Earn Lots of Free Miles and Points with Milk

Okay, so this is going to sound a bit crazy, so hear me out a second.

First off, for those have a credit card that accumulates miles and points and rewards, you’ll want to be strategic on how you earn them – for example, if you have a card that earns two times the points at grocery stores, you’re of course better off using that card over a card that only earns one point.

Limited Time Offers Up To 50,000 Points

I was grocery shopping yesterday and noticed an interesting sign by the milk refrigerator indicating that a $2 deposit would need to be made on glass containers, and that the $2 would be refunded upon returning of the bottle. If you’re familiar, in some states, such as New York (not where I was), there’s a small 5 cents or 10 cents deposit on cans and bottles, which you get back so long as you return them, usually to a designated machine. You’re given receipt which you can then redeem for cash.


I’ve never seen the amount as high as $2 before, so this makes an interesting proposition. You could buy a $4 gallon of milk, end up paying $6 with the included deposit, and then returning the bottle to the store to get your $2 back. So, think of it this way –  you have a miles earning credit card that earns 2x the bonus at grocery stores. With your $6 milk purchase, you earn 12 miles. You get $2 of those dollars back (resulting in 4 free miles), and now all you have to do is figure out what to do with the milk…

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That seems to be the kicker here – what in the world do you do with gallons and gallons of perishable milk? Sure, you’ll make a few miles off of this, but to make anything worthwhile, you’d literally have to buy cases of these bottles, still leaving you the question of how to get rid of it. I doubt you’d be able to find a way to drink it all, and giving it away simply doesn’t make any economic sense with the amount of miles you’re getting. Re-selling it is out of the question, since milk doesn’t sell well on eBay. 🙂

So, I’m not quite sure what to do with this one. The only option I see is to buy a ton of cookies, and then have a block party with your closest friends, but even still that seems like a ton of work. I’m sure some of you will find a way to make use of this, though, so I’ll leave this here and walk away.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

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  1. TZWL says

    This is an interesting concept. In Boston, there are a good number of homeless people that do precisely this with their SNAP benefits. Allowed to be used only on food (aka no alcohol), SNAP credits are used to buy these jars of milk. Promptly thereafter, they literally dump the milk on the cement sidewalk outside the store, come back in, and ask for the deposit back in cash. They then go buy alcohol or worse. I’m hoping you figure out a way to turn this MS into an opportunity without any wasted milk 😉

  2. Adam says

    Here in the KC area, the brand of milk that comes in the glass bottles is much more expensive that the brands in the plastic jug. So yes, you are getting more points, but you are paying substantially more for the “premium” milk so that you can pay the additional $2 that will get refunded. Switching brands for this points scheme winds up probably costing 10-20 cents per point. But if you are already buying the premium milk, it is a good remember to use your credit card for groceries.

  3. Kevin says

    I still remember when a local dairy chain sold milk in a returnable glass and later plastic container. Supposedly the MO milk mafia ran the chain out of business for being too cheap on milk. I suspect the nation #1 dairy producer is doing the same, except through the Aldi chain.

    Lets not forget that at one time, soda and beer came in returnable bottle. A better scheme to generate cash for booze and smoke, buy candy with your EBT card and then have your kids sell the candy on buses and at intersections.

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