Update 3/2/22: The introduction of Loyalty Points is now live.
As rumored American Airlines has announced a number of changes to the AAdvantage loyalty program. The changes are as follows:
- Introduction of Loyalty Points. This will replace Elite Qualifying Miles, Elite Qualifying Dollars and Elite Qualifying Segments.
- Changes to qualifying & status years. Status will no longer be earned on a calendar year and will instead be earned from March through the following February. Status will be valid through March 31 of each year. For 2022 qualifying activity in January and February will count towards 2022 and 2023.
- Loyalty status extended until March 31, 2022.
Loyalty Points will be used to determine your elite status with the following requirements for each tier:
- Gold: 30,000 Loyalty Points
- Platinum: 75,000 Loyalty Points
- Platinum Pro: 125,000 Loyalty Points
- Executive Platinum: 200,000 Loyalty Points
This goes into effect for the 2022 status year. One eligible AAdvantage mile is equal to 1 Loyalty Point. Some important exclusions for credit cards:
- Welcome bonuses do not count towards Loyalty Points
- Category bonuses count towards Loyalty Points, but only at the base rate of 1 Loyalty Point per $1 spent (for example if you spend $100 on a category that earns 3x points you’ll earn 100 Loyalty Points instead of 300)
I like when loyalty programs simplify the earning and redeeming structures to make them easier to understand. I think this new program favors credit card spend over traditional flying and whether this is a good or bad thing will likely depend on the type of customer you are. The main thing is that there is no award devaluation at this time, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens later down the line and American Airlines wanted fresh air for these changes.