HomeAirline LoyaltyAmerican Airlines AAdvantageSignificant changes coming to the American Airlines AAdvantage program

Significant changes coming to the American Airlines AAdvantage program


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The AAdvantage program’s current incarnation is still very new (it only came into being earlier this year) but American Airlines is already pushing through new changes which, on the whole, are probably going to be unpopular.

On the positive side, these changes see more Loyalty Point Rewards added and the cap on earnings from a single booking removed while on the negative side, the requirements for entry-level elite status are increasing, the earnings from Basic economy bookings are being slashed, and the benefits offered to Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites are being watered down.

More Loyalty Rewards on the way

From March 2023, the AAdvantage program will offer considerably more reward levels than it currently does and it will even be possible to hit a reward target before earning elite status.

Currently, Loyalty Choice Awards (to be known as Loyalty Point Rewards from now on) can be chosen when an AAdvantage member earns 125,000, 200,000, 350,000, 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Points in a membership year. Going forward, this is what Loyalty Point Rewards will look like:

15,000 Points

Get Group 5 Boarding privileges and choose one extra reward from the following:

  • Priority privileges and Group 4 boarding for a single trip
  • 5 Preferred Seat coupons

60,000 Points

Get Avis Preferred Plus elite status, 20% more Loyalty Points when spending with American Airlines Vacations, SimplyMiles, AAdvantage eShopping, AAdvantage Dining, and American Airlines Hotels.

100,000 Points

Get Avis Presidents Club elite status, 30% more Loyalty Points when spending with American Airlines Vacations, SimplyMiles, AAdvantage eShopping, AAdvantage Dining, and American Airlines Hotels.

175,000 Points

Choose one reward from the following:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades
  • 20,000 bonus miles (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose 25,000 bonus miles)
  • 6 Admirals Club one-day passes
  • A $200 trip credit (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose a $250 trip credit)
  • A carbon offset
  • A $250 donation to a select nonprofit organization
  • A 15% rebate on an award booking
  • 2 gifts of AAdvantage Gold elite status
  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)
Get Admirals Club passes

250,000 Points

Choose two rewards from the following:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades
  • 20,000 bonus miles (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose 30,000 bonus miles)
  • 6 Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two choices)
  • A $200 trip credit (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose a $250 trip credit)
  • A carbon offset
  • A $250 donation to a select nonprofit organization
  • 2 gifts of AAdvantage Gold elite status
  • A choice of Bang & Olufsen products (requires two choices)
  • 1 Flagship Lounge single-visit pass (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose 2 Flagship Lounge single-visit passes)
  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)

400,000 Points, 550,000 Points & 750,000 Points,

Choose two rewards from the following:

  • 1 systemwide upgrades
  • 25,000 bonus miles
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two choices)
  • A $200 trip credit (holders of AAdvantage co-branded credit cards can choose a $250 trip credit)
  • A carbon offset
  • A gift of AAdvantage Platinum elite status
  • A choice of Bang & Olufsen products (requires two choices)
  • 2 Flagship Lounge single-visit passes
  • 1 Flagship First Dining visit pass
  • 40,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)

1,000,000 Points,

Choose one reward from the following:

  • 4 systemwide upgrades
  • A carbon offset
  • A gift of AAdvantage Platinum Pro elite status
  • Up to 100,000 miles back on award redemptions made in the membership year
  • 150,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)

3,000,000 Points,

Choose one reward from the following:

  • 6 systemwide upgrades
  • A carbon offset
  • A gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum elite status
  • Up to 300,000 miles back on award redemptions made in the membership year
  • 350,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)

5,000,000 Points,

Choose one reward from the following:

  • 10 systemwide upgrades
  • A carbon offset
  • A gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum elite status
  • Up to 500,000 miles back on award redemptions made in the membership year
  • 550,000 AAdvantage miles toward a “Mastercard Priceless Experience” (only open to holders of US American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard credit card holders)

Platinum Pro & Executive Platinum Elites will lose their Loyalty Choice options

Under the current system, when an AAdvantage member earns 125,000 Loyalty Points they are given Platinum Pro elite status and when they earn 200,000 Loyalty Points they are given Executive Platinum elite status and on top of those elite status levels, they are also given the option to choose one or two extra rewards.

From March 2023, those extra award options are being removed and, instead, will be offered when 175,000 Loyalty Points and 250,000 Loyalty Points are earned.

Effectively, this is a devaluation to the Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elite levels.

More Loyalty Points needed for Gold Elite status

As things stand, an AAdvantage member needs to earn 30,000 Loyalty Points to earn Gold Elite status (OneWorld Ruby status) but from March 2023, that target will be increased to 40,000 points.

No changes are being made to the thresholds for Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum Elite status, but if Gold Elite status is generally the best that you can hope for, that won’t be much of a consolation.

The 75,000 mile cap is being removed

For some reason, American Airlines currently limits the number of Loyalty Points a flyer can earn from a single booking to 75,000 which, bizarrely, means that there is less incentive for someone to purchase a very expensive fare.

This is clearly an idiotic rule and American Airlines obviously agrees with me as this cap will no longer be in place from March 2023. Flyers will be able to spend away to their hearts’ content knowing that although they will be buying an incredibly mediocre product, there will be no limit to how many Loyalty Points they can earn.

Basic Economy earnings are being slashed

There’s really no way to sugarcoat this. Basic Economy fares booked on or after 1 January 2023 for travel on or after 1 March 2023 will no longer earn Loyalty Points at a rate of 5 miles/dollar (excluding elite bonuses).

The new rate will be just 2 miles per dollar + elite bonuses (a cut of 60%) and sees American reversing its recent trend of making Basic Economy fares less terrible.

Bottom line

As of 1 March 2023, Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro elite levels will be devalued, American Airlines will require flyers to collect more Loyalty Points to earn entry-level elite status, the 75,000 point earnings cap on a single booking will be lifted, earnings for Basic Economy bookings will drop by 60%, the Loyalty Choice awards will be renamed and more reward levels will be introduced.

I gave up on the AAdvantage program a few years ago and the more times I see changes like these, the more times I’m reassured that I made a great decision.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It is sad to see what has happened to these loyalty programs. The focus on credit card spend is quite frustrating to those of us who actually travel the miles. I traveled almost the same amout of miles this year vs. last, however, instead of reaching Platinum Pro, I have yet to even hit Platinum. As a two million miler, there is little reason for me to use American anymore as I will not lose this status so I may as well use an airline that actually appreciates its customers vs one that would prefer to be a bank.

    • Agreed. I have Lifetime Plat status to fall back on as well, which is why I felt comfortable ditching AAdvantage for the BA Executive Club a few years back. So far, zero regrets… although, who knows what next year’s Avios earning changes will look like.

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