AAdvantage® program updates

American Airlines aircraft

Elite status updates for 2021

AAdvantage® members are among our most loyal customers, and we want you to know how much we value your choice to fly with us. We previously announced updates to our 2021 elite program designed to help you reach elite status faster, give you new rewards and more flexibility.

We’re now ready to unveil the full list of elite choice rewards for Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members in addition to sharing an exciting upgrade for Platinum Pro status.

Introducing the flexibility to choose your rewards

Starting in early 2021, when you qualify for Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status with the adjusted 2021 requirements, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the rewards that matter most to you.

For our Platinum Pro members, you’ll receive 1 reward choice in addition to the current benefits.

For our Executive Platinum members, systemwide upgrades will now become 1 of many reward choices. You can choose to maintain up to the 4 systemwide upgrades you receive today, or you’ll have the flexibility to select a different reward. All of your other existing Executive Platinum benefits will remain the same.

Earn Platinum Pro and choose 1:

  • 1 systemwide upgrade
  • 20,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles (AAdvantage® credit card members receive an additional 5,000 bonus miles for a total of 25,000 miles)
  • 6 Admirals Club® One-Day Passes
  • $200 American Airlines flight discount
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • One-time 15% off award discount (rebate post travel)*

Earn Executive Platinum and choose 2:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades (use 2 of your choices to receive 4 systemwide upgrades, like you get today)
  • 25,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles (AAdvantage® credit card members receive an additional 5,000 bonus miles for a total of 30,000 miles)
  • Admirals Club® individual membership (requires 2 of your choices)
  • $200 American Airlines flight discount
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • 10,000 bonus EQMs (can only select once)
  • Gift of AAdvantage® Gold status
  • Choice of 1 Bang & Olufsen premium product**

*15% off award discount will be applied post travel, for up to 2 passengers traveling round-trip anywhere on American Airlines, American Eagle®, oneworld® airlines or partner airlines.

**Beoplay H9 3rd Gen. over-ear noise-canceling headphones, Beoplay E8 Sport wireless earbuds or Beosound A1 2nd Gen. portable speaker.

Once you qualify for Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status in 2021, you can choose your reward any time between the date you qualify and December 30, 2022. This gives you the flexibility to decide when to choose your reward, based on when you want to use it.

For example, if you qualify in May 2021, your membership year is valid through January 2023. That means, you’ll have until December 30, 2022 to choose your reward. If you have more than 1 reward choice, you can choose 1 after qualifying and the other later, or both rewards later. It’s up to you.

If you qualify for Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum in 2021 before we launch elite choice rewards, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to choose from the lists of rewards when they become available.

Systemwide upgrades

To align with our new elite choice rewards, starting January 1, 2021 systemwide upgrades will be valid for 1 year from the date of selection, giving you the flexibility to set your expiration date based on when you choose your reward. Once selected, you have even more flexibility, because systemwide upgrades can now be used for travel beyond the expiration date – the upgrade just needs to be confirmed before the upgrade expires.

Systemwide upgrades earned by reaching 2 million miles will now be valid for 1 year from qualification.

Platinum Pro members get an upgrade

Starting in early 2021, Platinum Pro members will be upgraded from oneworld® Sapphire to oneworld® Emerald status. This allows you to enjoy more benefits when traveling on oneworld® airlines, including:

  • First Class priority check-in
  • First and Business partner lounge access
  • Extra bag allowance
  • Higher priority for waitlists and standby

oneworld® benefits

As a reminder, you can reach elite status and more rewards faster in 2021 through:

  • Adjusted elite qualification thresholds for 2021
  • Head start on elite qualification for 2021
  • Waived EQD requirement for AAdvantage® Gold, Platinum and Platinum Pro if you spend $30,000 on purchases with your eligible AAdvantage® credit cards
  • Adjusted EQM thresholds for beyond Executive Platinum rewards

Adjusted elite qualification requirements

You’ll be able to qualify for elite status in 2021 with adjusted Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD), Elite Qualifying Mile (EQM) and Elite Qualifying Segment (EQS) requirements.

Keep in mind, earlier this year, we extended all elite status expiring on January 31, 2021, until January 31, 2022.

Elite status qualification for 2021:

Qualifying metric Executive Platinum
oneworld® Emerald
Platinum Pro
oneworld® Sapphire
Platinum
oneworld® Sapphire
Gold
oneworld® Ruby
EQMs 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000
EQSs 95 70 45 20
EQDs $12,000 $7,000 $4,500 $2,000

To qualify, you must meet the required level of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), plus either the required level of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs).

Members who reach the adjusted thresholds in 2021 will receive their status immediately upon qualifying, valid through January 31, 2023.

Head start on elite qualification for 2021

All base EQMs, EQSs, and EQDs earned on flights taken from October 1 – December 31, 2020, count toward your 2021 requirements. We’ve now added those eligible elite qualifying credits to your account. They appear as a separate activity in your account and in your progress toward qualifying for elite status during 2021.

Keep in mind, bonus elite qualifying credits, such as those earned from an AAdvantage® credit card, didn’t roll over.

Waived EQD requirement for select elite levels if you spend $30,000 on purchases with your eligible AAdvantage® credit card

For 2021, we’ll waive the EQD requirement to qualify for Gold, Platinum or Platinum Pro status if you spend $30,000 on net purchases with an eligible AAdvantage® credit card that post to your account between January 1 – December 31, 2021.

This includes all Citi® / AAdvantage®, all AAdvantage® Aviator®* and all AAdvantage® credit cards outside the U.S.

*Select offers / benefits may not be achievable based on the assigned credit line and ability to maintain that credit line.

Adjusted EQM thresholds for beyond Executive Platinum rewards

Previously, members who qualified for Executive Platinum status received a choice of 1 reward upon reaching 150,000, 200,000 and 250,000 EQMs.

For 2021, we’ll adjust the levels required to earn these rewards to 120,000, 160,000 and 200,000 EQMs.

Elite status benefits

More flexibility with you in mind

We’re eliminating many AAdvantage® award travel fees and pausing the expiration of miles to give you more flexibility and peace of mind.

Eliminating award travel fees

Redeeming AAdvantage® miles should feel rewarding. That’s why we’re eliminating service fees for new award tickets issued by Reservations starting November 11, 2020. Whether you prefer to book award travel on aa.com, through the American Airlines app, or by calling Reservations, we’re here for you and ready to help.

Booking flight and upgrade awards

We’re committed to offering flexibility when your plans change. Earlier this fall, we eliminated change fees on award travel within the U.S. and between the U.S. and several international destinations. Effective immediately, we’re eliminating award travel change fees to all remaining destinations. We’re also eliminating award reinstatement fees.

If you cancel an eligible award trip on our website, we’ll now reinstate your miles automatically in many cases. Miles redeemed for eligible upgrade awards, car and hotel awards, and American Airlines Vacations packages can also be reinstated at no charge by contacting Reservations.

Pausing AAdvantage® mile expiration through June 2021

You’ve worked hard to earn your AAdvantage® miles, and we recognize you may need more time than usual to keep them active. We’ve paused the expiration of miles through June 30, 2021. If your miles are scheduled to expire on or before June 30, 2021, they will now expire in July 2021, if there’s no additional activity in your account before then. You can find the expiration date of your miles in the Wallet section of your AAdvantage® account.

Wallet

Enjoy elite benefits during your journey, no matter the fare

You’ve worked hard to earn AAdvantage® elite status, and we want to reward your loyalty on every trip you take with American. Starting this fall, along with enjoying Priority access and Preferred boarding, elite members who buy a Basic Economy fare will receive:

  • Upgrade privileges
  • Elite seat benefits, including access to Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats
  • Same-day Confirmed Flight Change benefits

For travel starting January 1, 2021, Basic Economy tickets will no longer earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM), Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) or Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) toward future elite status.

AAdvantage® elite status

Award mile expiration for members under 21

Effective July 1, 2020, the 18-month activity requirement won’t apply to AAdvantage® members under age 21. For members who turned 21 years of age before July 1, 2020, the 18-month qualifying activity period will be applied on a pro rata basis.

Example: If a member turned 21 on March 1, 2020, the 18-month qualifying activity period for this member will start on March 1, 2020.

This means AAdvantage® members won’t be subject to mileage expiration until 18 months after their 21st birthday if they don’t have qualifying activity in their account at least once in 18 months following their 21st birthday. If the account does not include a birth date in the member profile, the account will be subject to the 18-month activity rule. Be sure to keep your account updated to get the latest information.

AAdvantage® terms and conditions

Companion benefits

Systemwide and mileage award upgrades

If you and a companion are waitlisted for the same type of upgrade, you can sponsor them to receive your priority level. You’ll stay prioritized together, even at the airport.

Companion and sponsor qualifications:

  • Book on the same flight (same or separate reservations)
  • Use the same upgrade type (systemwide or mileage award upgrades)

Companions don’t have to be AAdvantage® members; the upgrade can be deducted from any account.

To sponsor a companion for a new or existing trip, contact Reservations.

Reservations and ticket changes

500-mile upgrades

Today, you and another elite status member can be prioritized together on the 500-mile upgrade waitlist. If the upgrade isn’t cleared before you get to the airport, you are prioritized based on individual status.

Now, you can ask an agent to reconnect you on the list at the airport. If available, the 500-mile upgrades will be deducted from the sponsor’s account.

500-mile upgrades

Upgrade prioritization

Upgrade requests will be prioritized by elite status level, then:

  1. Type of upgrade
  2. 12-month Rolling EQDs

If the upgrade type and 12-month Rolling EQD value are the same we’ll look at the booking code then date/time of the request to determine prioritization.

Type of upgrade

Before you get to the airport, requests for systemwide and mileage award upgrades are processed independently from 500-mile upgrade requests.

At the airport, upgrades requested will be prioritized in this order:

  1. Systemwide and mileage award upgrades
  2. 500-mile upgrades on purchased tickets
  3. 500-mile upgrades on award tickets

12-month Rolling EQDs

Your 12-month Rolling EQD value is updated daily and is different from your Year-to-Date (YTD) EQDs, which is used to track your progress toward elite status.

Rolling EQDs are based on:

  1. EQDs actually earned in the 12 last months
  2. EQDs earned from reaching qualifying spend thresholds on eligible AAdvantage® Aviator® MasterCard® cards

Earning EQDs

Booking code

Booking code priority:

  • From Business to First (for systemwide and mileage award upgrades only): J, R, D, I, C
  • From Main Cabin to the next class: W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T

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