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Now posting: American's big holiday promotion for bonus AAdvantage miles

Dec. 30, 2021
6 min read
Now posting: American's big holiday promotion for bonus AAdvantage miles
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Editor’s note (12/30/2021): The 5x offer from SimplyMiles expired on Tuesday, Dec. 14 around 12:35 p.m. Eastern Time.

For those who participated in the promotion before it ended, the AAdvantage miles are beginning to post to eligible accounts as of Dec. 30. Some readers have reported that they only see the miles in their AAdvantage account, but not in the SimplyMiles portal.

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An AAdvantage account showing the bonus miles posted (Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines)

Either way, the airline has confirmed that the promotion will be honored, with all miles posting shortly.

The original announcement post is below.


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 (or don’t mind shopping online for a possible post-Christmas delivery), listen up. We’re seeing a way to earn a slew of additional 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 American Airlines AAdvantage members with Mastercards — like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (which happens to be the one I have) or the Citi Premier® Card.

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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.

Right now, we’re seeing the following message at the top of SimplyMiles accounts:

“Through December 27, 2021, you can earn an additional 5X American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles on every purchase with participating merchants on SimplyMiles.”
Screenshot courtesy of SimplyMiles

Note that this offer says “5x American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles” — rather than 5 additional miles per dollar spent. The fact that it’s a multiplier bonus (rather than an additive) could make this incredibly lucrative.

Here’s what I mean.

If you utilize this promotion, you’ll earn miles in three ways:

  • The base spend on the purchase (most frequently 1 point or mile per dollar spent)
  • The bonus offer through SimplyMiles
  • The additional 5x mileage bonus for the holidays

For example, I’m targeted for an offer of 40 miles per $1 donated to Conservation International. If the 5x offer was additive, that would be five additional American miles per dollar spent — for a total of 45 miles per dollar spent.

However, it’s a multiplier, which means that every dollar you donate should earn you 40 miles plus an additional 5 times that amount (so 200 miles) — resulting in a final earning rate of 240 miles per dollar, as also shared by Gary Leff at View From the Wing.

Our recently revamped TPG valuations peg AAdvantage miles at 1.68 cents apiece so that $1 donation should get you $4.03 worth of American miles at those rates.

In addition to that offer, there are a number of other options that could be worth considering — especially if you can combine them with an online shopping portal.

One that I jumped on was an offer at Wine.com, which will award me 1,400 bonus miles after spending $100. I treated myself to a few bottles of nice Chardonnay and added the code “FREESHIP” for free shipping. I also started my purchase at Rakuten, which is currently offering 10% back (or 10x Membership Rewards points at Wine.com).

My subtotal was $103.96, and my total purchase came to $111.24 with sales tax. However, I should take home the following:

  • 111 miles AA miles from the base earning rate of 1 mile per dollar with my specific card, worth $1.86
  • 1,400 bonus miles from the SimplyMiles offer, worth $23.52
  • 7,000 additional miles from the 5x offer (1,400 x 5), worth $117.60
  • 1,040 Amex points from Rakuten ($103.96 x 10), worth $20.80

In other words, I am earning $163.78 worth of rewards on my $111.24 purchase — and I’m getting four of my favorite bottles of wine shipped to my front door.

Note that you do need to use your linked Mastercard to earn bonuses through SimplyMiles, 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 at restaurants and the flexibility of earning more valuable transferable points.

However, the majority of merchants I’m seeing in my account are ones that typically aren’t eligible for spending category bonuses, so this is a great opportunity to earn even more on these purchases.

In addition, the individual offers are targeted, so you may not see the same ones I highlight above — 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.

Finally, it’s worth noting the fine print at the top of the SimplyMiles page:

“Hurry, this bonus is for a limited time and is subject to availability of bonus miles.”

The first part is pretty straightforward — in that the promotion is set to end on Dec. 27, 2021 (though it could be withdrawn earlier).

However, that second piece is potentially concerning.

Most offers on the SimplyMiles site indicate that it will take some time for the miles to post. For example, the donation to Conservation International says to allow up to eight weeks for them to arrive. In theory, the disclaimer above may prevent you from earning the full 240-miles-per-dollar earning rate — if the bonus miles are “not available” at the time of posting.

That said, you may decide that risk is worth the potential rewards. If you take screenshots of your SimplyMiles offer at the time of your purchase, you’d have a strong case if the full bonus doesn’t post as expected. But, as always, your mileage may vary and proceed with extreme caution if you are spending money you otherwise wouldn’t.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for American Airlines lounge access
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 2X miles
2X2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases

Intro offer

50,000 miles
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual Fee

$450

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

 includes a complimentary membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge. Users can also add up to 10 authorized users (for no additional cost), and they get their own access — including two traveling companions. The primary cardmember also enjoys priority check in, screening and boarding for themselves and up to eight travel companions. Other perks include a free checked bag for domestic travel, 25% off eligible inflight purchases and $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Pros

  • Offers Admirals Club lounge access.
  • Help earning up to 10,000 EQMs that go toward elite status.
  • Priority check-in, airport screening, boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions.
  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverages.
  • Receive a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Statement Credit.

Cons

  • No travel protection benefits.
  • Miles redemption limited to American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.
  • 25% inflight credit doesn't include Wi-Fi.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from 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
Best for American Airlines lounge access
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

2X2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
1X1 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    50,000 miles
  • Annual Fee

    $450
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

 includes a complimentary membership to the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge. Users can also add up to 10 authorized users (for no additional cost), and they get their own access — including two traveling companions. The primary cardmember also enjoys priority check in, screening and boarding for themselves and up to eight travel companions. Other perks include a free checked bag for domestic travel, 25% off eligible inflight purchases and $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Pros

  • Offers Admirals Club lounge access.
  • Help earning up to 10,000 EQMs that go toward elite status.
  • Priority check-in, airport screening, boarding and a free checked bag for you and up to 8 travel companions.
  • 25% discount on inflight food and beverages.
  • Receive a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Fee Statement Credit.

Cons

  • No travel protection benefits.
  • Miles redemption limited to American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.
  • 25% inflight credit doesn't include Wi-Fi.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from 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