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American Airlines New Loyalty Points Program: What You Need to Know

Say goodbye to chasing Elite Qualifying Miles, Elite Qualifying Segments, and spending Elite Qualifying Dollars. You can earn elite status through spending with the new American AAdvantage program: Loyalty Points. Here’s everything you need to about American Airlines’ new loyalty program. You’ll also learn how to earn elite status quickly and without flying.

The only denominator you need to earn American Airlines AAdvantage elite status is Loyalty Points. The new program starts on March 1, 2022.

Why You Want American Airlines Elite Status

You want to have American Airlines’ elite status. Elite members get free upgrades on domestic flights, free seat assignments, free preferred seating, free priority boarding, and free checked bags.

Here’s how many Loyalty Points you need to earn elite status with American Airlines:

  • AAdvantage Gold – 30,000 Loyalty Points (free upgrades, free Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, free checked bag, 40% bonus miles)
  • AAdvantage Platinum – 75,000 Loyalty Points (free upgrades, free Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, 2 free checked bags, 60% bonus miles)
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro – 1250,000 Loyalty Points (free upgrades, free Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, 3 free checked bags, 1 Loyalty Choice Award after flying 30 segments on American Airlines, 80% bonus miles)
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum – 200,000 Loyalty Points (free upgrades, free Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, 3 free checked bags, 2 Loyalty Choice Awards after flying 30 segments on American Airlines, 120% bonus miles)

Pro-tip: You can also get free priority boarding and free checked bags from the Citi Executive Mastercard.

Learn more about the Citi Executive Mastercard

Upgrades on American Airlines

first class seat on airplane

Having elite status with American Airlines can make travel easier and more relaxing. After all, who doesn’t like upgrading to First Class even on award tickets?

I’ve been an Executive Platinum member for 12 years and plan to continue to keep my elite status.

There are several things you need to know about upgrades on American Airlines. Your upgrade chances are based on elite status and your rolling 12 month spend.

An Executive Platinum gets upgraded before a Platinum Pro. A Platinum Pro trumps a Platinum. Platinum has priority over a Gold Member.

From within your elite status level, your upgrade priority is based on your rolling 12 month Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) spend which will be replaced by earned Loyalty Points.

Pro-tip: Only Executive Platinum members get upgrades on award tickets.

30 Segments a Year

You can earn American Airlines status strictly through spending but to earn Loyalty Choice Awards such as Systemwide Upgrades (SWUs), you need to earn a minimum of 125,000 points and fly 30 segments a year with American Airlines. 

Pro-tip: Flights on oneworld partners do not fulfill this requirement. All segments must be on AA metal (American Airlines flights and planes).

How to Earn American Airlines Loyalty Points

You earn Loyalty Points from flights on American Airlines and oneworld partner airlines and credit card spending with a co-branded American Airlines credit card in a calendar year

You can also earn Loyalty Points through partner programs like airline dining, AAdvantage shopping, and more.

Pro-tip: Only paid flights will earn American Loyalty Points. Award flights, flights you redeemed miles for, will not earn Loyalty Points.

How to Earn Loyalty Points From Flying

silver airplane with red, white, and blue strips on tail

You’ll earn loyalty points from flying. Your American Airlines’ frequent flyer status determines the number of Loyalty Points you’ll earn on flights.

If you are a basic member (no status), you’ll earn 5 points per $1 on your flight. Gold members earn 7 points per $1. Platinum members earn 8 points per $1. Platinum Pro members earn 9 points per $1. Executive Platinum members earn 11 points per $1.

Pro-tip: Points are earned on the base fare of a ticket and do not include taxes and fees. You can earn a maximum of 75,000 miles per ticket.

Earning Loyalty Points Flying Partner Airlines

You earn loyalty points flying partner airlines. This includes all oneworld airlines and other airline partners such as GOL, Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue.

The number of loyalty points earned will be the same number of miles earned under the old program. But now those miles will count towards Loyalty Points.

Elite status bonuses and cabin bonuses earned from buying First Class, Business Class, and Premium Economy tickets count towards Loyalty Points.

How to Earn Loyalty Points Without Flying

four people eating on black wooden table

You can earn American Airlines Loyalty Points without flying.

Using your credit card earns Loyalty Points. You earn 1 Loyalty Point for every dollar you spend using your Citi AAdvantage card.

While some cards have category bonus multipliers such as 2 miles for every $1 spent on an American Airlines flight, you will not earn additional Loyalty Points on those multipliers.

You’ll also earn Loyalty Points from American Airlines retail and travel partners:

  • Car rentals: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, Thrifty
  • Charitable Donations: National Foundation for Cancer Research, Stand Up to Cancer, Susan
  • Cruises: bookaacruises.com
  • Dining: AAdvantage Dining
  • Gas: Fuel Rewards
  • Hotels: bookaa.com, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Rocketmiles
  • Mortgage & Refinance: Miles From Home
  • Shopping: AAdvantage Dining, AAdvantage Shopping, SimplyMiles
  • Utilities: nrg, Reliant, Xoom
  • Vacations: aavacations.com

Learn How to Get Cheap Car Rentals for $5 a Day

Need more ideas on how to earn Loyalty Points? Be sure to read the ultimate guide on how to earn miles and points without a credit card.

What Doesn’t Earn Loyalty Points

It may seem like practically everything earns, there are some activities that don’t earn Loyalty Points:

  • Bask Bank
  • Bonus categories on AAdvantage credit cards
  • Buying, gifting, or transferring American Airlines miles
  • Government taxes and fees on airline tickets
  • Transferring and converting hotel points into American miles

Conclusion

Starting March 1, 2022, you can earn American Airlines’ elite status by earning American Airlines Loyalty Points.

Flights and ticket costs won’t matter because the only factor that matters is how many loyalty points you’ll earn.

You’ll earn Loyalty Points from flights, spending with American Airlines travel partners including car rentals and restaurants, and spending on the American Airlines credit cards.

What’s your plan for earning American Airlines loyalty points?

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