60 miles per dollar, exclamations included.

Holy cow.  60 miles per dollar is a huge portal bonus.  As I reported yesterday via Quick Deals, Magazines.com is now offering 60 miles per dollar via the AAdvantage eShopping portal through November 30th.

Magazines60X

This deserves a few exclamation points beyond the single red one in the Magazines.com logo.  Here you go: !!!!!

Simple 60X:

Browse to the AAdvantage eShopping portal and find Magazines.com (or, click here to get to the Magazines.com page directly).  Click through to Magazines.com and buy magazine subscriptions.  You should earn 60 miles per dollar for this purchase!  Sure, the person you love most in the world would probably rather get a new iPad Air or PlayStation 4 for Christmas, but I’m sure they’d appreciate a dozen magazine subscriptions instead, right? 

Or, 70X:

Right now, the AAdvantage eShopping portal is running another promotion that should stack with this one.  It works as follows:

  • Spend, cumulatively, $75 and earn 750 bonus miles
  • Spend $150 and earn 1,500 bonus miles
  • Spend $250 and earn 2,500 bonus miles

If you spend exactly to one of the amounts listed above, the math works out to an additional 10 miles per dollar over whatever else the portal is offering.  Since magazines.com is offering 60X through November 30th, that means that you can earn up to 70 miles per dollar for ordering magazines.

Buying miles

If you’re looking to build up your AAdvantage miles, it might be worth it to you to buy magazines just for the miles.  If you do so, I’d recommend finding a library, school, hospital, etc. that would be happy to accept magazines as a donation.  Not counting any tax breaks you might receive, the cost per mile works out as follows:

  • 70X = 1.43 cents per mile
  • 60X = 1.67 cents per mile

Either way, that’s far lower than American Airlines sells miles for, even when they offer special bonuses on purchased miles.

Use any credit card to pay

I’m often asked if it is necessary to use an AAdvantage branded credit card for purchases made through the AAdvantage eShopping portal.  Nope.  Use any card to pay. 

Credit card category bonus?

No, I do not think that magazines.com is categorized as a bookstore (for those who have cards that earn bookstore bonuses).  American Express shows my pending transactions as: MERCHANDISE & SUPPLIES – MAIL ORDER.  I don’t think that any category bonuses apply.

What purchases qualify for 60X?

The portal terms state:

Eligible on Magazine subscriptions only (automatically renewed subscriptions are not eligible).  Not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site. Journals and International Magazines are not eligible.

I believe this to mean that you will not earn points for other stuff such as books, headphones, etc.  They don’t appear to sell books or gadgets anymore (they used to) so that might be immaterial.  The hardest part to understand is the language that states “automatically renewed subscriptions are not eligible“.

Here’s what I think that means:  If you subscribe to a magazine, you will get portal miles for the initial purchase, but you will not get additional portal miles when the subscription renews and your credit card is charged a second time.  I believe this to be the case because in past experiments people reported receiving points from portals even when they purchased a subscription that was set to auto-renew (and similar language was always present in the past).

What about gift cards?

It used to be the case that Magazines.com would pay out via portals for the purchase of gift cards, but not the use of gift cards.  This was useful because it was then possible to earn points for purchases of things besides magazines by first buying a gift card (to get points) and then using it to buy books or whatever.  Again, that mattered more when they sold lots of other things.  It now appears that they sell only magazine subscriptions.

Most portals include a Gift Cards section in which you can see the retailers that offer points for gift card purchases.  Magazines.com used to be prominently displayed there.  Today, though, Magazines.com is absent from the Gift Cards section and does not state that gift card purchases are included in the terms & conditions.  Therefore, I believe that purchases of gift cards will not earn miles.  Also, based on past experience, I believe that using gift cards will not earn miles.  Yesterday, I kicked off an experiment in which I tried the following conditions to see if any earn miles:

  • I bought an e-gift card
  • I bought a physical gift card
  • I used an e-gift card to buy a magazine subscription

Since this promotion runs all week, I’m hoping to have some answers for you before it ends.  If you’d like to be alerted to the answer as soon as I find out, please subscribe to the comments below by commenting “subscribe” and check the box that says “Notify me of follow-up comments by email”.

If it happens that gift cards do earn miles (despite my expecting otherwise), it might be possible to reduce the cost of buying miles by reselling the gift cards (at half price or so).  Or, it might be possible to double dip by buying gift cards and then going through the portal again to use the gift cards.

How reliable is the AAdvantage eShopping portal?

Like most mile-earning portals, the AAdvantage eShopping portal is run by Cartera Commerce.  While I’ve had pretty good luck with Cartera portals, many of my readers have complained bitterly about missing transactions and Cartera’s ensuing poor customer service.  Also note that the AAdvantage eShopping portal ran a promo in the fall for 2000 bonus points and I have yet to hear from anyone who has received points from that promotion.  So, be warned that investing in this promotion is risky.

You can reduce your chances of things going wrong by following my advice in my old post: How to ensure your portal points

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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Comments

  1. Just ordered $250.40 worth of guitar, car, cooking and chick mags.. Wife would have bought the girl stuff and I like an expensive guitar mag (Guitar Techniques) so the 17500 AA miles is a bonus!

  2. I always understood that on magazines.com you had to find a magazine that was NOT part of the auto renew program to be eligible for the massive miles/points. This eliminated all the mags I would want so I ended up buying from ValuMags through the portal as they don’t participate in auto renew.

  3. I placed $120 order on magazines.com last week through Chase UR @25 miles/$1. Ordered Cosmo, Time, SI, BHG, Entertainment Weekly. The portal is showing credit $90 out of $120. The ineligible $30 could have been Time or EW. I was going to let it go as I wasn’t going to waste my time trying to figure out why I was missing 750 miles, but if anyone has an answer, I’d love to know. I did just place a message to Chase, but from the way people described the shopping portal’s customer svce, it sounds like I won’t get a clear answer.

  4. For the life of me I cannot find a magazine sub on Magazines.com that does not auto-renew. I sent a message to their service dept and hope to hear back about the terms. I will post here if I hear anything!

  5. I often find the original 2 points per dollar (or whatever you bought at) post quickly, but the bonus 2000 or whatever amount take *forever* to post. When they say 8-10 weeks after the end of the the promotional period, they *mean* it. So, that AA 2000 deal had an end date of Sept 30, meaning they can wait until ~Dec 15 to post the miles.

    • Of course you won’t get miles again for the auto-renew. I don’t see how people believe they will earn miles when the renewal is not a portal transaction, only an “internal order”.

      If you want to earn miles again, order the magazine again for yourself and your subscription should be extended.

      Besides, the auto-renew from magazines.com order was done 9 months before my actual magazine expiration date. I’ll control the renewal myself.

  6. The “autorenew” clause simply excludes purchases you may have made 1 yr ago through the AA Advantage portal on magazines.com that happen to be up for auto-renewal during this promotional period. You will be charged for the auto-renewal, but that transaction doesn’t earn any extra miles.. Only purchases made directly on the website count, both for subscriptions that happen to auto-renew next year, and those that don’t.. It’s not that hard…

  7. I like so many others have yet to receive the bonus AA miles for ESHOPPING purchase from september. They are not reliable and success rate is 50%. Just google them or read on flyertalk.

    I would stay away from aadvantage e shopping

  8. This is a great deal, but do be careful that you can find magazines cheaper elsewhere. I was looking to get a New Yorker subscription, but it was $20 or $30 more per year than you can find elsewhere $69 vs $39, I think. If you already have a subscription to a magazine, just buy another year and most magazines will just extend your current one by that much if you call them. Might want to wait a few months on this as it might mean they’re cancelling the account, but not sure.

  9. You open an account in magazine.com then you go to manage suscriptions or something like that and you do a one time deal,means you cancel the autorenewal. It was very easy. I bought 3 magazines and I did it for all three.

  10. There is another category bonus that should be stackable with this…Discover has 5% back on any online order. Thus far, they have been good on everything I ordered online this quarter.

  11. Update from Magazines.com customer service regarding auto-renew:

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you for contacting magazines.com in regards to terms and conditions.

    The program is saying they will not award the order for the automatic renewal order if it is renewed automatically. Since this is the first term, that is not in regards to this order it is for next years order or the renewal order. I recommend turning it off of automatic renewal in your subscription manager.

    We greatly appreciate your business and I hope that I have answered all your questions. Keep in mind, you can manage your subscriptions, change addresses, or check/update your renewal status at any time by logging into your subscription manager at http://www.magazines.com. Please register your email address upon logging in your account for the first time.

    If you have any additional questions or need assistance please feel free contact us at 800-624-2946 or email us at: service@magazines.com. Customer care is available Monday – Friday 7:00am to 9:00pm CST & Saturdays from 9:30am to 6:00pm CST.

    Thank you for contacting magazines.com!

  12. Careful with international magazines. I order 2 magazines on droid system an on mac mountain lion then realized they were from UK. I had to cancel my order over the phone

  13. In $545 for magazines. Looks like my Xmas shopping is done. 😀

    Using it to top off my account and grab an AA award to Europe this Spring during off-peak season.

  14. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…
    .
    The AA mall is Cartera. Doesnt anyone remember what happen with all the other things they run? How many here are still waiting on UA or AA miles from previous offers involving the malls?
    .
    Not worth it. And FM you gotta stop touting these guys unless they are paying you a TON of money to do so!

  15. 1 – I have done the magazine.com thing in the past and received my miles with no problem. I just placed a $100 plus order and it set me up for auto renew automatically.

    There was a number to call, and I did, and I got the auto renew stopped right off. I don’t expect any problems getting the miles, but I will monitor it anyhow.

    2 – I did the 35 miles for e-bags, did not get the miles, called and then got the miles. no problems.

  16. Do you remember, ages ago, there was a targeted promotion at aa shopping that when spending $35 some would get 1k but you put a link that bestowed 2k? I received the offer for 1k but I used your link for 2k. I just received 1k.

  17. UPDATE: I’ve been logging into my AAdvantage eShopping account every day to see if points posted for my experiments, but nothing has shown up yet. I was hoping to have results before the end of this promotion, but there’s only one more day to go. Hopefully points will show up tomorrow morning!

  18. Nothing posted to my account yet. Placed a $132 order on Nov 25 and ordered another $133 worth just now. Taking a leap of faith that it will post. All other AA Shopping purchases done in November posted the following day…

  19. I finally see points from this! Here are the experiment results so far:
    Purchase e-gift card: No miles earned
    Purchase physical gift card: No miles earned
    Buy magazine with combo gift card and credit card: Only portion paid with credit card counted.

  20. Same here! Although I didn’t do any experimenting, just paid via regular old credit card and just saw in my AA Shopping account the miles have posted. Not too shabby. First real time purchasing stuff through portals.

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