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American Airlines hints at new rewards for its most loyal customers

Sept. 04, 2020
4 min read
American Airlines hints at new rewards for its most loyal customers
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At a time when airlines are making unprecedented cuts — from in-flight service to staffing to routes and more — at least one airline is exploring ways to invest in its loyalty program.

American Airlines seems to have quietly acknowledged the importance of customer loyalty this week in a survey it sent to some AAdvantage elite travelers. Depending on how the survey goes, the airline may introduce new milestone rewards for Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum, and ConciergeKey members.

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In the survey viewed by TPG, American asks customers about new rewards it can offer upon status qualification. For Platinum Pro members, some of the possible options include a charitable donation, an AA travel voucher, a one-time mileage redemption discount, bonus miles, systemwide upgrades, Admirals Club day passes and a one-year music and TV streaming subscription.

While American seems to value this reward around $150 to $200, the actual value you might get will depend on your personal habits. For instance, it's possible to get more than $200 in value from 20,000 bonus miles and less value from the streaming subscription.

Related: Choosing the best credit card for American Airlines flyers

(Photo by Dynata)

Executive Platinum members would potentially be offered two to three rewards, each valued at around $250 to $300. The rewards would include the ones available to Platinum Pro members as well as a few others, such as a pair of Bang & Olufsen or Bose headphones, bonus elite qualifying miles (EQMs) and the ability to gift elite status (either Gold or Platinum).

Related: Your guide to American Airlines lifetime elite status

TPG reached out to American for more information about the new benefits and received the following statement:

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"The AAdvantage team is continually exploring opportunities to reward our best customers. This survey represents one such initiative that is being considered, among many, for future implementation. At this time, we do not have a set date for introducing any new Elite benefits."

These rewards would be a great addition to the AAdvantage program, but they aren't entirely unique. As is often the case, this move would follow in the footsteps of Delta, which already offers its top two levels of elites — Platinum and Diamond — Choice Benefits. When qualifying for these two tiers of status, members get to choose a reward, such as Regional Upgrade Certificates (RPUs), Global Upgrade Certificates (GUCs), bonus SkyMiles or the ability to gift status. Meanwhile, United introduced PointsPlus last year, a revamped system for securing upgrades.

Related: Successfully completing a status challenge: AA Executive Platinum to Delta Platinum

At the end of the survey, American also asks some questions about the value of AAdvantage miles. More specifically, the airline wants to know how customers feel about changes made in the past two years. With the introduction of web specials and removal of the legacy award search interface, there's been an overall shift toward more dynamic pricing — again following Delta's lead.

Bottom line

Adding milestone rewards for higher-tier elites would be a terrific addition to the AAdvantage program. Overall, these benefits shouldn't cost the airline much but will help boost loyalty — something that will be very important when travel rebounds.

As of now, this idea is still in the conceptual stage, so there's no timeline for when or if it will be rolled out. This isn't the first survey American sent customers this summer either. In June, American surveyed customers on alternate forms of compensation it can offer when things go wrong.

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Featured image by (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023