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In October 2019, American Airlines introduced its new SimplyMiles program. Similar to Amex Offers or Chase Offers, SimplyMiles is designed to let AAdvantage members earn miles on purchases made with any Mastercard.
SimplyMiles offers some nice options to collect (and stack) AA miles on a range of purchases. With travel slowed to a crawl these days, I'm taking a closer look at all of my earning opportunities. Here is a closer look at SimplyMiles.
What is SimplyMiles?
SimplyMiles offers users opportunities to earn American Airlines miles through in-store and online purchases. Like offers from American Express and Chase for select cardholders, SimplyMiles offers a rotating selection of partnerships with stores, restaurants, and service providers. SimplyMiles members simply select an offer to “add to card”. Then you'll earn miles once a qualifying transaction is completed.
The SimplyMiles program works with any valid Mastercard. As far as we can tell, that's any Mastercard. No American Airlines co-branding required! That means, for example, that you can add a card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ since it's a Mastercard.
Getting Started with SimplyMiles
To participate in SimplyMiles, users need to be U.S. residents 18 years or older with an AAdvantage account and a Mastercard. And that's it as far as restrictions go.
If you aren't already enrolled in the American Airlines AAdvantage program, you can do so quickly and easily online. If you are wondering whether earning American Airlines miles is worth your time, remember that you can use those miles on 23 different airlines to visit over 1,100 destinations in 180 countries and territories.
Along with an AAdvantage account, users must register at least one valid Mastercard(s). For those who carry a wallet full of cards, note that you can register up to a maximum of three Mastercards. Any qualifying purchases made with any registered card will earn the miles. If you carry more than three Mastercards, you'll need to choose which cards to link to the SimplyMiles program. When a specific bonus or stacking opportunity arises, you can always temporarily swap out one card for another.
For those of us who aren't carrying three or more Mastercards in our wallet, there is no need to go out and apply for a new card. SimplyMiles says that they will be adding more card options soon but for now, any Mastercard should do.
Once you have your AAdvantage number and Mastercard, visit the SimplyMiles website to register for a (free) new account.
Earning Miles With SimplyMiles
Once your account is set up, it's straightforward to start earning AAdvantage miles through SimplyMiles. Just sign in to your account and go to the home page to see your available offers:
These offers are updated fairly frequently so it's worth checking the website regularly. There are generally around 100 offers available at any one time. Scroll through the list and you can select “Add to Card” for any interesting offer. Or just add them all!
Once an offer is added, it will show up as “activated” in a small green square at the bottom right corner of the offer box. Pay close attention to the additional information that is displayed once you have activated an offer. Specifically, you can see information about where the offer is valid. Below, all of the offers are valid for “Shop In-Store” only. This means that online purchases will NOT trigger the offer.
When I first used SimplyMiles back in the spring, my biggest complaint was that—given the uncertainty of in-store shopping due to COVID-19—too many offers were for in-store purchases only. It looks like this is balancing out and I'm seeing many more online or “online or in-store” offers being offered.
Once you've registered for the offer, you can make a purchase at any time. Unlike a shopping portal, you do not need to go through the SimplyMiles site to make the purchase.
Earning MORE Miles
Speaking of shopping portals, many of the offers on SimplyMiles can also be found on American Airlines' eShopping portal. Once you add an offer, make sure to head over to the eShopping portal to see if you can stack offers to increase your earnings.
Right now you can earn 2 miles per dollar spent at The Popcorn Factory through SimplyMiles. You can also earn 3 miles per dollar spent if you shop through American's eShopping portal. That's a total of 5X miles on any eligible purchase!
AAdvantage Co-Branded Cards
Finally, if you do register one or more AAdvantage co-branded cards, then you can increase your earnings even more! Whether you have a AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard® or a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, your SimplyMiles earnings will be in addition to the earnings and benefits that you routinely receive with your AAdvantage card.
For example, one of the current SimplyMiles offers is for 3X miles on a purchase of $1,000+ through American Airlines Vacations. If you book a vacation package with a Citi AAdvantage card, you are also eligible for a 10% discount on the non-flight parts of your American Airlines Vacation package.
So, by adding this SimplyMiles offer to your Citi/AAdvantage Mastercard, you can earn:
- 3X miles through SimplyMiles
- 2X miles by charging the purchase to most Citi/AAdvantage co-branded cards
- 10% discount on the non-flight portions of the vacation (car, hotel, activities, etc)
Given all the specials running these days, it's worth checking for stacking opportunities like these on any SimplyMiles offers you are planning to take advantage of.
Miles earned are tracked with your SimplyMiles account and automatically added to your AAdvantage account. Once in your AAdvantage account, you can redeem these miles for travel or other purchases—just like AAdvantage miles earned any other way.
In theory, miles earned should post within 3-5 business days. My experiences varied. Some transactions posted relatively quickly, others took almost a month. That said, all of the offers that I activated did eventually post. I would recommend keeping track of your purchases with this program so that you can be certain your bonuses are posting.
Miles earning through the SimplyMiles program do not count towards Million Mile Status. However, American Airlines is currently running a promotion where spending on Citi/AAdvantage and AAdvantage Aviator cards between May and December 2020 will count towards Million Miler status. Just another option to consider when you are registering your Mastercard(s) for SimplyMiles.
SimplyMiles has expanded its partnerships since it launched last year and has a nice range of offers available. With 100+ offers that update frequently, it's worth checking the site every few weeks or before you make a purchase.
The ability to participate with any Mastercard (up to three Mastercards and no co-branding required) is unique. SimplyMiles does stand out from Amex Offers, Chase Offers, and other card offers which are generally tied to a single account.
The biggest complaint I have so far is that miles posting and customer service response times can be SLOW. The only obvious way to reach someone is by submitting an inquiry through the SimplyMiles website. When I contacted customer service, I waited 10+ days for a response. I like earning miles, but not chasing them down.
Overall, SimplyMiles is a nice little program that can certainly help boost your American Airlines miles balance. While I wait for travel to open up a bit more, I'm focusing on earning all the miles I can here on the ground. SimplyMiles is a nice way to boost my AAdvantage account balance.
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