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AA massive shutdown

CreditSweeper
Established Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@Loquat wrote:

@CreditSweeper wrote:

@Loquat wrote:

@CreditCuriosity I agree with you that there will also be those who will find a new way to do something that hasn't been thought of.  It's just that with these issues as self referrals, those seem like really, really easy loopholes to fix.  And with the amount of money I'm sure these companies are spending on IT talent, you'd think the easier loops should have never existed.  

 

The reason I'm a bit harder towards these easy loopholes is because these lenders have made it impossible for one to do a balance transfer from one of their products to another.  I would assume that the coding for that is probably a bit more intense than what would be required for them to stop someone from sending an email referral link to themselves.  Or at the very least have something that matches a home address, SSN, DOB, or anything that could cause the system to take a pause as flag it for not being "proper".  

 

I dunno, maybe I'm overthinking it or maybe this is a datapoint of why and RN shouldn't play armchair IT guy.  Who knows.  I just feel like I can't be that far off on referrals being an easy fix. 


I'd think dev cost for programming comes into play too. Sure, you're going to put a lot of money into developing a program that identifies internal balance transfers. Are you going to want to put that same cost into a program designed to give away something for free?


@CreditSweeper It ain't free if folks are busing it and it's costing you not only the sub that you're paying them for the new approval but also giving that same person an additional $200-300 (or more depending on how you use the points) for referring themselves.  So the person who was meant to get say $1000 from a Platinum approval is now getting at the very least $200 additional (more depending on the currency gained from the referral) by simplying replying to a email that they sent themselves.  

 

Yea, I'd say the cost associated with creating code to stop that would be well spent considering how many folks were/are doing it.  Again, just my 2¢.


I don't necessarily disagree with you. This goes back to what I alluded to earlier - when the cost of providing subs, including finding ways to ID abusers, becomes a more of liability, SUB structures are going to change. These lenders can't be expected to continue giving out SUBs when it becomes a massively losing venture for them all things considered (cost of SUB, cost of programming, cost of IDing abusers). When giving away something for "free", you don't want to have to put a ton of resources into that. 

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Message 21 of 32
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@Saeren wrote:


Why should the credit card issuer have to make T&C changes because of abuse? Shut down the cards and bar them from ever having another card. That's the only way it will ever stop. There is no need for T&C to spell this stuff out. Let people find out the hard way. 


Problem with this is what constitutes abuse.     We get people complaining here about shutdowns or CLDs when their util has been too high, and been doing minimum-ish payments for "too long".   They thought they were entitled to use their full CL for a long as they wished.   It's clearly not against T&C, but the issuers decide they don't like it.  Should they be barred for life?

 

Another thing I see from some here is closing and then opening the same type of Discover card to get another year of cash-back match.   Not against T&Cs, but also clearly not what Discover intends the SUB for (to attract genuine new customers).    If Discover decided to ban them for life without warning, would that also be fair?

 

The whole point about T&Cs is they give at least guidelines as to proper use.   Now while it is certainably arguable that no-one should have thought that getting a CC in the name of their pet rock was ever remotely "intended use"   there are lots of greyer areas!

Message 22 of 32
Saeren
Mega Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@longtimelurker wrote:

@Saeren wrote:


Why should the credit card issuer have to make T&C changes because of abuse? Shut down the cards and bar them from ever having another card. That's the only way it will ever stop. There is no need for T&C to spell this stuff out. Let people find out the hard way. 


Problem with this is what constitutes abuse.     We get people complaining here about shutdowns or CLDs when their util has been too high, and been doing minimum-ish payments for "too long".   They thought they were entitled to use their full CL for a long as they wished.   It's clearly not against T&C, but the issuers decide they don't like it.  Should they be barred for life?

 

Another thing I see from some here is closing and then opening the same type of Discover card to get another year of cash-back match.   Not against T&Cs, but also clearly not what Discover intends the SUB for (to attract genuine new customers).    If Discover decided to ban them for life without warning, would that also be fair?

 

The whole point about T&Cs is they give at least guidelines as to proper use.   Now while it is certainably arguable that no-one should have thought that getting a CC in the name of their pet rock was ever remotely "intended use"   there are lots of greyer areas!


These aren't grey areas here though. It's outright fraud creating referrals for people who don't exist. That's a clear line in my mind and not something that should need to be in T&Cs and things like this are what I am talking about. It's ridiculous that people complain that they get shut down when they're doing something that is absolutely abuse. It's the same thing with AMEX self referrals. This isn't some grey area but outright abuse that puts these programs at risk for everyone else. 

Also, Disco themselves will actually tell you that they don't mind you closing a card and getting another year of match. The reason for this is obvious - Disco is making money off the spend. They're very smart offering match instead of an upfront SUB for a little spend because it gets people to actually use their cards for the year. I suspect we will see more of these longer term match offers instead of large SUBs because they encourage use of the card. 





Message 23 of 32
CardNut
Valued Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown



I agree with you all, but as a programmer you never can possibly think up every little scheme or situation of person can think up it is pretty much impossible.  Users in the 20 years I have wrote software do things that has never crossed your mind nor the QA teams mind, etc.. yet they find someway to get around something or break something.  Granted Amex self referrals is one of the easier ones that should of been addressed as they certainly knew it was being abused before they busted the whip on people.  That would of been a VERY easy fix.  This was a bad abusal on AA as well... 


Agreed, but some of these things are no brainers, and should have been taken care of years ago. Register a new login account, enter an existing email address, and the code should return "Email address already exists". It does on every issuer. This should be the same for referrals. All they have to do is check to see if the SSN exists in their database (especially bad if it matches the person who is referring), and then check to see if that individual doesn't already have the card. Referring a Discover IT card to someone who already has a Discover IT should not be allowed.

 

But this particular scenario might be illegal activity. Doesn't the Patriot Act forbid you from falsifying information when applying for an account with a bank? Fido isn't a real person, and who's false SSN was used?

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Message 24 of 32
longtimelurker
Mega Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@Saeren wrote:



Also, Disco themselves will actually tell you that they don't mind you closing a card and getting another year of match. The reason for this is obvious - Disco is making money off the spend. They're very smart offering match instead of an upfront SUB for a little spend because it gets people to actually use their cards for the year. I suspect we will see more of these longer term match offers instead of large SUBs because they encourage use of the card. 


My expectation would be that most of the people doing this (churning) are just using it for the 5% categories (no point in churning for 2%!) and I am pretty sure that Discover isn't making money paying out 10%.    I agree that this type of SUB is smart for attracting "normal" people who will learn to use the card and continue after the promo, but it must be a loss-maker with churners.

Message 25 of 32
FieryDance
Frequent Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown

Read about it a week or two ago on DoC then saw the thread gaining traction on FT.  I was kind of waiting for a thread to appear here though I doubt many people here are big time churners.  

 

While there may or may not be a clear line crossed, (I mean most of us here will not object a SUB here and there), but it really is a “let the consequences fit the behavior” scenario.  You drive 73 mph on a 65 mph highway and you will likely be perfectly safe but if you do 100 mph for 3 hours straight on the same highway you will most likely end up paying for it.  

Message 26 of 32
VanderSnoot
Established Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@FieryDance wrote:

Read about it a week or two ago on DoC then saw the thread gaining traction on FT.  I was kind of waiting for a thread to appear here though I doubt many people here are big time churners.  

 

While there may or may not be a clear line crossed, (I mean most of us here will not object a SUB here and there), but it really is a “let the consequences fit the behavior” scenario.  You drive 73 mph on a 65 mph highway and you will likely be perfectly safe but if you do 100 mph for 3 hours straight on the same highway you will most likely end up paying for it.  


I agree with the principle that it's less a hard line rule and more about scale. That said, I was suprised, reading on Reddit, that the consensus seems to be that churning millions of miles by signing up their cats and dogs was akin to driving 73 in a 65 zone. Another poster said he only did it 15 times (12 mail and 3 email, I believe). I think some folks lost perspective, their behavior normalized in their echo chamber of fellow churners.

 

I also think there's a right way for AA/Citi to go about closing accounts. From what I'm reading, they've known about and allowed these schemes for over a decade, which makes it harder to argue that they did not implicitly permit these behaviors. While I'm not a fan of sudden changes in enforcement, I'm not sure that notice works in regards to prior conduct. The miles were already stolen, and I'd want them back, too. Finally it sounds like AA has indicated that anyone contacted is best off being completely honest about their actions, for the best chance of account preservation. That seems like good sportsmanship. All in all, I come down on the side of the AA/Citi. It's one thing to send a friend or family member an offer code, it's another to repeatedly create accounts for fictitious people in order to benefit from millions of unearned miles.

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Message 27 of 32
OnceUponADime
Established Member

Re: AA massive shutdown


@FieryDance wrote:

Read about it a week or two ago on DoC then saw the thread gaining traction on FT.  I was kind of waiting for a thread to appear here though I doubt many people here are big time churners.  

 

While there may or may not be a clear line crossed, (I mean most of us here will not object a SUB here and there), but it really is a “let the consequences fit the behavior” scenario.  You drive 73 mph on a 65 mph highway and you will likely be perfectly safe but if you do 100 mph for 3 hours straight on the same highway you will most likely end up paying for it.  


That's what they call pigs vs hogs, pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.  Lmaooooo!   

 

Those on the grAAvy train knew it was gonna stop sooner or later they just hoped it wouldn't crash and burn 🔥

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penny Chaser
Message 28 of 32
MAZDA3
Frequent Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown


@FortifiedHM wrote:

Well you haven't heard from me yet, Smiley Very Happy.

 

Sure, creating an AA account using tricks and in your pets name is just too abusive (not saying this is the only cause, or it is even related to these shutdowns, nobody has concrete info). But how can AA/Citi allow this? don't they check SSN or ITN?

 

Truth is, if there is a loophole, someone will abuse it. They really need to take a look at their systems and rewrote the code so these abuse prevention are either stated in T&C, or coded into application process.



Oye. I did create an AA account for my cat, got one mailer but chickened out and never used it. 

Message 29 of 32
Janus
Senior Contributor

Re: AA massive shutdown

I'm still trying to figure out how someone even apped without a valid SSN though. Or was the same one used for multiple accounts?






Message 30 of 32
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