This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
On Thursday, low-cost carrier LEVEL took to the skies for the first time. TPG’s Associate Editor Emily McNutt was there to experience the inaugural flight. However, when the passengers disembarked in Los Angeles (LAX), there was an unanswered question still looming over each and every passenger: Where can I credit this flight?!
Well, maybe not everyone was worried about this. But, it’s a question that we’ve been wondering ever since the new airline was announced. See, LEVEL is a subsidiary of International Airlines Group — the same group that owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. Of these, you can earn both AAdvantage award miles and elite-qualifying miles on half: British Airways and Iberia. The question was if LEVEL would be one of the special partners or not.
Seems American Airlines is splitting the difference. On an award chart released last night, we now know that you’ll earn award miles on LEVEL flights, but not AA elite-qualifying miles. And, the award mileage credit rate is pretty miserable:
Let’s put that into perspective. Here’s how many AAdvantage miles you’ll earn for these flights:
|One-way mileage earning||Booking Code||LAX-BCN||OAK-BCN|
That’s right. You’ll need to fly two round-trips to Europe to earn enough miles for a People magazine subscription if you’re booking the cheapest tickets.
Also note that you’ll only earn AAdvantage miles on certain LEVEL flights. It seems AA doesn’t want you earning any flights on LEVEL’s flights between Spain and Argentina or the Dominican Republic:
Flights marketed by Iberia and operated by Iberia for LEVEL (IB2600 – IB2699) aren’t eligible for AAdvantage mileage accrual with the exception of flights between:
Barcelona (BCN) – Los Angeles (LAX)
BCN – Oakland (OAK)
While it’s easy to mock the low earning rate, we must remember that these are some very cheap flights. TPG’s Emily paid just $105 (before add-ons) for the 6,000+ mile flight. So, it’s understandable that the mileage earnings aren’t going to be the greatest.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees