Chasing American Airlines elite status? Here are 15 ways to earn Loyalty Points

In early March 2022, American Airlines made a significant change to its loyalty program by switching from elite qualifying miles, dollars, and segments to Loyalty Points as the qualifying metric to earn elite status. This change means that the number of Loyalty Points you earn is now largely tied to your spending rather than how much you fly. While it is now theoretically possible to spend your way to top-tier Executive Platinum status without stepping foot on a plane, it is not necessarily recommended.

Earning Loyalty Points through flying on American Airlines is still a valid method under the new program. You will earn 1 Loyalty Point for each eligible AAdvantage mile flown on American. The number of redeemable miles awarded varies depending on your status tier, with multipliers ranging from 5 times to 11 times your base ticket price. For example, as a general member, if you paid $200 for a ticket, you would earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles and 1,000 Loyalty Points. A top-tier Executive Platinum member would earn 2,200 AAdvantage miles and 2,200 Loyalty Points for the same ticket.

Flying on American’s partner airlines also allows you to earn Loyalty Points, although the process is more complex. For most Oneworld partners, redeemable miles (and therefore Loyalty Points) are earned based on distance flown, fare class, and the airline. However, British Airways and Iberia now earn miles and Loyalty Points based on the price of their tickets instead of distance and fare class. It is important to note that American’s partnership with JetBlue is ending soon, so flyers on JetBlue-operated flights will only receive American Airlines benefits if their AAdvantage or TrueBlue Mosaic member number was added prior to a certain date.

In addition to flying, you can also earn Loyalty Points by spending and engaging with American Airlines’ partners. American introduced new methods of earning Loyalty Points in 2024 when it unveiled 10 changes to the AAdvantage program. These changes included new Loyalty Points rewards and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for upgrades. For example, you can now redeem a Loyalty Point Reward to earn more Loyalty Points toward elite status. This allows you to select Loyalty Point bonuses at certain thresholds, all counting toward status.

Paying in cash to upgrade to a premium cabin also allows you to earn redeemable miles and Loyalty Points. This change was announced in 2024, although the airline had not set a specific date for its implementation as of January.

Credit card spending is another way to earn Loyalty Points. For every base mile you earn on a cobranded American Airlines credit card, you will earn 1 Loyalty Point. The earning rate may vary depending on the specific card, with some cards earning up to 2 miles per dollar spent.

American Airlines also offers Loyalty Points boost on select cards. For example, AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard cardholders can earn up to 15,000 additional Loyalty Points for meeting certain spending thresholds within the status qualification period. Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard holders can earn 10,000 Loyalty Points after reaching certain Loyalty Point milestones in a status qualification year.

Lastly, you can earn Loyalty Points by dining out or ordering in through the AAdvantage Dining program. Depending on your membership level, you can earn 1-5 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants.

In conclusion, American Airlines’ switch to Loyalty Points as the qualifying metric for elite status brings new opportunities to earn points through spending and engaging with partners. While it is possible to earn elite status through spending alone, it is important to consider the value and benefits of actually flying with the airline.

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