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.