American has just announced that Elite Rewards will return for 2011. Through Elite Rewards, elite members can earn some bonus rewards for earning more points than required for reaching their status threshold. Eligibility is based on the status and number of elite qualifying points earned as of December 31, 2011. Registration is required prior to December 15, 2011.
The bonus rewards are as follows:
I’d say in all cases the bonus redeemable miles are the best deal.
But there’s one HUGE downside to this year’s promotion compared to the ones they ran in past years. This year eligibility is based on elite qualifying points, not elite qualifying miles. Keep in mind that you can qualify for an elite threshold with American either by earning elite qualifying miles (which, with American, are based on the number of actual flown miles) or elite qualifying points (which, with American, are based on how high of a fare class you’re booked in).
For that reason, this promotion will likely be worthless for the majority of you, unless you usually book full fare tickets. So while I’ll qualify for Executive Platinum with 100,000 elite qualifying miles, I’ll only have earned about 50,000 elite qualifying points, since deeply discounted fares only earn a half point per mile.