2000 easy AAdvantage miles for everyone?

Many blogs have written about this month’s AAdvantage eShopping portal promotion.  A lot of people received seemingly targeted emails offering 2,000 bonus miles after spending $35 or more through the portal.

I was a bit frustrated because I hadn’t received this email and the offer was unclear whether or not it was available to everyone.  What I was sure of, was that I could view the offer easily enough through this link: www.aadvantageeshopping.com/p/promo2.htm.  But the Terms and Conditions were a bit concerning (bolding is mine):

Terms and conditions: Now through 9/30/13 11:59 PM EST receive an additional one-time bonus of 2,000 miles when you shop through this email and spend a cumulative amount of $35 or more online in the AAdvantage eShoppingSM mall. Returns, shipping, taxes, gift card purchases, and certain products are not eligible for bonus; please see site details on any coupon code details or usage restrictions. Please allow 8-10 weeks from end of promotional period for bonus miles to post to your account. Void where prohibited by law.

Since I was unsure whether or not the promotion would work for me, I sent a message to the portal’s customer service team.  I told them that I hadn’t received the email, but wondered if I qualified anyway?  They responded as follows (bolding is mine):

I understand your concern and I will be happy to assist you. Please be advised that being that you are already a registered member for the AAdvantage eShopping mall, to earn the 2,000 bonus miles all you must do is spend $35 or more at any of your favorite stores that participates in our program. Please note, it does not matter if you received the promotional email.

Please be mindful that shopping miles and bonus miles are posted separately. Eligible members will be credited the miles for the promotion 8-10 weeks after the promotion end date (09/30/13).

So, that’s great!  It looks like anyone who is registered for an account with the AAdvantage eShopping portal qualifies for this offer!  My only hesitation is the knowledge that sometimes (often?) customer service personnel are wrong.  I’m sure they always intend to give accurate information, but sometimes things that they have been taught are not the same as the way systems like these actually work.  So, we’ll see. 

Ensuring bonus points

I doubt it really matters, but to be (pretty) sure of getting your bonus points, I recommend the following:

  • If you did receive the email, then start your shopping from the email itself.  Click through from there to the shopping portal.
  • If you didn’t receive the email, then start here: www.aadvantageeshopping.com/p/promo2.htm, and click the “Shop Now” button under the offer.

What to buy?

It should be pretty easy to find stuff you need that adds up to $35 or more.  If not, here are a few options for maximizing point earnings by buying gift cards:

  • Triple dip with the AAdvantage portal and Plink.  See details here: Plinking Sears.  Make sure to add Kmart to your Plink wallet and buy a $50 physical gift card from Sears.  At the time of this writing, the portal is offering 4 bonus miles per dollar at Sears, so your $50 purchase should result in 200 standard bonus miles + 2000 promotional bonus miles + $6 worth of Plink points.
  • Triple dip through Staples.  Click through the AAdvantage portal to Staples (2X) and buy a $50 e-gift card.  Staples’ sells gift cards to stores such as The Home Depot, Lowes, Southwest, Sears, and more.  Pay for the purchase with a Chase Ink card (5X) or Amex SimplyCash (5%).  Your purchase should result in 100 standard bonus miles + 2000 promotional bonus miles + 250 Ultimate Rewards points (if you pay with a Chase Ink card).  2350 points for a $50 gift card purchase is pretty good!  47X!
  • Other store gift cards.  Most merchants offer gift cards for sale, but not all gift card purchases result in earning portal points.  Check out the Frequent Miler Laboratory to see which merchants offer portal points for gift card purchases.

Note that I wouldn’t worry too much about the fact that other portals may have higher regular payouts for the same store.  If you keep your purchase total to between $35 and $50, then you will earn at least 40 miles per dollar from the promotion regardless of the standard bonus points!  For example, let’s say you want to spend $40 at Kohl’s and you need to decide between the AAdvantage eShopping portal which offers only 2X for Kohl’s or the Ultimate Rewards Mall which offers 10X for Kohl’s.  In that case, you’re still better off with the AAdvantage portal.  Thanks to the 2000 bonus points, your $40 Kohl’s purchase would earn 2080 miles (52X) which is obviously much better than 400 points (10X) earned from the Ultimate Rewards Mall. 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. Thank you for this! I bought a $50 item at Under Armour last week when the aadvantage portal had a 12x promo (thank you Mommypoints) so I should be getting 2600 aadvantage points! 🙂

    • Regarding gift card purchases:
      Most portals and portal promotions have standard language that says that gift card purchases are excluded. The truth, though, is that it depends entirely on how each merchant reports sales to the portal. Some merchants report gift card purchases as regular purchases. Others do not. The Frequent Miler laboratory is a good place to look for the ones that do award points for gift card purchases. As long as you get points for buying gift cards through the portal, the purchase should qualify for the 2000 mile promotion as well since the AAdvantage portal will simply see it as a purchase without knowing the details.

  2. I also got an email with 1k only by spending $35 THROUGH THIS EMAIL. I noticed that it does make a diferrnce to buy something through the link. If I sign in to aa portal as usual, it doesnt show the bonus points promotion. I don’t know if joey will get the points. If they don’t do it through a link or an email, how are they going to keep track of who to give 1k and who to give 2k?

    • luchex: I really don’t know. Usually with deals like these they simply award bonus points if you meet the criteria (i.e. purchasing at least $35 via the portal during the promo dates), but with this promo it is unclear. So, that’s why I advise everyone to start from either the email or the promo page before shopping.

  3. FM, is there a way to get more than 3x on AA card at staples.com? Using ink card only gets you 2x AA and 5x UR, while using AA card only gets you 3x AA.

    • Chris F: It would be very interesting to see what happens if you start your shopping from the 2000 mile promo page. If you do it, please let me know what happens!
      Miles: I didn’t know that Drugstore.com is owned by Walgreens. Can you use Walgreens gift cards to pay?

      • @FM: Unfortunately, when I received the email I was about to purchase something already, so immediately went to the shopping mall and checked out. On the mall site I saw my email offer as well, also listed as 1,000 miles.

        This was when the emails first went out, before it posted to FT or any blogs. From the rep’s answer, I may still get 2k miles. If/when they post I’ll try to remember to report back.

  4. I bought $35 worth of miscellaneous things from Drugstore.com (which is owned by Walgreen). It helps that shipping is free from Drugstore.com for orders $35+.

  5. 2 questions:

    1. does ink 5x works for online shopping? I could be mistaken in thinking its store only

    2. the disclaimer/fp on staples at aa portal says:
    “Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Not eligible on Promotional Products, technology, software, and electronics.”

    could you clarify? thx!

    • DJ:
      1. Yes, Ink 5X works for online shopping. I’ve earned an incredible number of points that way. It’s one of my favorite triple dip techniques: a) go through portal to Staples; b) buy gift cards with Ink card (but not a Staples gift card, for the reason you mentioned); and c) go through portal again to merchant (e.g. Sears, Lowes, Kohls, etc.) to use gift card.
      2. The disclaimer about gift cards is standard language, but in my experience it is not enforced at Staples. Of course, that could change at any time.

    • servme: I usually do setup my links that way, and my blog editor is setup to default to opening a new tab for links. Sometimes, though, when I copy and paste links, it seems to lose the “open in new tab or window” setting and I don’t always notice. Sorry about that.

  6. FM, 2x-3x on AA is too low for me. I’d rather have gobs of UR points (8x via portal) than some smallish amt of AA miles. Avios is worth less than AA miles, but not by half?

  7. Ah well. Even if I don’t get the extra 2000, I’ll get 600, which is fine. I did get the 1000 points email and can always use that later this month and perhaps buy some ink for my printers at home (12x from 123inkjets.com)

    • The AAdvantage eShopping portal does seem to be flakier than some other portals (but I haven’t had problems), but note that almost all points and miles earning portals are run by Cartera. Even the Ultimate Rewards Mall is run by Cartera. I’ve earned literally hundreds of thousands of points from Cartera run portals. They’re certainly far from perfect, but if you’re careful they usually work out OK. See “How to ensure your portal points” for details about safe portal shopping.

  8. I previously shopped thru AAdvantage eShopping 3 times and didn’t receive the miles. Contacted Catera Commerce 3 times but got no answers. Don’t trust AAdvantage eShopping anymore.

  9. I did the 650 AA miles for spending at least $something at Safeway for home delivery. Bought some drinks and stuff we would have bought anyway. In the end should result in 2650 miles for ~$50 in spend. Hey, 53X. Note that if you’ve done one of these Safeway things before you have to signup as a new customer with a new email address…

  10. Data Point.. bought 4*$50 Sears gift cards via AAdvantageShopping early last week with Kmart and Sears in my plink wallet.. 9X AAdvantage posted, yet no plink points posted. Will repost if Plink points post

  11. You are suggesting gift cards which would be my preference but the AA shopping portal says gift cards are not eligible for the 2,000 mile bonus……is that a false threat from AA?

  12. @Glenn …….go to the window and take a deep breath and see if you can walk on air……if not take a double dose of the chill pills you have been hiding…………

    • @Terri Great question drilling down to specifics………

      @Frequent Miler Great answer…….the learning curve never arches in the quest for miles and points……

  13. Beware everyone, the AA mall, like most others, is run by Cartera. They are notorious for botching their own promos, failing to post points for months on end. While I strongly recommend anyone willing to take the risky and frustrating plunge into this at least print EVERYTHING out for every step you take in the shopping mall process, I will warn that if you dont just luckily and seemlessly get this 2k, your situation will make waiting on missing cash back from TCB look like a walk in the park.

  14. @Debbie There should never be tax on a gift card and the e gift cards from Sierra Papa Alpha Papa Lima Echo Sierra should have no shipping costs………..

  15. Debbie: it depends on whether the merchant reports shipping or taxes to the portal as part of the total sale amount. I believe that most do not, so it’s safer to spend $35 pre tax/delivery

  16. How to get $6 worth of Plink points? Usually one can only get 300 Plink points for a purchase of $50 at Kmart. Is there a doubling event?

  17. Any idea if the bonus miles are ‘tracked’ along with the purchase miles? Or do they show up separate? Currently have my ‘tracked’ order from NewEgg showing up as only the points earned from the purchase and not the bonus, which is disappointing.

  18. Well now that everyone is totally PO’d at AA for this shopping debacle they come in and post the miles two months AFTER THE FACT………I just don’t get how some marketing folks can be so clueless at times………whatever buzz they created with the 2k offer they took back with the slow boat to China treatment………since then I can’t count how many times I shopped on Ultimate Rewards and got “almost” instantaneous postings of miles………..And I go on AA site to look at next spring trips to Europe in premium class……….just pathetic routings with horrible layovers and second tier airports……….AA there is a reason you are bankrupt and Delta and UA are blowing by you…………….

  19. I knew going into this that many things are true:
    Cartera blows. Anyone who believes differently is either lying, lucky or doesnt do ANY volume of anything at all. they fail to post and will burn you in your attempts one way or the other.
    That said, I decided I HAD to try this gig… the girl in the ad for the 2k miles was pretty cute so why not. I also ordered something I needed anyway at the time, which was a few home Depot gift cards I bought through the portal at Staples.
    Today marks the last day for my 8-10 weeks, with the very last day of the 10 weeks being my mark. All I see is 100 miles, which now reflect a Sept posting (I never liked it how some airlines such as US and AA like to post things in like an insert to where they should have been but weren’t –until months later). That’s the 2x of the $50 GC e-purchase I got from the store. Did this for my wife’s AA acct too, so she also sees the 100 miles with a Sept post date, matching the paperwork I saved on this issue.
    So now 2k bonuses for either of us. And of course we know the gig states no GC purchase will get the bonus, but some reported it did. Well I figured I would spin the wheel anyway but yeah, it did not.

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