In the past few weeks, American Airlines AAdvantage had a few good opportunities to collect miles through their eShopping portal where in many cases you could collect 1000 miles (+/-) with little to no actual spend.
While these transactions were above board and the miles already posted, many members are now seeing their transactions reversed and the miles clawed back by AAdvantage.
The AAdvantage eShopping portal has been around for a very long time and over the years provided the one or other good deal to collect a decent amount of miles.
Since the revamp of the AAdvantage program this year and the ability to earn loyalty points for shopping transactions it has become a lot more interesting and people started to pay closer attention to extremely good deals and in some cases even free miles.
Certain vendors allowed to collect miles just by creating a gift registry, ordering a free trial service or the member found a good offer on Amex for a certain vendor that made the transaction cost neutral.
At least in some cases, mostly where miles were given without spending any money, and the deal has gathered a lot of attention online the vendors have now taken the step to claw back the miles.
I had the same experience after opening a gift registry at a vendor for baby goods:
The 1000 miles have already been taken out from my AAdvantage account:
I’m not bitter about this. Over the years and decades in the frequent flyer game, you learn to accept that you win some, you lose some. After all, I didn’t spend any money on these Babylist transactions.
There are other vendors though where customers didn’t breach any of the T&C but they’re also clawing back miles so I’d have a close look on all transactions if you’re engaging in any “too good to be true” shopping deals on the AAdvantage eShopping portal.
American Airlines AAdvantage, their eShopping portal, and associated vendors are now clawing back miles from members who got them through transactions where no money was spent even though the transactions didn’t violate any terms and conditions and miles had previously been awarded.
One can argue that this is totally fair game as these miles will cost the vendors money after all. On the other hand, they could have set their rules better so that customers have to spend a certain threshold before miles are being awarded. I certainly wouldn’t buy from any vendor in the future that decided to go through the hassle of clawing back a small number of miles because they made a mistake when establishing their rules.