Whoa: American AAdvantage Unveils Loyalty Points, Changes How Status Is Earned

Whoa: American AAdvantage Unveils Loyalty Points, Changes How Status Is Earned

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Warning upfront — make sure you’re sitting down, because this is huge. American AAdvantage has completely reimagined how elite status is earned. Say goodbye to elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying dollars.

Instead earning AAdvantage elite status will be significantly simplified, and won’t just account for how much you fly with American, but also how much you engage with American’s partners. You can now earn top tier status exclusively through credit card spending, if you wanted to.

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly to make of these changes, because this is just such a radical departure from what we’re used to. Let me share the details, and then I’m curious to hear what OMAAT readers think.

Earn American AAdvantage elite status with Loyalty Points

Starting in 2022, American AAdvantage elite status will be based exclusively on how many Loyalty Points you earn. Every qualifying AAdvantage mile earned will earn you one Loyalty Point. For 2022, AAdvantage elite status requirements will be as follows:

  • AAdvantage Gold status will require 30,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum status will require 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro status will require 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum status will require 200,000 Loyalty Points

Note that with this new program, status will be earned between March and February of a given year, and will then be valid through March 31 of the following year. That means status is no longer based on the traditional calendar year.

Of course the major question is what miles qualify as Loyalty Points. Yes, spending $200,000 on a credit card would earn you Executive Platinum status, but buying 200,000 AAdvantage miles wouldn’t earn you Executive Platinum status. So let’s go over those details.

How to earn Loyalty Points for flying

You can earn Loyalty Points for flying American Airlines or a partner airline. If flying American Airlines:

  • You earn 5x base miles per dollar spent
  • Elite status bonuses also count as Loyalty Points, and those bonuses range from 40-120%; for example, as an Executive Platinum member you’d earn 11x miles per dollar spent, and all of those would qualify as Loyalty Points
  • American basic economy tickets are eligible to earn Loyalty Points

When flying partner airlines, including oneworld partners and JetBlue:

  • You earn redeemable miles at the same rate as before, except those miles would also qualify as Loyalty Points
  • Elite status bonuses also qualify towards Loyalty Points on partner airlines, and those range from 40-120%
  • Cabin bonuses (where you earn miles for flying premium economy, business class, or first class) also qualify towards Loyalty Points
  • Just to give an example, say you’re an Executive Platinum member booking an “I” class ticket on Alaska Airlines (this is a discounted first class fare bucket, and you can find the earnings chart here) on a 1,000 mile flight; you’d earn a total of 2,700 Loyalty Points (1,000 base Loyalty Points, plus a 50% cabin bonus, plus a 120% elite status bonus)
You can earn Loyalty Points for travel on partner airlines

How to earn Loyalty Points for credit card spending

Most AAdvantage credit cards issued by Barclays and Citi earn Loyalty Points:

  • You earn one Loyalty Point for every base mile earned on the card, which would generally be the rate of one Loyalty Point per dollar spent
  • Welcome bonuses don’t count as Loyalty Points
  • If you’re spending in a category that’s bonused, you only earn Loyalty Points for the “base” spending, meaning one Loyalty Point for every dollar spent; in other words, if a card offers two AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flight purchases, you’d still only earn one Loyalty Point
  • There will some opportunities to earn bonus Loyalty Points for credit card spending, which you can learn more about here
You can earn American status through credit card spending

How to earn Loyalty Points for other partner activity

As far as non-flying activities go, there are some other partners beyond credit cards that allow you to earn qualifying Loyalty Points. Specifically, all base miles earned from spending with AAdvantage Dining, AAdvantage eShopping, and SimplyMiles count towards Loyalty Points.

Note that options with some partners are apparently still being worked out. For example, I asked about Bask Bank, the World of Hyatt partnership, and Rocketmiles, and was told “stay tuned,” so we’ll see if those qualify.

You can earn Loyalty Points for dining out

What activity doesn’t earn Loyalty Points?

There are several types of activity that don’t earn Loyalty Points, inclduing:

  • Buying, gifting, or transferring miles
  • Government taxes, fees, and other charges associated with buying airline tickets
  • Conversion of another program currency to AAdvantage miles (for example, converting Marriott Bonvoy points or Citi ThankYou points)
  • For AAdvantage credit cards, welcome bonuses don’t qualify, and neither do “accelerators” or “multipliers” (like extra miles for each dollar spent in certain categories)

On the one hand I’m not surprised that buying miles doesn’t count towards Loyalty Points. On the other hand, I also don’t follow the logic of that, because presumably when American sells miles directly to consumers, it’s higher margin than when selling miles in bulk to a partner. I guess the logic is just that American thinks that this would be too easy of a way to earn status.

Buying miles doesn’t count towards Loyalty Points

American AAdvantage Loyalty Choice Rewards

In 2020 American Airlines revealed the concept of Elite Choice Rewards. Rather than just giving Executive Platinum members four systemwide upgrades per year, the idea is that both Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members can choose the rewards they value most. That will continue with the new program, with a slight change.

American AAdvantage will introduce Loyalty Choice Rewards, whereby Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members can continue to choose rewards when earning Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum status. There’s one major catch, though. In order to be able to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards, you’ll need to log 30 segments on American or a qualifying partner airline during your membership year. Interestingly American Airlines marketed award flights even count towards that requirement.

In other words, this is a way to avoid giving those perks to people who don’t actually fly American frequently. There will be Loyalty Choice Rewards perks at the following tiers:

  • Level 1 — 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • Level 2 — 200,000 Loyalty Points
  • Level 3 — 350,000 Loyalty Points
  • Level 4 — 550,000 Loyalty Points
  • Level 5 — 750,000 Loyalty Points

Platinum Pro Loyalty Choice Rewards

When earning 125,000 Loyalty Points plus completing 30 qualifying segments, Platinum Pro members will be able to select one of the following:

  • One systemwide upgrade
  • 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles if you have an AAdvantage co-brand credit card)
  • One-time 15% AAdvantage award savings (applies to a roundtrip award for up to two travelers on any oneworld airline in any cabin, and the rebate will be applied after travel)
  • $200 American Airlines travel voucher
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to one of 10 partner charities
Select a systemwide upgrade as a Loyalty Choice Reward

Executive Platinum Loyalty Choice Rewards

When earning 200,000 Loyalty Points plus completing 30 qualifying segments, Executive Platinum members will be able to select two of the following:

  • Two systemwide upgrades
  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (30,000 AAdvantage bonus miles if you have an AAdvantage co-brand credit card)
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold status
  • Admirals Club membership (this requires two choices)
  • Choice of Bang & Olufsen products (this includes headphones, speakers, and earbuds)
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to one of 10 partner charities
  • $200 American Airlines travel voucher

Rewards will be similar for higher thresholds as well, though it’s stated that we should expect some new benefits going forward as well.

Select bonus miles as a Loyalty Choice Reward

Loyalty Points will determine upgrade priority

This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, but with the new program your rolling 12-month Loyalty Points total will determine your upgrade priority within your elite rank.

Currently upgrades are prioritized first by elite tier, and then by your rolling 12-month elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) total. It makes sense that with the new program Loyalty Points will be the tiebreaker.

Upgrades will be prioritized based on Loyalty Points

What happens to American AAdvantage Million Miler lifetime status?

American AAdvantage has lifetime elite status, whereby you can earn AAdvantage Gold or Platinum status for life, for passing one million or two million lifetime miles (respectively). The requirements to earn that will remain unchanged, and will be unrelated to Loyalty Points.

Instead miles towards Million Miler are calculated based on the distance flown for American marketed flights, or base miles earned for travel on eligible partner marketed flights. That means you can’t earn lifetime status through credit card spending (as an example).

American AAdvantage extending status, double-dipping opportunity

American AAdvantage has already made status significantly easier to earn in 2021, and now there’s yet another new opportunity:

  • American is extending all AAdvantage elite status through March 31, 2022
  • All elite qualifying activity in January and February of 2022 will count towards both 2022 and 2023 AAdvantage status qualification

If you’re trying to decide whether to do a mileage run to earn status, it could be highly advantageous to do it in the first two months of 2022, rather than at the end of 2021. You’ll have 14 months to earn this year’s status, and also 14 months to earn next year’s status, and that travel would count towards both years.

Travel in the first two months of 2022 will count towards two years

In theory I love these AAdvantage changes

In theory I think these program changes are great. In recent years airline loyalty programs have become too transactional and complicated, and have missed out on the big picture. The concept behind these program changes are brilliant — members can be rewarded for their overall loyalty to AAdvantage, rather than just how much they fly.

Given that well over half of airline miles nowadays are earned through non-flying means, it makes sense to reward people for that as well. It’s perfectly logical to reward someone not just for how much they fly with American, but also for how much they use an American Airlines credit card, dine through the AAdvantage Dining program, etc.

Of course the concept is one thing, but how is this in reality?

Crunching the numbers on AAdvantage Loyalty Points

To be honest, I’m still trying to do the math on Loyalty Points, and I’m not sure whether to think that this is totally reasonable, or think the thresholds are a bit high. For context:

  • Executive Platinum status used to require 100,000 elite qualifying miles and 15,000 elite qualifying dollars
  • In 2021, Executive Platinum status requires 80,000 elite qualifying miles and 12,000 elite qualifying dollars
  • In 2022, Executive Platinum status will require 200,000 Loyalty Points

With that in mind, a few thoughts on the math here:

  • If you’re earning 11x Loyalty Points per dollar spent on American flights, you’d have to spend ~$18,200 per year on flights to earn Executive Platinum, which is a significant increase
  • Interestingly Executive Platinum status is even harder to earn if you’re starting from scratch, since you don’t earn the same 120% mileage bonus from the start; by my math, you’d have to spend over $27,000 on flights to get to Executive Platinum status from scratch
  • On the other end of the spectrum, spending $200,000 per year on a co-branded credit card would also earn you Executive Platinum status, though you’d only receive the Loyalty Choice Benefits if you flew at least 30 segments
  • To take a hybrid approach, if you’re an Executive Platinum member you could spend $100,000 per year on a co-branded credit card and spend ~$9,100 per year on flights to maintain Executive Platinum status
  • Bask Bank offers AAdvantage miles in lieu of interest when saving money, and you earn one AAdvantage mile for every dollar saved over the course of a year, so having $200,000 deposited would earn you 200,000 AAdvantage miles; however, it hasn’t yet been announced if miles earned with Bask Bank will qualify

I’m curious to hear what OMAAT readers think of the new requirements. I think that this is one of those things where qualifying might be easier than we expect once we put our heads together and figure out some of the more lucrative opportunities out there.

You can take a hybrid approach to earning AAdvantage status

There’s no AAdvantage award chart devaluation, yay!

For a while there had been widespread rumors of a big AAdvantage devaluation. Many assumed that this meant that American would devalue its partner award charts, since no major changes have been made to those for the past five years.

The good news is that nothing is changing when it comes to partner award charts, and for that matter there are no imminent plans to change partner award pricing. I’m sure this will be a huge relief to many.

AAdvantage isn’t devaluing partner awards

Bottom line

American AAdvantage is completely changing how elite status is earned. Starting in 2022, you’ll earn elite status exclusively based on how many Loyalty Points you earn, rather than based on any other metrics. Loyalty Points can be earned through flying, credit card spending, or even earning miles with other AAdvantage partners.

I’m a fan of the concept behind these changes. The new Loyalty Points concept simplifies earning elite status, and does a better job of considering a member’s overall engagement in a loyalty program, beyond flying.

However, at first glance the Loyalty Points thresholds seem high. Then again, I guess if you can earn status based on a combination of credit card spending, online shopping, dining, and flying, qualifying might not be as challenging as it seems at first glance.

What do you make of the new AAdvantage program?

Conversations (254)
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  1. Jason Guest

    Okay, here's a hypothetical - say I book LAX-DFW-MAD-LAX on AA and IB for $819: $380 fare, $439 in fees and taxes, booking code O. Currently, that nabs me 12047, EQMs. How many loyalty points is that?

  2. Peter Guest

    I'm in complete agreement with the first commenter. Butt-in-the-seat miles should drive any airline rewards program, otherwise these elite levels aren't really reflective of "frequent flying" as much as "frequent spending", and one more "status" recognition that simply rewards money.
    I first became Exec Plat by accident, almost. This was in the days of three Aadvantage tiers: Gold,Platinum, Exec Plat, when the flown-miles thresholds were the only requirement. That was it. I was booking...

    I'm in complete agreement with the first commenter. Butt-in-the-seat miles should drive any airline rewards program, otherwise these elite levels aren't really reflective of "frequent flying" as much as "frequent spending", and one more "status" recognition that simply rewards money.
    I first became Exec Plat by accident, almost. This was in the days of three Aadvantage tiers: Gold,Platinum, Exec Plat, when the flown-miles thresholds were the only requirement. That was it. I was booking a return flight from a Christmas trip and the reservations woman pointed out that if I returned before January 1, I'd qualify for Exec Plat. Was it worth it, I asked? I'll always remember how she lowered her voive when she answered: "Oh, yes sir. It's absolutely worth it."
    I went eight straight years as an Exec Plat; during that stretch hitting 100,000 flown miles was the only requirement. One year I hit Exec Plat with a total spend of $7200 on air travel for the year.
    Then a $9,000 dollar spend was added, which quickly went to $12,000, then $15,000, and my days of mileage runs for Exec Plat and watching my account were over.
    I will tell you that the people you'd meet, all fellow crazy travelers, were much more interesting. Swapping stories of crazy mileage runs.
    With this new systim I don't think I'll qualify for Platinum Pro.
    I'm a 2-million miler so I'm lifetime platinum, and there's no point in watching my account.
    I'm out.

  3. Jim Guest

    Great changes to the program. Hopefully this puts a wrench of sorts in the cog of the typical schmuck corporate flyers who earn their status off their employer. Your not as valuable as your ego thought you were.... LOL

  4. HJM New Member

    I just opened a new account with Bask Bank and they say that American won't award Loyalty Points in the new program. Hopefully, that will change in January.

  5. Frank Guest

    Regarding the Million Miler program:

    "That means you can’t earn lifetime status through credit card spending (as an example)."

    I can't seem to find an official announcement for this. Anyone know where to look? Or when the current method of earning through credit card spending will end? 31 December or 28 February?

  6. Hobbs Guest

    I obtained PP through partner airlines and AAdvantage shopping. The two AA flights I had booked were canceled, of course. I do not have an AA card, nor will I get one. I will never be able to fly 30 segments until I’m retired, so what’s the point? I am clearly not their target customer. Doing the same thing gets me to Platinum, according to the calculator, so I’m out. After two years of oneworld...

    I obtained PP through partner airlines and AAdvantage shopping. The two AA flights I had booked were canceled, of course. I do not have an AA card, nor will I get one. I will never be able to fly 30 segments until I’m retired, so what’s the point? I am clearly not their target customer. Doing the same thing gets me to Platinum, according to the calculator, so I’m out. After two years of oneworld loyalty, I accumulated 105k AA miles, bought 115k more with their current 35% discount, and bagged a round trip, JFK-BKK, Cathay first class award flight for 2022. I will try my hand at SkyTeam. I am more annoyed at AA for forcing me to burn a Delta status match for three Comfort+ seats when they canceled on me because of “weather,” so now I have to start from
    scratch. Believe me, I am not entirely enthused with Delta either. The plus in Comfort is apparently a Biscoff.

  7. Ed Krol Guest

    Do I get 2x loyalty points if I buy an AA ticket on a AA cobranded credit card?

  8. DAVID J SHUCKEROW Guest

    Based on the award status estimator and my trip history from my AA account, I will have to take 12 more trips and spend $6,000 more per year on American to obtain the same status I have now. Very discouraging. I travel for work and I can pick which Airline I fly but I can not pick which credit card I use to buy tickets. I flew all during the pandemic and greatly appreciated that American kept flying. I really hope the estimator is wrong.

  9. Timothy Schulz Guest

    Well, American should no longer call this a frequent flyer program....let’s call it a “what companies can spend the most on AA credit cards to get milage program....”. So the asshole who flies once per year to bumfuck Idaho, but who can use his company credit card to earn status, is now on par with real business traveler. AA is now a credit card company ... no doubt why they are doing so poorly compared to other airlines financiallly.

  10. Celica7101 Guest

    Something in the article here doesn't seem to match what the AA website indicates:

    You can earn Loyalty Points for flying American Airlines or a partner airline. If flying American Airlines:

    "You earn 5x base miles per dollar spent
    Elite status bonuses also count as Loyalty Points, and those bonuses range from 40-120%; for example, as an Executive Platinum member you’d earn 11x miles per dollar spent, and all of those would qualify as...

    Something in the article here doesn't seem to match what the AA website indicates:

    You can earn Loyalty Points for flying American Airlines or a partner airline. If flying American Airlines:

    "You earn 5x base miles per dollar spent
    Elite status bonuses also count as Loyalty Points, and those bonuses range from 40-120%; for example, as an Executive Platinum member you’d earn 11x miles per dollar spent, and all of those would qualify as Loyalty Points
    American basic economy tickets are eligible to earn Loyalty Points"

    But here: https://creditcards.aa.com/aadvantageprogram/

    Bonus miles are the “extra” miles earned in addition to base miles, whether they are permanently or promotionally offered. Some examples include:
    AAdvantage® credit cards that earn “accelerators” or “multipliers” such as: extra miles for purchases in specific categories, with specific merchants (such as American Airlines purchases) or purchases made abroad.
    New account or welcome bonuses, spend bonuses, etc.
    Other promotional or recurring bonuses
    __Bonus miles do not earn Loyalty Points unless otherwise stated__

    Seems pretty clear that you get a mile per dollar spent. I don't know what Elite status multiple is being referred to, such that you can get to an 11x per dollar.

  11. kenindfw Guest

    Also, the devaluation is already occurring. Anytime I try to use miles for an award it's outrageous.
    Planning for a friend's wedding in the UK and I know the UK is expense, however, during COVID business class was 110K miles round trip and I reserved. Then had to cancel due to the Delta Variant. I looked a week after canceling and the business class ticket was 365K miles round trip. That's devaluation at it's...

    Also, the devaluation is already occurring. Anytime I try to use miles for an award it's outrageous.
    Planning for a friend's wedding in the UK and I know the UK is expense, however, during COVID business class was 110K miles round trip and I reserved. Then had to cancel due to the Delta Variant. I looked a week after canceling and the business class ticket was 365K miles round trip. That's devaluation at it's finest. It's not unusual to see 510K+ tickets for business and Premium Economy is now 300K+. I remember when first class from US to AUS was 140K round trip. The gold old days.

  12. kenindfw Guest

    I use eshopping through AAdvantage all the time for nearly all online purchases and I always use my AA cards. Are you saying that I will receive one loyalty point for the card purchase and one point for the eshopping or if I see a bonus that says 5 points for shopping at Macys or NM I would received 5 add'l Loyalty points? I'm very confused. It appears to me that AA is just going to only allow 1 for 1 loyalty points anytime you use your AA cc.

  13. EI Guest

    I still can’t believe how much ExP’s need to scrimp and save to earn a measly four SWUs. I will happily stick with UA.

  14. Josh Greenberg Guest

    So they've just gone back to what we had in the 90s and 00s.

    With double the points to qualify for some levels. Platinum Executive was 100,000 miles. Now it's 200,000. It looks like some dilution in upgrades which will irritate some long-time customers.

    People who changed their travel patterns to achieve status with EQMs, EQSs and EQDs will need to re-examine those strategies. And maybe every aspect of their lives.

    The award chart *will*...

    So they've just gone back to what we had in the 90s and 00s.

    With double the points to qualify for some levels. Platinum Executive was 100,000 miles. Now it's 200,000. It looks like some dilution in upgrades which will irritate some long-time customers.

    People who changed their travel patterns to achieve status with EQMs, EQSs and EQDs will need to re-examine those strategies. And maybe every aspect of their lives.

    The award chart *will* change. Just a matter of time.

    As someone who retired from the game a decade ago with lifetime Platinum, I've been amazed by those changes. It was so easy before. Miles, class of service and membership level bonuses plus credit card spend. No calculator required.

    I suspect that many business fliers had no idea how it all worked and loyalty suffered as a result.

  15. luke Wood Guest

    What happens to my existing flight mile balance after the new program goes into ec=effect?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ luke Wood -- Nothing changes with redeemable AAdvantage miles. They continue to be valid, and can be redeemed in the same way as before. This new program specifically impacts earning status.

  16. James R Walden Guest

    As someone that travels all the time for work, this screws me in particular. Before the dollars spent were tied to my Aadvantage account, so no matter how it was paid for I received credit. While I have a Citi Executive card, work puts all travel on their accounts, so it's going to be impossible for me to maintain Executive after 2023.

  17. C Martin Guest

    This is really gonna suck for business flyers who book through corporate cards, since none of those theoretical dollars spent on flights would count. Especially those of us who fly a bi-monthy commute on a short-ish flight, in the 500 mile range. Without an AAdvantage card, it will be a struggle to even make Gold.

  18. JB Guest

    Love it!!! Hopefully they tie Concierge Key to Loyalty points too. :)

  19. Adi89 New Member

    Feels like it will be much much harder to reach EP going forward because of the 200k threshold. Trips on partner airlines that used to get me ~15% toward EP will only get me ~10% towards EP now.

  20. Tyler Guest

    As previously mentioned - We are so used to seeing American be a follower rather than a leader in regards to almost everything they do. Happy to see them take some initiative and try something new. As an EP myself, I have been at odds whether to maintain my loyalty or switch over to Delta. I think this new program will keep me engaged for at least another year.

    Prefer a frequent flyer program...

    As previously mentioned - We are so used to seeing American be a follower rather than a leader in regards to almost everything they do. Happy to see them take some initiative and try something new. As an EP myself, I have been at odds whether to maintain my loyalty or switch over to Delta. I think this new program will keep me engaged for at least another year.

    Prefer a frequent flyer program that values actual miles flown over dollars / CC spend, but unfortunately it seems like that's the path airlines are starting to go now...

  21. Alan Guest

    Sounds like there's gonna be a helluva lot more top tier fliers in the US then given all the manufactured spend options available! Would have been a nice route here in the UK too for OW status too but sadly AA shut their credit card a few years ago.

  22. Ray Guest

    Any time a program grants status based on credit card spending or anything other than butt in seat miles, it sucks. There is no way in hell a person that spends money on a credit card should hold status over someone that actually flies with the airline. Grant them points towards flights, fine, but not benefits above actual fliers.

    This whole change is based on the new borrowing based on a value of the program.

    1. Andy 11235 Guest

      Considering that the airline usually earns a much higher profit from the credit card/mileage division than the actual flying division, this change merely aligns the rewards with contribution to the airline's bottom line. One can lament the fact that the airline doesn't really make money from flying, but that's the reality.

  23. Kramdrofnas Guest

    Status now Gold on AA. Spend $25,000+ monthly with Citi AA card. Therefore, Executive Platinum in 6-8 months which is nice, though no Loyalty perks if don’t do the 30 flights, which is disappointing, why not another level of spend to get those such as 300,000, no matter how you do it? If AA re-designing program to reward people more for using AA affiliated companies/products why not add in higher levels no matter how they...

    Status now Gold on AA. Spend $25,000+ monthly with Citi AA card. Therefore, Executive Platinum in 6-8 months which is nice, though no Loyalty perks if don’t do the 30 flights, which is disappointing, why not another level of spend to get those such as 300,000, no matter how you do it? If AA re-designing program to reward people more for using AA affiliated companies/products why not add in higher levels no matter how they are achieved. As you point out at end of article only flying takes more flights for more dollars with business travelers now traveling less, this makes little sense. Combining flights and credit card makes it easier for some. For those of us using credit card a significant amount why not reward them as much or more or give incentives to use cc more, since business travel is not going to increase in coming year(s) due to Zoom capabilities, etc.

    Similar to what AMEX is doing by limiting access to Centurion clubs if not spending $75,000/month (which I suggested in a survey since I spend that monthly with AMEX). This will make the Centurion clubs less crowded, more valuable, and makes AMEX more money.

    Does AA want to make more money, in today’s new world order of business it will be fewer business travelers for them to make money on or reward compared to credit card upside.

  24. OT Guest

    The part that kills me is the 30 segment requirement for choice rewards. This seems to be heavily biased towards US-based AAdvantage members who log many short-haul flights. As a Hong Kong-based member, I have easily (pre-pandemic of course) qualified for Executive Platinum for the past 15 years based on mileage and spend level, but in my estimation rarely flew more than 25 qualifying segments in a given year.

  25. TranceXplant New Member

    Would someone mind helping me? I see a lot written about AA flights, but don't quite grasp how partner flights will be treated.

    Example of existing computation:

    CX roundtrip from ORD to HKG in PE:

    Ticket price: $2000
    Distance: 15588 miles

    EQM: 23382 (15588 x 1.5)
    EQD: $3118 (15588 x 0.20)

    How does this translate into Loyalty Points? What's the computation? I see nothing new on AA's "partner earning" page, so I simply...

    Would someone mind helping me? I see a lot written about AA flights, but don't quite grasp how partner flights will be treated.

    Example of existing computation:

    CX roundtrip from ORD to HKG in PE:

    Ticket price: $2000
    Distance: 15588 miles

    EQM: 23382 (15588 x 1.5)
    EQD: $3118 (15588 x 0.20)

    How does this translate into Loyalty Points? What's the computation? I see nothing new on AA's "partner earning" page, so I simply don't know where to start. Thanks in advance for the assistance.

    1. TranceXplant New Member

      Okay, I did some further reading on another travel blog and would just like confirmation that the following computation is correct.

      Same itinerary: r/t on CX, ORD-HKG in PE

      Ticket price: $2000
      Distance: 15588 miles

      Base miles + (0%) cabin bonus: 15588
      EXP bonus (base miles x 1.2): 18706

      Total Loyalty Points: 34294

      If this is correct, hitting EXP just got harder and more expensive for those of us who fly partners across...

      Okay, I did some further reading on another travel blog and would just like confirmation that the following computation is correct.

      Same itinerary: r/t on CX, ORD-HKG in PE

      Ticket price: $2000
      Distance: 15588 miles

      Base miles + (0%) cabin bonus: 15588
      EXP bonus (base miles x 1.2): 18706

      Total Loyalty Points: 34294

      If this is correct, hitting EXP just got harder and more expensive for those of us who fly partners across the Pacific. As what would previously have taken 5 trips with such an itinerary will now require 6 - plus another 18 segments to earn any Choice Rewards.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ TranceXplant -- Yep, this math is in fact correct.

    3. TranceXplant New Member

      Thank you, Ben.

      One thing that strikes me as particularly odd about this change is how strongly it disincentivizes travel loyalty to practically everyone who isn't currently among the most active flyers.

      As much as we all may take elite status for granted, the collection of perks it entails is actually aspirational for many people. Yet a standard AAdvantage member will now have to fly the above itinerary 13 times to accomplish the same thing...

      Thank you, Ben.

      One thing that strikes me as particularly odd about this change is how strongly it disincentivizes travel loyalty to practically everyone who isn't currently among the most active flyers.

      As much as we all may take elite status for granted, the collection of perks it entails is actually aspirational for many people. Yet a standard AAdvantage member will now have to fly the above itinerary 13 times to accomplish the same thing that an EXP can achieve in "only" 6. That's downright prohibitive.

      Given that many people who aspire to such status are younger and thus don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend with credit cards, this seems like an incredibly short-sighted business decision. Sure, they'll get some new elites who rarely fly via card spend. But who's going to regularly fill AA's planes and lounges etc. when the current batch of road warriors no longer lead such travel-centric lifestyles?

    4. Celica7101 Guest

      where does the 34294 come from? Why is it not just 2x18706?

    5. TranceXplant New Member

      Now that I've figured it out myself, here's how it's calculated.

      For OneWorld partner flights:

      Base miles +
      Cabin bonus +
      Status level bonus =
      Total Loyalty Points

      In the above example of an "R" or "E" premium economy ticket on CX:

      Base miles = 15588
      Cabin bonus = 0 (there isn't one)
      Status level bonus (EXP) = 18706 (1.2 x base miles)

      Total Loyalty Points = 15588 + 0 + 18706 = 34294

  26. S_LEE New Member

    Now I decided to switch to Alaska's Mileage Plan.. It costs just a half to achieve Oneworld Emerald status with Alaska than AA.
    I'm on a challange to get AA platinum pro and recently got CITI card but I'll close the account next July and apply for Alaska Visa card. AAdvantage is no longer worth it.

    1. S_LEE New Member

      My bad. *Emerald-->Sapphire

  27. Sam Guest

    Seems Citi asked AA: Where’s the spand?

    Tail wags dog.

  28. Scott K Guest

    Looks like someone has already had some fun at Dougs expense www.disaadvantagestatus.com

  29. JB Guest

    These changes are horrific for someone like me who managed to make $15k in spend but is now being asked to up that to $18k, only to be behind in upgrade status to people who spend $200,001 on a credit card. If I go ahead and book first class on any airline, the tickets are more but the loyalty perks don’t matter much. I’m a million miler, so I’m gold for life, but I may be breaking up with AA, and it’s not me, it’s them.

  30. Jesus H Guest

    I think 30 segments is insane. That’s a lot of legs and will turn off all their international business travelers. I’m sure it’s easy for commuter travelers who fly Boston / DC legs.

  31. Bob K Guest

    I got to a million miles by using my credit cards mostly 25 years ago or more. I had two American airlines credit cards and Visa for personal MasterCard for business expenses.
    Now I maintain the miles that I saved by buying something on advantage shopping a couple of times a year, earning a few hundred miles

  32. Rich Guest

    Ben just to clarify if I could only keep my exec platinum status for 2022 by doing the $2k eqd offer I still need to do that by 31 Dec right? Then my status will carry over until end of February 2023? And I will have 14 months to get my 2023 status earned?

    1. TranceXplant New Member

      Yes. The $2000 EQD offer expires at the end of this year and will extend status through February 2023. I'll be doing that myself, since it's the only realistic way I can keep EXP.

  33. Prater Shawn Guest

    As a guy that earns Executive Platinum every year with actual butt in the seat time I don’t like it. The highest tier should be reserved solely for the flyers.

  34. Bobo Guest

    Ben, you and others have long said that American follows Delta (mostly) or United on everything important ... now you got what you asked for, real leadership. Time will tell which way they are leading.

    1. DCS Diamond

      Premature pronouncement. It would be "real leadership" if anyone were following...

  35. Mark Guest

    If I am a lifetime Gold, do I get credit for 30k spend on my way to platinum or above

  36. Explore Guest

    Obviously, the way to requalify is to buy flights on partners.

  37. Payton M Guest

    Conceptually, it seems like the emphasis is now not only on traveling American/One World, but also on credit card spending with American. For those of us that prefer a premier credit card like the Amex Platinum, traveling 100K EQMs and spending $15K is now not enough for Exec. Platinum.

    As someone who earned status purely on traveling, and a fellow loyalist to Amex Platinum, I need to do the math about whether I want...

    Conceptually, it seems like the emphasis is now not only on traveling American/One World, but also on credit card spending with American. For those of us that prefer a premier credit card like the Amex Platinum, traveling 100K EQMs and spending $15K is now not enough for Exec. Platinum.

    As someone who earned status purely on traveling, and a fellow loyalist to Amex Platinum, I need to do the math about whether I want to keep Platinum and their larger ($695) fee while spending most of my c.c dollars with Citi/American to earn status, or if I switch to United/Star Alliance and get rewarded purely for my travel, then I can spend my c.c. dollars with Amex and collect the benefits that come from that.

  38. Joseph Guest

    I buy into domestic first. This is a disadvantage for me because now I need to be sensitive to booking codes. I never cared about miles because they just showed up and I’ve never not had them. So this just adds a complication.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Joseph

      You MUST buy domestic first. Those with any status buying economy fares or even worse basic economy that get upgrades will be missing out on loyalty points. Huge difference.

  39. Melinda Guest

    I was able to requalify for EXPLAT for 2021 by doing the $15k CC spend. Do I qualify for this? Many thanks

    POSTED ON AA - Does the “double-dipping” period help me qualify for the 2021 Elite Choice Rewards promotion?

    Yes, if you meet the 2021 requirements to qualify for AAdvantage Platinum Pro®, AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, or reach the beyond AAdvantage Executive Platinum® thresholds in January or February 2022, you will be eligible for the...

    I was able to requalify for EXPLAT for 2021 by doing the $15k CC spend. Do I qualify for this? Many thanks

    POSTED ON AA - Does the “double-dipping” period help me qualify for the 2021 Elite Choice Rewards promotion?

    Yes, if you meet the 2021 requirements to qualify for AAdvantage Platinum Pro®, AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, or reach the beyond AAdvantage Executive Platinum® thresholds in January or February 2022, you will be eligible for the 2021 Elite Choice Rewards.

  40. Lou Guest

    So it looks like the class of service bonus is no longer going to be in play for AA, just for partner airlines?

  41. Ryan Guest

    Lucky, we’d definitely benefit from a follow up article in the coming days that offers a deeper analysis of the program with lots of hypothetical examples. As someone asked earlier, would love some breakdowns of points earned from buying AA versus partner tix and how it stacks up on different route distances, etc.

  42. Melinda Guest

    Is it 30 flights on American to unlock loyalty choice rewards? Or any Oneworld carrier? Thanks

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Melinda -- They can be on American, a oneworld partner, or JetBlue.

  43. Jeff Guest

    With the new upgrade list would an EXP trump a CK if they had more of these Loyalty Points? In most scenarios the CK would have more but what about the ones who get it from companies for free, influencers etc? My former employer had a number of CK invites to give out and I often still had more EQDs than these folks

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jeff -- Nope, Concierge Key members clear ahead of Executive Platinum members with more Loyalty Points. The Loyalty Points metric is only a tiebreaker within each elite tier.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Jeff

      Right when you thought you can stick it in your old employer's face.

  44. Andrew Guest

    Maybe I would go for Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum if there wasn't the 30 segment requirement. It should at least count award flights, since you'd be earning so many points on the credit card. For stating they want to simplify things, they are still making you jump through hoops for the good stuff.

  45. Zac Guest

    This is a massive devaluation of OneWorld flights that are not AA code shares.

    For 2022, I had planned, for example, to fly QR JFK-DOH-CMB. That would be worth before, 26,820 EQMs and $3,576 EQDs. Now? 17,880 "loyalty points".

    I have a spreadsheet in which I calculate my earn. Under the previous regime, I would have spent $14,174 EQDs/109k EQMs and fly on flights I want to fly (mostly) to achieve EXP. Under the...

    This is a massive devaluation of OneWorld flights that are not AA code shares.

    For 2022, I had planned, for example, to fly QR JFK-DOH-CMB. That would be worth before, 26,820 EQMs and $3,576 EQDs. Now? 17,880 "loyalty points".

    I have a spreadsheet in which I calculate my earn. Under the previous regime, I would have spent $14,174 EQDs/109k EQMs and fly on flights I want to fly (mostly) to achieve EXP. Under the new regime, I would be almost 90,000 "loyalty points" short of EXP with the same flight plan.

    They don't want me to fly Qatar. They don't want me to enjoy CX. Forget AA. I'm out. All the reasons (as someone who lives in NYC), I didn't switch to Delta are gone now.

  46. Leigh Guest

    I’m 17 years Exec Platinum, and lifetime Platinum…but I’m so confused about the new program.

    Do I stay with AA? To be determined.

    I’m at 3 million miles with AA, and this change confuses me.

    1. Leigh Guest

      If I were an exec at Delta or United…this would be the perfect time to offer a status match against AA.

  47. YULtide Gold

    Your math on earning status assumes not using a co-branded credit card to purchase your tickets. Yes, $27,000 for Executive Platinum from scratch without a co-branded card, but that reduces to $23,680 with the co-branded card, assuming you are using the card for nothing but AA tickets (and excluding the taxes and fees that would also be paid on the card).

    And keeping Executive Platinum status with a co-branded card reduces to $16,666 in airfare,...

    Your math on earning status assumes not using a co-branded credit card to purchase your tickets. Yes, $27,000 for Executive Platinum from scratch without a co-branded card, but that reduces to $23,680 with the co-branded card, assuming you are using the card for nothing but AA tickets (and excluding the taxes and fees that would also be paid on the card).

    And keeping Executive Platinum status with a co-branded card reduces to $16,666 in airfare, with the same assumptions.

    1. Mike Guest

      The big issue here is folks like myself who work at companies that mandate use of company t&e cards. Cant stack points like that. So i could use a AA card for all personal purchases but like my cash back card more. I'm on the cusp of platinum pro status this year, but the high qualification requirement hardly seems worth it. Thinking about a status match to united and not being stuffed in a flying cattle car.

  48. Alex Guest

    AMEX or CSR will win they will add more carriers, but this is a purely domestic issue and the world does not evolve around the US for flying. Seriously how many people can put 200k on cc just to sit up front on an upgrade, just buy the ticket if u spend that much and u don’t tie yourself down to a domestic mediocre carrier. In 2022 AA will fine tune once data is in...

    AMEX or CSR will win they will add more carriers, but this is a purely domestic issue and the world does not evolve around the US for flying. Seriously how many people can put 200k on cc just to sit up front on an upgrade, just buy the ticket if u spend that much and u don’t tie yourself down to a domestic mediocre carrier. In 2022 AA will fine tune once data is in and then the award chart devaluation will come because it make no sense to offer more miles, expecting more status awarded and not devalue.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Alex

      This is precedence for a devaluation for sure.

      There’s no such thing as AA miles anymore ???

  49. John Palace Guest

    Wow….did they speak to any international business travelers before rolling this out?! This seems like it’s really going to cause an exodus unless all other airlines switch to this method of mandating 30 segments be flown to earn the elite perks. When I travel for work (or leisure) i prefer to do what’s convenient and pay for that convenience. So either take additional trips or insert connections, which A) is terrible for the environment B)...

    Wow….did they speak to any international business travelers before rolling this out?! This seems like it’s really going to cause an exodus unless all other airlines switch to this method of mandating 30 segments be flown to earn the elite perks. When I travel for work (or leisure) i prefer to do what’s convenient and pay for that convenience. So either take additional trips or insert connections, which A) is terrible for the environment B) isn’t convenient and C) creates higher chances of delays / missed connections. So regardless of what I spend, they’re pushing a volume game? That makes no sense and I think my 7 years as an EXP holder (and 6 years before that of Platinum) is coming to an end.

  50. michael Guest

    Best thing to do is pay taxes in january or february which will cost you 1.9% so for $3800 cost you can get 200,000 miles (give that 1.2 cents each in value) so net cost is $1400 and you have exec platinum for 2 years or $700 a year. Even if you don't owe that much you can overpay and get a refund.

    1. Kyle Guest

      Just gonna casually float $200,000 for a few months. Okay.

    2. Milesahead Guest

      Nice concept, but how many of us have a 200k credit limit though?

    3. MJ Guest

      You don't have to have a 200k credit limit. You can split the payments up to 4 times easily. The IRS allows 2x each payment type. So 2x 2021Q4 estimated payments, file an extension with payment (2x) in January, then file your full return when ready and get any excess money back.

    4. Eskimo Guest

      Nice concept, but how many of us have a 50k credit limit though?

    5. Trey Guest

      ..or a $200,000 tax bill.

    6. Brian Guest

      @ Michael: I think your idea is brilliant.

  51. Bort5050 Guest

    It seems like it's meant to push people to make an AA branded credit card their primary card instead a situational-use card.

    1. Payton M Guest

      Exactly this. It's pulling AA deeper into the credit card/financing game. Why else would they determine status on something OTHER than how much you use their airline?

  52. MJ Guest

    Ben, any idea on the apparent sunsetting of the Barclays Aviator cards? According to this page (https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/partners/credit-card/aadvantage-credit-cards.jsp) linked from the new announcement, the Barclays cards are in the grandfathered section. Only the Citi cards are listed as accepting new applications, although it does appear that Barclays itself is still taking applications. What's going on here?

  53. MisterKenn Guest

    I am currently EXP and my wife is Platinum Pro. We received this by happening to fly during a targeted promotion in 2019 by flying British Airways to Cape Town and Back along with some AA domestic flights. Then we both got extended for 2020/2021 due to the pandemic. I have gotten extended to 2023 by spending on my AA Citi Credit card. My question is without flying a lot on expensive tickets, how does...

    I am currently EXP and my wife is Platinum Pro. We received this by happening to fly during a targeted promotion in 2019 by flying British Airways to Cape Town and Back along with some AA domestic flights. Then we both got extended for 2020/2021 due to the pandemic. I have gotten extended to 2023 by spending on my AA Citi Credit card. My question is without flying a lot on expensive tickets, how does my wife keep her status? We both use the credit card, but the points go to my frequent flyer account. So it seems that I may be able to again get EXP for 2023/2024 by spending in 2022, but she could end up with no status at all. She will not be happy if I get an upgrade and she is sitting in the back. And I will not be happy if I always have to buy her a first class ticket.

  54. tom Guest

    Thank you for the in depth review. In the end, as long as you fly AA and have co-branded credit cards from Barclay and Citi, you should see similar paths when we lived in the EQD and EQM world. I haven't seen what the Citi EX MC bonus will be for spend. Can you comment on that?

  55. Happy Flyer New Member

    I am glad I switched from AA to another airline for my primary carrier. AA is continuing to kill the hand that feeds them, their customers! Absolutely no customer service and now take away the frequent flyer program, IMO. The management team needs to go, they are ruining a once great airline.

    1. Mike Guest

      Their customers are the credit card spenders. Everything else is secondary.

  56. Mike J Guest

    What happens to the miles you already have? Do they convert to loyalty points? I have a over 300k miles at the moment so I am curious how that will be effected. I guess I have a better chance at getting status with my CC now at least. I never get enough EQM's etc but I do spend enough on my AA CC that I get the extra rewards from that.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mike J -- Nothing happens to your redeemable AAdvantage miles. This exclusively impacts elite qualification, as that metric resets every year (unlike the miles you earn).

    2. Mike J Guest

      Okay cool thank you! I thought that might be the case but wanted to be sure. :D

  57. Randy Platinum

    Now shows - so Barclay Silver 15K LP max at $50K spend, Citi Exec 10K LP at $40K.
    So if you spend $100K split on the two cards - you get 125K LP - which equals PlatPro with no flying.

  58. DCflyer Guest

    Has anyone heard how Rocketmiles fits into this? It's pretty easy to earn 10k+ miles on a hotel stay... and they're not "bonus" or "promotional" miles. Would these count as Loyalty points?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ DCflyer -- Just asked, and it was confirmed that Rocketmiles is in the "we'll see" category, along with Bask and Hyatt.

    2. DCflyer Guest

      then I guess my question of switching from Alaska to AA will remain in the "we'll see" category as well! Thanks for the great reporting!

    3. darkrider New Member

      Please keep us posted on what the decision is for these programs when it comes out!

  59. JB Guest

    Didn't read all comment so apologies if this was brought up- Since most of my flying is for business, my company buys my air tix.
    How does this affect us? We won't get the credit card spend points right?
    On a $500 ticket that my company bought for a 2000 mile trip, what do I get, 500 points?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ JB -- You wouldn't get miles for the credit card spending, but you'd earn 5-11x Loyalty Points per dollar spent on American flights, depending on your status.

    2. JA Guest

      As a current EXP, you would need to spend ~$18,000 purely on flights alone to hit the 200k loyalty points

    3. Alyson Guest

      If I am a current EP and buy my tickets on my American Barclay Credit Card.....do I basically earn 2 Loyalty points per dollar spent *11? So in actuality I need t spend $9k annually to retain my status??

  60. Neil Eisner Guest

    I wrote Bask Bank Cust Svc and got the following response; perhaps Ben's contacts will know something more or different where this could really work!

    Thank you for your email. Bask Bank will continue to reward our customers with miles, however, please note that AAdvantage® miles awarded through Bask Bank do not qualify for loyalty points and as such, do not count toward elite-status qualification or AAdvantage® Million MilerSM status.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Neil Eisner -- Yeah, clearly they're not ready to announce anything one way or another. I wouldn't expect to get any insights from Bask beyond what I'm being told by American.

    2. Nun Guest

      Bask already posts as BASE MILES just like all the activity AA has said counts toward LP. Just check your AA account. Therefore it's extremely likely to count as LP, like 99% chance. No one should have alerted AA about this, because there is no upside to doing so. It either works and they leave it, or it works and they disable it. There's no way AA finds that it doesn't work and they decide to fix it.

  61. Douglas Frost DeNunzio Guest

    The correct way to quote an advertising company of the old past!

  62. GV Guest

    Hello. Can you please find out what happened to the JFK - DEL flghts which were scheduled to start on oct 31. I had a ticket confirmed a few days back and was able to get a System Wide upgrade to business class but now it seems that flight is no longer available. I have not hear any announcements from AA either. any help would be appreciated.

  63. Eric Guest

    Been brief mentions by a couple others about what this means for the Hyatt partnership; the piece of that I'm most curious about is what it might mean for those shortcuts to AA status offered to Hyatt elites. I recently made Hyatt Globalist thanks to the reduced qualifications in 2021 and don't quite have enough organic travel to justify a mileage run to meet AA's fall promotion, but 2022 travel plans are shaping up to...

    Been brief mentions by a couple others about what this means for the Hyatt partnership; the piece of that I'm most curious about is what it might mean for those shortcuts to AA status offered to Hyatt elites. I recently made Hyatt Globalist thanks to the reduced qualifications in 2021 and don't quite have enough organic travel to justify a mileage run to meet AA's fall promotion, but 2022 travel plans are shaping up to be enough if a similar offer came around again, but now I don't even know what that would look like...earn 25% of the Gold-required loyalty points in 90 days, perhaps, with no time in the air required?

  64. R B Guest

    Will bonus multiplier from AAeshopping count as loyalty points?
    ie spend $1 on Nike through AA portal, get 5 miles currenctly.
    Will that mean 5 'loyalty points'?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ R B -- I believe so, but I followed up with a contact to confirm, and will report back.

  65. Franklin Guest

    Serious question: do they think that the pandemic is over? They've just had to extend statuses for 2021, which means people really aren't still flying a ton. But from 2022, they want to make the threshhold 200k points for exp? Clearly they think things will be back to normal. I feel decently confident they'll have to adjust this number.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Franklin -- My guess is that these are the numbers that American is starting with, and then over time they'll be reduced, just as they've been last year and this year. For example, remember this year started with us needing 80K EQMs and 12K EQDs to maintain Executive Platinum status, and ended with us just needing to spend $15K on a credit card or earning 2K EQDs.

  66. Ctastro Guest

    30 segments for the Elite choice bonuses is impactful, particularly for seniors or anyone with mobility challenges or disabilities. Folks in these categories generally select non-stops and direct flights for discretionary travel. Both out of physical necessity and the mental stress relying on AA's fairly broken wheelchair/assistance program during connections. Especially if traveling solo with no companion to assist. Qualifying on EQMs, through purchasing tickets in Business or First on 2-3 high mileage flights with...

    30 segments for the Elite choice bonuses is impactful, particularly for seniors or anyone with mobility challenges or disabilities. Folks in these categories generally select non-stops and direct flights for discretionary travel. Both out of physical necessity and the mental stress relying on AA's fairly broken wheelchair/assistance program during connections. Especially if traveling solo with no companion to assist. Qualifying on EQMs, through purchasing tickets in Business or First on 2-3 high mileage flights with no or minimal connections, was doable. Closer to the front, more spacious accommodations, and the cost was worth the additional $$ on multiple fronts. The thought of having to fly 7-8 RTs, all connections, to make 30 segments, is a soul-crushing prospect. I realize that's not the typical flyer though.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ctastro -- The 30 segment requirement does seem quite high to me as well, especially for those who frequently take long haul flights. For certain travel patterns you could qualify for Concierge Key before you qualify for Loyalty Choice Rewards.

    2. PresRDC Gold

      Also encouraging the flying of unneeded segments is terrible for the environment.

    3. Watson New Member

      Agree. 30 is insane. I regularly qualify for UA 1K with fewer than 20 segments, because it's mostly long-haul J. I feel like AA is going to lose some of the int'l business market with these changes.

  67. Art_Czar New Member

    @Lucky - typo in penultimate sub-heading. Didn't you mean to say "There’s no AAdvantage award chart devaluation, yet!" ;-)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Art_Czar -- LOL!

  68. Jack Guest

    So, if I buy a $2000 ticket and charge to an AA card, I get 2000 loyalty points? As an EXP, I would also get 22,000 points ($2000 x 11) when I fly. So this trip would earn me 24,000 loyalty points in total, do I have that right?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jack -- That's correct(ish). The only thing I'd note is that you'll only earn the 11x points on the airfare before taxes and fees (meanwhile for the credit card you could earn the Loyalty Points for the total ticket cost, including taxes and fees).

    2. Neil Eisner Guest

      @Ben, do you have to charge AA airfares to an AA credit card to get the 11x bonus? Or is it just that if you used CSR for example, you would get 11x the airfare vs. AA card you get 11x the (airfare + taxes & fees)?

    3. Leigh Guest

      11X loyalty points is an Executive Platinum benefit (non elite status starts at a 5x amount), and is not related to credit card. Credit card earns different loyalty points. I think we'll all have a headache after figuring out the small details.

    4. Neil Eisner Guest

      Exactly my question. Does this encourage buying partner airfares as an AA codeshare even though it might cost a little more?

  69. Ryan Guest

    So how many SWUs can one earn in by time time you qualify for EXP? Previously you earn 4 at qualification, then in 2021 with Elite Choice, you can technically earn 5 by the time of re-qual (1 as Elite Choice at Plat Pro, 2x 2 as Elite Choices at EXP)?

    Not that SWUs really are that valuable anymore... but that has been one of the best perks of hitting EXP in the past.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ryan -- You could still earn five, assuming that you fly 30 segments with American or partners (which is what's required to be eligible for Loyalty Choice Rewards).

    2. Doug Santoni Guest

      I switched my allegiance to Alaska Airlines several years back; AA's systemwide upgrades were so difficult to use that they were near useless. I simply don't have the time or energy to keep up with AA's "simple" mileage program (I guess it's a loyalty program now, or a loyalty point program, or a weighted average among three different loyalty-earning point channels...). I'm exhausted. My energy is better spent looking for reasonably-priced business- or first-class tickets...

      I switched my allegiance to Alaska Airlines several years back; AA's systemwide upgrades were so difficult to use that they were near useless. I simply don't have the time or energy to keep up with AA's "simple" mileage program (I guess it's a loyalty program now, or a loyalty point program, or a weighted average among three different loyalty-earning point channels...). I'm exhausted. My energy is better spent looking for reasonably-priced business- or first-class tickets on a transaction-by-transaction basis with no loyalty to any carrier or program.

  70. T Dog Guest

    The value of non-bonus category credit card spending is 2.25% because I mark UR points at $0.015 each and you earn 1.5 points per dollar spent with Chase's Unlimited cards. Yes, there are ways to make those points worth more - Hyatt is a good example - but it is easier to set that benchmark and then celebrate when you exceed that value.

    AA miles are worth $.015 (also with occasional higher value) or 1.50%...

    The value of non-bonus category credit card spending is 2.25% because I mark UR points at $0.015 each and you earn 1.5 points per dollar spent with Chase's Unlimited cards. Yes, there are ways to make those points worth more - Hyatt is a good example - but it is easier to set that benchmark and then celebrate when you exceed that value.

    AA miles are worth $.015 (also with occasional higher value) or 1.50% of the amount spent on an AA credit card. This means the opportunity cost for spending $200K on an AA credit card versus a Chase Unlimited card is $1500. That seems like an insignificant cost for EP status.

    How's my math?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ T Dog -- Your math is right based on your valuations. I'd note that for many of us the opportunity cost of spending has increased over time. I value transferable points at 1.7 cents each, and now the Citi Double Cash and Venture Card both offer 2x transferable points per dollar spent. So to me the math would be 3.4% vs. 1.5%, so that's a 1.9% spread.

    2. T Dog New Member

      Ah yes, that makes sense. One way to see this is with $200K in spending you would earn 200K AA miles on an AA credit card while you would earn $4K on the Double Cash card. If you also have the Citi Premier Card, you could convert that $4K into 400K ThankYou points. Besides being more flexible than AA points (more transfer partners), those ThankYou points can be converted into 400K AA miles, making the opportunity cost 200K AA miles.

  71. Neil Eisner Guest

    Ben, one thing I'm not clear on; when traveling on partner airlines will it be better to buy the ticket directly on the partner, or buy it as an AA codeshare? Could you illustrate your response using an example. Suppose for an EP, you buy a Biz class ticket RT MIA-LHR which is about 9K miles round trip. On BA this might be 20% of miles flown. What if I pay 3K for this ticket...

    Ben, one thing I'm not clear on; when traveling on partner airlines will it be better to buy the ticket directly on the partner, or buy it as an AA codeshare? Could you illustrate your response using an example. Suppose for an EP, you buy a Biz class ticket RT MIA-LHR which is about 9K miles round trip. On BA this might be 20% of miles flown. What if I pay 3K for this ticket as an AA codeshare; do I not earn 3000 * 11 = 33000 points for this? Is that better than the calculation based on 9K miles flown? I can use your answer to figure which is better for a much longer trip which might not cost that much more - for example LAX-DOH-SIN about 22K miles flown RT and can buy discounted for about $3500. Seems to me might earn more buying the 22K trip on the partner directly rather than as AA ticket which would earn about 39000 points. Thanks for your help! See

    1. Tim Guest

      Just like before, it will depend on the ticket type. For long-mileage cheap flights (and many cheap premium economy and even some business class fares) it is better to book on the partner carrier's flight numbers to get credit based on mileage. More often than not though, it's best to use the AA codeshares to get credit on spend. Especially on business/first class. I always do the math each time though, to figure out what's better.

    2. Neil Eisner Guest

      Tim, maybe you could clarify how to evaluate the options. I book Qatar in R or I class; this is what the current EQM and EQD earnings are -- no cabin bonus, 1.5 EQM's per mile flown, 20% EQD's per mile flown.
      Business R, I 100% – 1.50 20% 1.00
      Typical RT distance 22K miles. It's clear what you earn if you buy on AA - ticket Price * 11 for EXP bonus.

      Tim, maybe you could clarify how to evaluate the options. I book Qatar in R or I class; this is what the current EQM and EQD earnings are -- no cabin bonus, 1.5 EQM's per mile flown, 20% EQD's per mile flown.
      Business R, I 100% – 1.50 20% 1.00
      Typical RT distance 22K miles. It's clear what you earn if you buy on AA - ticket Price * 11 for EXP bonus.
      However, assuming I buy on Qatar:
      Do I value this at 22K * 1.50 miles = 33K loyalty points? Any EXP bonus on top of that?
      Or do I value it at 22K * 20% = 4400 dollars = 4400 dollar spend on AA * 11 for EXP bonus = 48,400?

    3. Neil Eisner Guest

      I've looked at several sites discussing the new program for more examples how to value things in the new program. So maybe on this 22K RT example, it's 22K + 120% EP bonus = 22K + (22K * 1.2) = 22000 + 26400 = 48400?

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Neil Eisner -- The math you're doing there is correct. Generally speaking if a flight is expensive (based on the cabin you're traveling in) then you're best off getting it on American ticket stock, so you earn 11x Loyalty Points as an Executive Platinum member. Meanwhile when you find a great fare sale, you're usually best off booking through a partner, so you can earn Loyalty Points as a percentage of the distance flown.

  72. Martin Guest

    I am so torn with this change. With my cc spending habit, i love it that it be that much easier to get exp status for me. On the other hand, i love exp because i get the swu upgrades, now they making it that much harder to get as we have to fly 30segments?! I qualified for exp this year with just 16segments… i have to rethink if exp is worth all those spending, or go ob the citi prestige/chase sapphire route.. sigh

  73. Kyle Guest

    I read that there is a cabin bonus when flying on partner airlines- will this apply when flying on American as well? In the past you'd get 2X EQMs if you flew domestic first (up to 3X for a full fare premium ticket). Or, will the Loyalty Points = dollars spent X 5 or elite status bonus, no matter which cabin?

    1. Mike Reed Guest

      Cabin bonuses apply.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Kyle -- For travel ticketed and operated by American, Loyalty Points will simply be calculated as a multiple of the cost of the ticket. EQMs aren't a relevant metric there.

  74. Tocqueville Guest

    For the 30 segments minimum required to earn the choice awards at the various thresholds can they be award segments or only paid segments?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tocqueville -- Award flights marketed by American Airlines do qualify towards this, so that's great news (I'm updating my response to make it accurate, as I was wrong initially).

    2. Martin Guest

      @Ben Schlappig, that is not 100% true.. https://aadvantagestatus.com states American marketed award travel will count toward reaching the minimum flight segment requirement, so American marketed award travel are eligible unless i am misunderstanding this

    3. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Martin -- Thanks for the correct, I appreciate it. Updated the post to reflect that.

  75. Frank Guest

    Will one loyalty point be counted as a mile toward million miler status?

    1. charles Guest

      They did not announce any changes to million miler program. So actual miles flown will be counted for million miler. Now of course that is subject to change.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Frank -- Lifetime status will continue to be earned based on the current system.

  76. Pinoysojourner New Member

    Yes, innovative relatively speaking, and simpler relatively speaking ... but the thresholds give me pause. 200K for ExP? And 30 segments? I've hit ExP the past decade with all the changes - mix of loyalty and mileage run strategy - but this one feels harder with my historic ways of traveling and earning.

  77. D3kingg Guest

    Although relatively small , this is a loss for spend on AMEX travel cards (green , gold , platinum ) .

    1. Pierre Platinum

      That's EXACTLY why they are doing it, and rightly so...
      The days of the BEST COMMERCIAL EVER by Amex in the OLD Immigration hall at JFK T8 before the remodelling was a big green American Express card and the caption:
      "When you have a green card you do not need a visa"

      Pure Genius !!

  78. koby jones Guest

    Are the loyalty choice awards on top of the elite choice awards? So if you get exec plat with 200k points do you get the choice awards or do you have to fly 30 segments to get the choice awards? It isn't clear.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ koby jones -- The Loyalty Choice Rewards replace Elite Choice Rewards. You can only select these if you fly at least 30 segments.

    2. kobsjones New Member

      Thanks for the clarification, probably not worth switching spend from Delta then if I have to fly 30x to get the choice awards.

  79. Corrado Guest

    If I complain to customer service and they give me bonus miles, are those loyalty points?

    Glad to see status earned effectively through revenue only. I used to easily earn EQDs but struggle to meet EQMs.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Corrado -- LOL! Guessing no, but that would create quite an incentive to complain...

  80. Morris Guest

    Any idea if miles earned from the Flight Cents program for Barclays AA cards count?

    Also, they already updated the Aviator Silver card info page to reflect the changes: now you earn up to 15K Loyalty Points ("LP") after hitting up to 3 spend milestones: $20K/5K LP, $40K/5K LP, $50K/5K LP!

  81. D3kingg Guest

    Well great I will be Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum for many years to come.
    My meals in Chinatown count towards my status ? Lol what a joke.
    Now we just need the av geeks to figure out how to hack the system and also manufactured spending.

  82. Mike Reed Guest

    How is this going to affect upgrade priority for Alaska elites flying on American, who don't have "Loyalty Points" but are waitlisted by status?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mike Reed -- Alaska elites will be prioritized immediately behind American elites in the equivalent tier (the same is true for American elites on Alaska). So there's no Loyalty Points tiebreaker with American elites and Alaska elites.

      That being said, I'm not sure how Alaska elites with the same status will be prioritized on American, and if the tiebreaker will be fare class, or what.

    2. Mike Reed Guest

      So Alaska elites will be treated as equivalent tier at 0 Loyalty points, meaning they're always at the bottom of that tier (Platinum, Gold, etc.)?

  83. Mark Smith Guest

    I am curious if the new loyalty program will have any effect on those who have achieved platinum for life status.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Mark Smith -- Nope, no changes when it comes to lifetime status. Though I do hope American eventually improves the AAdvantage lifetime status program.

    2. Mark Smith Guest

      Thats good news and I agree with you on improving the lifetime program

    3. Pierre Platinum

      You know what they say and it has certainly proven right over a few decades for many carriers... Does STATUS FOR LIFE mean "Your life" or "The airline's life"?

  84. DFW32 Guest

    It’s official: American Airlines is now a credit card company with an airline problem. How else do you explain being able to earn elite status exclusively from credit card spend

    It’s too bad that I have no viable alternatives in DFW to switch loyalty to.

    1. Mike Reed Guest

      Credit card spend is more profitable to the airline, so of course they encourage that.

    2. Steve Gold

      Did you forget that there are two airports in Dallas and you can fly southwest pretty much anywhere now?

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @Steve

      DAL is awesome

      @DFW32

      Sure you can switch to delta or United at DFW.

      I’m based in Houston which is United territory but fly with American. It took about a year to get used to.

    4. Brian Guest

      An immediate classic: "American Airlines is now a credit card company with an airline problem."

  85. Donna Diamond

    I think the key word here is “loyalty.” If you have high status with AA decide to leave and return at some future point, after losing all status, it’s a major uphill climb back to EXP unless you have a lot of spend to dump on a co-branded credit card. Like others here, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on the award chart.

  86. Andy Guest

    Holy Moly...guess I need to get an AA credit card!

    This EXP liked to put all airfare spending on my Amex Plat for the 5X. I usually spend about $16K in airfare on AA...and that won't be enough for EXP (16,000 x 11 = 176,000 Loyal Points). Even after moving that spend over to an AA card I will still come up short.....unless I spend more on that AA card. Wow, this is smart...

    Holy Moly...guess I need to get an AA credit card!

    This EXP liked to put all airfare spending on my Amex Plat for the 5X. I usually spend about $16K in airfare on AA...and that won't be enough for EXP (16,000 x 11 = 176,000 Loyal Points). Even after moving that spend over to an AA card I will still come up short.....unless I spend more on that AA card. Wow, this is smart (for overall engagement) and going to be boon for their AA credit cards.

    I wonder how many people will cancel CSR or Amex Plat over this ? Now I have to ask myself without if AMEX Plat is still worth it? My main points earning (airfare) would be gone....is $695 worth it for the lounge access and other coupon book perks?

    Curious if others are thinking this way.....

    1. DCS Diamond

      Wow, this is smart (for overall engagement) and going to be boon for their AA credit cards.

      I wonder how many people will cancel CSR or Amex Plat over this ?

      Well, a potentially vexing consequence of this new metric is precisely that it might force folks to choose between putting their spend on an AA CC to earn Loyalty Points at 1X or on a CC like the Amex Plat (5x) or the CSR...

      Wow, this is smart (for overall engagement) and going to be boon for their AA credit cards.

      I wonder how many people will cancel CSR or Amex Plat over this ?

      Well, a potentially vexing consequence of this new metric is precisely that it might force folks to choose between putting their spend on an AA CC to earn Loyalty Points at 1X or on a CC like the Amex Plat (5x) or the CSR (3x) to earn transferable points currencies.

      Any bets on which strategy would be emerge victorious from such a dual?

    2. Alex Guest

      AMEX or CSR will win, but this is a purely domestic issue and the world does not evolve around the US for flying, seriously how many people can put 200k on cc just to sit up front on an upgrade, just buy the ticket if u spend that much and u don’t tie yourself down to a domestic mediocre carrier.

    3. Payton M Guest

      Most people aren't looking at spending $200K on a credit card with none of those miles spent on flights. Otherwise if you're not spending any money on flying, what's the point of status with an airline?

      Many of us are trying to figure out if it's worth dumping Amex Platinum and moving that $50-$100K spend to AA and then continuing to spend our ~$12K on airline tickets to earn Exec. Platinum. The $12K alone...

      Most people aren't looking at spending $200K on a credit card with none of those miles spent on flights. Otherwise if you're not spending any money on flying, what's the point of status with an airline?

      Many of us are trying to figure out if it's worth dumping Amex Platinum and moving that $50-$100K spend to AA and then continuing to spend our ~$12K on airline tickets to earn Exec. Platinum. The $12K alone won't get you there any longer, you've got to spend cc dollars, too now.

    4. DCS Diamond

      Agreed. I find preposterous the notion that it makes sense for anyone who plays the mile/point game to reduce their out-of-pockets spend on leisure travel to spend $200K on an AA CC simply to earn elite status. In fact, I suspect many, if not most, who play the game do not earn that kind of money a year. And the opportunity cost for putting $200K on a co-branded AA CC to earn 1X LP vs....

      Agreed. I find preposterous the notion that it makes sense for anyone who plays the mile/point game to reduce their out-of-pockets spend on leisure travel to spend $200K on an AA CC simply to earn elite status. In fact, I suspect many, if not most, who play the game do not earn that kind of money a year. And the opportunity cost for putting $200K on a co-branded AA CC to earn 1X LP vs. putting such spend on, say, an AMEX Plat card to earn transferable points at 5X? OH LÀ LÀ CHÉRI!

  87. Guv Guest

    I also wondered about whether miles earned from Bask Bank deposits would count as Loyalty Points. Under the section on exclusions that AA identifies under its FAQs, there is no exclusion for Bask Bank miles. But maybe the exclusions are a work in progress.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Guv -- I'm really interested in this as well. If those miles count, that would be FANTASTIC. But alas, I've been told to expect updates on that in the future.

    2. john Guest

      To Ben what about if you don't qualify for an American credit card or you are turned down for any reason for whatever reason

      To me it seems like discrimination they should let everybody get a credit card then

      Or not make it to where you can qualify for this status with a credit card if not everybody can get a credit card thank you what is your opinion

    3. Neil Eisner Guest

      Please stay on top of this; it would be a fantastic option for some!

  88. DCS Diamond

    AA was the last holdout. Now it's adopted what is essentially a revenue-based system...

  89. Brewer Guest

    Do you know if “base miles” for partners like AAdvantage Shopping means one mile per dollar, or rather, just excludes the targeted spend bonuses like spend $500 get 1000 bonus miles?

    For example, Macy’s via AAdvantage eshopping, which is listed as “Was up to 2 miles per dollar, now 5 miles per dollar.”

    Do you earn one loyalty point per dollar, two loyalty points per dollar, or five loyalty points per dollar?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Brewer -- I followed up with American, and confirmed that in this case you'd receive five Loyalty Points. So I'm guessing it's just certain sign-up bonuses and other promotions that wouldn't qualify.

  90. Vin Guest

    Hmm, what about the AA miles earned with Hyatt stays for Globalists/Exec Plat

  91. Martin Larry Guest

    What about life time stays? Has that changed?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Martin Larry -- There are no changes to lifetime status.

  92. D3kingg Guest

    So qualifying for elite status in 2023 won’t even start until March 2022 ? So flying in January - February 2022 will only count towards 2022 ???

    Also you said there is no distance based earning. But if an EP flies a 1,000 miles first class flight on Alaska you earn 2,700 miles ? So it doesn’t matter how much the ticket costs ?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ D3kingg -- Starting in 2023, status will be earned between March and February. In 2022, you'll have from January 1, 2022, through February 28, 2023, to earn status, so you have 14 months.

      In the case of the Alaska Airlines example, the distance matters because miles on partner airlines are generally earned as a percentage of the distance flown. That's because American doesn't always have easy access to how much these tickets cost.

  93. Frank B Gold

    I'm surprised to be the first to ask, but what about Hyatt reciprocal miles? Does that spend count towards AA status? Globalist here and I could probably make AA Gold just on Hyatt spend.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Frank B -- I've asked a contact at American, and got the same answer I received about Bask Bank, which is to stay tuned, as some partnership details are still being worked out. So it's not a "yes," but it's also not a "no."

  94. DCS Diamond

    My initial take is that this new elite qualification metric, the Loyalty Point, seems quite messy because it tries to be all-encompassing with respect to the activities that are considered "eligible." Hopefully, there will be more clarity after it's put into practice.

    AA needed to do something dramatic to stop its race to the bottom. Is this it? Only time will tell, but there is great potential for things to unravel because the new metric...

    My initial take is that this new elite qualification metric, the Loyalty Point, seems quite messy because it tries to be all-encompassing with respect to the activities that are considered "eligible." Hopefully, there will be more clarity after it's put into practice.

    AA needed to do something dramatic to stop its race to the bottom. Is this it? Only time will tell, but there is great potential for things to unravel because the new metric may be too confusing or not intuitive for the average Joe...

    1. Francois Guest

      The first bullet point in the press release is "American is eliminating complicated elite qualifying metrics, introducing Loyalty Points where one qualifying AAdvantage® mile earned equals one Loyalty Point." Yet 2x or 3x on an AA card only gets 1 loyalty point. Like wtf??? Lol

  95. James S Guest

    It's so easy, one mile is one point********************

    1. Francois Guest

      Except 2x or 3x on an AA card is only one Loyalty Point. Lol.

  96. Luke Guest

    "There’s no AAdvantage award chart devaluation, yay!"

    Based on a post on DoctorOfCredit today, "Negative American Airlines Changes Incoming Update: These changes are imminent and expected either 10/26 or 10/27."

    https://www.doctorofcredit.com/negative-american-airlines-changes-incoming/

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Luke -- That was based on a rumor, which was in reality a rumor about these changes, not an award chart devaluation.

    2. Greg Guest

      That site is not reliable on these matters

  97. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    "There’s no AAdvantage award chart devaluation, yay!"

    Well, it's still early in the day. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Dick Bupkiss -- Hah, they claim one isn't coming anytime soon, so we'll see. I feel confident saying it's not coming today, this week, or within the next month, but beyond that remains to be seen...

    2. Dick Bupkiss Guest

      OK, fair enough (certainly much better than what I was bracing for). I'll take it.
      Thanks for talking me down. Now stepping back from the ledge...

    3. Francois Guest

      @Ben If you were a gambling man, what odds to you put on Citi TY transfers to AA??? Added permanently, rate reduced, or eliminated entirely?

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Francois -- I have no inside information, but personally I'd put odds at greater than 50% that this is made permanent. That's especially true with this latest announcement, since people will have a strong incentive to spend on co-branded credit cards, so there shouldn't be too much risk of cannibalizing credit card spending from the AAdvantage portfolio.

  98. Randy Platinum

    Meant EQD below.
    EQD is rolling 12 months no - will Points be rolling for Upgrades?
    And then how to they transition from EQD to Points?

  99. 767 Guest

    Will spend on the Citi Mile up card count? Currently have the Citi AAdvantage platinum card but was thinking of downgrading ever since they got rid benefits like trip cancellation & delay insurance. I get these benefits now from Chase Sapphire Reserve. Have Million miler status so don’t need the few remaining benefits left such as free bags and early boarding.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ 767 -- The AAdvantage MileUp Card would qualify.

  100. Randy Platinum

    Still not clear on how they handle EQD and Loyalty points for upgrade priority. On March 1st , 2022, does EQM completely go away for upgrade priority within tiers? How does this transition.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Randy -- Correct, EQDs and EQMs will completely go away, and starting at that point rolling Loyalty Points will be the relevant metric for upgrade priority within a tier. I don't know what exactly that transition will look like on March 1 when it comes to backdating Loyalty Points, but that's the general idea.

  101. D3kingg Guest

    Warning up front make sure you’re sitting down.

    No I’m laying down .

  102. Treat Guest

    Curious if they will try to crack down on MS.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Treat -- I think it comes down to who "they" are. Presumably American doesn't care how you spend money, but rather any issues would be with Barclays and Citi. I'm not into manufactured spending, so I'm not sure off the top of my head how those two issuers are when it comes to that.

    2. Steve Gold

      You must be new here....

    3. Scott Guest

      It is my impression that neither citi nor Barclay's are particularly sensitive to MS. In terms of shutdowns, Barclay's has been known to do it for rapid spikes in spending or third party bill pay services and citi for cycling limits.

  103. Brian Guest

    I want to make sure that I understand the "double dip" opportunity. Currently, I don't hold any AA status. Does this mean that if I spend $30K from 1/1/22 to 2/28/22, I will earn Gold status through 3/31/24 - since I will have qualified for both 2022 and 2023?!

    1. AdamH Guest

      Yes you will earn the status, but that is not double dipping as you always earn status for the current year and the next. This double dip is more to maintain status than earn new status. In other words if you were already Gold, and were trying to maintain that but only flew a little in 2021, if you flew the remaining of your 2021 requirements in Jan/Feb you would keep your status into all of 2022 and then only need to spend the rest to get status for 2023

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Brian -- Exactly as AdamH explained. The double dip is useful if you are trying to earn status for 2021 and for next year. If you're starting from scratch this likely won't be that useful, unless you plan on doing nothing but flying in the first two months of 2022.

  104. Biz Traveler Guest

    Wonder if you'll still get 10k points for hitting $40k in spend on the exec card

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Biz Traveler -- Here's what the terms state:
      "For the 2021 EQM period, the window to spend $40,000 on eligible purchases* has been extended by 2 months until 02/28/22.
      For the 2022 benefit year, you will earn 10,000 additional Loyalty Points instead of EQMs after spending $40,000 in eligible purchases* between 01/01/22 and 02/28/23."

      We'll see what happens in 2023 and beyond...

    2. Jack Guest

      You will now earn 10k bonus loyalty points for $40k spend. Unclear if this is permanent of just for next year. https://creditcards.aa.com/aadvantageprogram/

  105. Sel, D. Guest

    Does this push back the $2000eqd promo for requal?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sel, D. -- Nope, that promotion is still live over the originally published dates, and that will extend status by a full year if completed (rather than just for a brief period).

  106. Jeff Guest

    I imagine this will be a hit to premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. I've mostly used CSR for all my spending, putting $30k + on that card in each of the last couple years. Now I'll switch that spend over to my AA Exec Mastercard so I can earn loyalty points.

    1. Steve Gold

      Yup, Going to get a new AA card when there is a good bonus next year and get rid of the CSR or downgrade to CSP. I have always had platinum since i used to travel a lot i wont even have gold next year so getting an AA exec makes a lot of sense now.

  107. M P Guest

    Any word on Bask Bank Mileage Saving accounts awarded miles counting as "Loyalty Points" ?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ M P -- "Stay tuned," is all I got. So it's not a "yes" just yet, but it's also not a "no."

    2. JoeSchmo Guest

      Interesting to see this. I actually sent a comment over a year ago to the Bask team that they should get this done. Hoping it happens!

  108. Brant Guest

    I can see a lot of creative manufactured spending on AA cobranded credit cards coming out of these changes!

  109. Anthony Diamond

    Hmm. I am a Delta guy but I think will throw some flights and spend to AA next year and hit platinum…

    A couple of business class transcons on AA or Mint metal, plus minimal AA card spending, gets you to gold. Then a few more transcons get you to Plat. With Delta having de facto extended status until early 2024, I may switch my JFK to LAX flying.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Wait until Delta does this in 2023.

      The legacy 3 operates as an oligopoly copycat. You just need one airline to make changes and take the heat, then everyone follows.

      On the good news, soon their FFP would be worth 3x more than the airline itself, and when Chapter 11 hits, it would be worth 10x more but would also liquidate much less few months after the airline does.

    2. MarkyMark-321 New Member

      Delta is almost there already with MQD's. I find myself needing to make MQD runs, as opposed to mileage or MQM runs in order to make Diamond. It's easy to get the $25K spend waiver for Platinum, but not the $250K spend for Diamond.

  110. Randy Platinum

    What about lifetime miles? Still base on BIS?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Randy -- Nothing is changing with lifetime miles.

  111. Bobby J Guest

    The way I see this, this is essentially American Airlines becoming the IHG or Hilton of they skies. Their elite status will become basically throw-away status, since everyone and their mother will have it. Great if you like racking up points and don't care about recognition beyond that. I will be absolutely shocked if anyone gets upgraded going forward, and I would expect that a lot of the perks that come with elite status (e.g.,...

    The way I see this, this is essentially American Airlines becoming the IHG or Hilton of they skies. Their elite status will become basically throw-away status, since everyone and their mother will have it. Great if you like racking up points and don't care about recognition beyond that. I will be absolutely shocked if anyone gets upgraded going forward, and I would expect that a lot of the perks that come with elite status (e.g., dedicated phone lines, club access etc.), will become diluted, simply because of a potential deluge in new elites.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Bobby J -- I certainly could be wrong, but personally I don't think that this will swell elite ranks all that much. Are you basing this on the belief that people will spend a lot on American Airlines credit cards? Also keep in mind that if people are mostly earning status through credit card spending then they're not actually flying that much, and therefore don't pose as much competition for upgrades.

    2. Steve Gold

      Upgrades are as good as gone. Fly with a buddy twice recently he wasnt booked on my reservation and he has no status and i have platinum. I was on the upgrade list and he received a couple days before the flight an oppurtunity to upgrade for $70-100 it was a no brainer for him considering he was gonna pay anyways to check a bag. I would have been fine paying that to ensure an...

      Upgrades are as good as gone. Fly with a buddy twice recently he wasnt booked on my reservation and he has no status and i have platinum. I was on the upgrade list and he received a couple days before the flight an oppurtunity to upgrade for $70-100 it was a no brainer for him considering he was gonna pay anyways to check a bag. I would have been fine paying that to ensure an upgrade if offered to me. Would like to see a post about this but seems to me that AA offers all non elites an opportunity now to upgrade before the flight to an open First seat then it goes through and upgrades elites only after the non-elites pass on the paid upgrades.

    3. Benjamin DSouza Guest

      Yes, I have seen this firsthand, but the upgrade offer was to non-elites and elites as well. AA offering an upgrade price that is actually cheaper than buying the required number of 500 mile upgrades, to those already on the upgrade list.

      Only problem for me is that I am Platinum Pro and then my dilemma becomes 'I can get upgraded for free at any time because it is within the upgrade window, however...

      Yes, I have seen this firsthand, but the upgrade offer was to non-elites and elites as well. AA offering an upgrade price that is actually cheaper than buying the required number of 500 mile upgrades, to those already on the upgrade list.

      Only problem for me is that I am Platinum Pro and then my dilemma becomes 'I can get upgraded for free at any time because it is within the upgrade window, however someone with lower status might buy the upgrade because it is cheaper than them buying 500 mile upgrades and then no seats are left for me when AA decides to finally process my upgrade" So here I am punished for having higher elite status. Happened LAX-KOA, six 500 mile upgrades required ($240) but upgrade price offered to myself and mother in law (Platinum Pro and non-status, respectively) and my wife (Gold, separate reservation) was $226

  112. Jack Guest

    Have to say, I don't like these changes. As someone who earns status exclusively from flying, this seems like an unfair change. By my math, I now need 10,000 dollars in spend just to earn Platinum status? No thanks. When I lose EXP after next year, I think I'll be finding a new airline.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jack -- Platinum status requires 75,000 Loyalty Points. If you're currently an Executive Platinum member you'll earn 11x Loyalty Points per dollar spent, so that would be ~$6,800 worth of spending.

    2. Jack Guest

      Sure, it's $6800 this year. But that increases each year. As an example, I usually spend $12,000 organically with AA. I'd spend an extra $3000 to guarantee EXP status, but since that's now out of reach, we'll stick with my $12,000 organic spend. With my EXP bonus, in 2022 I can qualify for Platinum Pro. But then, the following year, with the lower PPRO bonus, I will only qualify for Platinum on that $12,000 spend.

  113. Bob Guest

    Qualification wise - this is a good chance from this EXP's viewpoint. Move my credit card spending over to an AA card, and I'll actually have spend less flying dollars to earn EXP.

    Still trying to understand/read if the benefits of each level have changed. Look like I might get less SWUs under this system.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Bob -- Nothing is changing when it comes to benefits or the systemwide upgrades you can potentially get.

    2. Bob Guest

      Is that true? So EXP's will get the 4 for qualification as we do now, then the +1 for the 125K choice and another +2 at the 200K choice? If so, that could actually be an increase.

    3. Jack Guest

      The 125k choice and 200k choice are the PPRO and EXP qualification rewards, respectively. The latter is two choices, so potentially +4 SWUs - same as current system.

  114. Randy Platinum

    Wow - major. Takes away the ticket spend requirement.
    One just needs to earn 200K points for EXP. Spend $200K on your CC's and your are done.

    But you need 30 segments for loyalty rewards. So now we are back to mileage runs on cheap tickets and lots of segments.
    Plan your trips with say 6 segments RT (many times this is cheaper) - so 5 transcons on cheap tickets with 6...

    Wow - major. Takes away the ticket spend requirement.
    One just needs to earn 200K points for EXP. Spend $200K on your CC's and your are done.

    But you need 30 segments for loyalty rewards. So now we are back to mileage runs on cheap tickets and lots of segments.
    Plan your trips with say 6 segments RT (many times this is cheaper) - so 5 transcons on cheap tickets with 6 segments each gives you the 30 segments.

    I assume priority for upgrade is still rolling dollars.

    I had enough tickets for 120 EQM and $13K EQM this year. I wanted to jump back into EXP with all these extensions.
    Thinking now - I show cancel of few of my trips in Nov/Dec and move them over to Jan/Feb for double credit.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Randy -- Upgrade priority will be based on Loyalty Points, so that's somewhat of a similar metric to EQDs (though considers overall engagement with AAdvantage, rather than just flying).

    2. Watson New Member

      @Lucky - does fare class count at all toward upgrade priority?

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Randy

      This is the true example of my question of who are you trying to reward.

      Why would someone spend $200K and get EXP if you're flying 5 trips + maybe 2-3 from award tickets.
      While the same time a former EXP who flies 50+ trips but now get stuck with just Platinum.

  115. Zauris Monsalve Guest

    I guess this is a creative way to partially devalue miles, if you can call it that..? this means whoever has been sitting on mlies (myself included) can be a little less worried about award prices going up, or eliminating partner award charts, at least for now.
    I did book quite a few flights around the world in J just in case.

    1. MJ Guest

      This doesn't affect mileage values or awards. Only elite status.

  116. Jim Guest

    Conceptually, I'm not surprised at the direction of essentially removing distance altogether in favour of a pure revenue model. I have mixed feelings about it, but I get it.

    That said, as pointed out, the 'cost' of attaining status is going up... way up. The first tier of elite status (starting from zero) is $6K - double the equivalent dollar threshold on UA or DL. I don't fly on AA unless I have no other choice, but this gulf will definitely deter me from doing so.

    1. YULtide Gold

      $6K without a co-branded credit card, $5K with. And frankly if you're spending a couple of K per month on a co-branded card, you're almost there. Earning status without flying makes little sense to me. Maybe I'm old fashioned.

  117. khatl Guest

    Simplicity is def welcomed. Sounds much more straight-forward than it used to be and compared to Delta and United.

    1. DCS Diamond

      Simplicity is def welcomed. Sounds much more straight-forward than it used to be and compared to Delta and United.

      For UA, 1 PQP = $1, and to earn elite status one needs X PQP, meaning X$. Or PQP can be combined with the number of flight segments, all concepts that are well understood. I am not sure that it can get more straightforward than that...

    2. Francois Guest

      Uhhh?? Alaska? Lol. 1 mile flown=1 elite mile minimum??? I.e. the way it was for decades???

    3. DCS Diamond

      Just because it's the way it was for decades does not make simpler than 1 PQP = $1.

  118. Eskimo Guest

    If we all agreed when we earn miles based on x5 airfare rather than actual miles flown is a huge devalue.

    The new one essentially is saying EQM is now x5 airfare rather than actual miles flown.

    Using same logic, this is a huge devaluation.

    Goodbye mileage runs forever. Let's see if Delta will bend.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Eskimo -- Perhaps goodbye mileage runs, but hello coffee shop runs, online order runs, etc.? ;)

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Lucky

      True, in that point of view. But now you are looking at what is "loyalty" and who are you trying to reward?
      Exclusively the big spender, or the frequent flyer. I'm not saying there is one correct answer, but how far are you departing from the original definition of loyalty. Yes, online shopping might make some extra money for AA, but what good does it make if now I will take my flying...

      @Lucky

      True, in that point of view. But now you are looking at what is "loyalty" and who are you trying to reward?
      Exclusively the big spender, or the frequent flyer. I'm not saying there is one correct answer, but how far are you departing from the original definition of loyalty. Yes, online shopping might make some extra money for AA, but what good does it make if now I will take my flying to AS or WN or ME3 or JL, who still appreciate my efforts to fly. Heck even the sneaky bag rules makes me avoid AA as a marketing carrier.

      This goes back the Delta's way of having a floor value, which essentially turns a "frequent flyer" program into a "1% cash back program". Which is another way to say there is no program just straight rebates.

  119. PresRDC Gold

    Wow. Still need to process, but I think I may actually end-up liking this. Basically, you can earn status for all (almost) all AAdvantage-related activity, so you can combine approaches to maximize status. As a current EXP, I don't think this will make it any harder to retain my status and may make it a bit easier.

    Anything on the redeeming side - i.e. are award prices for international premium awards going up?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ PresRDC -- No changes to award prices, which is great news, since that's what many were fearing.

    2. Pierre Platinum

      Except that, for American at least and just like Delta for some years, award charts do not exist anymore.

      The interesting point will be the new partner airlines Loyalty Points accrual rates. With the disappearance of EQM, the Front Cabin Classes 1.5 multiplier obviously disappears, and so does the huge advantage of the x2 and x3 multiplier, not only for AA but also for their "Cartel" AA, IB, BA, AY.

      This is the main missing piece of the puzzle.

    3. PresRDC Gold

      And, for the first time in a long time, AA actually has done something genuinely innovative.

  120. Todd Bartos Guest

    Still thinking through some of the ramifications of this. However, I am also happy to see them taking a stab at being an original idea generator rather than just trying to be a good copycat.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Todd Bartos -- Agreed! This is genuinely innovative for once, and at least in theory the idea behind this is good (whether or not the thresholds are right remains to be seen).

    2. Douglas Frost DeNunzio Guest

      Agreed to be a better theory of the future!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Ray Guest

Any time a program grants status based on credit card spending or anything other than butt in seat miles, it sucks. There is no way in hell a person that spends money on a credit card should hold status over someone that actually flies with the airline. Grant them points towards flights, fine, but not benefits above actual fliers. This whole change is based on the new borrowing based on a value of the program.

2
Ryan Guest

Lucky, we’d definitely benefit from a follow up article in the coming days that offers a deeper analysis of the program with lots of hypothetical examples. As someone asked earlier, would love some breakdowns of points earned from buying AA versus partner tix and how it stacks up on different route distances, etc.

2
Todd Bartos Guest

Still thinking through some of the ramifications of this. However, I am also happy to see them taking a stab at being an original idea generator rather than just trying to be a good copycat.

2
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