Logging into IHG One Rewards, an account number and 4-digit PIN is enough. Several loyalty programs ask not just for your account number and password when you log in, but also your last name.
Someone asked on Twitter specifically why American Airlines has the requirement for three separate fields to log in – the account number, password, and last name. In other words, why isn’t account number and password enough? I happen to know the reason, and it’s mildly interesting.
Great question! We'll see if we can find an answer and will follow up once we have more info.
— americanair (@AmericanAir) May 3, 2022
When the US Airways Dividend Miles program was folded into American AAdvantage there were about 10 million people that were members of both programs – and 1 million identical account numbers between the two programs.
To make sure someone didn’t log into the wrong account in error with just account number and password they added a last name check. It’s unlikely that any of those 1 million account numbers that overlapped also had the same password, but it was possible, and so someone would accidentally use their old US Airways account number and log into an account belonging to another member of the AAdvantage program.
The history here is that before US Airways was taken over by America West, they used Sabre, and had 7 alphanumeric characters for their frequent flyer accounts just like American does. After the takeover America West’s SHARES put zeros in front of those. So legacy US Airways accounts over a decade old in some cases conflicted with American accounts. Anyone who had signed up for Dividend Miles after Team Tempe took over and converted to SHARES wouldn’t have had an issue.
As it happens I covered this when the change was implemented seven years ago!