American Airlines Announces Elite Rewards for 2011

This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here. Additionally, some of the offers on this page may no longer be available through Deals We Like.

The past few years American Airlines has offered flyers of their program an elite reward of their choice for reaching a certain status level during the calendar year. As this elite reward is not standard in the program, I am happy to see this perk continue for 2011.

The main difference between this year and previous years is that qualification for Elite Rewards will only be based on elite-qualifying points (not segments toward status). You must register by December 15, 2011.

AAdvantage Gold Members
Earn 40,000 – 49,999 elite-qualifying points during 2011 and choose one of the following:

  • 15,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles
  • (4) 500-Mile Upgrades
  • (2) Admirals Club® One-Day Passes
  • (1) 10% AA.com Discount Promotion Code for future systemwide travel on American

*My pick would be the 15,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles. This is enough for a one-way domestic flight which I value at about $200 (or more when put towards an international flight). 500-mile upgrades can be purchased at $30/each (value of $120); Admirals Club one-day pass can be purchased at $50/each (value of $100).

AAdvantage Platinum Members
Earn 75,000 – 99,999 elite-qualifying points during 2011 and choose one of the following:

  • 25,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles
  • (8) 500-Mile Upgrades
  • (4) Admirals Club® One-Day Passes
  • (1) 15% AA.com Discount Promotion Code for future systemwide travel on American
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold Status for a friend

*My pick would be the 25,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles. This is enough for a round-trip domestic flight which I value at about $400 (or more when put towards an international flight). 500-mile upgrades can be purchased at $30/each (value of $240); Admirals Club one-day pass can be purchased at $50/each (value of $200).

AAdvantage Executive Platinum Members
Earn 125,000 or more elite-qualifying points during 2011 and choose two of the following:

  • 35,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles
  • (2) One-Way Systemwide Upgrades
  • (1) One-Year Admirals Club® Membership (may only be chosen once)
  • (1) 20% AA.com Discount Promotion Code for future systemwide travel on American
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold Status for a friend

*My pick would be the 35,000 AAdvantage Bonus Miles and (2) One-Way Systemwide Upgrades. The 35,000 bonus miles is enough for a one-way flight to Southwest Asia (which I value at about $800); A systemwide upgrade I value at about $400 (total value of $800); A one-year admirals club membership can be purchased for $350 for Executive Platinum members always.

Comments

  1. You are probably not taking into account that a person who flies 125K miles a year probably laready has bootload of miles, a few more redeemable miles may not have a huge value to them.

    • @ The Nomad – Just taking into consideration actual dollar value. But you are correct, the selection choice will definitely be based on personal preference. For one who has more miles than they know what to do with, gifting Gold status to a friend/family member is a nice gesture.

  2. I agree with The Nomad, I’m EXP with American and have chosen the Adm Club membership plus the systemwide upgrades in the past.

    The best choice is probably to choose the upgrades twice. I would put them at far more than $400 each — example on the LAX-LHR route, it’s worth over $3,000.

    Gold status for a friend is hysterical, Gold status is worthless.

    • @Suzi – Agree with you that Gold status is pretty worthless. Agree with the systemwide upgrades that they are the most valuable. I value them at the price I would be willing to pay for the upgraded seat, not necessarily the price difference between coach and business or business and first (since there is no set price difference either). I personally was Executive Platinum for a few years (unfortunately prior to the elite rewards being issued), and looking back I still would have chosen the points and the systemwide upgrades. I was traveling to airports that did not have an Admirals Club, or when I did would never have used it as it was early morning or very late flights (when the admirals club isn’t open). The only time I used the admirals club was when I traveled internationally, and then was able to get access anyways because of my status.

      Also, not sure you can select the upgrades twice.

  3. Last time they did this it was based on miles. This year I’ll end up with 130k miles and 65k points and thus will re-qualify for executive platinum but not for this promotion

    • @Michael – That is the HUGE disadvantage of the way they are doing the promotion this go-around. Many time travels have half the number of qualifying points than they do miles.

  4. I’ll disagree with the last two comments, I think GLD can be quite valuable. As with any benefit, it will vary based on your travel habits, of course.

    The “soft” benefits that make travel more palatable are not trivial:
    – preferred seats in coach, including exit rows
    – early boarding to ensure bin space
    – elite security lines
    – occasional free upgrades
    – higher on the re-accommodation list when a flight cancels

    But if you want to put a dollar value on it, consider
    – 2 free checked bags for everyone on the same reservation (can be worth $120/person/roundtrip)
    – waived expedite fees on award redemptions ($75/passenger)
    – free same-day standby (save $50 vs same day confirmed available to non-elites)
    – 25% bonus on flown miles (that’s 5K iles for a 20K flier).

    For a good enough friend with the right travel patterns, that gift could be worth a LOT more than a 25K (~$400) roundtrip.

    • @The Nomad – I think it all comes down to personal preference and what one values. If the friend will fly a decent amount in a small time period, than it also might be worth doing the gold or platinum challenge. One perk for me with miles is that they count towards life time status for gold (1 million) or platinum (2 million).

      Without a doubt the system wide upgrades for an executive platinum member is the best choice.

  5. This promotion is worthless actually. American Airlines knows that few people will actually quailify, it’s almost impossible unless you pay full fare each and every week. Very few actually do.

    • @John – I agree that it is definitely only benefiting their top top fliers, who at that point probably won’t even realize they are entitled this benefit.

  6. It’s a little frustrating for me because I’m probably going to have about 52,000 miles for the year. I’ll get Platinum but miss out on the Gold rewards. Seems like I should get the rewards + the status upgrade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *