Earn American Airlines Miles Flying Low-Cost Carrier LEVEL

Jun 3, 2017

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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:

LEVEL AAdvantage earning chart

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
Premium Economy W 6,628 6,556
Premium Economy E,T 6,025 5,960
Economy Y,B,H 6,025 5,960
Economy K,M,L 3,013 2,980
Economy V,S,N 1,506 1,490
Economy O,Q,A 603 596

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.

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This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

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More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.