How to earn an extra 5x miles on last-minute holiday purchases

Dec 23, 2019

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. 

For any procrastinators out there, time is running out to find the perfect gift for your friends and family members. However, if you’re planning to brave the mall crowds today (or don’t mind shopping online for post-Christmas delivery), listen up. We’re seeing a way to earn an additional 5 American Airlines miles per dollar spent at dozens of merchants through the SimplyMiles site.

If you’re not familiar, this works similarly to Amex Offers and Chase offers but is specific to holders of American AAdvantage credit cards — like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (which happens to be the one I have). When you find an offer you like, simply add it to your card, and if you meet the purchase requirements prior to the expiration date, you’ll take home bonus American miles.

Last night, I logged into my SimplyMiles account and was amazed to see the following message at the top:

“Starting December 18, 2019 through December 31, 2019 you can earn an additional 5x AAdvantage miles on every offer on SimplyMiles. Hurry, this holiday bonus is for a limited time only subject to availability as limited number of bonus miles are available.”

This opens up some truly incredible earning opportunities, and I’m seeing some pretty popular merchants in my account.

If I’m interpreting this correctly, you’ll earn miles in three ways through this new offer:

  • The base spend on the purchase (1 mile per $)
  • The bonus offer through SimplyMiles
  • The additional 5x bonus for the holidays

For example, I’m targeted for an offer of 2.5 miles per $1 spent at Janie and Jack — one of my wife’s favorite spots for toddler clothes. If I use my Citi AA card there through December 31, I’ll earn a total of 8.5 miles per dollar spent, which represents a return of 11.9% on the purchase.

Note that you do need to use your American credit card in order to earn the bonus miles, so be sure to take into account any opportunity cost of not swiping another card. For example, an offer at a restaurant may not be as appealing if you also have a card like the American Express® Gold Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, both of which offer bonuses on dining purchases and the flexibility of earning more valuable transferable points. However, the majority of merchants I’m seeing in my account are ones that typically don’t offer bonuses, so this is a great opportunity to earn even more on these purchases.

We are seeing reports that this holiday bonus is targeted — and the individual offers are (for sure) targeted — but if you’re planning to do any shopping between now and the end of the year, it’s worth logging into your SimplyMiles account (or creating one) to see if these purchases can be even more rewarding.

Featured photo by Samantha Rosen / The Points Guy

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you.  Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Regular APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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