American Airlines’ Rewards Will Be Based On Ticket Price, Not Miles

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American Airlines loyalty members looking to rack up points based on the length of their trip have two months left to do so. Starting in August, the carrier will be joining the likes of rivals United and Delta by rewarding loyalty members with miles based on how much they pay for their ticket. 

The airline announced Monday that it would officially switch the loyalty program on August 1, at which time travelers in the AAdvantage frequent-flier program will earn at least five miles per dollar spent, with more miles doled out for higher status.

The higher the AAdvantage tier, the more miles you get when purchasing directly with American: gold members earn seven miles per dollar spent, platinum members will receive eight miles per dollar spent and executive platinum folks will be awarded 11 miles per dollar spent.

Award miles for travel on most flights marketed by partner airlines will be based on a percentage of the flight distance and the booking code purchased, the company said.

“American Airlines is evolving AAdvantage to continue our tradition of having the best loyalty program in the world by rewarding our most loyal customers with the benefits they value the most,” Andrew Nocella, American’s Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement.

Starting this month, American will begin posting an estimate of the number of miles credits that can be earned for a chosen itinerary.

The program will undergo a second revamp starting Jan. 1, 2017, when American will add a fourth elite level.

The Platinum Pro level will allow members to earn nine miles per dollar spent. These passengers will also receive complimentary auto-requested upgrades, two free checked bags, and oneworld Sapphire status.

By shifting the focus toward money spent, rather than distance traveled, American and other carriers are rewarding travelers who spend the most money, not just those who travel the farthest. Unfortunately, that change means that frequent-flying bargain-hunters will now have to choose between saving money on airfares or reaping higher rewards.

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