With the new American Airlines elite status-earning system going into effect for 2022 it’s super easy to keep elite status if you engage with the program across a variety of earning streams, rather than just by flying.
American has now shared the full list of activities and partners that will count towards elite status under the new program.
When “Loyalty Points” were first introduced, American Airlines explained that it would take,
- Gold: 30,000 Loyalty Points
- Platinum: 75,000 Loyalty Points
- Platinum Pro: 125,000 Loyalty Points
- Executive Platinum: 200,000 Loyalty Points
Normally the earning period will be March through February. But you’re going to have an extra two months to earn status this coming year (January 2022 – February 2023).
American had announced that you’d be able to earn Loyalty Points for flying, for spend on their co-brand credit cards, online shopping through their portal, transactions with SimplyMiles and Rewards Network dining. And they shared that additional partners would count, too.
You don’t need to fly at all to earn elite status – even Executive Platinum – though earning ‘choice benefits’ that accrue starting at the Platinum Pro level requires at least 30 flight segments, and award travel issued by and flown on American count.
All The Ways To Earn Elite Qualifying Points In 2022
American Airlines has now shared all of the partners that will begin accruing Loyalty Points beginning January 1, 2022.
- Flying American. This generally earns 5 points per dollar plus elite bonuses (so up to 11 loyalty points per dollar spent on tickets for Executive Platinum members).
- Flying most partner airlines. You can earn loyalty points flying all oneworld airlines plus JetBlue and Gol. (The Points Guy had erroneously reported that Etihad and Hawaiian flights would earn loyalty points, but that’s not correct – you can only earn loyalty points on other carriers if booking an American Airlines codeshare where that option exists.)
Generally mileage-earning on joint venture partner airlines has increased (like British Airways) in premium cabins, and you earn elite points equal to the redeemable mileage you earn for flying on airlines that count towards loyalty points.
- Cobrand credit card spending. This means 1 point per dollar spent on U.S. credit cards plus threshold bonuses in 2022 for the Citi and Barclays premium cards.
Initial card bonuses and bonus earning in accelerator categories are excluded. Some cards issued outside the 50 U.S. states earn at 1.5 or 2 loyalty points per dollar
- AAdvantage shopping portal. Online purchases made through the American AAdvantage portal earn loyalty points at the same rate as redeemable miles (but shopping portal bonuses, such as spend $x earn Y additional miles do not count).
- AAdvantage dining Miles earned dining at participating restaurants through American’s branded Rewards Network program, though bonuses such as new member bonuses do not count.
- SimplyMiles miles earned using this card-linked offer site paying with an eligible Mastercard.
- Other retail Shell gas (when linking through the AAdvantage partnership, WeWork, Vinesse, FTD, Vivid Seats, NRG Energy, Reliant Energy, Xoom, Miles for Opinion
- Hotel stays that are booked through American’s portal or Hyatt, IHG, Marriott (as well as Marriott Vacations) and Wyndham stays credited to American. Rocketmiles bookings count as well and while those don’t earn hotel points or elite status credit, they can earn substantial miles – all of a sudden Rocketmiles becomes a very interesting site for booking hotels especially those not part of a major chain program.
Maybe the best thing here though is that you can credit Hyatt stays to a World of Hyatt account but still take advantage of the American-Hyatt earning partnership where elites who link their accounts earn 1 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at Hyatt up to 10,000 miles per year as a double dip and these miles count as loyalty points.
- Rental cars. Cars booked through American’s portal as well as rentals with Avis, Budget, Payless, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Alamo, National, and Sixt credited to AAdvantage.
- Cruises and vacation packages. booked through American’s cruise booking site and bookings made with AA Vacations
Non-oneworld Airlines Earning Miles
This is interesting. It was obvious that JetBlue would earn status credit, it already does, and the two carriers have a joint venture out of New York and Boston.
American has taken a stake in Gol and the partnership is even intended to offer elite benefits, so elite qualifying makes sense here. They’re even working on a single co-brand credit card with Gol.
I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see Jetsmart added to this list, since Vasu Raja has talked about AAdvantage becoming their frequent flyer program. However an ownership stake doesn’t imply elite earning – you don’t hear much about the stake American took in China Southern for instance.
Not Counting Bask Bank Is Disappointing
A lot of people (including me) were hoping that Bask Bank earning would count as Loyalty Points. At some level that would make status-earning too easy, but that isn’t likely the main issue. Instead, Loyalty Points are something American sells to partners and with very low interest rates there can’t be much of a margin for Bask Bank awarding miles for savings balances as it is. They probably just couldn’t make the economics work.
And while we’re on the topic of earning options left out, I was disappointed not to have Stand Up To Cancer included. American awards 10 AAdvantage miles per dollar donated (for donations $25+). The charity isn’t funding this, so there’s no revenue to pay for Loyalty Points, and your donation won’t earn elite credit.
Easier Than Ever To Earn Status
Under the new program it’s harder to earn status from flying alone and that’s especially true earning status the first time. But status is much easier to earn overall. And this is finally a reason to spend on American Airlines co-brand credit cards, something I wouldn’t have advised previously. Not only do you earn status with Loyalty Points, but they’re the tie-breaker for upgrades after elite status level too. So you want as many as possible.
Indeed, starting at 125,000 points and then at 200,000; 350,000; 550,000; and 750,000 you’ll earn choice benefits like systemwide upgrades and bonus miles. The list of choice awards isn’t expected to be published until mid-January.