Neiman Marcus claws back gift card portal miles

Neiman Marcus Portal Clawback

When shopping through portals to earn miles, points, or cash back, many merchants have terms that exclude portal earnings when purchasing gift cards.  But, some merchants do not enforce that policy.  That’s why we keep track of what works and what doesn’t on our Frequent MIler Laboratory page.

In previous experiments, people had found that buying e-gift cards from Neiman Marcus did result in earning portal rewards.  Then, last weekend, first the Alaska portal and then the United portal offered 15 miles per dollar at Neiman Marcus, and at a number of other stores.  And, many people took that opportunity to buy Neiman Marcus e-gift cards in order to earn huge numbers of miles.

At first, with the Alaska promotion, the miles posted and everyone was happy… except, apparently, Neiman Marcus.  Those who received miles from the Alaska portal promotion had the miles clawed back.  And, many if not all of those who bought e-gift cards through the United portal promotion never received the miles at all.

It is always a risk to try to earn miles through portals in ways that are prohibited by the portal terms.  Often the risk pays out dividends.  In this case, not so much.  Apologies to anyone who bought and received gift cards!  Some had their gift card orders cancelled.  Count yourselves fortunate.

Last updated on September 10th, 2018

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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My type of MS: Stacking and Reselling Neiman Marcus - Frequent Mileranthonyjh21SDOluchexGlobetrotter Recent comment authors

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Ken
Guest
Ken

Damn, all miles for both my wife and I have all been clawed back 🙁 It was worth a shot for sure.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

What’s this I’m reading about cards being cancelled after they were issued? To the best of my knowledge this hasn’t happened to me and hopefully doesn’t. Just trying to understand what would cause that. Clawback of portals I understand, but not zeroing out balances and refunding credit cards without a buyers approval. Hopefully I’m misunderstanding what I’ve read on reddit/DoC…

Ken
Guest
Ken

Nope, looks like someone people have had their GCs wiped and orders refunded. This would suck because many of us have already sold them to GC resellers and also paid off their CCs.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

That’s ridiculous if true. I’m one of those who’ve bought a bunch of these and already sold them. I still have about 10 of these offers and quite frankly will be waiting until March until (or if) I even buy to resell. Seems the dust still needs to settle with this ordeal.

voyager10
Guest
voyager10

why would Neiman Markus care? It’s not like you’re buying a generic Visa gift card from them which you can use with some other merchant. The money from the gift card will still be used to buy stuff from Neiman Markus, even if you resell the gift card to somebody else.

Kenneth
Guest
Kenneth

Probably don’t want the market flooded with their GCs. It devalues them a bit.

voyager10
Guest
voyager10

also maybe because of some double dipping when the gift card holder goes through another reward portal to buy merchandise with the card. Still, as much as they charge for their stuff, I would think they can afford stacking.

Speculator
Guest
Speculator

Would be surprised if Newman made it through 2017 without having to file for bankruptcy. So…. best to unload those gift cards quickly.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I was just thinking the same thing myself. Several big chains are in dire straits. And anyone who invests heavily in Sears/K Mart, JC Penney or GAP gift cards may not like what they reap.

Poncho
Guest
Poncho

Sub

Stvr
Guest
Stvr

Honestly Greg this type of stuff happens more often with your idea of “deals” than with other bloggers. I once lost $1,000 chasing one of your ideas.

rxgeek
Guest
rxgeek

My experience, too. Time to unfollow.

Max
Guest
Max

“Unfollowing” won’t help you.
The blog and you may independently come across some future deal, and kill it just the same. 😀

Eric
Guest
Eric

Which deal did you lose $1K on?

Ben
Guest
Ben

I bought NM gift cards on Jan 17 — as soon as the Amex offer came out but before the AS/UA 15 mile/$ portal — so I used the AA portal. My miles posted on 1/18, and have not been clawed back. Looks like either:

1) They clawed back only AS/UA miles, or
2) They changed their policy for purchases made between Jan 17 and Jan 20 (the date from the screenshot in this article)

Or maybe they’ll get around to clawing mine back in a few days…

Ben
Guest
Ben

Welp, my AA miles just got clawed back.

So never mind my ideas – they just hadn’t gotten to me yet.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Alaska miles clawed back. United miles from December are still there. Shame. Hope they didn’t zero out the gift cards because I already sold both.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Bloggers kill deals especially when each person repeats the same scheme . I like your blog cause you always come up with new and original stuff different from the masses but it gets to a point where sharing the newest discovery likes it within time.

Dave
Guest
Dave

My AS miles are gone but TCB still shows the cash pending. Hopefully this holds.

luchex
Guest
luchex

How did TCB go?

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Folks did you combine a small purchase with the gift cards? If not then shame on you!

sectate
Guest
sectate

Didn’t make a difference. I got a clawback on the GC amount but the 15x on the small purchase was left intact.

dave
Guest
dave

JustSaying, did you combine a small purchase? If so, your miles weren’t clawed back? I thought about it, but NM doesn’t really have any $1 items that I know of.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Well they have Clinique Men’s Scruffing lotion that’s $10ish and I needed it so at 15X I thought it was a small price to pay. I do all my men’s clothing shopping at Neiman’s and they are slowly going down the tubes. Their just is no foot traffic. But then there is no foot traffic in Target either. That’s why I bought Anazon stock. Neiman’s had an IPO that was supposed to come out but they pulled it back as they saw the soft market. Perhaps the 15X deals were a way to “cook the books” inflating sales with the idea that investors were too stupid to figure that out. Da da da nuh!

Charlie
Guest
Charlie

I’m all about sharing great opportunities, however anyone who plays this game, and has a pulse could had taken advantage of this without it being over hyped here, and other places. Sorry to say… but blogging killed this.

trackback

[…] Some data points seem to indicate that purchases made from January 17 and prior to this Amex deal aren’t being clawed back. Of course, we won’t know for sure until it gets paid out. […]

ddckyc
Guest
ddckyc

For the ones that had their miles clawed, did you use the amex offer together with the portal?

Eric
Guest
Eric

FM,

Why are people fortunate if they had their gc orders cancelled? I would be very unhappy if that happened to me.

Jay
Guest
Jay

Since so many people follow the different bloggers, any time there is a good deal these days it gets canceled or all gone within hours. What’s worse is when the company that was giving the good deal claw backs the incentives.

If the bloggers did not blast the info to the whole world, the great deals would last a little longer.

Nevertheless, I have benefited multiple times on various deals that do not involve buying gift cards, reselling, or manufactured spending.

The best way to get a great deal these days is to find them on our own and keep it to ourselves.

The travel blogging arena unfortunately has attracted a lot of wanna bes who think they can make easy money by blogging. But it is no different than selling any other product – the gifted and lucky people get the big bucks and the rest get pennies or nothing.

voyager10
Guest
voyager10

>>If the bloggers did not blast the info to the whole world, the great deals would last a little longer.

Right on, and if people used the gift cards for the purposes they were intended for in the first place, the great deals would last even longer.

Amanda
Guest
Amanda

Why blame the bloggers when something goes bad? You should know the risk when playing this game. I saves lots of money by following Greg’s post. Last year’ British airways business class tickets two days sale alone saved me over $5000. Do you ever share your profits with Greg when you make money from his posts? Stop blaming others. If you can’t take the risk, don’t play this game. By the way, I bought $4400 Neiman Marcus gift card using Alaska portal and all of my miles are clawed back. I’m fine with it. The portal says very clearly no gift card. And I decided to take the chance and I take responsibility for my own decisions.

NM miles
Guest
NM miles

Did anyone have their Alaska miles posted if they bought merchandise only?

I purchased merchandise on the 15 points/$ day and received the goods already, but no miles have posted yet. Wanted to see if anyone else had the same issue

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Mine posted 2-3 days later

secstate
Guest
secstate

Ordered physical merchandise with GC and while the GC amount was taken back the physical merchandise points posted to AS and remain.

NM Miles
Guest
NM Miles

Mine still haven’t posted. Getting worried. I didn’t see any specific exclusions on the portal, except GC, but I’m wondering if they aren’t honoring it for all merchandise? I also bought some merchandise via the United Airlines deal a few days later and nothing there either.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

how is everyone getting rid of their Neiman Marcus GC’s now?

lopere
Guest
lopere

Well, thanks Greg.

While I just lost a few thousand Alaska miles – you lost about 15 CC sign ups this year thorough your links from me

Ken
Guest
Ken

You didn’t “lose” anything. You just didn’t earn the points that you shouldn’t have earned in the first place. The terms of the portal clearly state that GCs will not earn points. Not sure what your problem is here.

Stop being such a drama queen.

lopere
Guest
lopere

Other portals are paying out on cash for these purchases.

Greg, through his “lab”, suggested that Alaska would. So I went with that suggestions rather than buying through another portal.

So yes, I did “lose” something.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

Greg offered advice and its up to us to absorb it and make our own decisions. You decided what portal to use and as such that’s your responsibility. It seems like you’re new to MS/Churning so one bit of advice: it’s very YMMV and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. All you can do is play with the odds in your favor and write off the losses and be happy with the wins.

Ken
Guest
Ken

And that changed. Is that Gregg’s fault? Of course not. As mentioned, the portal explicitly said that GCs were excluded form CB and you went along with it anyways. NO Cartera portal is paying out for the NM GC purchases. Nobody held a gun to your head and made you hit submit. This is the risk we take.

So again, stop being a drama queen and accept this.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

I spend a lot of money at Neiman’s. Nothing from me was clawed back! I actually prefer they claw back anyone playing only gift cards with no history of being a good customer!

Ken
Guest
Ken

Of course they’re not going to claw back purchases of non-GC products, as that is allowed. GCs are specifically excluded, so I never expected them to pay out for them. It was a risk I was willing to take and it didn’t pan out.

secstate
Guest
secstate

I don’t understand the angst. This was always an unlikely payout. Everybody should have known the risk and the fact that it was so lucrative and thus being hit so hard made it even more risky. We moved the needle and NM noticed and made their practice conform with their terms. Not a huge surprise.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I really don’t understand what everyone is so cranky about:

1) The original post was very clearly YMMV.
2) Deals will be more fleeting now that there are now hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of people in this hobby. One (or a dozen) blogs is not going to change that fact.
3) Cardpool is still buying Neiman Marcus cards for 83.5%, so just unload yours and move on.

Sergey
Guest
Sergey

Well, TCB nullified all CB I earned from GC purchases at NM before Alaska Portal deal. It seems because of that Amex offer, NM realized how much CB or miles they have to pay, and decided to clean the mess. Well, at least there was some profit from amex deal themselves.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

All 3x and 15x AS miles clawed back over the weekend. All TCB clawed back now as well. Only thing that stuck was 4% eBates which explicitly permitted gift card purchases. Damn, should have stayed with the safe bet. $8/card was much better than zero. Oh well. Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered. 🙁

trackback

[…] The bad news is that merchants are beginning to crack down on double-dips (where you go through the portal to buy gift cards and then go through the portal again to use the gift cards).  First Sears stopped offering portal rewards when reloading gift cards, and then Neiman Marcus stopped offering portal rewards when buying e-gift cards. […]

George
Guest
George

Chase UR shopping clawed back too at least for me

trackback

[…] We shared a great deal the previous week on buying Neiman Marcus gift cards to earn miles. Unfortunately, Neiman Marcus clawed back all the miles. […]

SDO
Guest
SDO

These marginal, high risk deals are rarely ever worth the trouble. Too low of an expected payout.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

YMMV. All comes down to scalability and selling rates/relationships.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Well this deal really had neither.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

You’re right, the $750+ I made makes me really salty. Damn you FM!!

SDO
Guest
SDO

Btw, I never said I was salty at FM. Of course I understand the YMMV nature of these deals… That’s why I avoided this given the high probability of this one being a fail…. And the fact that NM GCs just don’t hold much resale value.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Um yeah okay, $750 on this deal.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

Just proving a point since you wrote “this deal had neither.” Unless you consider $750 not worth your time then your comments were an inaccurate blanket statement.

Not trying to slight you here, just illustrating that virtually everything in this community is YMMV and where one finds a worthwhile pursuit another doesn’t and it doesn’t make one position right or the other wrong. Hence YMMV.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Well if you were one of the lucky ones that didn’t get the clawback then whoopdeedoo for you. It doesn’t change the fact that the expected payout on a deal like this is still too low to make it worthwhile… Unless your time is worthless.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

You’re a hard nut to crack… I didn’t get anything from the portals. That was the entire point of my replies to you about this being worthwhile. That’s strictly a bunch of amex offers and playing the margins on the gift card alone.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Umm, nothing new to crack here. i know what the margins are on these GCs… But I also know what the risks are. Congratulations, guess what? You just turned yourself into a high risk business.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

High risk business? Alright buddy, you’re obviously going to think whatever you want here. If you know what the margins and risks are then you wouldn’t make this deal sound like it’s bad for everyone. Flat out, speak for yourself but not others. I made my point so I’m done with this little charade.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Yep, it’s a high risk business. Have one or more of the GC cards get cancelled after you’ve sold it? Now you’ve got to spend time sorting out the mess. Have someone do a charge back and defraud you? You’ve just eaten a loss. Yes it’s a high risk business. Oh, and I assume you’re filing a 1099-MISC on that “$750” gross profit right? If not you probably shouldn’t be posting on public forums.

anthonyjh21
Guest
anthonyjh21

If you’re working with bulk sites the risk to you personally for fraud and charge backs is slim. Yes there is risk but you can say that about many things. The reward outweighs the risk in this situation but again, YMMV.

Andyandy (The Points Ninja)
Guest

Well, after a recent call from Cardpool it appears that NM cancelled my GCs, but has not refunded the charges. I’m going to dispute. I don’t know why I bother with GC arbitrage anymore. This would have been a decent one if it had worked, though.

Globetrotter
Guest
Globetrotter

I don’t think I’ve seen this much *itching in a long time. Yes, my miles got clawed back too but I chose to take the risk along with all of you! It was your decision and nobody forced you to do it. You’re responsible for what you choose to act upon. And for all of you that are alluding to unsubscribing or not utilizing the affiliate links, please do so as Greg’s following clearly needs to be cleansed of unaccountable crybabies. Get a life.

trackback

[…] When the Neiman Marcus Amex Offer and Alaska airlines portal promotions coincided this past winter, Alaska did not award the miles on purchases of gift cards. I was very surprised when that happened as I had been buying gift cards at least once a month and […]