Changes to AA Million Miler Program
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Aug 24, 2011)
For years now, American AAdvantage has had an unpublished million miler program where all miles, including those earned from credit card spending and other partner activity, counted towards lifetime elite status.
American AAdvantage members could literally buy their way to elite status through earning miles from spending without having to fly on American Airlines. American was the only U.S. carrier that counted all earned miles when tallying up miles for lifetime elite and members often speculated that AAdvantage would change their rules for lifetime elite qualification. That day has come.
Effective Dec. 1, 2011, only AAdvantage base miles earned by flying on American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection or any partner airline that participates in the AAdvantage program will count towards Million Miler status. From Dec. 1, only butt-in-seat miles will be counted.
There is a limited-time offer for cardholders of the new Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard. Cardholders earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible purchases and through December 2012, miles earned from credit card spend with the World Elite MasterCard will count toward Million Miler status. Bonus miles and additional miles earned through special offers will not count. Elite bonus miles and class-of-service bonuses are also excluded from the lifetime elite tally.
AAdvantage members who reach 1,000,000 Million Miler miles will receive lifetime Gold status and 35,000 bonus miles (which can be exchanged for eight 500-mile upgrades). Members earning 2,000,000 Million Miler miles will receive lifetime Platinum status and four one-way systemwide upgrades. And for every subsequent million mile threshold, members will receive four additional one-way systemwide upgrades.
Members will be able to view their progress towards Million Miler status on AA.com beginning Dec. 1, 2011. Your beginning Million Miler balance will include every AAdvantage mile you have ever earned so if you are close to a million miles on Dec. 1 when the program changes, you won't need to start over. Members who have already earned Million Miler status under the old program will retain their status when the program changes.
Compared to other million miler programs, American AAdvantage was generous in allowing all earn miles to count towards elite. And the program is giving AAdvantage members more than three months advance notice before the change is implemented.
Members who are close to an elite threshold can transfer hotel points into miles, spend a lot on a co-branded credit card or complete other partner activity before the program changes. And Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard have another 12 months where purchases will count towards Million Miler status. Keep in mind, however, that the World Elite card has an annual fee of $450.
posted: Aug 24, 2011 at 11:05pm (MT)
American Airlines's announcement to quit counting every AAdvantage mile towards a flyer's lifetime status is an appalling decision. Every mile should count. Changing the rules for loyal customers in the middle of the game shows no respect for the loyalty received.
Show your support at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Let-Every-AAdvantage-Mile-Count/128965133866722?sk=wall
posted: Aug 25, 2011 at 12:05am (MT)
As an AA frequent flyer I am disappointed. I have been with AA for 15 yrs but now I think I will just start looking for the cheapest airfare. AA is usually higher than other airlines so a cheap ticket on another airline will cover the luggage fees. As to loyalty, most airlines only really care about the high spending 1st class elites, the rest of us are just something they have to put up with.
posted: Aug 25, 2011 at 2:04pm (MT)
To disallow miles previously permitted towards any goal is unfair and shows total disrespect for the customer. I've been a loyal AA customer over 10 years and 900,000+ miles (sorry, points), Time to look around again, I think ...
posted: Aug 25, 2011 at 9:59pm (MT)
Totally fair. Flying privileges should be for those paying their dues with BIS miles, not for those spending corporate money on their personal credit cards or exchanging hotel points. No other airline has been this generous and AA still looks very good compared to others like DL...
posted: Aug 26, 2011 at 6:26pm (MT)
This was expected. While we all have the right to complain, I think AA is being fair and allowing at least a few months before making predictable changes. 950+ miles now; I'll be doing extra flying this fall to make the cut off.
posted: Aug 27, 2011 at 3:57pm (MT)
It's about time...I have over 4mil, all flying...I've been Executive Platinum since its inception and was wondering when AA would make this change. My twin brother (owns his own business) has 5mil only because he purchases everything on his AA credit card. We were together at Atlantis last week and he was bragging that he has a higher mil status than me...
posted: Sep 1, 2011 at 3:52pm (MT)
Of course you think it's fair if you are at 950,000 miles. I am at 815,000 not quite the same and as a loyal customer I feel that American just keeps on disappointing me on every level on a monthly basis. Screw it. I like Jetblue and Frontier better. If I am going to get minimal perks I may as well be happy.
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