Old Dec 18, 2019, 1:31 pm
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AA potentially closing accounts due to credit card churning/churn

How to know if you're locked: (as of 12/22/2019)

- Call in to aadvantage reservations (800-882-8880) If you locked, you'll be forwarded to customer service instead of getting to the automated reservations system
- If you want to stay on the line, ask CSR if your account is locked (you tried to make a reservation but it wouldn't let you). CSR will inform you there's a note on your account and that corporate security will contact you
- Try to make a reservation for a super cheap hotel through useaamiles.com. There are 1000 miles / night hotels in New Delhi, so at worst you'll risk 1K miles. If you're locked, you'll see "Unable to process points. Please call our customer service for assistance."

So far, nobody seems to have gotten unlocked and gotten access to their miles back. Accounts with upcoming travel seem to be the ones that are getting terminated at the highest rate.
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AA accounts restricted (Nov/Dec 2019)

Old Dec 21, 2019, 8:03 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 6,387
According to a poster on DoctorOfCredit, to determine if there are issues with your account: Call AA from a phone number linked to your AAdvantage account (or enter your number if calling from another phone, I believe). If you immediately get the message that you’re being transferred to a human CSR, you’re locked – and can hang up before the call transfers.
richarddd is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2019, 8:04 am
  #752  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 743
Originally Posted by DVDBob
Were these pax locked prior to check-in and they were testing the water? Or were these unlocked that got shutdown after check in?
It appears that all pax were locked prior to check in.

Edit: Note that there is no communication from AA that an account is locked or under investigation.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 8:10 am
  #753  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 743
No longer relevant.
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Last edited by OssianBlue; Jul 6, 2020 at 8:47 pm
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 8:48 am
  #754  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BDL, JFK
Posts: 658
Cancelled a personal card today. Up front Citi CSR knew nothing about AA account freezes. Just went ahead an cancelled giving the freeze as the reason.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 8:49 am
  #755  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
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Posts: 1,984
I'm not personally affected by this issue (have never been a "churner"), but in reading this thread, I'm very concerned about the way AA seems to think it is appropriate to do business.

If you have a problem with a customer (or class of customers), give them fair warning that you think a practice is outside the lines. Some of them will go away, some will continue (and then it seems more fair to take action), and some will cease the practice and otherwise be good ongoing customers.

Anyone in corporate security at AA has likely known about the churning practices of certain members for quite some time. Why not simply reach out and let them know they'll be terminated/locked if it continues? Furthermore, I think the point about Citi receiving annual fees and other benefits as a result of the extra sign-ups is an interesting one. If all this happened as has been reported thus far, AA and Citi don't exactly seem totally innocent here.

Don't simply terminate/lock accounts, leave people in limbo, and even go as far as to cancel tickets after check-in. As shady as the practices of some of the churners might be, I would expect a large corporation (that is expected to serve the public interest in many ways -- and receives government subsidies/tax breaks/exemptions as a result) to take the higher road. Instead, AA seems to be attempting to be as punitive and retaliatory as possible. This is very odd corporate behavior.

We will undoubtedly be hearing about these cases for quite some time going forward.
metallo is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:00 am
  #756  
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Programs: AA ExPlat, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Spire, Hilton Gold
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Originally Posted by richarddd
Is getting multiple SUBs, without violating any T&Cs, express or implied, a problem?

A FT legend is Pudding Guy, who got over a million miles by buying thousands of pudding boxes that had coupons for miles and submitting them to AA. Should his account have been shut down? ...
I don’t know the T&Cs of the pudding deal, which, if I recall, was a long time ago. Even if the T&Cs of the AA/Citi situation didn’t explicitly forbid getting 27 AA cards, I see it as a common-sense thing. I get three mailers every week from Discover. I’d bet 98 people out of 100 would interpret that as Discover wanting me to apply for one card, not one card for each mailer. I’d further bet that most people might believe two or three Discover cards might be reasonable (separating expenses, back-up card, whatever) but anything beyond that would be a clear pushing of the envelope that invites attention.

The bonuses are plainly advertised as “welcome” bonuses. By one’s third card, to what would one be welcomed? Nobody could possibly believe that Citi or AA makes money from people opening a card, spending the bare minimum to get the bonus, and then moving on to the next card.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:06 am
  #757  
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Originally Posted by metallo
I'm not personally affected by this issue (have never been a "churner"), but in reading this thread, I'm very concerned about the way AA seems to think it is appropriate to do business.

If you have a problem with a customer (or class of customers), give them fair warning that you think a practice is outside the lines. Some of them will go away, some will continue (and then it seems more fair to take action), and some will cease the practice and otherwise be good ongoing customers.

Anyone in corporate security at AA has likely known about the churning practices of certain members for quite some time. Why not simply reach out and let them know they'll be terminated/locked if it continues? Furthermore, I think the point about Citi receiving annual fees and other benefits as a result of the extra sign-ups is an interesting one. If all this happened as has been reported thus far, AA and Citi don't exactly seem totally innocent here.

Don't simply terminate/lock accounts, leave people in limbo, and even go as far as to cancel tickets after check-in. As shady as the practices of some of the churners might be, I would expect a large corporation (that is expected to serve the public interest in many ways -- and receives government subsidies/tax breaks/exemptions as a result) to take the higher road. Instead, AA seems to be attempting to be as punitive and retaliatory as possible. This is very odd corporate behavior.

We will undoubtedly be hearing about these cases for quite some time going forward.
I agree with much of this in principle, but despite the sob stories being posted here and elsewhere, AA seems to be doing an excellent job with its targeting. Random AA passengers with one or two CCs aren’t suddenly being shut down and/or stranded. A high percentage of them literally have spent $0 with AA.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:17 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BDL, JFK
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Originally Posted by joe_miami
I dont know the T&Cs of the pudding deal, which, if I recall, was a long time ago. Even if the T&Cs of the AA/Citi situation didnt explicitly forbid getting 27 AA cards, I see it as a common-sense thing. I get three mailers every week from Discover. Id bet 98 people out of 100 would interpret that as Discover wanting me to apply for one card, not one card for each mailer. Id further bet that most people might believe two or three Discover cards might be reasonable (separating expenses, back-up card, whatever) but anything beyond that would be a clear pushing of the envelope that invites attention.

The bonuses are plainly advertised as welcome bonuses. By ones third card, to what would one be welcomed? Nobody could possibly believe that Citi or AA makes money from people opening a card, spending the bare minimum to get the bonus, and then moving on to the next card.
So 3 Discover cards is reasonable but 4 would allow Discover to seize your cash back or points despite it not being in the T&C?
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:23 am
  #759  
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Originally Posted by Robl
So 3 Discover cards is reasonable but 4 would allow Discover to seize your cash back or points despite it not being in the T&C?
Given that it wouldn’t even occur to 98 people out of 100 that they could, let alone should, apply for Card #2 , yes, under the general “abuse” terms.

There’s not a jury in the world that’s going to believe people were entitled to a fourth or tenth or fiftieth welcome bonus.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:24 am
  #760  
 
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So, is AA going to reimburse Citi for all these miles that Citi paid for in the first place?
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:25 am
  #761  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 805
Originally Posted by joe_miami
I dont know the T&Cs of the pudding deal, which, if I recall, was a long time ago. Even if the T&Cs of the AA/Citi situation didnt explicitly forbid getting 27 AA cards, I see it as a common-sense thing. I get three mailers every week from Discover. Id bet 98 people out of 100 would interpret that as Discover wanting me to apply for one card, not one card for each mailer. Id further bet that most people might believe two or three Discover cards might be reasonable (separating expenses, back-up card, whatever) but anything beyond that would be a clear pushing of the envelope that invites attention.


But I bet Discover would only approve you for so many separate cards. When applying for your third card they may not approve you and say hold up, this doesn't make sense.

In Citi's case they knew exactly what they were doing. You'd call in to verify your information on the application (income or phone number) and they'd say "I see you have 15 other AA Platinum Cards, you must be very familiar with the benefits already. Let me get your application processed .... Congrats on your new card."

So if we're using the common sense approach, Citi certainly had none of it. Also AA had sponsored articles back in the Exec Card days that encouraged getting multiple of the same card. It seems like both of them were totally fine with the practice until a month ago.
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sethMCOflyer is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:28 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 6,522
Originally Posted by joe_miami
Given that 98 people out of 100 probably wouldn’t even consider applying for Card #2 , yes, under the general “abuse” terms.
Right.

What would a reasonable person think upon receiving a welcome bonus offer for a card in which he already has and earned the bonus? He'd assume it's just marketing mass mail and shred it. What kind of person would think, "oh, they want me to get another one and earn another bonus!" Wow, lucky me!
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:28 am
  #763  
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Originally Posted by sethMCOflyer
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But I bet Discover would only approve you for so many separate cards. When applying for your third card they may not approve you and say hold up, this doesn't make sense.

In Citi's case they knew exactly what they were doing. You'd call in to verify your information on the application (income or phone number) and they'd say "I see you have 15 other AA Platinum Cards, you must be very familiar with the benefits already. Let me get your application processed .... Congrats on your new card."

So if we're using the common sense approach, Citi certainly had none of it. Also AA had sponsored articles back in the Exec Card days that encouraged getting multiple of the same card. It seems like both of them were totally fine with the practice until a month ago.
Theres definitely something odd on the Citi side, but that doesnt mean AA has to tolerate it. Theres no way AA Corp Sec went rogue here.
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Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:30 am
  #764  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 743
Originally Posted by sethMCOflyer
Also AA had sponsored articles back in the Exec Card days that encouraged getting multiple of the same card. It seems like both of them were totally fine with the practice until a month ago.
Citi affiliated bloggers promoted pets and plants mailers at public events.
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OssianBlue is offline  
Old Dec 21, 2019, 9:31 am
  #765  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 743
Originally Posted by Visconti
Right.

What would a reasonable person think upon receiving a welcome bonus offer for a card in which he already has and earned the bonus? He'd assume it's just marketing mass mail and shred it. What kind of person would think, "oh, they want me to get another one and earn another bonus!" Wow, lucky me!
So you are arguing that we are to be held to some amorphous standard of reasonable while AA is allowed to exert its rights to the maximum extent of the law? That's untenable.
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