American Airlines Announces 2012 Elite Rewards

Mar 9, 2012

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Many airlines offer special perks for going above and beyond elite stats requirements. They do this to incentivize flyers to stay loyal, even after they achieve the highest echelons of elite status. For example, some people may try to achieve status in another alliance once they hit top tier, which can be a smart way to diversify one’s mileage and travel strategy.

American Airlines has historically offered a program called Elite Rewards and they use elite qualifying points, not miles as qualification. This makes it much harder to achieve, especially since they ran the double EQM promotion in January, but elite qualifying points were not doubled. For example, I currently have 94,000 Elite Qualifying Miles, but only 38,500 Elite Qualifying Points.

The difference between an elite qualifying mile and point is that almost all fares earn 100% EQMs, however deeply discounted coach only earns .5 points per mile flown, normal coach 1 point per mile flown and full-fare/business/first is 1.5 points per mile. While most airlines just give an EQM bonus for full fare/business, AA has this separate point system, which I personally think is confusing.

AA Elite Qualifying Point Chart

If you can get to 125,000 EQPs by December 31, 2012, there are some good rewards. You can choose two of the following:

  • 35,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles
  • Two (2) one-way Systemwide Upgrades
  • One (1) one-year Admirals Club® membership (may be chosen only once)
  • One (1)® 20% Discount Promotion Code for future systemwide travel on American^
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold® status for a friend

I’d probably choose the 35,000 miles and two one-way upgrades, but it’s highly unlikely I will be hitting 125,000 EQPs this year unless someone wants to start paying me to fly in AA first class all around the world!

The airline is also offering rewards to Platinum and Gold elite members who go above the earning thresholds but don’t quite make it into the next tier.

Platinum members who earn between 75,000-99,999 EQP’s can select from the following:

  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles
  • Eight (8) 500-mile electronic upgrades
  • Four (4) Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Gift of Gold status for a friend
  • One (1) 15% discount code for future systemwide travel on American Airlines

Gold members who fly between 40,000-49,999 get to choose from:

  • 15,000 bonus AAdvantage miles
  • Four (4) 500-mile electronic upgrades
  • Two (2) Admirals Club one-day passes
  • One (1) 10% discount code for future systemwide travel on American Airlines

To participate in Elite Rewards, you must login and register prior to December 15, 2012 using promotion code ELTA2.

Why Not Rollover?
Other airlines offer similar incentives to elite flyers who don’t quite reach the next level of status. For instance, Delta lets elite flyers select mileage bonuses and gifting Medallion status to a friend if they surpass their elite thresholds by significant amounts. Far more valuable in my opinion, however, is Delta’s option to rollover the miles you have above the highest threshold of elite status you reach for a year into your qualifying activity for the next year. So in my case, rather than making a last-minute dash to maintain Diamond status last year, I rolled over 33,593 miles into 2012 so I’m well on my way to higher-level elite status again.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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