Travel

American AAdvantage 2022 Loyalty Choice Rewards

American Airlines has made major changes to its AAdvantage loyalty program as of 2022, with the introduction of the Loyalty Points concept. With these changes, status is no longer earned based on how many miles you fly or how much you spend, but rather based on how many Loyalty Points you earn.

The AAdvantage program has today revealed the details of the new Loyalty Choice Rewards benefits for 2022, so I wanted to take a closer look at those in this post.

What are American Loyalty Choice Rewards?

With the new AAdvantage program, you earn status exclusively based on how many Loyalty Points you earn, as follows:

  • AAdvantage Gold status requires 30,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum status requires 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro status requires 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum status requires 200,000 Loyalty Points

Since you can earn Loyalty Points through credit card spending and other partner activity, you could in theory earn all published AAdvantage elite tiers without stepping foot on a plane. However, there’s one aspect of elite perks that isn’t based exclusively on how many Loyalty Points you earn.

American AAdvantage has Loyalty Choice Rewards exclusively for those who fly at least 30 eligible flight segments over the course of a membership year. These Loyalty Choice Rewards give you access to some of the most valuable elite perks, like systemwide upgrades and more.

American AAdvantage status is now based on Loyalty Points

American’s 2022 Loyalty Choice Rewards

In 2022, American AAdvantage will offer five tiers of Loyalty Choice Rewards:

  • Reward Level 1 can be unlocked after earning 125,000 Loyalty Points and a minimum of 30 eligible flight segments, and that gets you one Loyalty Choice Reward
  • Reward Level 2 can be unlocked after earning 200,000 Loyalty Points, and that gets you two Loyalty Choice Rewards
  • Reward Level 3 can be unlocked after earning 350,000 Loyalty Points, and that gets you two Loyalty Choice Rewards
  • Reward Level 4 can be unlocked after earning 550,000 Loyalty Points, and that gets you two Loyalty Choice Rewards
  • Reward Level 5 can be unlocked after earning 750,000 Loyalty Points, and that gets you two Loyalty Choice Rewards

A few things to note when it comes to selecting Loyalty Choice Rewards:

  • For thresholds with multiple selections, you can choose the same reward twice, or two different rewards (except where it’s specifically noted that a selection required two choices)
  • The 30 qualifying segments you need to earn include segments on American or a qualifying partner airline; American Airlines marketed award flights even count toward the requirement
  • For the purposes of 2022 qualification, Loyalty Points earned between January 1, 2022, and February 28, 2023, qualify; going forward, the qualification year will be March 1 through February 28
  • Once you qualify for Loyalty Choice Rewards, you’ll have until March 31, 2023, to make your selection; it could make sense to wait, since it gives you more flexibility, and potentially more time to redeem your rewards (for example, systemwide upgrades are valid for a year from when they’re issued)

With that out of the way, which Loyalty Choice Rewards should you select at each threshold? Let’s go over all the details.

Loyalty Choice Rewards for 125,000 Loyalty Points

Those who earn 125,000 Loyalty Points and 30 eligible flight segments earn Platinum Pro status, and can select one of the following benefits:

  • One systemwide upgrade
  • 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (AAdvantage credit card members receive an additional 5,000 bonus miles)
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • $200 American Airlines Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • One-time 15% off award discount (for up to two passengers anywhere American or partners fly)
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold status
You can select a 15% award discount, redeemable on partner airlines

Loyalty Choice Rewards for 200,000 Loyalty Points

Those who earn 200,000 Loyalty Points earn Executive Platinum status, and can select two of the following benefits:

  • Two systemwide upgrades
  • 20,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (AAdvantage credit card members receive an additional 10,000 bonus miles)
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
  • $200 American Airlines Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold status
  • Choice of one Bang & Olufsen premium product (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
You can select systemwide upgrades for long haul upgrades

Loyalty Choice Rewards for 350,000 Loyalty Points

Those who earn 350,000 Loyalty Points can select two of the following benefits:

  • One systemwide upgrades
  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
  • $200 American Airlines Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • Gift of AAdvantage Gold status
You can select an Admirals Club membership

Loyalty Choice Rewards for 550,000 Loyalty Points

Those who earn 550,000 Loyalty Points can select two of the following benefits:

  • One systemwide upgrades
  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
  • $200 American Airlines Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum status (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
You can select a $200 American Airlines Travel Credit

Loyalty Choice Rewards for 750,000 Loyalty Points

Those who earn 750,000 Loyalty Points can select two of the following benefits:

  • One systemwide upgrades
  • 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles
  • Six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
  • $200 American Airlines Trip Credit
  • Carbon emissions offset
  • $200 donation to your choice of one of 10 partner charities
  • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum status (requires two Loyalty Choice Rewards)
You can select 25,000 bonus AAdvantage miles

My take on American’s Loyalty Choice Rewards

Everyone will value these Loyalty Choice Rewards benefits differently based on their travel patterns and preferences, though I’ll share my broad take on which options make sense:

  • Personally I value American AAdvantage miles at 1.5 cents each, so to me the bonus miles are the option to beat; if you qualify for the first and second tier of Loyalty Choice Rewards and have a co-branded American credit card, you could potentially earn a total of 85,000 AAdvantage miles
  • I find the inconsistency of the valuation of awards at each tier to be odd; for example, at the first tier you can select a $200 American Airlines credit or one systemwide upgrade, while at the second tier you can select a $200 American Airlines credit or two systemwide upgrades
  • Many people may like the systemwide upgrades, but personally I don’t plan on selecting those; American just doesn’t make enough confirmable upgrade space available, and I’d rather get AAdvantage bonus miles I can redeem however I’d like for travel on superior partner airlines
  • For me the math just doesn’t add up on the Admirals Club day passes or membership, the $200 American Airlines credit, or the charitable donation, as the opportunity cost in terms of AAdvantage miles is too big
  • At the first tier, selecting a 15% award discount could be the best value; for example, if you book two roundtrip awards to the Middle East on Qatar Airways in business class you’d pay 280,000 miles, so you’d be looking at a rebate of 42,000 miles

As someone who expects to earn 200,000 Loyalty Points for the coming qualifying year, I’m leaning toward maybe selecting the 15% award discount at the first tier, and then selecting 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles at the second tier.

I’d rather earn AAdvantage miles I can redeem on other airlines

Bottom line

American AAdvantage has revealed the full suite of 2022 Loyalty Choice Rewards, which members can select when passing certain Loyalty Points thresholds, along with earning 30 qualifying segments. These perks are roughly in line with what we were expecting, so I don’t think there are any major surprises here.

Someone who qualifies for Executive Platinum with 200,000 Loyalty Points and 30 segments could select five systemwide upgrades, or otherwise could select perks ranging from up to 85,000 bonus miles, to $600 worth of American Airlines credits.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of systemwide upgrades given the lack of confirmable upgrade space in advance, so I’m leaning towards selecting bonus miles.

What do you make of American’s Loyalty Choice Rewards? Which do you plan on selecting?

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