AAdvantage Miles vs. Points

Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 10:43 am
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I’ve looked all over and can’t find an explanation about this anywhere, but I’m trying to find out the difference between AA Elite Qualifying Miles and AA Elite qualifying points. Reason I’m asking is that I’m been flying so much recently that I was wondering when I was going to hit one of their status levels and when I looked at my account I saw that I had the following:

YTD Elite Qualifying Points: 18,100
YTD Elite Qualifying Miles: 22,737

I need 25,000 Miles OR Points to get to the Gold level, but I can’t find out the difference between the two. Also, what counts towards those? I can find single examples of something that does not count, but not a solid list or examples of how to add to either of those. I’m going to be super bummed if I miss the super awesome rewards by like 50 miles or something. I’ve got an AAdvantage credit card, but not sure at this point what those miles/points earned with that even go to. What about AA plane tickets bought with that card? Are mile/points earned when the tickets are bought, or when you actually fly on the flight? What about shit like when they say “sign up for X and get 10,000 bonus miles!” do those count for either of the above? Ack!!!



  1. You get points based on the fare basis of the ticket. Some deep-discount fares earn you .5 points per mile, and some fares (like full-fare coach, business, etc.) earn 1.5. This means that people who fly business or last-minute full-fare coach a lot earn status faster, because if they get 1.5 points per mile on a lot of their tickets they’ll hit elite level faster. But you always earn 1 mile per mile flown, so if you fly a lot, no matter what fare you pay you always get to elite status if you fly 25k, 50k, or 100k miles per year.

    Miles you earn on the credit card don’t count towards elite status, but you can use them to get award tickets, and they do count towards your lifetime total of miles, which can eventually get you an undocumented benefit – lifetime elite status. You have to get to 1 million lifetime miles to get that benefit, though. Bonus miles for promotions don’t count towards elite status either, but do count the same way cc miles do.

    Comment by Kathleen — November 18, 2007 @ 10:53 am
  2. With AAdvantage, you always want to take the Platinum Challenge. They have a Gold Challenge but it’s silly. You just call them and tell them you are interested in the Plat Challenge and they will give you like 30 or 60 days to get 10,000 miles flown (or points). If you get those miles in time, then you will have Plat status until the following year. Their years start on March 1, I believe. If you time it right (like July of this past year) then you will be Plat until Feb 28 of 2009. This is actually awesome because all miles flown after you get Plat status are doubled. Miles are only given after flying. Their is no Exec. Plat Challenge. To get that status, you must actually earn 100,000 points, which normally means 100,000 flown miles.

    Comment by Mitch — November 20, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

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