American Airlines is tired of the way travelers are abusing rewards. The carrier is actually joining forces with Citigroup to cancel reward trips and seize miles in response to widespread abuses. You may be wondering what people are doing to be accused of 'rewards abuse' by American Airlines. Most cases of abuse involve signing up for multiple loyalty accounts in order to earn a high number of points very quickly.
American Airlines has prohibited the practice of opening multiple loyalty accounts using fake names and contact information for a long time. People who sign up for multiple accounts do so to accept offers from Citigroup to sign up for AA-branded credit cards. Those 'new' members get to take advantage of promotions with rewards that go as high as 70,000 miles multiple times. Most of the people who harvest huge mileage totals actually sell them to other travelers. American Airlines is now actively monitoring accounts for suspicious activity.
Some passengers are being blindsided by canceled trips in the aftermath of American's crackdown. Unfortunately, many of the people who purchase harvested points and miles don't realize that they are participating in anything forbidden. Of course, many simply don't care. People who have purchased codes obtained via Citigroup promotions in a rule-breaking fashion are now having their trips canceled by American Airlines without warning. American Airlines is rescinding those trips based on the fact that they were booked using exploitative practices.
The bottom line is that American Airlines doesn't want anybody gaming the system by signing up for multiple introductory bonuses. It's important to keep in mind that the purpose of American's partnership with Citigroup is to create long-term customers for Citigroup. A company like Citigroup puts a lot of money on the table when offering incentives for airline customers. Scammers who sign up once without ever using their cards don't generate the type of long-term business that Citigroup is looking to get from its partnership with American Airlines.
All travelers should keep in mind that they could have their tickets canceled if they obtain mileage through non-airline offers they see online.