American has long been the most generous airline when it comes to “calculating” million miler status. While United only counts actual flown “butt in seat” miles on United flights towards million miler status, American counts all miles earned towards million miler status. In other words, if you spend a million dollars on an American Airlines Citi credit card, you would earn Gold status for life, while two million miles gets you Platinum status. It’s worth noting that United gives you Premier Executive (mid tier) status for life if you make million miler, but those are actual, flown miles, so it’s tougher to accomplish.
Anyway, there have long been rumors that American would be changing their program, given that it’s just so generous to offer million miler status with a million miles earned. Well, it appears there’s finally a “hint” of some changes coming. Per this FlyerTalk thread, the American Airlines mobile website now lists the following on the account activity page, which wasn’t there before:
AAdvantage miles earned through select mileage activity count toward Million MilerSM status.
The Million Miler program rewards AAdvantage members with additional benefits when specific mileage thresholds are achieved.
To learn more, read about the Million Miler program
Now, that doesn’t say anything about what will and what won’t count, but it’s a clear indication that changes will be coming.
It will be interesting to see how they change the program. Will all miles from flying count towards million miler, including elite bonuses and promotional miles? In other words, will credit card miles be excluded? Or will only actual “butt in seat” miles qualify, like at United? If that were the case, American would be pretty uncompetitive, given that they offer Gold (low tier) status at million miler, while United offers Premier Executive (mid tier) status.
The other question is to what extent this will be retroactive. Will miles earned through credit card spend in the past still count towards million miler, or will they retroactively change their policy for those that haven’t yet achieved the threshold?
There are lots of questions and not a lot of answers. It’s pretty clear something is changing, though…