If you have low credit scores right now and aren’t able to take advantage of the many lucrative credit card signup bonuses, don’t loose heart.  While you are building up your credit score there are other opportunities for you to earn.  I am always on the look for those and try to keep you informed of them.

Opening a UFB Direct checking account could be great option for you to earn. UFB Direct offers a debit card that provides 1 American Airlines mile/$2 spent.  Limited to earning 120,000 Miles/Points per calendar year.  UFB Direct also offers a savings account that provides a few miles and a competitive rate, and a money market account that offers a very competitive rate as well. No maintainence fees, no minimum balance, and other goodies.

You can also receive a 1,000 mile bonus for having a direct deposit of $1,000 or more in any 1 one month.  I have read that you can make a ACH transfer from another institution (i.e. ING Direct, Paypal, etc.) and it will count and meet the direct deposit requirement.

One of the best parts of this earning opportunity is there is NO annual fee for the debit card and there is NO minimum bank account balance required.  You are required though to open the account with $100 but don’t have to keep it in the account.  ATM access is free and you get reimbursed for unlimited ATM withdrawals except international ATM withdrawals.

You can also use UFB to pay your taxes online.  The only downside is the daily transaction limit of $1,500.  With this limit you might have to split up payments depending upon how much you owe.  The good thing is you can still earn miles for paying your taxes.

You do only earn 1 American Airline miles per $2 dollars spent which is a bummer but at least it is something.  You aren’t going to rack in a pile of miles with this checking account but something is better than nothing.  Obviously, credit card bonuses are an extremely lucrative and quick way to earn a ton of miles but this isn’t an option for everyone.  I would encourage you to work on improving your credit score so you could move into that direction of earning and utilizing the spending bonuses available through credit cards.  I highly recommend using two great free tools to help you monitor your credit for free: CreditSesame.com and CreditKarma.com.  I personally use both of these regularly and they are great!  I also get a full credit report two or three times a year.


  • Earn rewards for everyday banking:
  • 1 mile/point for every $2.00 Point of Sale (POS) debit transaction posted to your account.
  • You’ll earn a one-time additional 1,000 Miles/Points after having a direct deposit totaling $1,000 or more in one calendar month.
  • Earning miles/points is automatic — when opening your account you just select your participating Airline* and enter your Mileage Rewards number. Your airline miles accumulate as you use your debit card for Point of Sale (POS) transactions. Limited to earning 120,000 Miles/Points per calendar year.
  • Enjoy the convenience of no minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum deposit to open an account is $100.
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements (excludes international transactions) – if you aren’t near an ATM, you can get cash back when you shop at most grocery stores, gas stations and super stores and pay no fees.
  • Free Purchase Rewards – save time and money – get cash back when you shop
  • Free online banking with free bill-pay, mobile banking, email and text messaging alerts.
  • Free Person to Person Transfers Popmoney
  • Free online transfers between your UFB Direct accounts (for example, from your Airline Rewards Checking to your Airline Rewards Savings), and free external transfers from your Airline Rewards Checking.
  • Free Mobile Deposit – Deposit checks instantly 24/7 wherever you and your phone go.
  • Free MyDeposit – Deposit checks instantly from the comfort of your home or office
  • Free FinanceWorks™ powered by Quicken, an easy budgeting tool
  • First Order of Personal (50-pack) Checks Free (If ordered at account opening)
  • Free postage-paid envelopes
  • Overdraft protection available




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