by earning miles for magazine purchases. Your cost would be even lower, of course, if you donated the magazines to a non-profit and took a tax deduction.
Inside Flyer was offering Starwood points for subscriptions. Back then Starpoints transferred to Qantas at 1:2 plus transfer bonus (20,000 Starpoints transferred to 50,000 Qantas miles). The Qantas program was still valuable (through 2004) and Concorde was still flying. And they let you fly Concorde for the same points pricing as British Airways first class.
That deal is long gone, but you can still buy magazines, earn lots of miles, and even potentially donate them for a tax deduction (provided it still makes sense for you to itemize under last year’s tax reform).
- Magazines.com is temporarily earning 50 miles per dollar through the AAdvantage shopping portal
- Magazines.com is temporarily earning 50 miles per dollar through the MileagePlus shopping portal
There are other shopping portals which reward magazines.com spend but none are quite as lucrative right now as these two offers which are like buying miles in either program at 2 cents apiece and getting miles. (HT: Joel G.)
That’s more than either currency is worth however if you’re in a position to leverage this with a tax deduction you may reduce your cost basis by a third and that lowers the price down to a level that’s likely worth it.
Similarly if your business needs magazines — you have a waiting room for instance — then the cost of these
miles magazine subscriptions would be a deductible business expense.
More broadly the point is to think about leveraging deals and reducing their cost.