How to get Frequent Flyer Miles for Paying your Rent or Mortgage


To get miles for paying your rent or mortgage you need two things.

  1. A miles or points earning credit card (such as any of them from our Top Credit Cards page)
  2. The free Bluebird prepaid card (see our review of the Bluebird here).

We will talk in another article about ways to maximize your mileage earning, but today we are just going to cover the basics to get your started. For this example, we are going to use our Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This card gives us 1 Ultimate Reward point per $1 spent. There are three steps in this process:

  1. Buy gift cards that total the amount of your rent
  2. Deposit the gift cards into your Bluebird account
  3. Pay your rent or mortgage from your Bluebird account

1. Buy gift cards that total the amount of your rent.

Gift cards are available at a number of merchants such as Kroger, Publix, CVS and more but not all gift cards will work.  We prefer to use the Visa Gift cards that you can buy at Simon’s Malls because they only charge $3.95 / $500 card.  The gift cards are sold at the customer service kiosk and will look like this:

20140610-132751-48471661.jpg Simon Gift Card

For the sake of our example we are going to assume that your rent is $1000 per month. To pay $1,000 you will need to buy two $500 Visa Gift cards with a fee of $3.95 each.  Pay for the cards with your mile earning credit card of choice. You will get 1000 Ultimate Rewards points for the purchase if you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, but you can use whichever miles earning credit card you like. You will need to go through the process in this article to set the PIN codes for the gift cards before the next step.

2. Use the Gift cards to load your Bluebird account at Walmart

Both of these options will require going into a Walmart.

A. If your Walmart has one of these ATM looking machines that is working, then follow this article on how to use the Kiosk to reload your Bluebird with a gift card and PIN.

Walmart Moneypass Kiosk

B)  If your Walmart doesn’t have one of the kiosks then you can load at any register, the customer service desk, or the Money Center.  Follow this article on how to load a Bluebird Card at the Walmart register with a gift card.

money center

Bluebird has a maximum load amount of $2500 per day, so if your rent or mortgage is over that amount, you will need to wait until the next day to enter more reloads. There is also a $5000 limit each month on Bluebird deposits so you would only be able to do this for $5000 of your payment each month.

 3. Pay your rent from your Bluebird account

Log onto your account and you should see the Gift cards reflected in your new balance. Click on the Pay Bills button.

Pay Your Rent With Bluebird

Type in whoever your rent checks are payable to in the “Who do you need to pay?” box and it will prompt you to create a new payee.  Enter all of the information requested.  I actually deposit my rent into my landlord’s bank account each month so I make my landlord the payee then put my address  with a C/O my name on the Address 2 line so the check comes to me to deposit.

Pay Your Rent With Bluebird 2

Click Save and Pay now.  On the next screen you will find a place for the amount and a memo. Enter the rent amount and any memo there. Note it will tell you in the upper right corner what date the check will be delivered by which I have found to be accurate.

Pay Your Rent With Bluebird 3

That’s it! Miles for paying your rent!

Note that this method can be used to pay any bill that you normally have to pay with a check such as electric bills or student loan payments too! Now, open up that Bluebird account and start getting miles! And if you are looking for a great credit card and a 40,000 sign on bonus, then check out the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®.

As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!

Author: John Butler

I live in Miami Beach but love travelling all over the world.

  • Daniel

    Hi John, thank you for a good article plus illustration. So to sum it up, this is good for purchases that normally need to be paid with a check or cash, but not with a credit card, right? And to earn 1000 miles in this example, the cost is ($3.95 x 2) = $7.90 or for 100K miles, the total cost will be $790. Is that a good deal? Please pardon my naiveté as I am new to this miles world. And not meaning to rush you but when will you share with us how to increase the miles by 5 times?
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    • TravelWithMiles

      Hi Daniel. You have it exactly right. To put it in perspective, for 100K miles you could fly to Europe in Business class like I am doing a week from now ( ). If you bought this ticket with cash it would be 5K+. You could also almost get two coach tickets to Europe for 120K which would be worth at least 2K in cost. The biggest thing for me is that I wouldn’t get miles for these expenses any other way so it is worth it for me to pay the fees. Also if you are new I just put a Frequent Flyer Miles for Beginners article up. The increase the miles by 5X loophole has unfortunately been closed (it involved buying the Vanilla Reload cards at Office Depot for 5X UR points) so I am just getting 1X miles until I find a better cost effective way.

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  • Twee

    I tried to buy the Vanilla reload card and have $500 put on it using my Chase Sapphire credit card. Unfortunately, at both Walgreens and Office Depot, the clerks did not allow me to use the credit card. I had to pay with cash only.

  • Andres A

    Hey John have you tried Amazon payments to do this same thing?
    It apparently has no fee but it has a $1000 limit.

    • TravelWithMiles

      Hey there Andres. Sorry about the late reply but I was in Ibiza so I hope you forgive me. I have looked into Amazon payments and it is definitely a fee free way to convert $1000 a month into miles and get the cash back. But it typically requires a couple of smaller payments so you don’t get red flagged (like a $300, a $300, and a $400.) And you have to have a friend who is willing to help you and I really hate asking people for help with my miles obsession. I have Bluebird, two Amex Prepaids, an Amex Prepaid Student edition, and two Amex for Target prepaid cards. This allows me to generate $17,500 a month in spend if I wanted to max it all out without needing help from anyone else (although there are fees with doing this much). If the Amazon payments were a bit easier and I didn’t have to bother a friend with monthly withdrawals then maybe I would give it more consideration.

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