Use your medical cafeteria plan to earn miles

I thought I would bring this to everyone’s attention. With my wrist problems, I maxed out this year on my flex / cafeteria plan spending. The cafeteria plan is where you designate an amount (up to $5000 for me) to be used towards medical bills for the year. It’s a use it or lose it proposal and so both parties are risk. You are at risk if you don’t use it all by the end of the year or you get terminated by your employer. It’s a risk for your employer because you could max it out, spend it all, and then quit your job and your employer would be out the money.

In any case, you usually receive a debit card tied to your flex spending balance that you can use at doctor’s offices, to pay medical bills, etc. that just directly debits from your available balance.

However, I choose not to use the debit card and use my American Express card instead to earn miles / meet minimum spending requirements. It does require that I have to turn all my receipts in from reimbursement instead of having it automatically debited from my flex account – but I don’t mind the extra work if it means more miles.

Million Mile Secrets posted about a way to earn miles by paying your rent with a credit card – are there any other creative ways for every day expenses that you’ve thought of?


  1. Great tip. For those with dependent care expenses at a daycare that takes credit cards you could do the same. Or if you have an aupair through an agency, this works as well, pay with CC

  2. What a timing….I was just thinking about this same thing today when returning from a doctor’s visit. My Flex Debit card dint work, so I paid with my sapphire preferred. Later I realized that I can use the bills to get reimbursement and some free UR points from using points card!

  3. I have done this for the last 3 years. I found about four years ago that I was required to send in some reciepts that I had used the provided debit card for. If I have to send some in anyway, I decided to just charge it all.

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