Trouble with the American Airlines Shopping Portal
Shopping portals can be an important part of the points and miles hobby. We discuss this often along with stacking deals to maximize your earning. Loyalty programs like American Airlines have swayed programs towards credit card spend, third party hotel stays, and shopping portals. This can be done by earning American Airlines Loyalty Points towards status with online shopping. I recently took the plunge as I leaped into a status match during the first quarter of 2023. Unfortunately, trouble with the American Airlines shopping portal made things harder than they should have been.
What is the American Airlines Shopping Portal?
American Airlines has its own online shopping portal called American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping. This portal works just like other online shopping portals, such as Rakuten. Through the AAdvantage eShopping website, you can earn American Airlines miles towards awards and Loyalty Points towards elite status.
Using the American Airlines Shopping Portal for Status Matching
I received an American Airlines status match offer on the heels of the recent Hyatt and AA partnership. I continued to get emails for the match offer late into 2022 due to my Hyatt Globalist status. After careful consideration, I decided to go for the status match.
Some may wonder why the Travel on Point(s) Delta fanboy would do an American Airlines status match. I have taken full advantage of the lucrative SkyMiles uses out of Seattle. However, Delta also allows rollovers, meaning I was essentially set for 2023 Platinum renewal, only needing spend on my Delta credit card. I thought this was a perfect time to take advantage of the American Airlines status match to use for Alaska Airlines use. I would have access to choosing elite level seats ahead of time, and potential upgrades. This would give me another Seattle option as some of my early 2023 travel was set to include some American or Alaska flights potentially.
As a reminder, status matches require careful consideration before diving in. First, it's important to know whether chasing loyalty status in general is right for you. Also, status matches can be limited, and you may only get one chance at matching to a particular airline or hotel program. Therefore, it's important to check the promotion's full terms.
My Goal and Plan
My goal going into this was going to be to try and obtain as many points as I could via the AAdvantage eShopping portal. I would take advantage of offers I could already use like meal kits, normal shopping and needs. Finally, I could supplement via other lucrative offers, credit card spend with my Citi American Airlines business card, and hotel stays if needed.
I not only used the American Airlines shopping portal website but installed their Google Chrome extension tool on my home laptop. These shopping extensions notify you if you are on a website that can earn you miles by making a purchase. You can go onto the shopping portal website and click an offer, in which case it directs you to that store. Also, you can be online shopping and the extension will notify you what the current offer is for that store. You simply click to activate the offer. After shopping you may get a notification on the portal site notifying you of the shop. If not, the site tracks your shopping trips.
There is one column for recent transactions. These are shopping trips that have tracked. There is another column for recent store visits. In store visits you can see if an order was tracked. If it was, it will show the amount and order number. Eventually once confirmed it will go over into the transactions column.
Trouble with the American Airlines Shopping Portal: The Problems Begin
It's important to note different orders may have different terms on tracking times. Early on in the year things looked seamless as I ordered. First, I made a Green Chef order for 2,200 points without issue as well as a Groupon order. However, my next shopping trip of a Factor meal box (2,000 points) did not track. You may be asking why meal boxes? Well, I need to eat anyway and these can be easy to churn. You order the meal box and get the large fixed rate points. You can continue to order more, but usually only the first few orders are discounted enough to make economic sense. I would skip the other weeks of meal boxes, until points had posted, and then cancel. Regardless of the terms, you can usually repeat these, only needing a new email address.
In order to fight for these missing miles you need to do the following:
- Click on Contact Us section
- Choose the option for Order inquiry or missing AAdavantage miles
- Enter what form of device you ordered on from the drop down menu
- When you made the purchase (this date must have been at least 15 days ago)
- The Store name
Next you will be directed to a page where you will enter a series of items. These included order number, subtotal amount, and then the text of your order confirmation, which you can copy and paste from the confirmation email. You can also add a copy of your receipt as an attachment.
I continued to make regular shopping trips and test out other lucrative fixed rate offers. These, like meal boxes, offered a larger set amount of points for essentially one purchase. Motley Fool is one such offer where I was able to obtain 6,500 American miles for $76. In addition, you can sometimes stack these deals with an Amex offer or Chase offer.
I then began to run into more issues with other orders, all while still waiting for my Factor order points. Thrive Market was the next one. These are ones with terms that honestly do not make sense. The terms say it is for a subscription, yet you can't earn points on a subscription. That subscription of $59 gave you access to the discounted online grocery store which specializes in organic and healthy snacks. I was able to use a Amex offer here for $20 off my first $100.
In total I had to reach out to the shopping portal customer service for 6 missing orders totaling over 5,000 miles. The representatives were all friendly and quick to reply. And I did eventually get all my miles, but not until I had missed the cutoff for the phase 1 Loyalty points needed, thus dropping my status. This left me wondering whether that would be a fight too.
Next I had issues with a Rocketmiles booking. This is where you book a hotel through Rocketmiles and earn American Airlines Loyalty Points. This is a third party booking, which isn't for everyone, but I was using it with last-minute one-night stays where status or hotel points did not matter to me. Additionally, you can boost your bookings and add on miles to your booking for a higher booking cost.
Points from these stays used to post within 3-5 days, but data points have been all over the place. Nowadays, many folks end up waiting one week for points to post. Mine did not post and I had to reach out to Rocketmiles support weeks later for assistance, which eventually got me my miles.
Trouble with the American Airlines Shopping Portal: My Final Summary
Here is a summary of the types of offers I took advantage of and the points from those offers:
- Shopping Portal Fixed earn rates: 28,000
- Shopping Portal normal store shopping trips: 4,500
- Flights: 6,500
- Rocketmiles: 10,000
- AA Citi Business Credit Card Spend: 2,000
Glitches in My Favor
Now comes the weird part. I also had a few deals that wrongly credited me points. These gave me more than I should have earned or were on orders that got cancelled or delayed too much to ship by the vendor. In total, 4,100 miles I earned with no actual purchases.
Trouble with the American Airlines Shopping Portal: ToP Thoughts
The effort, tracking, and time involved with fighting for points is beyond frustrating. In the end, once everything posted my status actually changed immediately back to Platinum Pro as it should have. I expected another fight but was pleasantly surprised here. For the most part, I found that fixed rate deals were the most accurate with only my Factor meals not tracking. Factor took almost 3 months to credit my missing miles and Loyalty Points. The cancelled or unshipped orders were a welcome surprise but I was trying to do everything right. After weeks and months of fighting for points, I had no desire to tell them to take points away. I have never experienced issues like this with Rakuten, through which I can earn valuable Membership Rewards. Using the AAdvantage eShopping portal to earn American Airlines status can be lucrative, but I am not sure how anyone can maintain this for a year. All this trouble with the American Airlines shopping portal has made me want to take a break from the AAdvantage eShopping portal for a while.
Are you earning American Airlines Loyalty Points via portals and spend? Come share your thoughts in our Facebook Group!