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American Airlines Makes Drastic Changes To Its AAdvantage Loyalty Program

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Last year, I praised American Airlines for making it easier for people to hold onto their airline status in the midst of the pandemic, since most people weren’t traveling for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, now they’ve take a turn for the worse, introducing a “simplified” program that seems to suck for business travelers like me, and instead rewards people who use their credit card for purchases or spending with an AAdvantage partner.

For someone like me who’s been loyal to American Airlines for the better part of 20 years and racking up nearly 500K miles of travel, this honestly feels like a massive kick in the nuts. And other business travelers I’ve talked to seem equally unhappy with these changes. We worked hard to earn our status, and now big spenders can jump the line and take away our upgrades? Not to mention, it now takes more points to reach Platinum and above. 🙁

It’s way too complicated to break down, so you can just read the press release for yourself:

FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines is redesigning its award-winning AAdvantage loyalty program, ridding it of complicated elite qualifying metrics for an easy-to-understand point system that provides multiple ways to earn status. In 2022, AAdvantage members can earn status by flying, using an AAdvantage credit card for purchases or spending with an AAdvantage partner.

“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 Chief Customer Officer Alison Taylor. “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. We thank our members for their continued loyalty and look forward to this renewed relationship as we enter 2022.”

Achieving AAdvantage status

For every qualifying AAdvantage mile earned, members will earn one Loyalty Point. Here’s how to earn points:

  • Members can earn Loyalty Points by flying on American or one of its eligible partner airlines.
  • You can also earn Loyalty Points when you use an AAdvantage credit card for purchases.
  • Don’t fly often, no problem. Join fellow AAdvantage members who will earn Loyalty Points every year just by shopping online or dining out.

AAdvantage 2022 status requirements

Status Loyalty Points
Gold 30,000
Platinum 75,000
Platinum Pro 125,000
Executive Platinum 200,000

Extending status and a chance to double dip

To thank our members for their continued loyalty, American is extending all current members AAdvantage status through March 31, 2022.

And members can also double dip as any qualifying activity earned in January and February will count towards both 2022 and 2023 AAdvantage status. This gives members an extra two months to earn elite status for both years.

In the future, members will qualify for status from March through February, with status valid through March 31 of the following year.

Unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards

Next year, AAdvantage members can unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards, formerly called elite choice rewards. Loyalty Choice Rewards is a menu of rewards awarded to members that earn Platinum Pro status or higher and fly at least 30 flights on American or qualifying partner airlines.

Members can select the Loyalty Choice Reward they value the most, including an Admirals Club day pass, systemwide upgrades or bonus AAdvantage miles. Additional Loyalty Choice Rewards are available to unlock as members accrue more Loyalty Points.

To learn more about the AAdvantage refresh, check out aa.com/newaadvantage.

Zander Chance is a technology nut who is always first in line to try out the latest tech gadgets. He also has been an active affiliate marketer for the past 15 years, and he writes about his adventures in that on his blog.

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