@winglets747 asked me the following question on Twitter:
@OneMileataTime do you think AA will do elite rewards again? Almost at EXP for 2015.
I’m in a similar boat, I’ve actually already requalified for Executive Platinum, and have been wondering this myself.
For those of you not familiar with Elite Rewards, it’s a program American has historically offered to incentivize AAdvantage members to surpass the “traditional” status thresholds (25,000, 50,000, and 100,000 miles).
For example, for the 2013 Elite Rewards they had four “milestones,” and at each one you could choose from a variety of prizes. Last year these milestones were as follows:
Qualification requirements: 40,000 miles or 40,000 points or 45 segments
Rewards: 10,000 bonus miles or three 500-mile upgrades or two Admirals Club one-day passes or free BAGS VIP luggage delivery or 10% aa.com discount
Qualification requirements: 75,000 miles or 75,000 points or 80 segments
Rewards: 20,000 bonus miles or one systemwide upgrade or five 500-mile upgrades or four Admirals Club one-day passes or five single-segment wifi passes
Qualification requirements: 125,000 miles or 125,000 points or 130 segments
Rewards: 30,000 bonus miles or two systemwide upgrades or gift of Gold status or Admirals Club membership or 20% aa.com discount
Qualification requirements: 150,000 miles or 150,000 points or 160 segments
Rewards: 40,000 bonus miles or four systemwide upgrades or gift of Platinum status or Admirals Club membership or Global Entry fee waiver
I reached the first three milestones, and in the end that got me 60,000 bonus AAdvantage miles (10,000 for the first milestone, 20,000 for the second milestone, and 30,000 for the third milestone).
Last year’s version was more generous than that of previous years for a couple of reasons:
- You could qualify for Elite Rewards through elite qualifying miles or elite qualifying points, while the previous year you could only qualify on elite qualifying points (meaning they were trying to encourage those booking high fares to fly more than they had to).
- Before last year you’d only qualify for the milestones above the status level you reach at the end of the year, meaning if you were Executive Platinum you wouldn’t have been eligible for milestones one or two; last year that wasn’t the case, and everyone was eligible for all the milestones.
Anyway, the big question is whether Elite Rewards will return in 2014 for AAdvantage elite members.
And the answer is I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything one way or another. For what it’s worth, historically here’s when they’ve announced it:
- In 2013 they announced Elite Rewards on April 23
- In 2012 they announced Elite Rewards on April 9
- In 2011 they announced Elite Rewards on August 9
So as you can see they’ve been all over the place in terms of when they’ve launched it. Will they offer it this year? I think it could go either way:
- They could offer it since it’s ultimately encouraging incremental business, and US Airways actually offers a similar “Special Dividends” promotion
- They might not offer it due to both the merger and how profitable they are right now, given that planes are packed; they might think they don’t have to do anything to further incentivize people
I’m certainly hoping this follows the historical trend of getting more and more generous each year, though since we’re talking about the “new” American here, I’m not convinced.
I do predict that if they offer it they’ll announce it in the next week or two…
Do you think American will bring back Elite Rewards in 2014?