The Lazy Way To Earn Even More AAdvantage Miles

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BankDirect AAdvantage Miles

Most banks pay you interest on your money.

My bank also pays me American Airlines AAdvantage miles!

Update:  BankDirect will charge a monthly fee of $12 in 2012.

bankdirect aadvantage

BankDirect is the online arm of Texas Capital Bank, a bank based in Wyoming Texas.  BankDirect offers a unique “mileage” checking account where you can earn 100 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 in deposits up to $200,000, and an additional 25 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 over the first $200,000 (average daily balance) in your account.

Earning AAdvantage miles is in addition to earning 0.05% interest.

Update:  Bank Direct is currently paying 0.01% interest, but please check since the rate constantly changes.

Now 0.05% in interest doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is more than what other banks are paying.  For example, Chase is paying 0.01% interest on their Chase Premier Platinum Checking account.

Now leaving $5,000 in your Mileage checking account with BankDirect will earn you 500 AAdvantage miles a month or 6,000 AAdvantage miles per year. You’re not going to travel very far with 6,000 AAdvantage miles, but every mile counts!

Up to 22,000 Bonus AAdvantage miles

New account holders also have a shot at earning an additional 22,000 bonus AAdvantage miles.

  • Earn 1,000 miles for each new Mileage Checking Account or Mileage Money Market Account opened.  This is in addition  to  1,000 miles for every $100,000 in initial deposit, up to a $500,000 limit per household.
  • Earn 10,000 miles for  payroll direct deposit
  • Earn 5,000 miles for using their  bill pay service
  • Earn 5,000 miles for using their Visa Debit Card
  • Earn 1,000 miles when you are referred by an existing account holder.  The existing account holder also gets an additional 1,000 miles, so please let me know if I can refer you. It’s an extra 1,000 miles for both of us!

When I opened up my BankDirect account a few years ago, the bonus wasn’t quite this lucrative, but it was easier to get the  bonus. That’s because you have to jump through a few hoops (described below) to get your BankDirect AAdvantage miles:

Payroll Direct Deposit Miles

  • The terms & conditions say that you have to deposit “the FULL amount of your entire payroll direct deposit from EACH and EVERY income source” for 3 consecutive months to get the 10,000 bonus AAdvantage miles.
  • There are reports on FlyerTalk of folks being denied the direct deposit bonus, because the amount deposited was not equal to their income declared on their account application form. But this shouldn’t be a problem if you have your entire payroll deposited into your account.

Bill Pay Miles

  • Per the terms and conditions, “you must pay at least 3 different merchants each month for 12 consecutive months from a BankDirect Mileage Checking Account” in order to get the 5,000 bonus miles.
  • The easiest way to do this is to have automated payments set up via Bill Pay

Debit Card Miles

  • The terms and conditions say that “you must use the Visa® CheckCard on 12 transactions per statement cycle for 3 consecutive months” in order to get the 5,000 bonus miles.
  • 12 transactions is a LOT of transactions to put on a debit card which doesn’t earn miles, but I suppose, I’d be able to make 36 small transactions over 3 months just for the miles.
  • Readers have written in to say that you can’t charge $1 12 times a month and expect to get your miles.  Bank Direct expects you to use your debit card just as you would for regular transactions to get the bonus miles.

You Tell Them When You’re Done

  • You are responsible for informing BankDirect when you have completed the requirements for the bonus points!
  • The terms say “To receive mileage credit, contact BankDirect Client Support to notify us that you have met the minimum qualifications.”
  • I find it pretty absurd that you have to notify them in order to get the bonus miles!  But I suppose I’ll do it in order to get the extra miles.

BankDirect Fees

You should also be aware of the following fees:

Monthly Fees

  • BankDirect charges a $15 monthly fee if your average balance is below $2,500.
  • So it would NOT make sense to open a BankDirect checking account JUST for the miles, if you cannot maintain a $2,500 average balance.
  • That’s because the $15 monthly fee is more that the value of the ~250 AAdvantage miles (~$2.5 at 1 cent per mile)  you would earn on a monthly balance of $2,500 or less.

Close Out fee:

  • BankDirect charges $ 15 for mileage checking accounts which are closed within 90 days.

Other Fees:

My Experience With BankDirect

I use BankDirect as my primary checking account, even though it is an online bank. I withdraw money from almost any ATM, and BankDirect reimburses me the ATM fees, up to $2.50, per transaction for 4 times a month.

Making a deposit is easy because BankDirect sends you postage-paid envelopes which you use to mail in checks.  I don’t receive a lot of checks since I prefer to do most of my banking online, but ocassionally someone will send me a check.

The customer service has been great, and AAdvantage miles have been regularly flowing to my account!

The only downside which I’ve had with BankDirect is that I’ve been unable to use my debit card overseaseven though I call to let them know that I’m traveling internationally!

This is one of the reason why I still haven’t closed my checking account with Chase.  The other reason why I haven’t closed my checking account with Chase is so that I can always reference my long history with Chase if I’m initially denied for a credit card.

Bottom Line:

BankDirect offers a very easy way to regularly earn more AAdvantage miles, since you will get a regular stream of AAdvantage miles once you set up your account.

Granted these aren’t a whole lot of miles, for example 6,000 miles annually on an average balance of $5,000, but if you’ve got to keep money in the bank you may want to consider BankDirect.  And the miles do add up!

The 20,000 miles bonus for bill pay, direct deposit, and using their check card is a nice added bonus and is another way to earn more miles to have Big Travel with Small Money.

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Disclosure: You should know that BankDirect is my primary bank.  However, I don’t get any commission from BankDirect or anyone else for this post or for the links to the BankDirect in this post.  I also do not have a direct financial interest in Texas Capital Bank.  

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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196 responses to “The Lazy Way To Earn Even More AAdvantage Miles

  1. Nevermind my prior post, just saw the $12 per month fee

  2. Please send me a referral link. Thanks!

  3. Please send me a Bank Direct referral. Thanks!

  4. Can you please send me a referral link. Thank you!

  5. I am happy to send out referral links too 🙂
    if daraius is tired of earning 1000s of miles.

  6. Can you please send me a referral link? Thanks!

  7. Does applying for this account affect your credit by the way?

  8. Please sent me a referral to open Bank Direct account

  9. Can you answer a few questions about Bank Direct since you are currently a user. I understand that there is a monthly $12 fee for using the account but there seems to be a lot of other fees. So if i do bank transfers, there will be a fee? I can move money from my Chase to Bank direct for free but not the other way around? How would i get money out of Bank Direct then if i need to?

    Second, if i set up the 3 direct bill payments (so i can get the 5000 miles), is there a fee to cancel the direct bill payments, according to the fees listed, there is a $25 stop payment on ACH transfers. So $75 if i want to cancel direct bill for 3.

    As for the direct deposit from your employer for 3 months (so i can get 10000 miles), do i need to actually have my employer set up direct deposit in bank direct or can i just send a check for the amount of my paycheck using the bank that i have my direct deposit linked to? I want to avoid setting up direct deposit with bank direct and then incuring the $25 fee to cancel it later.

    Thanks Daraius!

  10. Let me get this straight: If I make an initial deposit of $200,000 into the checking account, I’ll receive 20,000 miles per month? So that’s 160,000 miles per year? (I’m not including the 2,000 initial deposit bonus.)

  11. That would be 240,000 miles per year. Sorry about the math. Lol.

  12. please send referral
    thanks

  13. Do you know if I can close my bank direct account and have my wife open an account. I think the terms say only one mileage checking account per household, but does that apply if I close mine first?

  14. Can you send me a referral for the bank direct aa program? thanks.

  15. can I get a referral for bank direct?

  16. UPDATE: Starting June 1, 2013 at Bank Direct, the 100 miles per $1000 balance will be available only for the first $50,000 on deposit. The remaining money will earn 25 miles per $1000. Similar restriction for Money Market Fund. Bummer!

  17. Can I get a referral please? Thanks!

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  19. Please send the referral
    Thanks

  20. Daraius, please send a referral my way. Thanks! Love your blog.

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  22. Please send referral. Thanks.

  23. I’d love a referral link from Darius or any blog reader! Thanks!

  24. Hi, could you please send me a referral for BankDirect? Thank you! 🙂

  25. hello Sir,
    pls send me the referral link, thank you!!

  26. ooops.. it was for new bankdirect checking account… thanks again!!

  27. Hi Darius,

    Please send me a BD referral … Thanks!

  28. Please send me a BD referral link. Thanks!!

  29. Hello!
    please send me a referral for Bank Direct. Thanks!

  30. Hi. Are the BankDirect offers still available? If yes, can I get a referral? Thanks.

  31. Can I get one referral too? Thanks!

  32. please send me BD referral to qualify the 1000 miles … Thanks!

  33. Good morning Darius,

    I am a Royal Ambassador member of IHG and I was wondering if you have any promotions (SPG, IHG, AA, and others) that would apply to Canadians? Usually, these awsome bonuses only apply to Americans. Just wondering if you came accross some great points offers that Canadians could also qualify. We love to read your articles. Many thanks in advance Darius!

  34. Please send me a referral, thanks!

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  36. Can you send me a referral?

  37. I’d like a referral please

  38. Would you send me a referral Darius?

    Thanks- MR

  39. Darius, your articles are so helpful and comprehensive! Looking to sign up for account at BankDirect, would you mind sending me a referral? Thank you.

  40. Thank you for all the information!!! Would you please send me a referral? Thanks again!!

  41. Wow, with all these referrals dare I say you have earned more from those than from the actual 100 miles per $1,000 in the account? It’s a really cool offer that I may take in the future and I know just where to get my referral 😉

  42. You should tell them to change it for you since it looks like you’ve sent them dozens of people OR, if you are not longer getting any miles maybe you should set help others you’ve referred here get those 10k in bonus miles by having them refer people instead until they hit a limit then someone else and someone else. That helps a lot of your readers get some nice easy bonuses miles.

  43. I will be happy to make referrals.

    raj.k.vora at gmail.com

  44. Please send me a referral. Thank you.

  45. Can I get a referral link. Thanks

  46. Thank you Dariaus!

    Could you kindly send me a referral for Bank Direct?

    Thanks again…