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I know lots of us, myself included, have been taking advantage of several online shopping portal bonus payouts recently (and there are some pretty great ones out right now!). I have been thrilled to see some pretty great payouts (several at 20x and more!) return, especially around the holidays. However, it is inevitable that not all purchases and bonuses will post automatically as they should to the various online shopping portals such as American Airlines AAdvantage e-Shopping or United MileagePlus Shopping, so I wanted to talk about what to do when something goes wrong.
In order to make sure that your miles and points post, you need to have cookies enabled and be very careful about how you make your purchase by clicking directly from the shopping portal to the retailer website of your choice. I would then immediately make the purchase. If you wait you may forget what window or browser you were using and make it from a place that wasn’t recorded. However, assuming you made the purchase correctly, it is still possible for something to go wrong along the way. I would guess that at least 85 – 90% of my purchases post just fine without intervention, and that about 70% of the bonuses I participate in post automatically. Obviously that means that there are some times when I need to follow-up in order to get all the points and miles that I earned.
How long does it take for miles to post normally?
The AAdvantage Shopping portal states that you need to allow 2-3 weeks for a transaction to be posted in a pending status, with an additional 1-3 weeks to confirm your transaction. I would say that is a little on the long side, and it more often takes about 1-2 weeks for transactions to post in a pending status. The MileagePlus Shopping portal states that some transactions can take 60 – 90 days to post, but in my experience that is typically only the case for bonus promos and not routine purchases. I would say that if a month has gone by and regular purchase hasn’t shown up, it probably isn’t going to without some action on your part.
How do I check and see if points have posted?
Each shopping portal looks a bit different, but click on the option that says something like “My Shopping Account” and it should list out all of your pending and posted transactions.
How do I follow-up to get points to post if they don’t automatically?
Again, each portal is a little different, but I would look for something that says “Contact Us”. This should lead to the option of filling out an online form that will provide a space for you to describe the problem you are experiencing with your missing points. You will need to provide the following information:
- Merchant Name
- Purchase Date
- Purchase Amount
- Order or Confirmation Number
- Any additional information that may be helpful
You should receive an automatic confirmation that your message was received in your email inbox. This auto reply will have an inquiry number and a copy of the information you submitted.
After a little while (a few days or so) you should get an email back that says something like it is being researched and please allow 4-8 weeks for it to be resolved, or we see that you are eligible, or whatever.
I’m currently in the middle of waiting for one missing 16x Sears transaction via the MileagePlus Shopping portal to be researched and I just reached out to AAdvantage Shopping about the promo that awarded 2,000 miles after a $35 purchase that hasn’t yet posted. Though, in fairness, it has not yet been the full 8-10 weeks since that promo ended (just now coming up on the 8th week), so I really shouldn’t expect the miles to have posted quite yet.
I have very good success in getting the miles or bonus miles to eventually post if I pay attention and reach out when things go wrong, but that is a little bit of a pain so I’m sure I miss some miles here and there. Those who have gone BIG with some of these promos and have hundreds of transactions (or more) to keep up with have a more complicated issue on their hand when things don’t quite work out and the process to get things like that resolved often gets more complex than just a simple online form. However, for most of us this process will suffice in getting the majority of our missing miles issues solved.
I will also point out that the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal has really great customer service that can give you a “goodwill adjustment” of some points in the event that there is an undetermined error in points automatically posting. They seem the most willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in the event something goes wrong, so I know some people that exclusively use that shopping portal even when others have higher payouts.
If you have other tips or experiences to share regarding getting miles to post from shopping portals, please feel free to share!