2000 easy AAdvantage miles for everyone?

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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. 

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