US Airways and American both used to use Points.com to process purchase miles transactions.
That meant the transactions were charged by that third party, instead of the airline itself.
- You would not earn bonus miles for an ‘airline’ or ‘travel’ transaction with your credit card.
- With American, the third party process meant miles would take a couple of days to post
That’s changed (and it can’t be good for the folks at Points.com).
American’s FAQ now explains that:
What will be reflected on my credit card statement when I receive my monthly bill?
Your statement transaction description will vary based on the type of payment:
- American Express: “American Airlines 001-XXXXXXXXXX Description: Frequent Flyer Fee/Purchase”
- Visa or Mastercard: “American Airlines 001XXXXXXXXXX Description: Misc”
- All others: “American Airlines 001XXXXXXXXXX”
Is American Airlines charging my credit card?
How soon are purchased or gifted miles deposited into the AAdvantage account?
The miles are deposited immediately after the confirmation number is displayed.
That’s a big improvement for American AAdvantage members. For US Airways members… it’s a mixed bag.
- You get the airline charging your card going forward, so bonus miles.
- Points.com is no longer part of the relationship. And they were part of the reason the airline sold miles so cheaply, with Points buying the points in chunks at wholesale and reselling rather than taking a transaction fee.
It’s ultimately part of why the old way that US Airways sold miles at fire sale prices is over.
But it’s a process improvement nonetheless. And since how quickly the transaction will post, and whether it will earn bonus miles, are two of the most common questions that come up with every purchased miles bonus it seemed worth nothing the change.