25,000 Miles on Most Major US Carriers for Switching Phone Providers – Churnable Over and Over!

Someone recently asked me how I got into the miles game and my response was that I became addicted to the famous Z25A AA/MCI 25,000 offer.

This post is part of a new “blast from the past mileage promos and hacks” post that we’ll share each Tuesday

Who remembers this amazing promo that was good on American, Continental, and Delta? The promo code alone still gives me chills as I think about the enormous number of miles I collected in record time. I can thank this promo for greatly assisting in my AA Lifetime status (back when all earned miles counted). The promotion was out at a time when the top songs on the radio were Baby One More Time, Mambo No 5, Blue (Da Ba Dee), No Scrubs, and Heartbreaker!!!

Courtesy of Mileage Workshop circa  fall 1999

How crazy is that? You had to call MCI to register,  there was no online sign-up! Yes, so essentially for every phone line you switched to MCI (for those who weren’t born yet, MCI was a major competitor to Verizon and AT&T), you received 25,000 miles. The best part about the deal? You could repeat it over and over again and in New York you could sign up for their lowest level of service which was under $9.99 a month. Here’s how I worked it:

  • Switched my parents home phone line from Verizon to MCI…I’m sure they didn’t mind.  25,000 miles 
  • Switched my Dad’s office line from Verizon to MCI, I’m sure he didn’t mind either (don’t worry the miles were shared with them). 25,000 miles
  • Signed up for a 3rd limited calling line from Verizon for $3.99 a month with free installation. Called MCI and activated their local services on the line, also at a minimum usage of $5.29 a month. 25,000 miles
  • Miles posted to each of the accounts as follows – 5,000 bonus miles each month for the first 5 months. MCI WorldCom awarded 2,500 and American awarded the other 2,500 miles. 75,000 miles total
  • At the end of the 5 months, I would call MCI and explain that I wanted to stay with them but I really wanted to receive the 25k miles promo again without canceling, otherwise I would be switching to AT&T. A supervisor was always involved who would OK the deletion of the current account and then the creation of a new account (with the same phone numbers) and re-registration for the 25k promo. A new MCI calling card and pin would arrive about 7 days later. EASY!!! 75,000 miles again for the three lines. Repeat one more time, another 75,000 miles
  • I focused on American but you could switch to Continental or Delta as well. I was able to run through the promotion three times for a total haul of a quarter million miles before the bonus was lowered to 5,000 miles per line around Y2K.  The miles for the most part posted automatically, however sometimes you had to spend a good 20-30 minutes on the phone with MCI in order to get your points. Unfortunately, the sign-up bonus kept dropping from 5,000 to 2,500 to 1,500 and then there was the Worldcom scandal and bankruptcy.
Sprint ran a similar promotion circa 1999 with Northwest

Courtesy of Mileage Workshop circa  fall 1999

So, did you take advantage of this blast from the past promotion? Stayed tuned for next Tuesday’s edition and email us your favorite historic promotions here.



  1. This was prior to my addiction to “the game” but i do remember those days. What makes this more interesting is when you adjust these miles for inflation AND the EQM impact of those miles. Good times.

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