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Check your account: You might've just received a big American elite boost

July 27, 2022
3 min read
Check your account: You might've just received a big American elite boost
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Some American Airlines frequent flyers are waking up on Wednesday to find some additional Loyalty Points in their accounts.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier appears to have started the conversion process for 500-mile upgrade certificates, a plan which was first unveiled back in late February.

At the time, American shared the (mixed) news that every elite tier would be eligible for complimentary, space-available upgrades on most domestic and short-haul international flights. Previously, lower-tier elites would need to redeem 500-mile upgrade certificates to be added to the upgrade list.

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Earlier this month, the carrier formally announced that companion upgrades would become complimentary as of July 14. Lower-tier elites would previously need to redeem 500-mile upgrades — sometimes called "e500s" — to put a companion on the upgrade list.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Now that upgrades are complimentary, there's no longer a need for 500-mile upgrade certificates.

Instead of simply retiring the e500 program, American announced that it would convert any unexpired certificates into 250 Loyalty Points apiece, beginning in late July.

Don’t leave points and miles on the table! The free TPG App alerts you when your points are about to expire.

Well, now that we're four days from the end of the month, American is making good on its promise just in the nick of time.

To see if your 500-mile upgrades have been converted into Loyalty Points, log in to your AAdvantage account and open the activity tab. You should see a tile titled "500 mile upgrade conversion to Loyalty Points."

Clicking into that tile will give you detailed information on how many Loyalty Points you earned from the conversion.

In my case, I had 36 unexpired 500-mile upgrades in my account as of July 26. At a rate of 250 Loyalty Points per e500, I received 9,000 Loyalty Points during the conversion process.

(Screenshot from aa.com)

Many members of the TPG editorial team also reported receiving their conversions on Wednesday morning.

While you won't earn any redeemable AAdvantage miles as part of the conversion process, Loyalty Points are American's new elite currency. The more you earn, the higher your status will be. Entry-level Gold status requires 30,000 points, while top-tier Executive Platinum requires 200,000 points.

You can learn more about Loyalty Points in our detailed guide.

While most members may see a status boost on Wednesday, others might've already cashed out their unexpired e500s for AAdvantage miles or cash.

In April, TPG first reported that American offered alternative compensation for 500-mile upgrades purchased with cash or miles. In those cases, the airline offered flyers a refund or an attractive conversion into AAdvantage miles.

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

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
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

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases