Miles App Review: Get Paid to Share Your Location Data


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Miles is a new smartphone app that rewards you for sharing your location data.

They brand it as “frequent flyer miles” for any kind of travel, whether you’re walking the dog or flying across the country.

Payouts are low, but it is free money—depending on how comfortable you are sharing your location data.

In this post, I’ll break down the pros and cons of the Miles app and my experience with it so far, so you can decide if it’s worth an an install.

miles app

Miles App Review
  • Sign-Up Process
  • Ease of Use
  • Earning Power
  • Variety of Rewards
3.1

Summary

Miles is a legit money-making app, but it can take a long time to earn enough miles for any meaningful income. The average user may earn $1-5 a year, which might not be worth sharing your location data 24/7.

How the Miles App Works

After you download Miles and set up your account, the app will track your location in the background. By analyzing your speed and GPS, it assigns your most likely mode of transport to each trip.

How you travel depends on how many miles you earn:

  • Running and Walking = 10x per mile
  • Biking = 5x per mile
  • Bus, Train, Boat, or Skiing = 3x per mile
  • Carpool or Ride Share = 2x per mile
  • Car = 1x per mile
  • Air = .1x per mile

how to earn miles

I’ve run the app for the last few months, and earned an average of 600 miles a month. But then again, I work from home and wasn’t taking any cross-country flights or road trips.

For example, here’s how the Miles app tracked a couple short drives in Seattle:

get paid to share your location data

For the sake of illustration, let’s say you:

  • have an average commute (16 miles each way) and drive yourself
  • walk a mile on your lunch break
  • go for a 5 mile run on the weekends

With no other travel, you’d earn around 1100 miles a month. (More below on what those miles are worth.)

What’s the most miles you could realistically earn? If you:

  • ran a marathon every single day, you’d earn around 7,860 miles a month
  • rode your bike 20 miles a day, you’d earn around 3,000 miles a month
  • flew across the country roundtrip every week, you’d earn around 2,400 miles a month
  • drove 500 miles a week, you’d earn around 2,000 miles a month

If you find a Miles-tracked trip was mis-categorized, you can easily request to change it to a different method of transportation. (Some of my fast bike rides where labeled car trips, but I was able to get those changed to get 5x the miles.)

change trip mode in miles app

Most of my miles were earned dropping off and picking up my kids from school, which is usually a bike or walking outing.

(You can also earn bonus miles by referring friends to the app.)

At press time, you can get 1,500 bonus miles when you sign up through my referral link.

How Much Are Miles App Miles Worth?

In the Miles app, 5,000 miles are worth $1-3. That means every 1,000 miles is worth $0.20-$0.60—so a typical user might be selling their 24/7 location data for less than a dollar a month.

You can redeem your miles in several different ways, but to get an estimate for their value, it makes sense to look at the gift card redemption options.

(At press time, withdrawal to PayPal or Venmo was not available.)

If you hit the Rewards tab, you’ll be able to see all the options to cash in your hard-earned miles.

Miles app rewards

Most of these redemption offers—for lack of a better term—are complete garbage. They’re mostly free trial or introductory offers you could easily find outside of the app. There’s no reason to spend any of your miles on them.

For example, under “Food & Drinks” I found this offer for HelloFresh: 16 free meals + 3 surprise gifts + free shipping.

miles app hellofresh offer

Sounds pretty good, and it’s only 100 miles to redeem, right?

Except the exact same offer is advertised on Google when you search the company’s name:

hellofresh intro offer

This type of not-an-actual deal is pretty consistent across most of the Miles app redemption categories.

How Does the Miles App Make Money?

At the very least, Miles makes money as an affiliate of HelloFresh and the other companies listed as rewards options. If Miles can get you to sign up for an introductory offer or a free trial, those 3rd-party companies will pay them a referral fee.

It doesn’t cost you anything extra (except maybe a nominal payment in miles), you get to try a new product or service, and Miles makes some money for making the introduction.

There’s nothing shady about this—I’ve made the bulk of my income from affiliate marketing for the last 15 years.

But just be aware of what’s going on behind the scenes. The Miles app is a creative way to get users in front of affiliate offers.

The (likely) other way Miles makes money is by brokering your location data to interested parties.

The Best Way to Redeem Your Miles

So if most Miles app redemption options suck, what should you do with them instead?

Gift Cards

I tend to go for Amazon gift cards, but redemption values may be better on Starbucks or Target cards.

Not all gift cards are available at all times, and the best offers tend to “sell out” quickly.

For Amazon, I usually see gift cards priced between 5,000 and 10,000 miles per $1. (Prices seem to vary week to week.)

Recently I saw you could get a better bang for your buck (3,000 miles per $1) on Starbucks, Target, and Nike gift cards, but they sold out within hours.

miles app gift cards

Because of that, I can see why the Miles app might be frustrating. It can be totally passive income, but if it requires daily monitoring to find something worthwhile to redeem, that makes it hard to actually cash in.

Raffle Drawings

The other interesting way to redeem your miles that might be worth a look is Miles’ raffle drawings. For these, you use your miles to buy a number of entries to win a higher value gift card—usually $25, but sometimes much more.

At press time, they had drawings for Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and Amazon gift cards. I’ve even seen drawings for up to $250 direct to your PayPal account.

miles app paypal raffle

Let’s nerd out on this for a moment. In this example, they have 1 million entries for 3 $250 PayPal payments. (The app only shows how many entries are left, not how many total are available, so you have to estimate.)

Odds of winning: 1 in 333,333

But you can enter 200 times for just 3,000 miles, which are worth anywhere from $0.33-$1 when redeemed directly for gift cards.

Now your odds are 1 in 1,666.

If my math is correct, that gives your miles an expected value of $0.15 each—less than the direct gift card redemption—but with the potential for a higher payout. Since the direct gift card values are so low, the chance of winning more might be appealing.

Donating Miles

You can also “donate” your miles to charities like the American Heart Association at a rate of 10,000 miles per $1. In February, Miles was also offering users a $1 Amazon gift card for every 10,000 miles donated.

Miles Membership Tiers

Miles breaks out their users into 3 tiers:

  1. Silver
  2. Gold
  3. Platinum

How many miles you earn in the current calendar month determines your tier status for the next month.

miles app tier status

Silver Benefits

If you earned less than 750 miles the previous month, you’ll be in the “Silver” tier. Benefits include:

  • 100 bonus miles each month
  • 2,500 miles on your Miles app anniversary
  • 2,500 miles on your birthday

But it sounds like they don’t just dish those out in your account—you may need to access the app and claim them.

Gold Benefits

If you earned 750-1,999 miles the previous month, like our example “average” Miles app user, you’ll be in the “Gold” tier. Benefits include:

  • 200 bonus miles each month
  • 2,500 miles on your Miles app anniversary
  • 2,500 miles on your birthday
  • Better redemption rates for rewards

Platinum Benefits

If you earned over 2,000 miles the previous month, or redeemed at least 2 rewards, you’ll be in the “Platinum” tier. I imagine a semi-serious runner or cyclist could hit this pretty consistently.

Benefits include:

  • 400 bonus miles each month
  • 2,500 miles on your Miles app anniversary
  • 2,500 miles on your birthday
  • Better redemption rates for rewards
  • Early access to rewards

Other Apps like Miles

If you don’t mind sharing your location and step-tracking data, there are several other apps that operate similarly. And yes, you can stack all of these onto your device to “double dip.”

Other Background Apps

We give so much of our data away for free already, but there are a few companies that will pay more than Miles for it.

For example, Nielsen rewards you for sharing Internet usage behaviors on up to 3 devices — your computer, smartphone, and tablet. The app is non-intrusive and doesn’t slow down your devices. Users report earning up to $50 a year.

Similarly, Mobilexpression pays you in exchange for data from your mobile phone.

make money with the mobilexpression app

Download their app and allow it to work in the background, recording your browsing habits. Realistically, Mobilexpression is probably worth around $20 a year, and you’ll earn a free $5 gift card after your first week.

Evidation

Evidation is an app that pays you for tracking your steps and completing health-related surveys through the app. It doesn’t track driving or other modes of transport.

get paid to walk with evidation

Every 10,000 Evidation points are worth $10. If you do a lot of walking, I think this could reasonably be worth $10-20 a year.

Tapestri

Tapestri is a new location-sharing cash rewards app, that turns movement into. Tapestri pays you in real dollars and you earn the same regardless of the mode of transportation you’re using.

tapestri

Still, I’ve had it running on my device for a few months and have earned $7.40 so far, so may be worth an install to just let it run in the background. There’s a $10 minimum to cash out.

Sweatcoin

Sweatcoin is probably the most similar “get paid to walk” app to Miles. It tracks your steps and gives you Sweatcoins, which you can then redeem for products inside the app.

However, most redemption offers are simply affiliate intro offers, just like Miles. There are no options to redeem for cash or gift cards unless you’re an “influencer” and refer other people to the app.

StepBet

A friend of mine reported earning around $150 a year with StepBet, which gamifies your walking goals with group step challenges.

stepbet

Bet on yourself to meet your walking goals. If you hit your own step goals every week for the entire game, you divide the “pot” with the other winners. That means you win back your own investment plus profit.

If you miss your weekly goal, you’re out of the running.

HealthyWage

If you’re serious about losing weight, you can actually win money for doing it through HealthyWage. Enter how many pounds you want to lose and your timeline into their “prize calculator” to see how much you can win.

Here’s our full HealthyWage review for more information.

Miles App Alternatives

Miles delivers what it promises, but it won’t be a huge money maker. If you need to make extra money a little faster, here are some other side hustles to consider.

Market Research Studies

You can find several companies that facilitate online and in-person consumer research studies and focus groups.

My personal favorites are:

Flea Market Flipping

Side Hustle Show guest Stacy Gallego reported earning thousands of dollars a month flipping secondhand products like motorcycle sidecars, skateboards, and even Sleep Number Beds.

It’s a super-inspiring interview and showcases how there really is profit to be found just about everywhere.

Mobile Notary Service

Some Side Hustle Nation community members have reported earning up to $8,000 a month in their mobile notary business.

Mobile notary loan signing agents travel to borrower’s homes and walk them through their new mortgage documents.

If you’ve got a strong attention to detail, this flexible gig often pays $50-150 per appointment.

The Miles App: Your Experience?

Have you downloaded the Miles app? What did you think? Leave your own Miles app review in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Miles app legit?

Miles is a legit money-making app, but it can take a long time to earn enough miles for any meaningful income. The average user may earn $1-5 a year, which might not be worth sharing your location data 24/7.

How much does the Miles app pay?

By tracking your speed and GPS location, Miles gives you “miles” based on how far you travel and how you get there. (10x for every running or walking mile; 1x for every car mile, for example.) Every 5,000-10,000 miles is worth $1 in Amazon gift cards, so the app is best for long commuters, frequent flyers, or serious runners or cyclists.

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1 thought on “Miles App Review: Get Paid to Share Your Location Data”

  1. I have over 34,000 miles enough for a gift card but they’re all sold out so I can’t even get one but I can use my miles for a “chance” pffft. I don’t know if I’ll keep this or not, it takes forever to build up miles to even get enough for a gift card then you can’t even get one I do not recommend this site. It’s a waste of phone space and battery

    Reply

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