American Airlines bonus points snafu

If you read my blog every now and again, you’ll know that I’m a sucker for a great credit card sign-up bonus. Less than a year ago, I signed up for the American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Business card, which came with a 75,000 AAdvantage mile bonus (worth approximately $1,050 according to The Points Guy, although I redeemed 70,000 of these miles for a Qatar QSuite from Chicago to the Madlvies, so I received a value of about $5,680).

In April, I was pretty excited when I received the following e-mail from Aviator Mastercard:

American Airlines promo 1

As an attorney, I knew to check beyond this and look at the actual terms of this offer, which read:

American Airlines promo 2.jpg

The promotion seemed easy enough – spend $2,000 on my card in May, June, and July and received a total of 5,000 bonus AAdvantage miles. Game on.

In May, I spent $2,121.36 on the card and received the following e-mail from Aviator Mastercard:

American Airlines promo 3.jpg

I decided to keep going with my spending so that I could receive the full promotion –  in June, I spent $2,061.68 on the card and in July, I spent $2,177.82.

The terms said that it takes 6-8 weeks after the promotion ends to receive the miles, and I decided to call on September 13th (6 weeks after the program ended) just to check up the status, since I haven’t received any of the miles yet.

I thought it was going to be a quick call, but was shocked when the representative on the phone told me that I actually didn’t qualify for the full bonus because I didn’t meet the May requirement. She told me that the promotion wasn’t actually based on spending $2,000 in May, rather it was spending $2,000 on the May statement (mine ended May 20th, and some of my purchases came in after that).

I asked her where in the terms it said that, telling her I had them in front of me. She said she couldn’t point me to it, but that it’s something I should have already known. I asked her about the e-mail I received saying that I made the bonus in May, and she couldn’t answer why that came through, so I asked to speak with her manager.

After about a half-hour on the phone, the manager (who was in a real rush to get me off the phone), said that the person I spoke with the first time was correct – that the bonus was based on the May statement, rather than me spending $2,000 to May. Again, she had no answer why I received an e-mail saying I met the May spending requirement, and said that she would escalate it.

I asked her for an e-mail address or contact where I could forward the e-mail saying I met the May bonus, but she said it doesn’t exist. She said I would be called back within 24 hours, although it’s now 2 days out and that hasn’t happened yet

I’m pretty upset over this and am considering cancelling my American card altogether (the only reason I still have it is priority boarding). Things like this never happen with my American Express, which is quickly becoming my card-of-choice.

I let American Airlines know that I’ll be filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (pro-tip: this is a great way to get companies to respond when you’ve been “wronged”), and hope I’m able to get these points soon.

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