Posted by William Charles on March 19, 2017

Published on March 19th, 2017 | by William Charles


Fidelity To Possibly End 50,000 Mile Brokerage Bonuses

For some time Fidelity has offered brokerage bonuses of up to 50,000 miles with American Airlines, United Airlines & Delta Airlines. The bonuses are tiered as follows:

  • Deposit $25,000+ & receive 15,000 miles
  • Deposit $50,000+ & receive 25,000 miles
  • Deposit $100,000+ & receive 50,000 miles

Reader UAPhil recently went into a branch to sign up for one of these offers and was told that these offers will no longer be available from March onwards. It’s entirely possible that the person he spoke to was misinformed or putting time pressure on (although that’s unlikely as he was already signing up). I know some people love these offers, so thought this was worth sharing.

fidelity airline miles dead

23 Responses to Fidelity To Possibly End 50,000 Mile Brokerage Bonuses

  1. Katherine says:

    I’ve been gathering money to do this with Fidelity. Just checked both the United Mileage Plus and AAdvantage website / links to Fidelity and it says the offer ends March 31.

    I’ve done these before and there has been a limited time for them. If you miss this one, hope for a return again in 6 or more months.

    One thing to note–you are only eligible for one of these promotions with Fidelity every rolling 12 months and you lock up your money with them for 9 months from the award of the miles.

    • Mser says:

      50K miles (for $100K deposit) is worth about $750ish assuming 1.5cpp. That’s about 1% return the 9 months you need to keep the money there. I’ve stopped doing them and instead opened up some of the 2-3% high interest rate checking accounts.

      Current offer expires March 31 but they have always put up new offers in the past. I’d be surprised they’d end this now interest rates are rising, so I presume the person was just being given the hard sell.

      • Katherine says:

        I don’t think it is hard sell–since the March 31 date is both on United and Fidelity’s pages.

        Note that if you even think you might want to do this, register. You don’t have to fund immediately, but have 60 days from registering to put in whatever level you want.

        As to rate of return, you can place your money with them in a very wide range of investments so your rate of return will be based on that, and miles are simply bonus.

        • Diamond Vargas says:

          This is very good advice and applies to my timing of cycling $100k in / out once per year to meet the requirements. I like to keep the $$ elsewhere for 3 months before returning it to Fidelity, and that 3-month window ends mid-April.

          Called today and a Fidelity rep confirmed that you still have 60 days to fund regardless of promo expiration date. He also said that this while the expiration date has moved around in the past, in his two years with Fidelity this is the firmest expiration date they’ve had, so he thinks it’s happening. Bummer.

      • James says:

        If someone has a brokerage account because they want to get more than the current low interest yields, this offer is just icing on the cake. If that person has 100k and don’t feel confident making money in a booming stock market we’ve had for 8 years, then they’re probably too risk averse in life to get financially ahead. Unless you’re saving the money for a downpayment on a house, this is a great deal.

        • NotJames says:

          ” then they’re probably too risk averse in life to get financially ahead’

          What a crock. I’m “risk averse” but I retired early 5 years ago, live a good life, and sleep quite well at night. Hope you can say the same one day, bro.

          And, yeah, I’ll probably take 100K of my investments (it can be stocks, you know, not just low interest yields as you are assuming) and slide them over to Fidelity for a year.

      • Ed says:

        Earning 2-3% on $100K is much easier said than done. You are talking multiple accounts (Memory allows up to $250K but only pays $1.5%, and just for the first year). The accounts you speak of have all sorts of tricky hoops and hurdles to navigate. The higher return is achievable, but just one missed required action in a month and you’d have been better off just parking it at Fidelity and enjoying your travels down the road.

  2. mjs says:

    Many in our family have done these over the years (including last fall).

    Let’s just say *cough cough* that you don’t need to keep your money in for 9 months.

    There is no claw-back (at least for American last year, and United the year before) and the miles tend to post about 10-14 days after the threshold amounts. Just sayin’, as I agree otherwise the miles aren’t exactly cost effective otherwise.

    Also, in the past, they have been very slow in changing the expiration date until close to the last minute. So hopefully it’ll keep going and the CSR just assumed it was ending by the date listed. However, I think (not certain) that United, Delta, and American in the past would often have somewhat different expiration dates. As of now, they are all March 31, so perhaps Fidelity has decided this isn’t profitable for them any linger.

  3. SJ says:

    The bank person might have meant the current offer expires on March 31. I believe the offer gets renewed every year for an year.

  4. All three offers listed by Fidelity have been changed to say “This offer expires March 31, 2017”. Since this a change from later dates, it appears to be deliberate. Sad loss of a great opportunity.

    • Ian says:

      What were the dates prior to today? Historically, the 3 airline miles bonus offers with Fidelity expired at the end of each quarter. It’ll be sad if it goes away; the same way TD Ameritrade had bonus offers with Delta, United (and Continental), US Airways, American, Amtrak, and Starwood (2012).

  5. lastlad says:

    Don’t transfer cash for this bonus since they allow in-kind transfers of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Instead, transfer low-cost index funds like VTSAX so you can earn money while you wait out the required nine months.

    • NotJames says:

      +1. If you can, just move 100K of your existing stocks and bonds over. They also offer CD’s, but you’ll lose a little cash because they act as a middle man and take a cut of the points.

      • anne says:

        Don”t you have to pay fees to move your stock from another brokerage to fidelity? I have almost 100K in stocks at CapitalOne Investing, so this may be an option. TIA.

        • NotJames says:

          I’ve always had the “receiving” brokerage house cover the costs of any fees that the “sending” brokerage house might impose. Just ask them to do this before you move the securities/funds.

  6. J. says:

    4.95 trades mean cuts somewhere.

  7. Alan says:

    I already have my 401k and a roll-over IRA account with Fidelity. Opening this new brokerage account was instant and a breeze for existing customers. Thanks for the tip, just opened one now.

  8. DSK says:

    Here’s a data point. Just signed up today (first day I could since I did it last year (and the year before). Rep told me this was definitely going away at the end of March for United, Delta and American in order to “simplify Fidelity’s promotions”.

  9. See says:

    Any data points on if the value of the miles received are taxable?

  10. Nun says:

    The offers expire and get replaced periodically. Maybe Gary knows best here but I would normally say the expiration date is an ordinary occurance.

  11. Diamond Vargas says:

    Links dead

  12. Sebastian says:

    FYI it is indeed dead right now. I’m looking to move over funds and chatted with someone, but it’s not available.

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