Make money — and earn points toward status — with this American Airlines shopping portal deal

Jan 21, 2022

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I’m a news guy. I grew up reading The New York Times every morning along with my bowl of Cheerios and glass of orange juice.

When I graduated from college in 2000, I landed a job as a reporter at The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. My first week there, I was given a map book of the state and a pager. This was not yet the age of smartphones or GPS. I was being paid to tell stories and couldn’t be more excited.

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During my seven years at the newspaper, I never tired of seeing the news delivered to people’s doorsteps across the state each morning. To this day, I still enjoy holding a physical paper, unplugging from my digital devices and reading the news. (I was very excited when TPG’s Chris Dong recently found the same joy thanks to his Platinum Card® from American Express.) And yes, I get the irony of the top editor at a digital news site still being in love with print. But that’s who I am.

Recently, a number of us at TPG have been focusing on American Airlines’ new Loyalty Points currency.

The short version: American is changing the way people earn elite status. Spending on credit cards or via partners like hotels and car rental companies counts toward status, along with the traditional method of actually flying. To learn more about Loyalty Points, you can read this guide by TPG’s Zach Griff and this other guide by Benji Stawski. (Yes, we are testing out all the various ways to earn with this program and will report the results to you.)

Related: Chasing American Airlines elite status? Here are 13 ways to earn Loyalty Points

One of the methods to earn points toward status is via the AAdvantage eShopping online shopping portal. So imagine my excitement Thursday night when this old-school newsman logged in to the portal to see a “Deal of the week” for a new Wall Street Journal subscription.

(Screenshot courtesy of aadvantageeshopping.com)

American was offering 1,500 miles — and presumably Loyalty Points toward status — for a subscription.

Unfortunately, the offer was reduced overnight to just 1,000 miles. Still, this is up from what they report is the regular 500-mile offer.

New and downgraded WSJ offer. (Screenshot courtesy AAdavantage eShopping portal)
New and downgraded WSJ offer. (Screenshot courtesy of aadvantageeshopping.com)

The advertisement said it would cost me $8 a month. But, as I clicked through the terms, it looks to be less than that.

Here’s where the warning comes in: Shopping portal deals can sometimes be finicky. So I read all the terms and conditions about what is required to get the miles.

 

But as I read the terms, it appeared that all I needed to do was get the $1-per-week subscription plan and keep it for at least 45 days. Given that the $1 price is good for 12 weeks, I will probably keep it at least that long, but I know some of you will probably want to try this deal for the seven-week minimum and $5 out of pocket.

(Screenshot courtesy of aadvantageeshopping.com)

Even at $12, landing 1,500 miles is a pretty good deal. To break it down: I essentially bought American miles at 0.8 cents a mile. TPG values the miles at 1.63 cents each — or a total of $24.45 for my 1,500 miles. Once you subtract the $12 I spent, that’s still $12.45 in profit. Plus, I get three months of home delivery of and online access to The Wall Street Journal.

I currently hold the top published status American has: Executive Platinum. When I fly, I will earn 11 miles per dollar on base airfare (but nothing on taxes and fees).

If this works properly, I will earn 1,500 Loyalty Points for just $12.

And it looks like as of Thursday morning, the miles are posting as promised.

Scott Mayerowitz WSJ credit.(Screenshot courtesy American Airlines)
(Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines)

To earn that many Loyalty Points as an Executive Platinum member, I would have to spend $136.36 on airfare.

Yes, it’s just 1,500 points toward the 200,000 I will need to requalify for Executive Platinum but we are just three weeks into the year. I’ll take what I can get. Even if you only get the reduced 1,000 points, it might be worth it.

So whether you are a news junkie or not, it’s a pretty good deal if you are chasing American elite status.

Featured photo by Chris Sloan for The Points Guy.

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*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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