The latest travel rewards program is a game-changing idea that could change the way you earn and redeem miles. Applying for this card will give you elite status on nearly every major airline in America, letting you experience their new benefits without shelling out cash. Additionally, when flying these airlines, your points can be converted to Elite Qualifying Miles (QMs) or even bonus miles with no blackout dates!

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American's New Way To Earn Elite Status Makes Frequent Flyer Programs Fun Again

Frequent Flyer Programs are once again enjoyable thanks to American’s new way of earning elite status.

on January 5, 2022 by Gary Leff

Over the last several years, airlines have begun to give status based on ticket purchases. United carried this to its logical conclusion, eliminating miles and trips in favor of a simple pend counter. It’s obnoxious, and it’s uninteresting. It also overlooks the fact that the most lucrative clients aren’t always the most profitable, nor are they the ones with whom a program may impact wallet share.

For the last two decades, it has been clear that frequent flyer programs are the most valuable aspect of an airline. When United filed for bankruptcy 20 years ago, Mileage Plus was the airline’s sole profitable division. They obtained debtor-in-possession finance from their co-brand card partner and pre-sold miles to give cash to the airline when circumstances were tough. During the pandemic, the top airlines each generated $6.5 to $10 billion from their frequent flyer programs’ future revenue streams alone.

Despite this, it took a pandemic for airlines to attempt new methods and break away from the pack in their race to the bottom. The declaration by American Airlines that the company’s top customers aren’t merely those who spend the most on low-margin plane tickets was genuinely innovative (though not apparent). Instead, using the airline’s co-branded credit card, purchasing via their portal, and participating in a plethora of other transactions with their partners that drive those partners to purchase miles from the airline are the sine qua non of a successful client.

To get elite rank, you’ll need to:

  • Gold: a total of 30,000 points has been gained.
  • 75,000 points achieved (Platinum)
  • 125,000 points achieved as a Platinum Pro
  • Executive Platinum: Earned 200,000 points

american airlines loyalty points levels

To earn ‘choice rewards,’ which start at 125,000 Loyalty Points each year, a minimum of 30 flights will be required. Status, on the other hand, may be gained without ever boarding an aircraft. And upgrade priority is determined by your elite status, followed by the quantity of loyalty points you’ve collected in the previous 12 months.

Why do I say this is entertaining?

  • I recall traveling about 20 years ago looking for petrol stations that took Diners Club. Now it could make sense to drive around seeking for Shell gas stations, even if you only get one loyalty point for every dollar spent, it takes a lot of petrol to move the needle on your status, and you’re limited to 1560 miles each year.

    I’d never choose gas based on 1500 miles a year (especially when it meant foregoing cash back), but every little bit goes towards status and might be the difference between clearing an upgrade and not.

  • Frequent flyer groups gain money for travel by purchasing things via shopping portals and reselling them to break even or make a profit, with the shopping portal providing the margin in the form of miles or cash back. For the first time, those individuals may use the American Airlines purchasing platforms to achieve premier status. Identifying which things you can do this with will be a means for some to achieve elite status without spending any money, but there are inventory concerns. Being an entrepreneur and figuring out internet sales might earn you American Airlines AAdvantage elite membership.

    Executive Platinum should be renamed “Reseller Elite” now that @AmericanAir status may be achieved by making purchases via the AAdvantage site.

    January 2, 2022 — gary leff (@garyleff)

  • To get the most out of your deals, stack them. Look for deals where you can pay with a Mastercard and earn miles for the transaction (via SimplyMiles), make the purchase online and earn miles through the shopping portal (AAdvantage Shopping), and pay with an AAdvantage co-brand credit card, all while earning Loyalty Points for the same transaction.

    Sending flowers for 40 miles per dollar is no longer as thrilling as it was 20 years ago. But when you can combine a card-linked deal with a credit card charge that earns miles, and all three actions earn elite status, you’ll want to take advantage. It reminds me of the old AAdvantage credit card commercial that said, “Was he sorry?” Was it the mileage, or was it something else?” “Was it love? “, my favorite of the series with a diamond ring, or “Was it love? “, my favorite of the series with a diamond ring. Was it the mileage, or was it something else?”


  • You’ll want to go out of your way to use an AAdvantage co-brand credit card (something that hasn’t made sense for most people in a long time). You may make your auto payment using Plastiq by charging it to an AAdvantage credit card (2.85 percent charge) and paying your mortgage with Plastiq, which accepts Mastercards and, thankfully, U.S. AAdvantage co-brands are Mastercards. Paying quarterly using a credit card ( costs 1.87 percent) is also an option. Your elite status will benefit from tax season.


The American Airlines elite qualification program still has certain flaws, such as omitting to recognize seat revenue, bag fees, and first-class upgrades (all high-margin items), and placing extra onerous criteria on consumers in places where there aren’t as many elite-earning partners. This is, however, a step toward ‘getting’ both what customers are genuinely lucrative to the company and motivating consumers to participate in more profitable activities.

They’ve also brought the program back to life by giving participants something to pursue. They’ve turned their elite position into a game, which benefits both them and their members. Because this is a novel system, it will very probably need to be tweaked as they observe how it performs in reality. But it’s been a long time since these shows have been really thrilling.

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