American Airlines AAdvantage® Program 2016

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Create and seize the experiences that leave you breathless with the American Airlines mileage program! From shopping to dining to travel, the AAdvantage® program is both rewarding and functional.

With exciting changes in 2016, we'll cover how to start earning miles, ways to earn miles, how to redeem miles, earning elite status, and the similarities and differences between the AAdvantage® Platinum Select®, AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World , and the AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™, so you can maximize your bliss (rewards).

Ready to get started? Your travel adventure awaits...

Why Join?

There are lots of advantages to joining the AAdvantage® program. As a member, you'll earn miles when you fly on American, oneworld® or over 1,000 partners. Use your miles to:

Getting Started

Here's the step-by-step for getting started.

  1. Enroll in the American Airlines mileage program
  2. Make note of your assigned AAdvantage® miles account
  3. Don't forget or lose your account number
  4. Use your AAdvantage® miles account to buy tickets and earn miles
  5. Take advantage many ways to maximize rewards through shopping
  6. Maximize rewards with an AA credit card

Now, let's explore ways to earn and redeem miles...

Earning and Redeeming Miles

Flying American Airlines or one of its oneworld® partners is the easiest way to earn miles. But you can also browse an E-shop, go to the theater and go out to dinner. If you're looking for an adventure that takes you away from home, maybe a vacation or cruise is in your stars? While your out, you may need a car rental or hotel, so why not use a AAdvantage® partner to earn some miles?

Redeeming your miles is as easy as earning them! Simply visit the American Airlines website to book a flight, and check mark the box labeled as redeem miles to get a flight using your miles.

Elite Status

Right now, there are three types of elite status you may achieve with the AAdvantage® program: Gold, Platinum, and Executive status. Each comes with it's own benefits, like upgrades, mileage reward bonuses, and free checked bags. They also each have requirements, with two ways to qualify: earning Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) on eligible-fare tickets.

AAdvantage® Program Updates

American Airlines started 2016 with a few changes. These included upping the number of EQMs needed to upgrade certificates starting March 1st, and providing only 4 upgrades when you hit Platinum status (as opposed to the previous 8). Although these changes aren't great, they're not the end of the world. Here are a few more changes to the program coming up...

Revenue-Based Earning

Starting August 1st, 2016, the more you spend, and the higher your status level, the more miles you'll earn.

  • AAdvantage® member – 5 miles/U.S. dollar
  • Gold member – 7 miles/U.S. dollar (40% bonus)
  • Platinum member – 8 miles/U.S. dollar (60% bonus)
  • Executive Platinum member – 11 miles/U.S. dollar (120% bonus)

Platinum Pro Status

In 2017, AA will introduce a new rewards level: Platinum Pro. As a Platinum Pro member, you'll earn 9 award miles/U.S. dollar (80% bonus), putting you between Platinum and Executive. Other benefits include complimentary upgrades, 2 free checked bags, and oneworld® Sapphire status.

Elite-Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)

Although elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs) won't be implemented until 2017, these do represent one more hurdle in the quest for elite status. Essentially, you'll earn 1 EQD for each dollar spent, and for each tier of elite status you want to progress, you'll be required to meet the EQD requirements. These are:

  • Gold - 3k EQDs
  • Platinum - 6k EQDs
  • Platinum Pro- 9k EQDs
  • Executive - 12k EQDs

Maximizing Rewards with Your AA Credit Cards

While the AAdvantage® program can earn you some sweet rewards, the whipped cream and cherry on top comes with getting an AAdvantage® credit card.

The AAdvantage® Platinum Select®, AAdvantage® Business, and the AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ all have the power to help you maximize and earn frequent miles. But which one should you choose? Let's compare...

AA Card Comparison

Similarities

Let's start by looking at what they share in common:

  1. 0% foreign transaction fee for all charges placed outside of the U.S.
  2. 2x AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchase
  3. 1 mile for every $1 spent on all non-airline purchases
  4. 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when used on American Airlines flights
  5. 7,500 fewer AAdvantage® miles with Reduced Mileage Awards on select destinations American Airlines operated flights
  6. 1st checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for yourself
  7. 1st checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for companions traveling with you on the same reservation — up to 4 companions for Platinum Select and Platinum World, and up to 8 traveling companions with the Executive Elite

Differences

Although the three cards have many similarities, there are differences between them:

Cards

AAdvantage® Platinum Select

AAdvantage® Business®

AAdvantage® Executive World Elite

Annual Fee

$95 — Waived the 1st year

$95 — Waived the 1st year

$450

Sign on Bonuses in the first 3 months of account opening

30,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases

Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases

Rewards

10% of your redeemed miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year

2 miles for every $1:


Telecommunications

car rentals, and gas stations



10,000 miles for Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after 40,000 spent on purchases every year

Choosing the Best Card

Out of the three cards, the card that will best serve you depends on how often you fly American Airlines.

The AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Card may be the card for you if you plan on flying exclusively through American Airlines and its partners.

The AAdvantage® Business card may be the card for you if you operate a business, need cards for employees, seek access to a 24/7 Personal Business Assistant to help with travel, hotel and dining arrangements, and plan on flying primarily through American Airlines and its partners.

The AAdvantage® Platinum Select® may be the card for you if you fly occasionally, want a great sign up bonus, and don't want to pay an annual fee the first year.

Experiences that leave you speechless and full of wonder await...!

Additional Resources

Here's more info on getting the most out of your travel plans by choosing the best credit card and maximizing your rewards:

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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