American Airlines Loyalty Point Rewards: The Basics

Loyalty Point Rewards give AAdvantage members a way to customize their rewards to suit their needs.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Customization is the new "in" thing for loyalty programs. Rather than all members earning the same rewards, more airlines and hotel programs offer loyal members their choice from a list of perks. And that's what American Airlines offers elite status members through its revamped Loyalty Point Rewards.

Here's how to earn these valuable Loyalty Point Rewards perks and your choices at each of the new reward levels.

Loyalty Point Rewards vs. Loyalty Choice Rewards vs. Elite Choice Rewards

All of these rewards are different iterations of a system that lets members choose their benefits.

In December 2020, American Airlines announced the new Elite Choice Rewards program. Rather than simply earning systemwide upgrades, AAdvantage Executive Platinum elites would get to choose from a menu of rewards.

But Elite Choice Rewards would be short-lived. As part of rolling out its new Loyalty Points program, American introduced Loyalty Choice Rewards in late 2021. This revised program required that AAdvantage members meet flight requirements to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards.

However, Loyalty Choice Rewards also wouldn't be long for this world. In December 2022, American Airlines announced another revamp of this program, renaming it Loyalty Point Rewards. In March 2023, American Airlines added new tiers — starting at 15,000 Loyalty Points and going all the way up to 5,000,000 Loyalty Points.

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How to earn Loyalty Point Rewards

With the switch from Loyalty Choice Rewards to Loyalty Point Rewards, American Airlines eliminated the flight segment requirement. Now, what matters for Loyalty Point Rewards is the number of Loyalty Points an AAdvantage member earns.

Loyalty Point Rewards tiers and benefits

After the revamp, AAdvantage members can now earn Loyalty Point Rewards starting at 15,000 Loyalty Points and going all the way up to 5,000,000 Loyalty Points.

15,000 Loyalty Points

AAdvantage members earn the first tier of Loyalty Point Rewards after earning 15,000 Loyalty Points. At this point, you'll get Group 5 boarding for the remainder of the year plus one choice from the following:

  • Priority privileges and Group 4 boarding for one trip.

  • Five preferred seat coupons.

60,000 Loyalty Points

Another new Loyalty Point Rewards tier has been added at 60,000 Loyalty Points. Upon reaching this threshold, AAdvantage members will be rewarded with two new benefits (members will receive both):

  • 20% Loyalty Point bonus with American Airlines Vacations, SimplyMiles, AAdvantage eShopping, AAdvantage Dining and American Airlines Hotels.

100,000 Loyalty Points

Halfway between earning Platinum and Platinum Pro elite status, AAdvantage members will get an improvement on the rewards they earned at 60,000 Loyalty Points threshold:

  • Avis President's Club status.

  • 30% Loyalty Point bonus with the same select partners.

175,000 Loyalty Points

Under the old Loyalty Choice Rewards program, AAdvantage earned their first reward at 125,000 Loyalty Points — which matches the Loyalty Point requirement for Platinum Pro elite status.

American Airlines has now raised this rewards threshold to 175,000 Loyalty Points. That's the bad news. But the upside: American Airlines slightly sweetened the offerings. 

You can now choose to get two systemwide upgrades instead of one, gift Gold status to two people instead of one and AAdvantage cardholders now get a $250 Trip Credit instead of a $200 credit.

The full list of Loyalty Point Rewards at 175,000 Loyalty Points is a choice of one of the following:

  • Two systemwide upgrades.

  • 20,000 bonus AAdvantage miles (25,000 miles for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes.

  • $200 trip credit ($250 trip credit for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • Carbon offset.

  • $250 donation to a select nonprofit organization.

  • 15% award rebate.

  • Two gifts of AAdvantage Gold status.

  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

250,000 Loyalty Points

American Airlines also increased the requirements for this rewards level. Instead of getting a choice of rewards upon hitting 200,000 Loyalty Points and reaching Executive Platinum status, AAdvantage members now need to earn 250,000 Loyalty Points to choose two of the following:

  • Two systemwide upgrades.

  • 20,000 bonus AAdvantage miles (30,000 miles for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes.

  • $200 trip credit ($250 trip credit for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • Carbon offset.

  • $250 donation to a select nonprofit organization.

  • Two gifts of AAdvantage Gold status.

  • One Flagship Lounge single-visit pass (two passes for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

Alternatively, you can use both choices to choose one of the following:

  • Admirals Club membership.

  • Bang & Olufsen product.

400,000 and 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Points

Upon earning 400,000 Loyalty Points, 550,000 Loyalty Points and 750,000 Loyalty Points, AAdvantage members can choose choose two of the following:

  • One systemwide upgrade.

  • 25,000 bonus AAdvantage miles.

  • $200 trip credit ($250 trip credit for AAdvantage credit cardholders).

  • Carbon offset.

  • One gift of AAdvantage Platinum status.

  • Two Flagship Lounge single-visit passes.

  • One Flagship First Dining visit pass.

  • 40,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

Alternatively, you can use both choices to choose one of the following:

  • Admirals Club membership.

  • Bang & Olufsen product.

1,000,000 Loyalty Points

Under the prior Loyalty Choice Rewards program, AAdvantage members stopped earning rewards at the 750,000 Loyalty Points threshold. To incentivize big spenders to continue earning, American Airlines added three more rewards levels, starting at 1,000,000 Loyalty Points.

Upon reaching seven figures of Loyalty Points, AAdvantage members will get one choice from the following:

  • Four systemwide upgrades.

  • Carbon offset.

  • Gift of Platinum Pro status.

  • Up to 100,000 miles back on award redemptions.

  • 150,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

3,000,000 Loyalty Points

The penultimate choice is earned at 3,000,000 Loyalty Points. At this threshold, AAdvantage members can choose one of the following:

  • Six systemwide upgrades.

  • Carbon offset.

  • Gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum status.

  • Up to 300,000 AAdvantage miles back on award redemptions.

  • 350,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

5,000,000 Loyalty Points

The final Loyalty Point Rewards threshold is achieved by hitting a whopping 5,000,000 Loyalty Points. At this level, AAdvantage members can pick one choice of the following:

  • 10 systemwide upgrades.

  • Carbon offset.

  • Gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum status.

  • Up to 500,000 AAdvantage miles back on award redemptions.

  • 550,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience.

If you reach this threshold, you'll have a choice of 13 Loyalty Point Rewards — factoring in the two choices you earn at several levels. Depending on which perks you value the most, you could choose up to:

  • 32 systemwide upgrades.

  • 18 Admirals Club day passes plus 12 Flagship Lounge passes.

  • $1,800 in American Airlines trip credits — or $2,250 as an AAdvantage cardholder.

  • 210,000 bonus AAdvantage miles — or 235,000 as an AAdvantage cardholder — plus up to 900,000 in mileage rebates.

What Loyalty Point Rewards are worth

Each traveler will value rewards a bit differently — which is one of the benefits of giving travelers their choice.

For travelers who book business class tickets or travel during peak times, systemwide upgrades may provide little benefit. Likewise, flyers who earn more than enough miles from travels and spending may find that bonus miles provide little additional benefit. However, other travelers may find these two choices the most-valuable rewards choices. The bonus points are one of the easier rewards to quantify (see the example in the next section).

What Loyalty Point Rewards should you choose at 175,000 Loyalty Points?

The first real choice starts at the 175,000 Loyalty Point threshold. At this level, there are two frontrunners:

  • Two systemwide upgrades.

  • 20,000 bonus miles (or 25,000 bonus miles for cardholders).

Travelers can use systemwide upgrades to upgrade to business or first class anywhere American Airlines flies. That makes choosing systemwide upgrades a potentially high-value option. But travelers who find these upgrades difficult to use might consider a different reward.

NerdWallet's baseline valuation is 1.7 cents per AAdvantage mile. At this valuation, the option to choose 20,000 bonus miles is worth at least $300, up to $375 for AAdvantage cardholders. Make sure that you're getting at least this much value before choosing another option.

Value of other Loyalty Point Rewards options

Starting at 175,000 Loyalty Points, each tier provides some sort of mileage option — from bonus miles to a miles rebate. As miles are the easiest option to value, this option should provide a baseline of value.

For example, at the 250,000-point tier, AAdvantage members can choose 20,000 bonus miles, worth around $300. If you're an AAdvantage credit cardholder — which you should consider if you're a top-tier elite — the 30,000 bonus miles are worth at least $450 worth of miles. You can select this option twice to get 60,000 miles, worth at least $900.

Each tier starting at 175,000 Loyalty Points also gives the option to gift AAdvantage elite status. NerdWallet values AAdvantage elite status at:

  • Gold: $2,158.

  • Platinum: $7,500.

  • Platinum Pro: $15,153.

  • Executive Platinum: $29,008.

The big caveat here is this value assumes that the traveler enjoys these perks while holding elite status. A friend or family member might not use AAdvantage elite status perks enough to justify using your Loyalty Point Reward.

The Admirals Club membership might be a tempting option. However, this reward generally costs both of your choices. That means you're passing on up to four systemwide upgrades or up to 60,000 bonus miles to get this lounge membership. Remember that you can get Admirals Club membership (plus more perks) for a $595 annual fee through the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® .

American Airlines Loyalty Point Rewards recapped

American Airlines now offers AAdvantage members a choice of benefits starting at 15,000 Loyalty Points. From there, you can earn additional rewards by reaching Loyalty Points thresholds — from 60,000 Loyalty Points all the way up to 5,000,000 Loyalty Points.

For the first three Loyalty Point Rewards tiers, you receive minor rewards like car rental elite status and bonus earnings with select American Airlines partners. The real choices start at 175,000 Loyalty Points. Starting at this level, travelers can generally choose between systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, Admirals Club day passes, American Airlines trip credit and other travel and non-travel rewards.

Giving travelers choices lets them customize the rewards they earn — rather than simply earning systemwide upgrades that not all travelers can maximize. Plus, expanding the number of Loyalty Point Rewards incentivizes AAdvantage members to continue earning Loyalty Points.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for American Airlines from our Partners
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card

on Citibank's application

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
4.6
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x

Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

Miles

Intro offer

70,000

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Miles
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Points
See more cards
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