American Airlines announces 2012 Elite Rewards!

American has just announced the details of their 2012 Elite Rewards program. Through Elite Rewards, elite members can earn bonuses for earning more elite qualifying points thank required for reaching their status level. Basically it incentives you to continue flying American even if you’re already requalified for your status level.

The first (good) thing worth noting is that they’re communicating this early this year, since the program was only announced in August of last year.

The bonuses this year are as follows:

The bonus you qualify for is based on your status and elite qualifying points balance as of December 31, 2012. These are some pretty big bonuses, especially at the Executive Platinum level, where you’re looking at up to 70,000 bonus AAdvantage miles or up to four additional systemwide upgrades.

The thing to keep in mind, however, is that as of last year this promotion is based on elite qualifying points and not elite qualifying miles. With American you earn one elite qualifying mile per mile flown, while you earn anywhere from 0.5-1.5 elite qualifying points per mile flown. Discounted coach only earns you 0.5 points per mile, while paid first class earns you 1.5 points per mile. This means that these thresholds are actually really high if you’re not someone that usually flies on full fare or premium tickets, since 125,000 elite qualifying points really equals 250,000 flown miles in discounted coach fare classes. Still, 70,000 bonus AAdvantage miles is a pretty big carrot, so I may have to start scheming…

Filed Under: American, Great Deals
  1. Yeah, this doesn’t seem likely to be helpful to me. I admit, my case is extreme, but as of now I have 95,850 EQMs but just 16,428 points. Somehow I don’t see myself flying another 218,000 miles this year.

    Do they ever have promotions where you can earn bonus EQPs rather than EQMs?

  2. What if I am GLD and take a challenge to reach PLT but only nest 40K-49K EQP? Do I get a chance to select one of the GLD rewards?

  3. @ dbeach — I’ve only ever seen promotions for bonus EQMs.

    @ Maidenz — Nope, you can only earn the bonus for the status level you actually earn, even if you surpass others in the year. So if you’re a Platinum at the end of the year, your rewards would be based on that.

  4. Last year the late announcement of this promo made it so those hitting 125k+ EQP before about October could request an additional 2 SWUs for every 25k EQP beyond 100k, separate from the Elite Rewards program. I ended the year with 160k EQP and was refused even one pair of SWUs. At least this year will be consistent.

  5. If any Platinum or Executive Platinum members want to gift me Gold as one of your perks, I’d really appreciate it!

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