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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, 3:36 pm
  #91  
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Originally Posted by aradisc View Post
It's a positive impact. The inquiry drop is small and disappears relatively quickly. Meanwhile, the increase in total number of tradelines, good payment history, and lowered utilization improves the credit score over the long run.
Yup.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by aradisc View Post
It's a positive impact. The inquiry drop is small and disappears relatively quickly. Meanwhile, the increase in total number of tradelines, good payment history, and lowered utilization improves the credit score over the long run.
But is it? I know what you're saying makes sense under normal circumstances but if you're churning cards simply for bonuses then I'm not sure that logic still applies. I'm assuming that these cards are being cancelled relatively soon after the sign-up bonus has been credited. Based on that then there's only a nominal spend on the cards and therefore only a small number of payments before the card is closed. However, the average age of the accounts overall decreases with every new card that is applied for, and there's little, if any, change in overall credit utilization if you're closing the account as soon as you have the bonus.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
But is it?
It's absolutely a net positive. Inquiries actually make up a pretty small portion of your FICO, and if you're churning for signup bonuses for years eventually your average age of accounts is anchored; closed accounts continue to age and add to your AAoA for ten years after closure. But the AAoA anchoring is really what people miss when they think that churning hurts your score, especially in the long run. If you have two open cards and you open a third, that third card will have a pretty big effect on your average. If you're opening your 50th card in ten years, that 50th card barely makes a dent in your average.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by osmantrex View Post
It's absolutely a net positive. Inquiries actually make up a pretty small portion of your FICO, and if you're churning for signup bonuses for years eventually your average age of accounts is anchored; closed accounts continue to age and add to your AAoA for ten years after closure. But the AAoA anchoring is really what people miss when they think that churning hurts your score, especially in the long run. If you have two open cards and you open a third, that third card will have a pretty big effect on your average. If you're opening your 50th card in ten years, that 50th card barely makes a dent in your average.
Thanks! I appreciate the insight. Makes sense!
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:31 pm
  #95  
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Until or unless AA updates their rules to prohibit AA miles from x # of CC signups then all of this is a tempest in a teapot reaction.

Where in the AA TOS does it say you are restricted to x number of bonus miles from citi or x number of sign up bonuses?

Last edited by Carl Christensen; Dec 3, 19 at 6:46 pm
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:35 pm
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This is a random picking of topical posts from the other thread, during the past two months. I don't pretend to fully understand how some of this worked. But it doesn't sound completely "coerce".

1. The new two browser trick! Blast from the past.
Just did the 2 browser using one emailer for wife and I. She was auto approved and I had to call in. Awaiting letters in the mail to confirm 60k/3 month offer.

2. Received two emailers: Opened the link simultaneously in IE, Chrome, Safari. Filled out each, and hit submit for all 3. All 3 auto approved. Reddit DP that I was building on did 2 from 1 link and both were approved, both received letter mentioning the bonus. Never did follow up to confirm bonus posted, but if the letter shows it I think it is safe. My DP is to show 3 work. The second mailer was used for 2 people.

3. (In response to a question how to work the multiple FF accounts/bonuses). You need to create new AA accounts, with a new AA account number, new first name, new email address and new phone number. You can use the same last name, and physical mailing address. It usually takes a month or so after you create a new account before you get your first email offer. Since it seems you haven't been following this thread, I'll add that the new email offers are only good until the day before the listed expiration date. And they can be used for 2 or 3 different people, using the old fashioned "2 browser method", which you can find explained if you go back thru this thread for around a week or so.

4. What are the known best practices in increasing probability for emailers? Is it create account with fresh email address and phone number? Does the new account need some miles generation activity or emailers come through without any activity?

So the answer to #4 was deleted Sunday evening. I read it Sunday afternoon. If my recall is correct, this was a very detailed step by step response describing using a slightly different first name for the multiple FF accounts when completing the credit card apps, but still the same name, to be able to get it approved when apply. For example, one account is under "Robert". Second account under "Robbie", 3rd account under "Bob", etc. (or it could have been a different one. I can't find it any longer. My eyebrows raised when I read it though. It was a perfect step by step response on how to (possibly) commit fraud and get sign up bonuses.)

Many posts have been deleted or edited in the credit card thread, since the original poster's thread with the account closure questions that started all this. Many eyebrow raising posts have been edited and diluted. There's still plenty there though. It's interesting some people are deleting and editing to hopefully protect themselves and their miles, while others are saying straight out that none of this matters and they'll keep doing it until AA or Citi closes their accounts. I honestly don't understand how that thread hasn't been closed long ago. Maybe other posters in this thread are correct --- AA and Citi just don't care that much. Or as long as someone isn't making TOO many free signup bonus miles off the multiple FF accounts -- whatever that means -- they don't care. Or neither AA or Citi actually considers the practices fraudulent or against T&C's. Unknown at this time, but Time will tell. Hopefully.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes View Post
This is a random picking of topical posts from the other thread, during the past two months. I don't pretend to fully understand how some of this worked. But it doesn't sound completely "coerce".

1. The new two browser trick! Blast from the past.
Just did the 2 browser using one emailer for wife and I. She was auto approved and I had to call in. Awaiting letters in the mail to confirm 60k/3 month offer.

2. Received two emailers: Opened the link simultaneously in IE, Chrome, Safari. Filled out each, and hit submit for all 3. All 3 auto approved. Reddit DP that I was building on did 2 from 1 link and both were approved, both received letter mentioning the bonus. Never did follow up to confirm bonus posted, but if the letter shows it I think it is safe. My DP is to show 3 work. The second mailer was used for 2 people.

3. (In response to a question how to work the multiple FF accounts/bonuses). You need to create new AA accounts, with a new AA account number, new first name, new email address and new phone number. You can use the same last name, and physical mailing address. It usually takes a month or so after you create a new account before you get your first email offer. Since it seems you haven't been following this thread, I'll add that the new email offers are only good until the day before the listed expiration date. And they can be used for 2 or 3 different people, using the old fashioned "2 browser method", which you can find explained if you go back thru this thread for around a week or so.

4. What are the known best practices in increasing probability for emailers? Is it create account with fresh email address and phone number? Does the new account need some miles generation activity or emailers come through without any activity?

So the answer to #4 was deleted Sunday evening. I read it Sunday afternoon. If my recall is correct, this was a very detailed step by step response describing using a slightly different first name for the multiple FF accounts when completing the credit card apps, but still the same name, to be able to get it approved when apply. For example, one account is under "Robert". Second account under "Robbie", 3rd account under "Bob", etc. (or it could have been a different one. I can't find it any longer. My eyebrows raised when I read it though. It was a perfect step by step response on how to (possibly) commit fraud and get sign up bonuses.)

Many posts have been deleted or edited in the credit card thread, since the original poster's thread with the account closure questions that started all this. Many eyebrow raising posts have been edited and diluted. There's still plenty there though. It's interesting some people are deleting and editing to hopefully protect themselves and their miles, while others are saying straight out that none of this matters and they'll keep doing it until AA or Citi closes their accounts. I honestly don't understand how that thread hasn't been closed long ago. Maybe other posters in this thread are correct --- AA and Citi just don't care that much. Or as long as someone isn't making TOO many free signup bonus miles off the multiple FF accounts -- whatever that means -- they don't care. Or neither AA or Citi actually considers the practices fraudulent or against T&C's. Unknown at this time, but Time will tell. Hopefully.
NIce summary.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:00 pm
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes View Post
This is a random picking of topical posts from the other thread, during the past two months. I don't pretend to fully understand how some of this worked. But it doesn't sound completely "coerce".

1. The new two browser trick! Blast from the past.
Just did the 2 browser using one emailer for wife and I. She was auto approved and I had to call in. Awaiting letters in the mail to confirm 60k/3 month offer.

2. #3[/URL] 33333]Received two emailers: Opened the link simultaneously in IE, Chrome, Safari. Filled out each, and hit submit for all 3. All 3 auto approved. #3[/URL] 33333]Reddit DP that I was building on did 2 from 1 link and both were approved, both received letter mentioning the bonus. Never did follow up to confirm bonus posted, but if the letter shows it I think it is safe. My DP is to show 3 work. #3[/URL] 33333]The second mailer was used for 2 people.

#3[/URL] 33333]3. (In response to a question how to work the multiple FF accounts/bonuses). You need to create new AA accounts, with a new AA account number, new first name, new email address and new phone number. You can use the same last name, and physical mailing address. It usually takes a month or so after you create a new account before you get your first email offer. Since it seems you haven't been following this thread, I'll add that the new email offers are only good until the day before the listed expiration date. And they can be used for 2 or 3 different people, using the old fashioned "2 browser method", which you can find explained if you go back thru this thread for around a week or so.

4. #3[/URL] 33333]What are the known best practices in increasing probability for emailers? Is it create account with fresh email address and phone number? Does the new account need some miles generation activity or emailers come through without any activity?

So the answer to #4 was deleted Sunday evening. I read it Sunday afternoon. If my recall is correct, this was a very detailed step by step response describing using a slightly different first name for the multiple FF accounts when completing the credit card apps, but still the same name, to be able to get it approved when apply. For example, one account is under "Robert". Second account under "Robbie", 3rd account under "Bob", etc. (or it could have been a different one. I can't find it any longer. My eyebrows raised when I read it though. It was a perfect step by step response on how to (possibly) commit fraud and get sign up bonuses.)

Many posts have been deleted or edited in the credit card thread, since the original poster's thread with the account closure questions that started all this. Many eyebrow raising posts have been edited and diluted. There's still plenty there though. It's interesting some people are deleting and editing to hopefully protect themselves and their miles, while others are saying straight out that none of this matters and they'll keep doing it until AA or Citi closes their accounts. I honestly don't understand how that thread hasn't been closed long ago. Maybe other posters in this thread are correct --- AA and Citi just don't care that much. Or as long as someone isn't making TOO many free signup bonus miles off the multiple FF accounts -- whatever that means -- they don't care. Or neither AA or Citi actually considers the practices fraudulent or against T&C's. Unknown at this time, but Time will tell. Hopefully.

Post #3 referenced above, and all other recent posts by the poster in that forum, were deleted five minutes after I posted this. Perhaps I shouldn't have posted. It's interesting people are proclaiming their right to be doing all this with one hand, while deleting posts they themselves made with the other.

I won't post anymore on this topic. It's not my intent to ruin anyone's path and I have conflicting thoughts anyway. Hopefully JonNYC will continue to provide updates as they are known.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:21 pm
  #99  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Happy to report, no.

People want to have confidence in the airline they are flying and future travel plans won’t be interrupted.

As long as one has only one AA account and only earning in that account - even if there are multiple sign up bonuses from Citi - that isn’t against the TOS and shouldn’t be a problem right?

It spreads paranoia and decreases perception of reliability to fly with AA if there is the specter of account shutdown for things that are not outlined as being against TOS.

I Believe many would agree that our future travel with AA is important enough that we (there are those exceptions) will not violate the TOS. But it needs to be be clear if there is a problem with multiple citi signup bonuses.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:25 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Carl Christensen View Post
..As long as one has only one AA account and only earning in that account - even if there are multiple sign up bonuses from Citi - that isn’t against the TOS and shouldn’t be a problem right?
Largely correct— barring some of the behavior detailed above (In post 1005, etc.)

It’s the truly egregious scammers they are after.

Last edited by JonNYC; Dec 3, 19 at 7:32 pm
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Old Dec 3, 19, 9:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Carl Christensen View Post
Where in the AA TOS does it say you are restricted to x number of bonus miles from citi or x number of sign up bonuses?
Nowhere. But that's not the issue.

What we're talking about is the creation of multiple additional AAdvantage accounts for an individual, using different first names, middle names, what have you, for the sole purpose of milking sign-up bonuses.

The AAdvantage Terms and Conditions do not prohibit that explicitly, but a few points:

1. The T&C do note that only individuals are entitled to receive miles and associated AAdvantage account benefits. One could argue that additional accounts are not intended for actual individuals (as opposed to the same individual), or that the spirit of the clause indicates one AAdvantage account per individual.

2. The T&C do have a clause that includes "misrepresentation" as a violation of the T&C. One could argue, quite quickly and convincingly, that misrepresentation for the purpose of receiving additional benefits was what led to the opening those accounts. I mean, it is pretty clear misrepresentation.

3. Regardless, the final clause in the General Terms and Conditions states: "All rules are subject to interpretation by designee(s) of American Airlines." If their interpretation is that this violates the T&C, then for all intents and purposes this violates the T&C.

4. Terms and Conditions like this are often quite general, while noting a broad range of possible violations, so that they can take action on a broad range of things that are not in the interests of the business.

There is not a world in which it is possible for T&C to set forth explicitly every potential specific violation. The T&C do not need to say, "It is a violation of the terms and conditions for a single individual to open multiple AAdvantage accounts under different names (including but not limited to nicknames, alternate spellings, pseudonyms, and maiden names) for the sole purpose of opening additional Citi AAdvantage credit accounts and obtaining a number of sign-up bonuses beyond what they would ordinarily be entitled to on a single account" for them to legitimately determine that that is, indeed, a violation.

Last edited by DMPHL; Dec 3, 19 at 10:01 pm
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Old Dec 4, 19, 4:04 am
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
It’s the truly egregious scammers they are after.
In my job we call it the "low hanging fruit".
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Old Dec 4, 19, 8:33 am
  #103  
 
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Still not 100% clear what the issue is...

Is it:

1) folks creating new FFNs/accounts with their information and then signing up for the cards to receive the bonus across many FFNs/accounts...

or

2) folks creating new FFNs/accounts with ficticious information for the sole purpose of generating mailers/emailers and then using their own/primary FFN in the application so that all the bonuses accumulate in a single FFN/account?
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:52 pm
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I could possibly be the latest case of a shutdown. Corporate security locked my account. Will keep everyone posted.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 1:01 pm
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It seems that a lot of people are not familiar with churning Citi cards for AA miles and are thinking this is a recent development. What you see today in the Targeted Mailer thread has been going on in some form or another since I got here over 8 years ago. I would need to do a bit of research to get dates right exactly but here is a brief history:

2011 or so, there was a rough one card per 18-month rule for Citi personal cards. However, you could submit two applications roughly simultaneously in two different browsers, one AmEx and one Visa, and get both approved (the original two-browser trick). Also, you could get a CitiBusiness card every 90(ish) days. So averaging one personal per 9 months and four business per year.

The two-browser trick eventually stopped working but for a while the soft 18-month rule no longer applied. Then the 18-month rule became explicitly defined but then Citi started converting World MC to World Elite. Suddenly, you could get a World MC, wait until it converted to a World Elite a month or so later, and apply for a new World MC. Rinse, repeat.

Then there was the Executive 100,000 mile for $10K spend. People would get one every 30-33 days, meet the spend with giftcard/Vanilla Reload Cards, Serve, Bluebird, etc. in the first week, pay off their balance, and close the card when the miles posted and avoid the $495 annual fee.

Then Citi made the 24-month restriction explicit. But sent out mailers to people who never had a card before that circumvented the 24-month restriction. At first, these mailers could be used multiple times by different individuals (up to 5-6 times at least). A single account that had never had a Citi AA card could regularly get on average 2-3 mailers per month for years.

After a while, they limited the mailers to single use. During all of this, you could contact Citi and request a match to an offer that did not exist for up to a total of 75K miles or a match of 20K miles. For a while you could simple send an SM and request an additional 20K miles without even saying it was for a match.

Then the physical mailers stopped, as did matching offers, and shortly thereafter widespread emailers started showing up. These could be used multiple times by different individuals. The 'two-browser trick' today is two different people using the same mailer code at the same time so that they only need one code for two people.

I do not know about the emailers, but the physical mailers never mentioned anything about being only for the person listed on the offer.

Over the last 8 years, getting 500,000-1,000,000 miles in a year per AA FF account was not necessarily a challenge or all that expensive. I personally have never been much on manufactured spending, so some of this I only know second hand.

So the question is, exactly where is the line drawn here? Citi makes the rules, mostly unpublished (18-month rule for years, 1 business app per 90 days, 2 apps of any kind in 60 days, etc.) and then consistently turns a blind eye, or actively encourages, at least limited circumvention of the churning rules. They are the only bank that seems to not care at all if the spend is organic or manufactured. None of the above conduct seemingly violates Citi's T&Cs and they sure don't appear bothered by it.

I can see where AA might want to reign this in, but I am not completely sure that they are the victim of fraud somehow. To the extent that AA accounts were created to get credit card offers, the bonuses from the credit cards are coming from Citi, not AA. Citi is paying AA for those miles, so AA is selling hundreds of millions of miles. The miles are all going into legitimate accounts.

I could be incredibly blind to the issue, I don't know. Certainly telling people to create AA accounts for their pets, detailing how to create spinoffs of your name, and the like is at best unwise. I just find it hard to believe that this causes AA actual losses when they have total control of the AAdvantage price of their seats. Especially as they are moving to more flexible Award pricing.
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