Your American Airlines credit card has even more value


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Your AAdvantage credit card isn’t just for flights anymore.

Key points

  • American Airlines status now has a single requirement called frequent flyer points.
  • All AAdvantage credit cards earn loyalty points on purchases, so you can earn status just by using your card.

Your average airline loyalty program is about as simple as the US tax code. They often require a combination of miles flown, flight segments, and even money spent on airline purchases.

These hoops can be worth jumping through; earning elite airline status can unlock seat upgrades and free checked baggage. But unless you fly frequently, you’re unlikely to meet these qualifications.

Some airline credit cards offer ways to ease the pain – quite a bit. Unlike hotel credit cards, which enjoy free elite status, airline credit cards only help you get there by providing extra miles or dollars. Until now.

American Airlines recently revamped its frequent flyer program, streamlining it significantly. And under the new program, your airline credit card could be the key to elite status.

Status now requires Loyalty Points

American Airlines got rid of all the complicated branches of its elite tree. Instead, you only need one thing: loyalty points. You will reach the base level with only 30,000 points, and it will increase from there:

  • AAdvantage Gold® / oneworld® Ruby status: 30,000 loyalty points
  • AAdvantage Platinum® / oneworld® Sapphire status: 75,000 loyalty points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro® / oneworld® Emerald status: 125,000 loyalty points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum® / oneworld® Emerald status: 200,000 loyalty points

And yes, as stated above, having AAdvantage status still unlocks oneworld® status. This gives you benefits with more than a dozen oneworld® alliance airlines.

It also means that you can get your status with all of these airlines with just your American Airlines credit card.

Earn loyalty points for every dollar spent

You can earn frequent flyer points in several ways, including the traditional route of flying with American Airlines. You’ll also earn miles – and frequent flyer points – when you fly on oneworld® and partner airlines.

But the exciting new change is that you can also earn frequent flyer points just by swiping your American Airlines credit card. Each base mile you earn with your American Airlines co-branded credit card also earns you one loyalty point.

Every AA card is eligible to earn loyalty points. Some of our favorites include:

One thing to note is that you only earn frequent flyer points for your base miles earned. You will not earn additional frequent flyer points for bonus miles. Essentially, this means you earn one loyalty point for every dollar spent, not for every American Airlines mile earned.

For example, you may earn 2x the miles per dollar spent on American Airline purchases made with your card, but you will only earn 1x the loyalty point per dollar spent. So that $500 plane ticket may earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles, but it will only earn 500 frequent flyer points.

Unfortunately, this policy also extends to things like sign-up bonuses. You will not earn frequent flyer points for miles earned as part of a registration or welcome bonus. Bonus miles earned through special promotions are also not eligible unless otherwise stated.

If you are disappointed that bonuses do not earn loyalty points, there may be another way to increase your income: portals. American Airlines offers both shopping and dining portals – known as AAdvantage eShopping and AAdvantage Dining – and your purchases could earn loyalty points.

As with card purchases, your portal purchases earn one loyalty point per dollar spent, not miles earned. However, you can double your loyalty points if you use your AAdvantage credit card; you’ll earn one loyalty point for every dollar spent on the portal, plus one for every dollar spent on your card.

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