American has just announced the details of their 2012 Elite Rewards program. Through Elite Rewards, elite members can earn bonuses for earning more elite qualifying points thank required for reaching their status level. Basically it incentives you to continue flying American even if you’re already requalified for your status level.
The first (good) thing worth noting is that they’re communicating this early this year, since the program was only announced in August of last year.
The bonuses this year are as follows:
The bonus you qualify for is based on your status and elite qualifying points balance as of December 31, 2012. These are some pretty big bonuses, especially at the Executive Platinum level, where you’re looking at up to 70,000 bonus AAdvantage miles or up to four additional systemwide upgrades.
The thing to keep in mind, however, is that as of last year this promotion is based on elite qualifying points and not elite qualifying miles. With American you earn one elite qualifying mile per mile flown, while you earn anywhere from 0.5-1.5 elite qualifying points per mile flown. Discounted coach only earns you 0.5 points per mile, while paid first class earns you 1.5 points per mile. This means that these thresholds are actually really high if you’re not someone that usually flies on full fare or premium tickets, since 125,000 elite qualifying points really equals 250,000 flown miles in discounted coach fare classes. Still, 70,000 bonus AAdvantage miles is a pretty big carrot, so I may have to start scheming…