American unveils full catalog of Loyalty Choice Rewards for top-tier members

Jan 21, 2022

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Before you know it, March 1 will be here, and with it comes an overhauled American Airlines AAdvantange loyalty program.

First unveiled back in October, American is completely revamping its elite status program. You’ll no longer earn elite-qualifying miles, dollars and segments towards status.

Instead, beginning on March 1, American will consolidate the elite-qualifying currency into one metric, “Loyalty Points.” We’ve already covered most of the details, including all the ways you can earn Loyalty Points and why now is the perfect time to be double-dipping with American.

But one aspect of the program that was still under wraps was the rewards structure. Once you hit top-tier status, what are the rewards?

Well, we now have the answer, as the airline just unveiled the full suite of Loyalty Choice Rewards launching on March 1 — and here are all the details.

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Loyalty Points needed to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards

To earn a pick at the Loyalty Choice Rewards, you’ll need to hit the following number of Loyalty Points.

Reward level Loyalty Points required
Level 1 (Platinum Pro status) 125,000
Level 2 (Executive Platinum status) 200,000
Level 3 (Executive Platinum status) 350,000
Level 4 (Executive Platinum status) 550,000
Level 5 (Executive Platinum status) 750,000

 

In addition to the Loyalty Points requirement, you’ll need to fly at least 30 segments on American and qualifying partners to unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards.

Historically, there hasn’t been a minimum-segment requirement to earn the perks of AAdvantage status, and putting the threshold at 30 might be high for some flyers who prefer fewer long-haul trips to more frequent domestic hops.

If it’s any consolation, award tickets marketed by American will count toward reaching the minimum segment requirement, though you won’t earn any miles or Loyalty Points from those transactions.

Note that only AAdvantage award segments for travel on American will count towards this requirement. This does not include partners like Alaska, JetBlue, British Airways and others.

Loyalty Choice Rewards

Level 1

After you cross 125,000 Loyalty Points with 30 qualifying segments, you’ll earn Platinum Pro status, along with one choice from the following catalog of rewards.

Reward Choice required
20,000 AAdvantage miles (25,000 miles with cobranded card) 1 choice
1 systemwide upgrade 1 choice
6 Admirals Clubs day passes 1 choice
$200 Trip Credit 1 choice
$200 donation 1 choice
Gift of Gold Status 1 choice
Carbon offset 1 choice
15% award discount (one-time) 1 choice

Level 2

After you cross 200,000 Loyalty Points with 30 (or more) qualifying segments, you’ll earn Executive Platinum status, along with two extra choices from the following catalog of rewards.

Altogether, once you hit 200,000 points, you get a total of three choices (one from Level 1 and two from Level 2).

Reward Choice(s) required
20,000 AAdvantage miles (30,000 miles with cobranded card) 1 choice
2 systemwide upgrades 1 choice
6 Admirals Clubs day passes 1 choice
$200 Trip Credit 1 choice
$200 donation 1 choice
Admirals Club individual membership 2 choices
Gift of Gold Status 1 choice
Carbon offset 1 choice
1 Bang & Olufsen premium product 2 choices

Level 3, 4 and 5

After you hit 200,000 Loyalty Points, you can continue to earn additional rewards at the 350,000, 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Point thresholds. Note that you won’t earn any additional status — unless American gifts you with its invite-only Concierge Key status, you’ll continue to be an Executive Platinum member.

Once you cross each threshold, you’ll enjoy two extra choices from a very similar menu of benefits, which is listed below. The only difference is that once you hit the 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Points threshold, the gift of status changes from Gold to Platinum, which will also require two choices compared to one for Gold.

Reward Choice(s) required
25,000 AAdvantage miles 1 choice
1 systemwide upgrade 1 choice
6 Admirals Clubs day passes 1 choice
$200 Trip Credit 1 choice
$200 donation 1 choice
Admirals Club individual membership 2 choices
Gift of Gold/Platinum Status 1 choice/2 choices
Carbon offset 1 choice

 

Changes from 2021

Savvy American Airlines flyers will note that the new Loyalty Choice Rewards largely resemble those from 2021, with a few key differences.

The Level 2 catalog is slightly different than last year’s one — the Bang and Olufsen products now require two choices (a noticeable devaluation for those selecting these premium audio products).

Additionally, American is retiring the 10,000 elite-qualifying miles bonus that Executive Platinum elites could select in 2021. Those members who requalified in 2021 can select the 10,000 EQM bonus under the outgoing model, which will be converted to 20,000 Loyalty Points when they launch on March 1.

Furthermore, “beyond Executive Platinum Rewards” is being replaced with two picks each from the Level 3, 4 and 5 catalog. This is a flyer-friendly improvement, since the options include all of the retired choices, along with some new ones.

Of course, earning these additional rewards will require more Loyalty Points than they did in the outgoing EQM model.

Pre-pandemic, you earned the Executive Platinum Rewards for each additional 50,000 EQMs that you earned beyond 100,000. Now, you’ll need (at least) an additional 150,000 Loyalty Points to unlock more rewards.

Menu of Loyalty Choice Rewards

You’ll find a full list and explanation of the available rewards below.

Systemwide upgrades

As in the past, systemwide upgrades (SWUs) can be used to move from coach to business class or from business class to Flagship First on any flight operated by American.

SWUs will expire one year from the date of selection. You don’t necessarily need to upgrade during that year, as an expiring SWU can be applied to future travel so long as there’s upgrade space when using the certificate.

As such, if you’re planning to pick SWUs as your gift, be sure to hold off on redeeming your pick until you have a flight that’s available for upgrade.

Related: How to use American systemwide upgrades

Use systemwide upgrades to score upgrades to AA’s Flagship Business (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

AAdvantage bonus miles

All five levels can pick bonus AAdvantage miles. Levels 1 and 2 can earn 20,000 miles, worth $326 according to the TPG valuations, while levels 3, 4 and 5 can earn 25,000 miles, worth $408.

Note that if you’re a cobranded credit cardholder you’ll enjoy an additional 5,000 miles bonus (worth $82) on top of the lump-sum distribution for level 1, and an additional 10,000 miles (worth $163) at Level 2.

One-time 15%-off award discount

This Platinum Pro-exclusive option unlocks 15% off a single AAdvantage award ticket.

This discount applies to any type of award ticket, including revenue-based Web Specials, with no maximum on how much you can save.

Note that the discount will be applied post-travel as a rebate, for up to two passengers traveling round-trip.

As such, if you’re planning to redeem an award that costs 133,000 miles or more, it definitely makes sense to choose the 15% discount, as opposed to the 20,000-mile lump-sum bonus.

Carbon emissions offset

American is partnering with the non-profit Cool Effect to purchase offsets calculated based on your flight activity during the elite-qualifying year.

$200 donation to a partner charity

Flyers can also choose to gift a reward to one of ten non-profit organizations. American will send $200 to the partner non-profit of your choice, including programs like Feeding America and Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Admirals Club day-passes and membership

All levels include an option to choose six single-day lounge passes (worth $354), while Executive Platinums and above can choose an individual Admirals Club membership (worth $550). Just note that the latter requires both picks from the top-tier catalog.

The Admirals Club membership is tied to elite membership year (Feb. 28, two years after qualifying for status), so if you pick the lounge access gift, be sure to make your selection immediately upon earning status.

The day passes, on the other hand, are good for one year from the date selected.

Note that there are alternative ways to access the Admirals Club through cobranded credit cards. If you’re itching for a key to the lounge, it could definitely make sense to open a credit card and select another, more exclusive pick from the rewards menu.

Related: American Airlines Admirals Club membership guide

$200 Trip Credit

This one is pretty simple.

All levels can select a $200 Trip Credit to be used on any future American Airlines flight.

The lump-sum bonus miles are definitely worth more than the future travel voucher though. So, unless you rarely (or inefficiently) use your miles, it makes sense to stick with the 20,000 or 25,000 (or more) mile bonus.

Gift of Gold status

TPG values AAdvantage Gold status at $930 (in a pre-pandemic world), so if you have a friend or family member who flies AA periodically, but not enough to earn status on their own, then this gift could be worthwhile.

Note that the gifted status will expire at the same time as the member  — on Feb. 28, two years after qualifying. As such, once you hit status, be sure to make your pick at who gets the gold.

Bang & Olufsen products

While many frequent flyers will likely choose a combination of the above picks, perhaps your employer pays for business-class seats and you’re flush with miles for personal travel.

If that’s the case, you might consider redeeming for a Bang & Olufsen headset, earbuds or speaker. These products regularly score rave reviews from customers (and TPG staff), so it’s certainly not a lousy pick.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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