Like all points-and-miles enthusiasts, we love to stack deals and promotions here at Middle Age Miles. So when we were able to sextuple-stack some deals & promotions recently on the purchase of an Amazon gift card at CVS, we thought it would be interesting to share with our readers. The stacking started with the American Airlines Simply Miles program and cascaded through several other card-linked programs.
Background of the Stack
We’ve been running way behind on checking out AA AAdvantage’s new card-linked miles-earning platform, Simply Miles (mostly because AA terminated my AAdvantage account, of course!). But unbelievably, Middle Age Miles son Andrew hasn’t been on an AA plane in about 15 months, and the AA miles in his account were creeping up on their 18-month expiration date. He doesn’t have a ton of AA miles, but he has too many to lose (or alternatively, enough to make it worth some effort to save them).
We started looking around for easy ways to earn some miles for his account. The AA shopping portal, AAdvantage Dining, and maybe even posting comments to AwardWallet seemed like decent possibilities. But we liked what we saw when we signed Andrew up for Simply Miles.
On his Simply Miles account, Andrew had two promotions for purchases at CVS – an offer for 1,000 AA bonus miles for a purchase of at least $45, and another offer for 250 AA bonus miles for a purchase of at least $45. We enrolled him in both offers and hoped that they would stack. Even if we would have only picked up the 1,000 bonus miles (worth $12.50 at our baseline value of 1.25 cents per AA mile), that would have made this mission a success. But we got much more from our purchase, as we’ll detail below.
It’s also worth noting that we were able to add a credit card that’s in my name to Andrew’s account, with no issues. Simply Miles only works for Mastercards, so we linked a Citi Premier Mastercard to his account. (Our “best” play really would have been to use my Citi Double Cash Mastercard for this purchase, but we had a specific reason to use the Premier card in this instance despite earning only 1x ThankYou Point (TYP) per dollar instead of 2x TYPs with the Double Cash.)
The Sextuple Stack
We went to our local CVS to purchase a $50 Amazon gift card, which we hoped would “count” to trigger the Simply Miles offers with a $45+ threshold. As we often do when purchasing a GC, we purchased an additional item (which may or may not actually help in triggering card-linked portal rewards), which brought our total to $56.28. We paid with the Citi Premier Mastercard and hoped for the best.
Over the next few days, the verdict came in, and our massive sextuple “stack” was successful. Here are the rewards we received from our $56.28 purchase:
1 – AA Simply Miles 1,000-mile bonus
2 – AA Simply Miles 250-mile bonus
As you can see in the featured image at the top of this article, the two Simply Miles offers stacked on a single purchase, and Andrew earned both bonuses for a total of 1,250 AA miles. (We had seen at least 1 DP where multiple Simply Miles offers at the same merchant did not stack, so we weren’t sure whether this would work. We’ve seen more DPs though, now including our own, where concurrent Simply Miles offers *did* stack. We’re hopeful that this trend will continue.)
At our baseline value of 1.25 cents per AA mile, these bonus miles are worth about $15.62. Plus, earning them will reset the expiration clock on all the miles in Andrew’s AAdvantage account so that they won’t expire until December 2021 at earliest.
3 – Payce – 5% cash back on in-store purchase
We’ve talked a fair bit about the Payce card-linked program on Middle Age Miles, including in this article. Payce has a few dozen merchants each month where you can earn 5% cash back on your in-store purchases using a linked card, including CVS. Our Premier card is linked to a Payce account, and we enrolled in the June version of the Payce offer.
The Payce offer triggered on our full $56.28 purchase (including the $50 Amazon GC), earning us $2.82 in cash back. Right now, the cash back is “pending.” It will fully post and automatically pay out to our checking account in about 3-4 months.
4 – Drop – 1,000 bonus points
We had also enrolled our Drop account in a flash offer for CVS where we would earn 1,000 bonus points when making a purchase of at least $10 at CVS using a linked card. The 1,000 bonus points will be worth $1,00 someday on Drop (assuming that we eventually accrue enough points to reach the minimum redemption threshold).
5 – Pei – 0.5% cash back
Our Pei account earns a meager 0.5% cash back when making a purchase at CVS using a linked card. We earned 0.5% on our entire $56.28 purchase (including the $50 Amazon GC) for 28.14 Pei points, which will give us $0.28 in cash back.
6 – Credit Card Rewards – 1x TYPs on the Citi Premier
Finally, we earned 1x TYPs on our $56.28 purchase on our Citi Premier card as unbonused spend, resulting in 56 TYPs. At our baseline value of 1.25 cents per TYP, the points are worth about $0.70. (Remember, we ordinarily would have used a Citi Double Cash back to earn 2x TYPs, which would have resulted in 112 TYPs worth about $1.40.)
Our total earnings for this sextuple-stack were $15.62 + $2.82 + $1.00 + $0.28 + 0.70 = $20.42. That’s a 36% points/miles/cashback rebate on our purchase of $56.28. We’ll take that kind of discount every day.
(And if we’d used a Citi Double Cash card instead, our rebate would have been a little higher, $21.12, for a rebate of 37.5%. Even better.)
In this exercise, we found what we thought was a creative solution to a problem (expiring miles) and got a great result to boot. We certainly would have done this deal for AA miles plus the other rewards, even without the “expiring miles” problem. It’s not large-scale by any means, but it was an easy way to collect a lot of rewards on $50 in Amazon credit that’s almost as good as cash to us.
It also gave us an opportunity to explore the Simply Miles program. Many of the normal offers on Simply Miles aren’t too inspiring, 1 or 2 extra AA miles per dollar at merchants we don’t normally frequent. But there were a handful of bonus offers available that could be useful to us, like offers for Best Buy and several restaurants, in addition to the CVS offers we used. We’ll make ourselves a reminder to check Simply Miles at least at the beginning of each month to make sure we see and enroll in the new offers for the month. We already do this with Payce at the beginning of each month, so adding a check of Simply Miles at the same time should be easy.
What are your experiences with Simply Miles? Any other good stacks using Simply Miles with other programs? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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