aadvantage program updates
Airline & Aviation News

Latest AAdvantage Program Updates Make Earning Status Easier For Members

Last updated: November 05,2021
Originally Published: November 08,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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American Airlines has announced the latest AAdvantage program updates that focus on eliminating the program’s complicated elite status requirements. Loyalty members will only need one status metric to track their progress towards AAdvantage status – and that is the Loyalty Point.

Starting January 2022, American Airlines will no longer use Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD), Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM), or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) as qualifying metrics for its AAdvantage program. Members can reach elite status by earning Loyalty Points which are earned through flying, using an AAdvantage credit card, or spending at AAdvantage merchant partners.

AAdvantage Program Updates In A Nutshell

  • American is revamping the elite status requirements for its AAdvantage progam. From now on, earning Loyalty points will be based on the number of accumulated AAdvantage miles, not through the amount of dollars spent or distances or segments flown.
  • AAdvantage members can earn Loyalty points in three easy ways: flying, using AAdvantage credit cards, or spending at AAdvantage merchant partners.
  • Members can earn Loyalty Choice Rewards if they reach Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum and can fly at least 30 flights on American or one of its airline partners.

Read More: Is American Airlines Removing Award Charts?


AAdvantage Status Tiers And Requirements (2022)

For years, loyalty members needed to keep track of three different metrics: EQMs, EQDs, and EQSs. It’s even more confusing because the amount of EQMs, EQDs, and EQSs you’d earn vary from economy to first-class flights.

The old status requirements would make you look at reference charts from time to time just to monitor the progress of your elite status journey. Meanwhile, the updated status requirements are super simple that you can even memorize it.

Here are the latest AAdvantage status requirements:

For comparison, here’s what the old elite status requirements looked like.

Image courtesy of American Airlines.

Status Extention And Double Dipping For Existing Members

All members with an AAdvantage status this 2021 will have a status extension until March 31, 2022. You’ll also have a chance to double-dip because any qualifying activity that earns Loyalty Points from January to February 2022 will be counted towards your AAdvantage status for the following year.


Read More: American Airlines AAdvantage- The Best Options For Point Redemptions


How To Earn AAdvantage Loyalty Points

The biggest benefit of the AAdvantage program updates is that it allows members to earn elite status points, not just on flying, but also on spending. In a sense, you’re actually taking an eco-friendly path towards reaching AAdvantage elite status because you’re now reducing your carbon footprints.

Generally, one Loyalty point is equivalent to one AAdvantage mile earned but there are some exceptions which will be explained below.

Earning Loyalty Points Through Flying

The number of Loyalty Points a member earns through flying depends on whether it was booked directly with American Airlines or with its partner airlines.

Flying With American Airlines

Members earn a base rate of five AAdvantage miles per dollar on American Airlines flights which means that you also earn five Loyalty Points.

You’ll also earn more Loyalty Points as you move up one status tier higher because each tier earns bonus AAdvantage miles on American Airlines flights. After factoring in the bonuses, here are the Loyalty Points that status holders will earn when they book with American Airlines:

  • General member – 5 Loyalty Points per dollar spent
  • Gold – 7 Loyalty Points per dollar spent
  • Platinum – 8 Loyalty Points per dollar spent
  • Platinum – Loyalty Points per dollar spent
  • Executive Platinum – Loyalty Points per dollar spent

Additionally, the new status requirements now allow basic economy flights to earn Loyalty Points. The old status requirements didn’t allow basic economy flights to earn EQDs, EQSs, or EQMs.

Flying With Partner Airlines

All flights that are promoted by American Airlines, Oneworld Alliance, and JetBlue are eligible to earn Loyalty Points. The number of Loyalty Points you’ll earn will also be based on the number of AAdvantage miles you earn on the partner airline.

For example, AAdvantage members can earn five AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on Jetblue flights which means that you’ll also earn five Loyalty Points per dollar spent. However, this rate only applies to JetBlue because other airline partners earn AAdvantage miles based on the percentage of the flight distance and the fare class.

Earning Loyalty Points Through American Airlines Credit cards

All American Airlines co-branded credit cards will only earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent, even on bonus categories and welcome bonuses.

For example, a CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard that comes with 65,000 bonus AAdvantage miles and earns 2x on business categories will still earn 1 Loyalty point per AAdvantage mile.

There are certain cards that come with bonus Loyalty Points in 2022 and these are:

  • Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard – Get 10,000 Loyalty Points after spending $40,000 on qualifying purchases.
  • AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard – Earn up to 15,000 Loyalty Points after spending a total of $50,000 in qualifying purchases.

Earning Loyalty Points Through Merchant Partners

Members can also earn Loyalty Points by spending at AAdvantage Shopping and AAdvantage dining. It’s a great way for frequent flyers to rack up status points when they eat and shop during their trips.

On the other hand, it also gives other members the flexibility to earn status points since they don’t necessarily have to book flights and take trips.


Read More: Alaska And American Airlines Lounges Reopen And Back In Business


Unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards

In 2022, AAdvantage members, who can reach Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status and can fly at least 30 flights on American or one of its airline partners, will be eligible for Loyalty Choice Rewards (formerly known as elite choice rewards).

Platinum Pro members will have one choice from these rewards:

  • 1 systemwide upgrade
  • 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (AAdvantage credit card members receive 5,000 bonus miles)
  • 6 Admirals Club One-Day Passes
  • $200 American Airlines flight discount / Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • One-time 15% off award discount (rebate post travel)

Executive Platinum members will have two choices from these rewards:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades (you can choose this twice for a total of 4 systemwide upgrades)
  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (AAdvantage credit card members receive 5,000 bonus miles)
  • Admirals Club individual membership (requires two choices)
  • $200 American Airlines flight discount / Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • 10,000 bonus EQMs (requires two choices)
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold status
  • Choice of 1 Bang & Olufsen premium product

What Activity Doesn’t Earn Loyalty Points?

Members will typically earn one Loyalty Point for every AAdvantage mile earned but there are some categories that don’t and these are:

  • Bonus miles from promotions
  • Miles earned from peer-to-peer transfers
  • Miles earned from transfer partners (Marriot or Citi)
  • Government taxes, fees and other charges incurred when buying tickets using your card
  • Bonus categories on AAdvantage credit cards
  • Welcome bonuses for new cardholders

Bottomline

The best thing about these AAdvantage program updates is that members can now reach elite status without having to take a flight. They can easily earn Loyalty Points by using their credit card for everyday purchases or by spending at AAdvantage merchant partners.

“Loyalty should be simple, and we have reimagined our AAdvantage program to a single point system that provides a clear path to earning status for our members,” said Alison Taylor American Airlines Chief Customer Officer. “For our loyal members, the message is simple: Earn AAdvantage miles, earn status – whether that’s by flying on American or by spending on everyday activities.”

Coming 2022, expect more AAdvantage members reaching elite status and enjoying additional perks and benefits.

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.
  • Receive up to $300 cashback every year as statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel.

 

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