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AAdvantage Transforms Rewards Program with Loyalty Points

American Airlines AAdvantage is dropping their current system of elite-qualifying points, segments, and dollars for a more streamlined approach.
American Airlines’ AAdvantage program is getting rid of their current system of elite qualifying dollars, miles, and segments in favor of what they call a “simpler” approach.


Announced today, the loyalty program will move from their current approach to AAdvantage Loyalty Points: a unified program where each eligible mile earned equals one loyalty point.

Loyalty Points are Earned from Flights, Credit Cards and Shopping Partners

Under the current program, frequent flyers earn one of four elite status tiers using a combination of flights (either actual flight mileage or total segments) and the amount of qualifying money spent on airfare and other upgrades. Starting January 1, 2022, all of that will go by the wayside for AAdvantage Loyalty Points.

Instead of following the calendar year, American’s loyalty year will run from March 1 until the end of February in the following year. AAdvantage status memberships will be valid through March 31 of each year. If a flyer were to earn elite status in 2022, it would be valid until March 31, 2023. As a courtesy to current members, all valid elite status will be extended through March 31, 2022. When the changes take effect, upgrade priority will be determined by a flyer’s 12-month rolling loyalty points value.

Under the new program, American flyers have three avenues by which to earn elite qualifying points. First, flights aboard status-qualifying airlines, including American Eagle, Oneworld alliance partners, and other partner airlines, will all qualify for points. The number of points earned is based off the base mile earned on each flight. This includes basic economy fares purchased on American, as well as status bonuses earned on American or partner flights.

Second, travelers can earn elite qualifying points from using eligible AAdvantage credit cards. The number of miles earned per $1 USD spent depends on the issuing bank. While most spending will earn one loyalty point per $1 USD spent, some will only earn 0.5 loyalty points, while others may earn more. Not all credit card spending points will qualify: Bonus miles earned from special promotions, “accelerators” or “multipliers” on purchases in some spending categories, and new account or welcome bonuses will not be counted as loyalty points.

Finally, miles earned using shopping portals will also count towards loyalty points. Using eShopping, AAdvantage Dining and SimplyMiles will allow flyers to earn points towards status in 2022 and beyond.

Earning elite status will be based on the number of loyalty points flyers collect in the loyalty year. The new tier requirements will be:

  • AAdvantage Gold: 30,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum: 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro: 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum: 200,000 Loyalty Points

Additionally, elite flyers will start earning loyalty choice reward benefits after earning 125,000 points and a minimum of 30 flights. At each choice reward level, flyers can choose between Admirals Club day passes, systemwide upgrades, or other rewards to be announced.

American Loyalty Points Latest Change in Loyalty Landscape

The changes for American are the latest in a larger trend among Oneworld carriers and airline partners. In September 2021, Alaska Airlines announced a new loyalty tier in the Mileage Plan program, while JetBlue announced reciprocal benefits for AAdvantage elites flying aboard the New York-based carrier in October 2021.

Zacnlinc October 28, 2021

I'm simply just about to bow out with EXP status after 2022.  Or at least it won't the a goal I'm seeking.  

I refuse to let these marketing ploys dictate that I need to use my credit card and/or shop online.  Plan and simple.  

Pre-Pandemic I was of the same mindset.  During the pandemic, I just stuck with my MO even more so.  And now that we're slowly emerging from the covid-19 pandemic, I'm just not able to start using credit cards and shopping online more than ever before.  If anything, I'm even more less likely to indulge the pleasures for the sake of airline status!

ajf87 October 27, 2021

As a soon-to-be ExPlat thanks largely to gaming EQD/EQM via AA "special" fares and mileage-running AS F to buy up EQD at a discount, I'm thrilled to get in "under the wire" and make requalifying under the new loyalty system easier (via 120% ExPlat elite bonus). If I was not elite or had low-tier status I'd be pissed. I also am not a fan of the 30 flight requirement, even crediting AS and B6 flights to American, that is not easy if you fly a handful of medium-long haul F/J flights each year. If they're going to make it spend-based, make it spend-based, or at least have a modest segment requirement like United (say, 10 flights per year on AA metal?).

I would also like to see a revamp of their cluttered credit card lineup like United has done recently. Their high-end Club Infinite card is a great everyday spender - American could benefit from revamping their Executive World Elite Mastercard to make it more than just a sock-drawer card.

sonora October 27, 2021

Will previously earned Lifetime status still count?

Dar1 October 27, 2021

It appears that AA has decided that benefits really don't matter for their most active customers. This is simply another example of pushing back benefits. I'm glad I'm retiring this year. 

Dr.Ells October 27, 2021

AA rewards transforms flying into, well, a crapshoot, if the other article is true.  Timing is everything, and someone is not too savvy.