American Airlines Loyalty Choice Rewards for High-Status Members

Loyalty Choice Rewards give American elites a way to customize their rewards to suit their needs.

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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 just what American Airlines offers elite status members through Loyalty Choice Rewards.

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

Loyalty Choice Rewards vs. Elite Choice Rewards

In late 2020, American Airlines announced a new "Elite Choice Rewards" program. Rather than earning systemwide upgrades, AAdvantage Executive Platinum elites would get to choose from a menu of rewards. To sweeten the program, American Airlines added a rewards option when travelers earned Platinum Pro elite status.

But Elite Choice Rewards would be short-lived. In its switch to the new Loyalty Points program, American introduced "Loyalty Choice Rewards" — a similar but slightly different program.

Like its predecessor, Loyalty Choice Rewards offers customized rewards for higher-tier AAdvantage elite status members. One major difference: AAdvantage members need to meet new flight qualification requirements to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards.

How to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards

AAdvantage members primarily earn Loyalty Choice Rewards based on the number of Loyalty Points earned. However, you'll also need to complete a certain number of qualifying flights to unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards.

Loyalty Choice Rewards flight requirement

American Airlines requires that AAdvantage members fly 30 eligible flight segments to unlock Loyalty Choice Rewards. That means that you won't be able to earn Loyalty Choice Rewards without flying, no matter how many Loyalty Points you earn.

Eligible flight segments include paid fares on the following airlines:

  • American Airlines.

  • Other Oneworld alliance airlines, including Alaska Airlines.

  • JetBlue.

  • GOL.

Award flight segments on American Airlines are also eligible but only if booked through the AAdvantage program. American Airlines award flights booked through another loyalty program won't count toward the Loyalty Choice Reward requirement.

Loyalty Point requirements

AAdvantage members earn the first tier of Loyalty Choice Rewards after earning 30 flight segments and 125,000 Loyalty Points. Not coincidentally, that's the same Loyalty Point threshold required for AAdvantage Platinum Pro elite status. At this point, you'll get one choice from the list of Level 1 rewards.

After that, you'll earn two Loyalty Choice Rewards at each of the following thresholds:

  • 200,000 Loyalty Points.

  • 350,000 Loyalty Points.

  • 550,000 Loyalty Points.

  • 750,000 Loyalty Points.

If you reach the 750,000 Loyalty Point threshold, you'll earn a total of nine Loyalty Choice Rewards. Depending on what perks you value the most, you could choose a total of 11 systemwide upgrades, 54 Admirals Club day passes or $1,800 in American Airlines trip credits. But that's the most that you'll earn. American Airlines doesn't reward AAdvantage members for earnings beyond 750,000 Loyalty Points.

Loyalty Choice Rewards options

American Airlines offers five levels of Loyalty Choice Rewards. Frustratingly, the choices are slightly different between each level. However, you can generally choose between a few key travel perks:

  • Systemwide upgrades.

  • Bonus AAdvantage miles.

  • Admirals Club day passes or an annual membership (starting at Level 2).

  • $200 American Airlines trip credit.

  • One-time 15% award discount (only at Level 1).

  • Gift of AAdvantage elite status.

If you want to forgo these travel perks, you can make a charitable donation, offset your carbon emissions or select a Bang & Olufsen product.

Level 1 Loyalty Choice Rewards

After unlocking Loyalty Choice Rewards and earning 125,000 Loyalty Points, you'll have a choice among the following eight rewards:

  1. One systemwide upgrade.

  2. 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles — or 25,000 miles for AAdvantage credit cardholders.

  3. Six Admirals Club one-day passes.

  4. $200 American Airlines trip credit.

  5. One-time 15% off award discount.

  6. Gift of AAdvantage Gold status.

  7. Carbon emissions offset.

  8. $200 donation to your choice of 10 partner charities.

Each traveler will value perks a bit differently — which is one of the benefits of giving travelers their choice. But, we feel that the bonus miles option should set your minimum. NerdWallet's baseline valuation is 1.5 cents per AAdvantage mile. At this rate, the bonus miles option is worth at least $300, up to $375 for AAdvantage cardholders.

NerdWallet calculates that AAdvantage Gold elite status provides around $849 in benefits. However, this value assumes that the traveler enjoys these perks while holding elite status. A friend or family member might not use the perks of Gold status enough to justify using your one Loyalty Choice Reward.

Level 2 Loyalty Choice Rewards

Upon hitting 200,000 Loyalty Points in a year, you'll earn AAdvantage Executive Platinum status plus earn two more Loyalty Choice Rewards. The list of options at this reward level is slightly different:

  1. Two systemwide upgrades.

  2. 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles — or 30,000 miles for AAdvantage credit cardholders.

  3. Six Admirals Club one-day passes.

  4. Admirals Club individual membership (requires both choices).

  5. $200 American Airlines trip credit.

  6. Gift of AAdvantage Gold status.

  7. Carbon emissions offset.

  8. $200 donation to your choice of 10 partner charities.

  9. Choice of one Bang & Olufsen premium product (requires both choices).

At this level, the systemwide upgrade option is doubled. That means you can select up to four systemwide upgrades by using both of your choices. Travelers can use systemwide upgrades to upgrade to business or first class anywhere American Airlines flies.

That makes choosing systemwide upgrades a top choice. However, travelers that find these upgrades difficult to use might consider a different option.

If you're an AAdvantage credit cardholder — which you should consider if you're a top-tier elite — the 30,000 bonus miles is a tempting option. At NerdWallet base valuation, that's $450 worth of miles. You can select this option twice to get 60,000 miles, worth at least $900.

The Admirals Club membership might be a tempting option. However, this reward costs you both choices. That means you're giving up 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 $450 annual fee through the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.

Loyalty Choice Rewards options

Here's an overview of Loyalty Choice Rewards options at all five reward levels:

Loyalty Choice Rewards perks.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3-5

Loyalty Points Required

125,000.

200,000.

  • 350,000 (Level 3).

  • 550,000 (Level 4).

  • 750,000 (Level 5).

Number of choices

1.

2.

2.

Systemwide upgrades

1.

2.

1.

Bonus miles (for cardholders)

20,000 (25,000).

20,000 (30,000).

25,000.

Admirals Club day passes

6.

6.

6.

Admirals Club membership

n/a.

Available*.

Available*.

American Airlines trip credit

$200.

$200.

$200.

Carbon emissions offset

Available.

Available.

Available.

Charitable donation

$200.

$200.

$200.

One-time award discount

15%.

n/a.

n/a.

Elite status gift

Gold.

Gold.

  • Gold (Level 3).

  • Platinum* (Levels 4-5).

Bang & Olufsen product

n/a.

Available*.

n/a.

*Requires both choices.

American Airlines Choice Loyalty Rewards, recapped

American Airlines offers its frequent flyers a choice of benefits after flying 30 qualifying segments and earning at least 125,000 Loyalty Points. Then you can earn additional rewards by reaching set Loyalty Points thresholds.

Loyalty Choice Reward options vary at each level. However, travelers can generally choose between systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, Admirals Club day passes, American Airlines trip credit and other travel and non-travel-related rewards. This lets travelers customize the rewards that they earn, rather than simply earning systemwide upgrades that not all travelers can maximize.


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