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American Airlines extends systemwide upgrades through mid-2022

June 01, 2021
3 min read
American Airlines extends systemwide upgrades through mid-2022
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Not yet ready to take a long-haul flight? Well, American Airlines has your back.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is rolling out an extension for its systemwide upgrades that were originally slated to expire this year. In a statement shared with TPG, an AA spokesperson said that "we are pleased to share with our elite AAdvantage members that all active systemwide upgrades scheduled to expire in 2021 will have a new expiration date of July 31, 2022."

Last year, American extended expiring systemwide upgrades by six months, giving any unused systemwide upgrades with an expiration date of Jan. 31, 2021, a new expiration of July 31, 2021. Now, the carrier's giving flyers another full year to use those unused upgrades, with the new expiration now on July 31, 2022.

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The updated expiration date should already be reflected in your account and can be seen by looking at your "Wallet" section of your AAdvantage profile.

You can use a systemwide upgrade to confirm AA's Flagship First product (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Of course, long-haul international travel is still largely suspended due to the pandemic, so the carrier's taking a generous approach to extending systemwide upgrades.

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In fact, American's extension is now the most generous of the major U.S. airlines. Delta's regional and global upgrade certificates selected between March 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2020, have already been extended through the end of 2021.

United, on the other hand, gave top-tier Premier members two six-month extensions on PlusPoints that were slated to expire on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Those PlusPoints are now valid through Jan. 31, 2022.

Related: How to use American systemwide upgrades

AAdvantage elite members earn systemwide upgrades when they hit either Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status. AA now lets top-tier elites get a pick from a catalog of elite choice rewards, including systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, travel vouchers and more.

Systemwide upgrades, or SWUs as they're affectionately called by loyalists, can be used to confirm a one-way, one-cabin upgrade any time after booking, subject to availability. In fact, as of Oct. 1, 2020, they can even be used on discounted basic economy tickets as well.

Tuesday's news doesn't include any update to earning status in 2021, as American is now the only one of the Big 3 to not yet announce a mid-year promotion or fast-track offer for those taking to the skies once again.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
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.

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Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • 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.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees