Free American AAdvantage Miles – Two Long Time Earning Opportunities Return…or Never Left?

I’m away in Curacao this week so I’ll be reposting some of the Easy Points entries from the last few weeks in case you haven’t yet had a chance to take advantage of any of them.  Happy Holidays! Let’s take a walk down frequent flyer memory lane and head back to a time when the Citi AAdvantage cards were churnable, one could earn 25,000 AAdvantage miles for switching home phone service to MCI (several times), and AOL AAdvantage’s Opinion Place had just gone live. It was early 2000 and I was still a freshman in college with the mileage obsession just kicking in.  I did my best to keep up, following along on WebFlyer & FrequentFlier, while using my parent’s phone lines and credit histories to earn the miles.  AOL, the “internet” at the time to most, teamed up with AAdvantage to form AOLAAdvantage Rewards and Opinion Place.

After taking a survey of 15 minutes or less, Opinion Place awarded members 150 AAdvantage miles or AOL service credits, CDs, books, etc.  In 2002, the AOLAAdvantage moniker was dropped, and Opinion Place began awarding members up to 300 AAdvantage miles for surveys.

From 2000-2004, I remember consistently taking the surveys every 14 days in order to earn the 150-300 miles.  Starting in 2006, the offers began dropping to 50 miles per survey and I no longer bothered with the site.  I didn’t need the surveys to keep my account active as I was now flying on AA and had my own Citi AA card.

Flash forward to present day with a reader question sent to me at adam@pointmetotheplane.com,  “My wife and I can no longer qualify for the Citi AAdvantage cards after having the personal and business cards several times in the last decade, what’s an easy way to keep our accounts active.”  Opinion Place immediately came back to mind and I surfed over to their site to see if it was still in existence and if they offered AAdvantage miles.  Well, 12 years later the site is still alive though under new management.  You can even still earn AAdvantage miles as well as Amazon gift cards and PayPal credits.

I decided to take the site for a test drive to see just how many AAdvantage miles were being offered and what the time requirements would be using two separate browser windows.  I received one offer for 75 miles after 15 minutes and another offer for the same 75 miles after 10 minutes, not bad at all.

I opted for the 10 minute survey and actually received a survey topic I was interested in, hotels and loyalty programs!

At the completion of the survey I received a confirmation that my miles would post in 3-4 weeks and that I could return to take another survey within 7 days.

Some things to remember:

  1. If you’ve never visited Opinion Place before, you’ll have to sign up as a new user.  Sign-up is free and takes only a few minutes.
  2. The more people who are “available” for surveys, the more likely you are to be selected.  The site will ask if you have children living at home, what their ages are, and if they are available to help you answer questions.  By providing this information you increase the chances of matching one of the survey demographics (the more the better).  You can decide later how available you want to make your kids.
  3. On open ended questions, the more information you provide the longer the survey.  For example, name your favorite hotel brands.  If you enter five hotels you’ll be asked questions comparing all five to each other which will take significantly more time than comparing three hotel brands.
  4. Miles take 3-4 weeks to post so if you have AAdvantage miles expiring, I’d recommend completing the survey at least one month prior.  Additionally, remember you may not be selected for a survey at all.
  5. 75 miles may seem miniscule when compared to today’s 100k blockbuster credit card deals, but it’s an easy way to keep your account active and every little bit counts.  If you qualify every week that would be 300 miles a month or 3600 a year.

Another Option – e-Rewards

e-rewards , started only a few years after Opinion Place and has been offering miles, hotel points, and gift cards in exchange for taking surveys for quite some time now.  The site works differently as it is by invite only and requires you to fill out a consumer profile which then prompts the system to send you emails when your profile matches an available survey.   Additionally, you are awarded a set dollar amount for each survey and TRAVEL related redemptions are only offered once you hit the $25, $50, or $100 level.  The surveys range from $1 – $20, though they tend to average in the $2-$5 range.  Today, I’ve received two survey invitations, both above $5.  The higher the dollar amount, the longer it will take you to complete the survey.

A few years ago AAdvantage was removed as a redemption partner but has just returned as of this May!  Additionally, AA & e-miles are now offering 250 miles for signing up for the program and taking your first survey within 3 months of enrollment.  You can find this offer on AA’s website here, click their link to e-rewards to start the registration process.

Though once standard, the travel redemption partners now seem to differ based on which program you originally received the invitation from.  I originally signed up with AA, and at the $25 level my current redemption options are:

You can essentially double the awards at the $50 level and triple them at the $100 level:

Some things to remember:

  1. You need an invite to join e-rewards, though the link above from AA will suffice .  This will allow you to earn AAdvantage miles, though your other redemption partners may vary. I originally joined under AA and have an extensive list of partners that I can redeem with (see list below).
  2. On average surveys may take more time than Opinion Place, though longer surveys provide greater rewards.
  3. Currency does expire so make sure you review the expiration terms.
  4. You can use e-rewards to strategically transfer points during promotions (US Airways Grand Slam) or to keep accounts from expiring.

Memory Lane – WebFlyer circa May 2000 with a mention of ClickRewards!

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Comments

  1. If you still have an AA credit card and don’t do shopping portals (AA has one, yes? I use others when I do, but this would seem the absolutely easiest way to keep alive … how hard is it to find something at drugstore.com or sears to get a handful of miles?) … why not sign up for reward dining?

    I have accounts for most of the participating carriers; well, the ones I am interested in. In addition to the 1000-1500 miles given for signing up and dining at one of many participating areas (searchable by zip code), you get a multiple of dollars spent into the program your CC is registered with.

    Heck, that’s right, it doesn’t even have to be an AA credit card; you can register ANY credit card with this program. Getting some Keep Alive miles is as easy as dining (for over $30 total typically) at a participating place and using the right card. And you also get whatever points/benefits the card offers (CSP would net 2UR points, but you can still score AA miles, too).

    I have enough cards to register specific ones with specific programs, but you also can switch the program a single CC is attached to. So, one month you can add AA miles, then next UA, Alaska, US Air, whatever else.

    We have one favorite casual place we like that participates (it seems if they’re in one airline’s program, I find them in all?). We’ve eaten there 4 times in the past 2 months to add miles in 3 different programs (my wife included). Since it will be a natural to go back on occassion, we’ll use whatever card needs a ping on each subsequent visit.

  2. Thanks for the post. I am thinking of joining AA (I’m using AVIOS & Dividend Miles) just to earn some free points. It looks like AA & US merging will happen sometime in the future so it may not be a bad idea to get some AAdvantage pts.

  3. I had consistent problems with e-rewards prize redemption. They always required follow-up in order to get anything completed and it made me wonder if that was part of their business model. I quit.

  4. I’ve never had problems with e-rewards, but recently found that I could no longer redeem $100 in points for 7000 HHonors. Now the top tier reward is $125 for 7000.

  5. Harold, if you collect Avios you are better off using e-rewards to get Avios rather than AA miles. For the same redemption point, you get more Avios (with Iberia, but you can easily transfer them). Example, $25 in e-rewards credits gets you 500 AAdvantage miles, but will get you 750 Avios.

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