How to Use the American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping Portal to Earn Miles, Loyalty Points, & Status Without Flying (2023)
Are you a frequent American Airlines flyer looking to earn more miles and loyalty points? While flying with the airline is one way to boost your status, it may not be the best way.
The American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal offers online shoppers the ability to earn miles and loyalty points without ever stepping foot on a plane. In many cases, you can earn more miles per dollar spent shopping online at your favorite stores than you would flying; But there is an opportunity cost.
Here is everything you need to know about the American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping Portal.
Table of Contents
What is the AAdvantage eShopping Portal?
The AAdvantage eShopping Portal is similar to cash back websites like Rakuten and RetailMeNot with one major difference. Each time you make a qualified purchase at one of the 1,200 stores in the portal, you earn miles and loyalty points instead of cash back.
Miles can be used to book award flights as well as for seat selections. Loyalty points now determine status. Here are the current American Airlines status levels and requirements as of October 2023.
- AAdvantage Gold® – 40,000 Points
- AAdvantage Platinum® – 75,000 Points
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro® – 125,000 Points
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum® – 200,000 Points
While you’d have to spend a lot of money, it is possible to earn AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status just by using the portal.
Further Reading: American Airlines AAdvantage Loyalty Program
How Do I Use the AAdvantage eShopping Portal?
Using the shopping portal is easy. Here is how to get started and ways to maximize your earnings.
Sign Up for an Account
To begin, go to https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/ and click the Sign Up link at the top of the screen. Enter the following details.
- Your AAdvantage® number (create one here if you do not have one)
- Email Address
- First and Last Name
- Zip Code
- A Secure Password
I recommend opting into the newsletter for special earning opportunities.
Install the Chrome Browser Extension
I recommend installing the Google Chrome Browser Extension right after signing up. This tool shows the following when on an eligible store’s website.
- Current Miles and Any Bonuses
- Earnings By Category
- Current Coupons (automatically applied at checkout)
- The Store’s Terms & Conditions for Earning Miles
- Price Comparison from Other Stores
- An Activation Button
While the Chrome browser extension is not required, I find it very helpful. Without it, I’d often forget to activate the shopping portal and potentially miss out on miles and coupons. Please note, that it only works on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
To activate an offer from the browser extension, click the blue “Activate” button on the popup.
Explore Stores, Categories, and Products
The AAdvantage shopping homepage is a great place to find eligible stores and the best mile offers. After logging into your account, you will see the following on the homepage.
- Featured Offers – Find these at the banner carousel right up top. These specials often include a discount or coupon with extra miles. For example, Macy’s recently offered an extra 30% off and up to 4 miles per dollar spent instead of the usual up to 2 miles per dollar spent.
- Deal of the Week – This is under the top carousel. This deal often includes a discount as well as a sometimes significant number of extra miles. For example, DIRECTV recently offered 6,900 miles instead of the usual 3,700 miles.
- Top Stores – The current featured stores. These may or may not be offering extra miles.
- Featured Deals – Stores offering a major coupon or discount for their entire store or a major product. Featured deals often include a mile boost.
- Your Favorite Stores – These are stores you marked as a favorite. This is a great way to quickly see if your go-to stores are offering discounts or extra miles.
To activate these offers, click the “Shop Now” button if there is one. If not, click the store or offer and then click “Shop Now” on the next page.
After scanning the homepage, I recommend viewing offers by stores and categories.
To get started, mouse over the “Explore stores and more” text at the top of the page. Click the “View all stores” button.
By default, stores are listed in alphabetical order. This helps get acquainted with the available stores, but I recommend sorting by Earn Rate. After clicking the Earn Rate filter, you will see stores sorted in the following ways.
- Fixed Miles
- Number of Miles Earned Per Dollar Spent
Focus first on the fixed miles offers. Many of these offers provide thousands of miles for a specific purchase. For example, The Motley Fool often offers up to 7,400 miles for a 1-year membership (this generally costs $79). Even if you have no interest in The Motley Fool, the $79 for 7,400 miles and loyalty points may be worth it.
Below the fixed mile offers section is a listing of miles per dollar spent, starting with 6+ miles. Some stores offer as much as 20 miles per dollar spent, but six to 15 is more common.
Additionally, you can find stores by category. To find categories, mouse over the “Explore stores and more” text at the top of the page. See the list of categories in the left column.
Finally, you can search for stores and specific products using the search bar at the top of the page. This is a great feature when you have an individual product in mind. The portal will show you the best prices as well as how many miles you will earn.
Extra-mile offers are always worth looking at. In many cases, taking advantage of extra mile offers is the best way to earn huge chunks of miles and loyalty points.
Depending on the store, more miles will be offered at a fixed rate or per dollar spent. Here are two examples.
- Fixed Rate – HelloFresh: Earn 3,500 miles for a purchase (usually 1,200 miles)
- Per Dollar Spent – Nike: Earn 4 miles per dollar spent (usually 2 miles per dollar spent)
Finding extra-mile offers is easy. Find the link on the homepage in the upper right area next to the featured offers carousel. Additionally, you can find it by mousing over the “Explore stores and more” text at the top of the page and clicking the “Extra Miles” link in the center column under “Shop by Offers”. Finally, click the dollar sign logo in a circle to see the deals.
Bonus Mile Spending Requirement Offers
There are often opportunities to earn bonus miles when spending a set amount of dollars using the portal. For example, I earned 2,000 miles for the 2023 Back to School Campaign. Here were the spending requirements.
- 500 miles for spending $200.00
- 1,000 miles for spending $400.00
- 2,000 miles for spending $700.00
You can only earn one of those bonuses for your cumulative spending. For example, if you spend $700, you will only earn the 2,000 mile bonus. Miles post within 10 weeks after the bonus period ends.
Please note, these special miles bonus offers do not earn loyalty points. For that reason, I do not recommend going out of your way to earn these bonuses.
Verifying Your Offer Activates & Checking Earnings
Before completing a purchase, it is important to verify your offer with the shopping portal is active. Additionally, verify it successfully went through after the purchase.
Activating Your Offer With the Browser Extension
The easiest way to shop with the American Airlines shopping portal is with the browser extension. As the image above shows, the browser extension usually gives you two opportunities to activate a store’s offer.
The first is on the left and pops up automatically when visiting a participating store. The other way is by clicking the extension icon in your menu bar. That brings up the popup you see on the right, which shows more details including earnings by category and available coupons. Click either of the blue “Activate” buttons.
After successfully activating your offer, you will see a popup with a green check mark. You can also click the shopping extension icon in your menu bar to verify it again with a green check mark.
Activating Your Offer Using Aadvantageeshopping.com
If you can’t use the browser extension, you can also activate offers using the portal. Login to your account and search for your store. Either click the “Shop Now” button on the left or click one of the “Shop this Offer” buttons on the right for specific deals.
You will be redirected to the store’s website with your activated offer.
Recent Store Visits
Another way to see if your offer activated at some point is to check your “recent store visits.” Here is how to find them.
- Login to your account.
- Click the “My Account” link.
- Click the “Recent Store Visits” tab.
This tab shows offers that were recently activated. Please note, this does not mean your offer is currently activated. Factors like time and clicking another cashback website’s link could disable your offer. The best way to see a current activated offer is by using the browser extension on the store’s website.
Miles Popup Verification After Completing Your Purchase
After completing your purchase, one of two things will happen.
- A Popup Confirming Your Purchase
- No Popup
While it is always good to see a popup, not seeing one is not bad. I have successfully received my miles on numerous occasions without a popup.
If you do see a popup, I recommend taking a screenshot in case you need to file a dispute later.
Verifying Recent Transactions
You can verify recent transactions using the “Recent Store Visits” and “Recent Transactions” tabs within the “My Account” link.
Generally, your order number, the purchase date, and the order amount are shown in the recent store visits tab first. After a few days (or longer), the transactions appear in the recent transactions tab with your earned miles.
The Vacationer Tip
After making a purchase, keep track of these two tabs. If it has been 15 days or longer and nothing is there, contact customer service for more information.
Tips for Using the Shopping Portal
Here are my tips for getting the most out of the portal.
- Turn Off Your Ad Blocker – Ad blockers may prevent your order from being properly tracked. That means despite doing everything else right, you may not get your American Airlines miles and loyalty points. Before completing your order, make sure your ad blocker is disabled for the website in question.
- Enable Cookies – Make sure cookies are enabled on your browser. Otherwise, your order is unlikely to properly track.
- Install the Google Chrome Extension – The extension does a lot of the work for you. Instead of seeking out eligible stores, it shows you the earn rate for sites you are already on.
- Select Your Favorite Stores – Add your top stores to your favorites list. The portal will display these stores more prominently as well as email you when the store offers a special deal. I have PetSmart favorited and stock up on cat litter and food when I get an email saying it is offering more miles.
- Read the Store’s Terms & Conditions – This is very important. Many stores have very specific terms for what qualifies. That may include specific products and payment methods. For example, Walmart does not currently pay miles for paper purchases. Many stores do not pay miles for purchases made with a gift card. Apple does not pay miles for the latest models. It varies by store, so read the terms and take a screenshot before making your purchase.
- Make Sure Your Offer Remains Activated – Before completing your purchase, make sure your offer is still active using your browser extension. Things like time and accidentally activating another cashback program could deactivate your offer. I recommend removing other cashback program shopping extensions from your menu bar to prevent accidental clicks. Additionally, do not click coupon codes from other websites because that will also deactivate your offer with the shopping portal.
- Do Not Use Outside Coupons – Only use coupons offered by the shopping portal. Finding and using coupons from outside sources is against many stores’ terms. While you may be able to get away with it, many stores will refuse to pay you your miles.
- Be Way of Stacking Offers – Most stores do not allow offer stacking. That means taking advantage of one or more other cashback offers, including from credit card portals and SimplyMiles. For example, the American Airlines shopping portal may offer 5x miles per dollar spent at Macy’s. American Express may offer $20 back for purchases over $100 at Macy’s. Macy’s may decide not to pay you your miles if you also use the American Express offer. I have had success with stacking, but it comes with risk.
Stacking Offers With Credit Cards Offers and SimplyMiles
For most stores, stacking offers is strictly prohibited. We touched on it above, but it deserves its own section. Here is a fictional example of a potential stack from Nike.
- 3x American Airlines Miles Per Dollar Spent – American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping Portal
- $15 Back for $150 Purchase – Citi Merchant Offer
- 500 American Airlines Miles for $500 Purchase – SimplyMiles (using Citi Mastercard)
On the surface, it seems like a great opportunity to triple dip; And it is if you can get away with it. I have triple dipped on numerous occasions using my Chase Freedom Flex℠ and have not experienced any miles clawbacks. Regardless, it is risky. Stores do not want to honor multiple offers, and they clearly state it in their terms. Try it at your own risk, but there is a chance you won’t get any of them if you get caught.
You can also double dip with a shopping portal offer and an American Express offer. Unfortunately, you need a Mastercard to use SimplyMiles, so you can’t combine shopping portal offers, Amex Offers, and SimplyMiles.
Further Reading: How to Use SimplyMiles
Opportunity Cost of Using The American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping Portal
There is a real opportunity cost in using the American Airlines AAdvantage shopping portal as your primary “cash back” website. Additionally, using an American Airlines credit card to boost your miles over another credit card may not be wise. While earning American Airlines miles and status is beneficial, you may be able to get more value elsewhere.
Other Cash Back Shopping Portals
Essentially, the American Airlines shopping portal is a cash back website that offers miles instead of cash back. Here are a few other popular cash back websites.
Those sites have their own cash back earnings rates, coupons, and terms. They all operate the same way, so there is no new learning curve when signing up for one of them. I recommend using CashBackMonitor.com to quickly see the best earnings rate for a wide variety of stores. In many cases, those websites may offer a higher cash back percentage than what the American Airlines portal offers for miles. For example, Rakuten may offer 10% cash back at Kohl’s while American Airlines only offers 5x miles per dollar spent.
Deciding to use the American Airlines shopping portal depends on how much you value American Airlines miles and status. I value 1 American Airlines mile at 1.5 cents, but that is just an average. Sometimes you may only be able to redeem miles at 1 cent per mile, while other times you’ll redeem at 2 cents per mile or more.
Additionally, you’ll earn loyalty points using the American Airlines portal, which will earn you status. Depending on your status level, you’ll be entitled to priority boarding, free checked bags, upgrades to first class, complimentary main cabin extra seats, and more. For some people, that is very valuable. For others who do not fly American Airlines often, there is little value. My home airport is Philadelphia, which is an American Airlines hub, so status appeals to me more than someone whose home airport is a Delta Airlines hub.
Other Credit Cards
American Airlines has various credit cards for its frequent flyers. Here are a few popular ones.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® Mastercard®
Each card earns 1 loyalty point per dollar spent regardless of the category. Each card also has its own bonus spending categories for extra miles. Here are the bonus mile categories for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Mastercard®. Please note, none of these bonus categories apply to portal purchases.
- 10 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible car rentals booked through American Airlines
- 10 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible hotels booked through American Airlines
- 4 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
While it’s possible to rack up the miles with this and other American Airlines credit cards, you will only earn 1 loyalty point per dollar spent in bonus categories like those.
This raises the question of whether you use an American Airlines credit card to make portal purchases. Here is what you will earn through the portal.
- The Store’s Current Mileage Rate Per $1 in Loyalty Points + 1 Loyalty Point Per Dollar Spent from The Credit Card
- The Store’s Current Mileage Rate Per $1 in Miles + 1 Mile Per Dollar Spent from The Credit Card
I do not think an American Airlines credit card is the best card for portal spending. The portal’s best feature is its high miles and loyalty points earning rates at certain stores. Using an American Airlines credit card only gives you an additional 1 mile and 1 loyalty point per dollar spent.
Instead, here are better cards to use in the shopping portal.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (1.5% cash back on all purchases)
- Citi® Double Cash Card (2% cash back on all purchases)
The Vacationer Tip
Check your current credit cards for the one with the highest cash back or point/miles floor for purchases. Generally, that is the one you should use for shopping portal purchases. For me, that is the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which earns at least 1.5% cash back for all purchases.
Let’s analyze a $100 purchase at Bloomingdale’s for 6x miles per dollar spent using the following credit cards.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Mastercard® – 700 American Airlines Miles + 700 Loyalty Points
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® – 600 American Airlines Miles + 600 Loyalty Points + $1.5 Cash Back or 150 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive Mastercard® provides an additional 100 miles and 100 loyalty points from the 600 base rate for the $100 purchase because it earns 1 mile and 1 loyalty point per dollar spent.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 600 miles and 600 loyalty points plus $1.5 cash back (or 150 Chase points). Depending on your goals, the $1.5 cash back may be more valuable than the additional 100 miles and 100 loyalty points.
The real value is if you hold either the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can transfer the 150 Chase points to one of those cards and either redeem them for travel at 50% more or 25% more value when booking travel through Chase. You can also transfer the points to a partner airline or hotel where they could be worth 2 cents per point or more.
Missing Miles and Other Problems with the Portal
Unfortunately, I have had to request missing miles from the portal on numerous occasions. Here is how you do it.
- Make sure 15 days have passed since your order.
- Login to your account and go to https://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/contact____.htm
- Click the “Order inquiry or missing AAdvantage miles” link.
- Fill out the form with your order number, subtotal, and a full copy of your order receipt (pasted or uploaded)
In most cases, American Airlines will award you your miles and loyalty points quickly. In other situations, it could take weeks or months depending on the merchant.
How I Use the Portal + My Favorite Offers
My home airport is Philadelphia International Airport, which is an American Airlines hub. For that reason, I highly value American Airlines miles and status; The more miles and loyalty points the better!
Before making a purchase, I analyze the following things.
- Which cash back site to use (American Airlines Shopping Portal, Rakuten, Etc.)
- Which credit card to use (My American Airlines Card, an American Express Card, or a Chase Card)
As previously stated, I value 1 American Airlines mile at 1.5 cents. Since shopping portal purchases also earn loyalty points, the value is even greater. Unless the cash back percentage is significantly greater at another website, I use the shopping portal. So if the portal is offering 6 miles per dollar spent at Nordstrom and Rakuten is offering 8 percent cash back, I opt for the portal.
I generally use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all online purchases because it earns 1.5% per dollar spent. My American Airlines credit card only earns 1 mile and 1 loyalty point per dollar spent. I value the 1.5% more than what my American Airlines card provides because I transfer the points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, where the value is much greater for my travel goals. Remember, I still earn the bulk of the miles and loyalty points using my Chase card because the real value is in the shopping portal rates.
For SimplyMiles offers, I make the purchase with my Chase Freedom Flex℠ because you must use a Mastercard. Before purchasing, I check to see if there is also a Chase offer; If so, I activate it and triple dip with the American Airlines Shopping Portal, SimplyMiles, and the Chase offer.
The Vacationer Tip
My Favorite Shopping Portal Offers
I closely monitor the portal for big-chunk offers. That means increased offers to earn a lot of miles and loyalty points for a single purchase. As previously detailed, these offers come in flat rates per purchase or increased miles per dollar spent. Here are my favorite stores.
- PetSmart – Base Rate is 1x Miles But Often Goes to 10x Miles
- Acme – 2x Miles (easy way to earn miles/loyalty points at my local grocery store)
- GiftCards.com – Base Rate is 1x Miles But Often Goes to 3x Miles (I buy digital VISA gift cards to pay bills that I’d otherwise earn no miles on)
- The Motley Fool – Base Rate is 3,700 Miles But Goes as High as 7,400 Miles
- Millionacres – Base Rate is 2,500 Miles But Goes Over 5,000 Miles
- The Wall Street Journal – Base Rate is 250 Miles But Goes Over 1,000 Miles
Some of those bigger offers, like The Motley Fool, have restrictions such as “Eligible on one (1) purchase per loyalty account member.” Other offers let you use it once per year. Carefully read the terms & conditions before completing your order.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The American Airlines AAdvantage shopping portal is an easy way to earn a lot of American Airlines miles and loyalty points. Before using it, decide how valuable American Airlines miles and status are to you. Those living near an American Airlines hub will generally enjoy much better value than those who do not. Before making a purchase using the portal, consider the opportunity cost of not using another cash back website. Finally, look for value in huge chunks. Paying $100 for 6,000 or more miles and loyalty points is great value for a frequent American Airlines flyer.
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