Mini Points: Double Miles on American, Deadline for Unlimited 6% on Groceries, and more!

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Once again it is Friday!  Here are some updates to take you into the weekend (which I hope brings power to those still without on the East Coast).

  • American Airlines is offering double elite qualifying miles through the end of the year.  They said this is in order to say “thank you” to their loyal customers for standing by them during their recent service delays.  Non-elite members earn double elite qualifying miles through the end of the year plus double redeemable miles during the Thanksgiving travel period of Nov 16 – Nov 26.  You do need to register for the promotion.  Elite members earn double elite qualifying and double redeemable miles on flights through the end of the year without the Thanksgiving travel restriction.  Elite members must also register for the promotion.  If you are interested in elite status, this is the type of promotion to pay attention to.
  • United has received it’s second 787 Dreamliner, and all systems are “go” for the 11/4 inaugural Dreamliner flight from Houston to Chicago.  I feel very fortunate to be on that flight, and will be sharing as many details as possible about the event.  Follow me on Twitter (@Mommy_Points) for updates that day!  While it is great they have received their second Dreamliner from Boeing, there have been additional 787 flight cancellations due to the delay in getting that aircraft.  The Wandering Aramean has a post with more info related to those cancellations.
  • Enter to get one of 40,000 $25 American Express gift cards provided by FedEx as a part of the “Small Business Saturday” promotion.  The deadline to enter is 11/3/12 at 11:59PM EDT, so don’t delay if you want a shot at this.  You do have to be 18 years old to enter.  Hopefully the full list of details for the actual Small Business Saturday promotion by Amex will be available shortly.  Hack My Trip has a full post up on the $25 FedEx promotion if you would like more details.
  • It is reported that 11/5 is the cut-off for those who want a year of “unlimited” 6% cash back on groceries from stand alone grocery stores via the Blue Cash Preferred℠ Card from American Express.  I have previously reported this change was coming, but it is now upon us.  Beginning in mid-January of next year, those who already have the card will be subject to a $6,000 annual cap on 6% back at stand alone grocery stores.  However, those who were approved for the card prior to 11/5 should get a full year of unlimited 6% back on groceries at stand alone grocery stores before having the cap implemented in their second year.  I do want to add that, based on a call with the affiliate company and Amex a couple weeks ago, it is my understanding that 11/5 is the cut-off, but it is possible that it is already too late to get in on a year of unlimited 6% back. This would be due both to any potential delay in approval, as well as there not being a 100% crystal clear communication on the change itself.  I can tell you that I have to change the wording surround the 6% back for my own affiliate links by the evening of 11/6, but the terms in the offer on the application page already reflect the $6,000 cap, so I can’t swear to you what will happen for those who apply right now.  I do know for sure that those applying after Tuesday will be subject to the $6,000 yearly limited at 6% back in stand alone grocery stores, but those applying now may also be trapped in the same limit.  Purchases over that amount will receive 1% cash back.

Have a great weekend, and stay tuned for some 787 updates (early) Sunday morning!


Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  As always, thanks for your support. 



  1. Can you explain what the difference between redeemable miles and elite-qualifying miles? I have >100K AA miles from Citi cards and have redeemed some for flights. I take it those are redeemable miles. What are elite-qualifying miles, and how is it that I can get double elite-qualifying miles but not double redeemable miles as part of this promotion? I wasn’t aware that there are 2 types of miles. I am not an elite member.

  2. I am totally confused by what you wrote about the 6% cb on the Amex Blue.
    What is a ‘stand alone’ grocery store?
    I can say I have been going to a chain in MA called Stop & Shop for most of my shopping of this nature and have been getting the 6% CB. My card is new since Sept and when I first heard about this I called Amex and was told that as of Jan 15, 2013 yes, in fact for me, I can get 6% CB on everything in any grocery store (like S&S) but then after that date it’s up to $6k max and then it drops to 1%.
    I said ok and mentioned I would promptly close the card to which the agent said, “Well it could change again in your favor!” Either way it is confusing on both ends but I don’t completely understand your post about it here. Can you clarify/reword it? Should one call Amex again?

  3. @Dave…
    Basically—-and this is not the only way of looking at it–a person can earn miles from say, using just their credit cards like you say you do with the Citicards.
    But one can also earn them from flying and paying for the ticket (what a concept!-lol). And when you fly, you get “EQMs” or “elite qualifying miles” as well as those earned from the flight. The more you fly the more they add up.
    The flight miles obviously pour into your AAdvantage account and mix in with your CC miles and you can use them to redeem for flights. But for those who normally just use a CC to earn miles, any earned EQMs kinda just sit there until you hit a certain amount, and then once you hit that amount, this gives you a level of status on the airline.
    So for example, business travelers who fly all the time on an airline obviously rack up all these EQMs and a heck of lot more of them than those who say, just use a credit card to get miles. Those who may just use CCs to get miles may have hundreds of thousands of airline miles but they’ve never earned nor cared about any status on that airline at all.
    Yet the business traveler who flies often on paid tickets will earn EQMs that add up faster, thereby getting them closer to these levels of status while they also earn the flight miles—and if they have the CC too, they get those as well.
    Many times a person’s company is flying them back and forth for work and they retain such status for it but need to keep flying to keep it, as EQMs and status may expire differently than just plain old miles do. Hence the common discussions many have regarding having to get in a few more flights or segments in by the end of the year to retain a certain enjoyed level of status they have gotten used to… savvy people will sometimes even fly on qualifying flights/paid flights JUST to earn more EQMs and this is called a “MR” or “Mileage Run.”
    Sometimes, some promotions exist and some credit card offers may even exist out there that also give some EQMs. And in this case, AA is giving double EQMs during this promotional period. So If you are working toward reaching status on AA, then some of this AATHX promo this is good for you. If you don’t care and wont go for it anyway, it’s nice but not insanely awesome. But whether elite on AA already or not, I would register anyway.

  4. do I get double miles for flying during said time with no elite status. I bought the El Al mistake fare and flying on AA from JFK to Zurich. Will I receive double miles for this flight?

  5. Dave,
    Redeemable miles are those earned through most credit card spending and when flying. However, most elite qualifying miles only come from flying. For example, say you fly a 2,000 mile flight. You earn 2,000 miles you can redeem. You also earn 2,000 miles that go toward elite qualification for that year. Your 100,000 miles from credit cards can be redeemed, but they aren’t going to get you closer to elite status. Does that helps some?
    MM, this whole thing is confusing regarding the cap. I’m hearing different things – and it seems that those with the card are as well. I can say stand alone grocery stores is just the terminology that Amex requires to be utilized. If you were earning 6% at a store already, I don’t imagine that is changing. It is just the wording they are now using.
    Also, thanks for chiming in on elite status.
    @Sil, with no elite status you will earn double elite miles on all AA flights through the end of the year, but will only earn double redeemable miles during those Thanksgiving dates.

  6. I think “Stand Alone” Grocery stores excludes places like Walmart and Target, Costco, BJs, Sams etc etc who have both GroceryStores and Dept Stores combined in one. So your typical grocery store would prob be included but its always best to run a tester 1st.

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