Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with the latest information.
With Feb. 28 on the horizon, the time to earn the Loyalty Points to qualify for your 2022 AAdvantage status is running out quickly.
We recently posted a guide with six quick and easy ways to close the Loyalty Points gap. And today, we’ll dive deep into one of the easiest ways to top up your account: the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal.
Online shopping portals are one of the easiest ways to boost your rewards balances. These programs offer bonus points for airline and hotel programs just for shopping online through the portals. For such an effortless way to earn miles, it would be a mistake not to utilize them in your everyday spending.
If you play your cards right, you could earn enough miles for an award flight sooner than you may have thought. As a reminder, American’s domestic award bookings start at 5,000 AAdvantage miles, but sometimes, you can score an even better deal by booking a discounted AA premium cabin award. Plus, every mile you earn through the portal (excluding limited-time bonuses) equals one Loyalty Point, inching you closer to elite status.
Here’s everything you need to know about earning miles through the AAdvantage portal.
Fundamentals of online shopping portals
Online shopping portals allow you to earn bonus points and miles at hundreds of online retailers just by doing business with them through the portal. This already sweet deal gets even more generous when you use a rewards credit card that lets you earn additional points for your spending.
You can earn anywhere from a few extra points on smaller purchases — such as ordering photos through Walgreens — to reaping big rewards when you make significant purchases — like buying a new MacBook — through the portal. (Know, though, that some new Apple devices don’t earn miles and Loyalty Points.) The points add up either way.
Also, consider using a shopping portal when ordering necessities like contacts. You might not think about earning additional points through purchases like these. Still, if you were to order through 1-800 Contacts, you could earn 5 miles per dollar spent by starting your shopping through the American Airlines AAdvantage portal. Not only is it convenient, but it adds up and could ultimately lead you to your next vacation just by ordering something you need online and through the portal.
To put it into perspective, say you’re spending $500 per year on contacts. Here’s what you could be earning:
- $500 x 2 miles per dollar on everyday spending with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card = 1,000 Capital One miles.
- $500 x 5 miles per dollar spent on 1-800 Contacts orders through the AAdvantage shopping portal = 2,500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
You’ve effortlessly racked up 3,500 bonus miles by saving time and preordering your contacts online.
Other current earning deals in the AAdvantage shopping portal include:
- Motley Fool: Earn 6,200 miles (instead of 2,500 miles), stacks with Citi Merchant Offer.
- Wine Insiders: Earn 5 miles per dollar spent, stacks with SimplyMiles offer.
- Pimsleur foreign languages: Earn 1,000 miles.
- USA Today: Earn 500 miles (instead of 250 miles).
You can also earn miles and Loyalty Points by signing up for entertainment services like Hulu, Paramount Plus and Sirius XM through the AAdvantage shopping portal.
Related: Your guide to maximizing shopping portals for your online purchases
How to get started with the AAdvantage eShopping portal
Getting started with the AAdvantage shopping portal is incredibly easy. Sign up, search for a merchant you want to shop with and click through to your merchant using the link provided by AAdvantage eShopping. Here’s a step-by-step look at how that works:
Sign up for AAdvantage eShopping
You will need to sign up for AAdvantage eShopping whether or not you already have an AAdvantage frequent flyer account. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to link your AAdvantage frequent flyer number and add your personal information.
Make sure to check our list of shopping portal bonuses regularly. Airline shopping portals are known for offering bonuses for new members or certain spending activities. You may qualify for something like “sign up and spend $300 by [date] to receive 1,000 bonus miles.” These spending offers come around quite often for existing members. Just keep in mind that American doesn’t award Loyalty Points for bonuses. So, while you might earn 1,000 bonus miles for spending $300, expect to only earn the Loyalty Points from the base earnings of your transaction.
After you’ve signed up, you can browse the thousands of offers available. If you find one you’re interested in, click “Shop now” and you’ll automatically be taken to the online store. However, if you exit the site after clicking through, you must repeat this step to reactivate the offer. Bonus miles are only earned if the offer is tracked, and you need to stay on the same page after activating the offer — otherwise, it won’t track correctly.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t miss out on any bonus points is to install the AAdvantage button. This browser extension will alert you with a pop-up anytime you shop on a site eligible for bonus points.
You will get a message if your offer has been activated when you click through to the merchant website. If it has not, you’ll see a button that says “Activate Now.”
Related: How to earn miles in the American Airlines AAdvantage program
Tips and reminders
This is a relatively straightforward process, but it’s easy to miss a few steps when using it the first couple of times. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If using the plug-in, you must “activate” the points when alerted by the pop-up. Otherwise, you will miss the points completely, which would be a shame because you were so close.
- Before shopping, you must click through the link on the shopping portal. Don’t navigate away and come back later, as the bonus will no longer be activated.
- Ensure you’ve enabled cookies in your browser for the retailer’s site. This allows the portal to track your purchases and award bonuses accordingly. This also means shopping in “private browsing” or “incognito” mode won’t earn bonus miles.
- Only use promotions or promo codes found on the portal; if you use others, the purchase may become ineligible for bonus points and miles.
- Consider using shopping portal aggregators like Cashback Monitor. The site allows you to pull up a specific retailer and see the earning rate across all applicable shopping portals, quickly comparing earning rates and determining which one offers the best return for the individual merchant you are shopping with.
Related: Be careful: 9 times you won’t earn American Airlines Loyalty Points, even if you earn miles
AAdvantage cards to use when shopping online
If you’re loyal to American Airlines and looking to earn status faster, you may want to consider one of the airline’s cobranded credit cards. The airline offers various cobranded cards, each with different benefits, earning structures and annual fees.
Here’s a look at three of our favorite American cards and their current offers:
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening (no annual fee).
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months of account opening ($99 annual fee, waived the first 12 months).
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening ($450 annual fee).
All U.S.-based American Airlines cobranded credit cards earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent (outside of some purchases like ATM withdrawals and lottery tickets), helping you progress on your American Airlines elite status. The only exception to this rule is the no-annual-fee AAdvantage® Aviator® Mastercard®, which earns 0.5 Loyalty Points per dollar spent across the board.
The information for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Mastercard® has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related: A new era begins: American has revamped how you earn elite status with ‘Loyalty Points’
When you click through the American Airlines shopping portal, you can rack up miles and Loyalty Points when you shop online. By stacking shopping portal offers and bonus-earning offers in addition to using the right credit card, you can earn multiple points and miles for each dollar you spend online.
Miles earned through the AAdvantage Shopping Portal earn Loyalty Points, getting you closer to your AAdvantage status.
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.