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I knew that my mom’s American Airlines miles were going to be expiring soon as she had not have any activity in her account for close to 18 months. It was actually on my list of to-do’s for the week to make sure there was some activity in the account, but with a husband out of town for work, just getting back in the groove after the Frequent Traveler University in Tampa, getting ready to go out of town for the Chicago Seminars, a kid home from school sick, etc. it simply hadn’t happened yet. Life makes miles and points hard to keep up with some times!
Then I get a call from an unknown 1-800 number. I rarely answer the phone when I don’t know who is calling, so I’m not sure what possessed me to answer this call, but it was someone calling on behalf of American Airlines to let me know my miles were expiring in about 10 days if I didn’t have some activity in the account. I guess I had entered my phone number on my mom’s account. They offered to extend the miles for 18 months for a fee of about $160. I said no thank you to that offer, but did thank them very much for calling to remind me about the expiration date. They also offered for me (er, my mom) to apply for a co-branded Citi card that would come with 35,000 bonus miles. They said they knew I already had the Bronze (fee free) card, but wanted to know if I also wanted this one and the sign-up bonus. I passed on that offer, but it was funny to hear them say we know you have one AA card, but we want you to have more than one!Since we didn’t have much time left before the expiration date, I wanted to do something that would post almost instantaneously. That meant I wasn’t going to mess with having her use her co-branded credit card, transfer any miles in, or use the dining or shopping programs that would all also work to extend the life of the miles. I also didn’t really want to spend money to extend the miles, though my last ditch plan would be to buy or share 1,000 miles, which would be much cheaper than the $160 they wanted to extend them.
In the end, we decided to donate 1,000 miles to “Miles for Kids in Need” and within 24 hours or so the transaction processed, and the expiration date for the miles in my mom’s account was extended for 18 months. She won’t miss those 1,000 miles, hopefully they will help someone else a tiny bit, and the transaction processed within a day. Win, win, win.
Have you ever had an airline call to tell you that your miles were about to expire?