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AA potentially closing accounts due to credit card churning/churn

AA potentially closing accounts due to credit card churning/churn

Old Dec 3, 19, 8:18 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: BA
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
If Jon's answer is yes, what specifically would you plan to do differently? I mean our "guest star" over the weekend clearly even had existing flights cancelled, so it's not like quickly booking tickets with ill gotten miles would protect them.

At this point, anyone that played the game this way should consider themselves at risk at anytime. Many in the "other thread" have enjoyed laughing and joking about "eleventy-seven miles per year" etc. full well knowing they were coloring quite outside the lines.

Choices have consequences...

Regards
Fly now. Can AA revoke tickets already flown? If a ticket has already been flown with fraudulently earned AA miles, are they allowed to retroactively charge you the cash price and/or perform a lobotomy so that you don't recall the experiences you had from the trip?
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Old Dec 3, 19, 8:44 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
Fly now. Can AA revoke tickets already flown? If a ticket has already been flown with fraudulently earned AA miles, are they allowed to retroactively charge you the cash price and/or perform a lobotomy so that you don't recall the experiences you had from the trip?
Having not read any of the underlying terms and conditions I assume that they could not do that without litigation or arbitration. The cost of such litigation or arbitration would likely be greater than the recovery.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 8:53 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Seems like the rampant abuse situation around Citi/AAdv bonuses is even worse than I realized.
Shocked like Captain Renault in Casablanca? These details, including suggestion to create new AAdvantage accounts, have been in plain sight on a FT wiki since 2016.

Totally uninformed speculation follows: My guess is the reason this has lasted so long is the decision makers have bad incentives. AA execs are addicted to selling miles to Citi because AAdvantage is the only profitable part of the company. Citi execs are addicted to metrics on new signups, and will look the other way as to who is making them (after all, these applicants tend to have high credit scores and they're not really a default risk). The poor accountant who looks at the big picture and sees that it's not profitable to give bonuses to the same people over and over is afraid to lose their job for suggesting something that might hurt the exec's miles sales/card sign-up metrics.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:09 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
Fly now. Can AA revoke tickets already flown? If a ticket has already been flown with fraudulently earned AA miles, are they allowed to retroactively charge you the cash price and/or perform a lobotomy so that you don't recall the experiences you had from the trip?
Wow... you got me. I never thought of that.

Not sure how close you are following this thread, but there seems to be at least some hint from Jon that this might be the leading edge of a wave of actions AA might be taking. Our guest star over the weekend had flights that were booked in early January cancelled, which given it's December isn't too far away.

So, could this poster "fly now?" Sure, assuming they can find award availability, or have enough miles for straight up AAnytime awards. But we also don't know AA's timelines, so who's to say he/she doesn't show up at the airport tomorrow or the next day (of course, you are also assuming this poster has easy flexibility w/short notice vacation, etc) to canceled tickets, if AA currently has eyes on the account? Do they then eat the loss of accommodations at their destination, etc, further compounding the situation?

Or what if the poster gets outbound fine, but all the return tickets are cancelled, again once AA has eyes on the account all bets are off. If it's just the poster flying, perhaps they can afford paying walk fares for the flight home, but if it's mom, dad, and three ankle biters, perhaps not (particularly if say, business class from Asia or something).

And we don't know how many miles this poster has in their account; is one short notice trip even enough to make a dent in their total miles? If not, is squeezing in one last short notice, high risk trip just a way to "stick it to the man" one last time?

My broader point is that for all the folks that gamed the system, they are now at risk. Those previous choices may have consequences. Obviously, if they want to try to use miles quickly, they can attempt that, but it doesn't mean they be able to pull it off. If there name/account is on a "naughty list" even it not yet locked/closed, short notice activity could certainly bring human eyes to it.

Finally, I have great trust/respect in JonNYC's information and track record over many, many years and I certainly in no way would attempt to speak on his behalf, but I suspect even he would acknowledge that AA isn't going to deliver him a list of FlyerTalk handles that are under review, with the explicit abuse criteria that AA is using, so that they can develop a perfectly executed "escape plan."

Regards
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:16 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Wow... you got me. I never thought of that.

Not sure how close you are following this thread, but there seems to be at least some hint from Jon that this might be the leading edge of a wave of actions AA might be taking. Our guest star over the weekend had flights that were booked in early January cancelled, which given it's December isn't too far away.

So, could this poster "fly now?" Sure, assuming they can find award availability, or have enough miles for straight up AAnytime awards. But we also don't know AA's timelines, so who's to say he/she doesn't show up at the airport tomorrow or the next day (of course, you are also assuming this poster has easy flexibility w/short notice vacation, etc) to canceled tickets, if AA currently has eyes on the account? Do they then eat the loss of accommodations at their destination, etc, further compounding the situation?

Or what if the poster gets outbound fine, but all the return tickets are cancelled, again once AA has eyes on the account all bets are off. If it's just the poster flying, perhaps they can afford paying walk fares for the flight home, but if it's mom, dad, and three ankle biters, perhaps not (particularly if say, business class from Asia or something).

And we don't know how many miles this poster has in their account; is one short notice trip even enough to make a dent in their total miles? If not, is squeezing in one last short notice, high risk trip just a way to "stick it to the man" one last time?

My broader point is that for all the folks that gamed the system, they are now at risk. Those previous choices may have consequences. Obviously, if they want to try to use miles quickly, they can attempt that, but it doesn't mean they be able to pull it off. If there name/account is on a "naughty list" even it not yet locked/closed, short notice activity could certainly bring human eyes to it.

Finally, I have great trust/respect in JonNYC's information and track record over many, many years and I certainly in no way would attempt to speak on his behalf, but I suspect even he would acknowledge that AA isn't going to deliver him a list of FlyerTalk handles that are under review, with the explicit abuse criteria that AA is using, so that they can develop a perfectly executed "escape plan."

Regards
To be clear, I was half kidding. I doubt AA could or would try to retroactively charge you the cash price (I wouldn't put it past airlines to at least try, given what they've done to people with dropped segments), but the lobotomy thing seems excessive - that may be a violation of human rights.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:18 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 522
aradisc is spot on. Everyone knew what was going on, no one wanted to admit it because it’d hurt their numbers.

There was obviously a crack down earlier this year when Citi quit matching signup bonuses, my friends used to be able to add 15k miles to every sign up bonus just by asking, around the end of Q1 that ended. And then at some point in Q2 the mailers quit.

Unless more people come forward with their accounts being shut down I think this was limited in scope and there was more to the story for those who were shut down. It doesn’t sound like any rules were actually broken for the people who’ve simply used mailers to sign up for 30 AA cards in the past couple years.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:27 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
Not sure how close you are following this thread, but there seems to be at least some hint from Jon that this might be the leading edge of a wave of actions AA might be taking. Our guest star over the weekend had flights that were booked in early January cancelled, which given it's December isn't too far away.
I think the issue with this theory is that swords usually have two sides, and the other side of the edge is facing AA. If they were to close down every account who had used mailers at some point the news headlines would all read “AA shuts down accounts for those who received sign up bonuses” and it’d be a huge negative in credit card sign up numbers.

Plus I’m not sure if AA could simply close accounts of members they don’t like. What if I had 1M miles but didn’t break any of their rules, do they pay out the miles? The best bet for them seems to be simply close up the loopholes they allowed to stay open for so many years and move on.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:27 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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There's a difference between getting 30 AA cards from 1) mailers in your own name, 2) using other (real) people's mailers, and 3) creating AA accounts for non-existent people to get more mailers. I would have drawn the line at using mailers not addressed to me. I'm happy to get 30 AA cards as long as the mailers were in my own name. And Citi/AA can't really do anything about that aside from tightening up approvals and/or bonus eligibility going forward.

But using mailers not addressed to me is going too far, even if it's a real mailer to a real person, because they're technically non-transferrable (whether given to you by a relative or obtained by dumpster diving).

Making AA accounts to generate mailers to fake people is definitely going too far and is borderline fraudulent. Using other people's legitimate mailers is not fraudulent but simply a violation of the non-transferable terms.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:34 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
But using mailers not addressed to me is going too far, even if it's a real mailer to a real person, because they're technically non-transferrable (whether given to you by a relative or obtained by dumpster diving).

Making AA accounts to generate mailers to fake people is definitely going too far and is borderline fraudulent. Using other people's legitimate mailers is not fraudulent but simply a violation of the non-transferable terms.
Do you have anything to support them being non-transferable? Amex mailers all say “this is non-transferable” and “only available to the individual named” but the Citi mailers included no such terms.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:37 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by sethMCOflyer View Post
Do you have anything to support them being non-transferable? Amex mailers all say “this is non-transferable” and “only available to the individual named” but the Citi mailers included no such terms.
I don't have any of my physical mailers anymore, but all of my emailers at least say:

"Apply today using your non-transferable, exclusive invitation number 8xxxxxxxx. This number can be used one time to apply for this credit card offer. Offer expires 12/11/2019."
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:39 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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The issues appears to be opening multiple AAdvantage accounts. Using mailers from Citi does not appear to be a problem, as I understand the situation.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:40 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
The issues appears to be opening multiple AAdvantage accounts. Using mailers from Citi does not appear to be a problem, as I understand the situation.

How would AA even know who is making fake accounts, if you use a different name/email/address/etc. Now that they've switched to email-only mailers, the address on your account doesn't even need to be an address where you can receive mailers.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:41 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
I don't have any of my physical mailers anymore, but all of my emailers at least say:

"Apply today using your non-transferable, exclusive invitation number 8xxxxxxxx. This number can be used one time to apply for this credit card offer. Offer expires 12/11/2019."
This plays into my theory that the issue was using the emailed links. That language wasn’t on the physical mailers. Maybe people got honey potted.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:55 am
  #59  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by wiivile View Post
How would AA even know who is making fake accounts, if you use a different name/email/address/etc. Now that they've switched to email-only mailers, the address on your account doesn't even need to be an address where you can receive mailers.
IP addresses, mileage redemptions, etc.

Not to mention getting on the phone with their partners at Citi to ask what individuals have multiple credit card accounts open, and seeing what AAdvantage accounts those link to.

I can't imagine it's very difficult at all.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 10:00 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Seems like the rampant abuse situation around Citi/AAdv bonuses is even worse than I realized.
Agree. And I’m glad they’re going after this. Maybe I’ll actually be able to use a SWU on an international J seat this year.
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