Your American Airlines Credit Card Just Got More Valuable

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  • American Airlines status now has a single requirement called Loyalty Points.
  • All AAdvantage credit cards earn Loyalty Points on purchases, so you can earn status solely through using your card.

Your AAdvantage credit card isn't just for flights anymore.

Your average airline loyalty program is about as straightforward as the U.S. tax code. They often require some combination of miles flown, flight segments, and even money spent on airline purchases.

These hoops can be well worth jumping through; having elite airline status can unlock seat upgrades and free checked bags. But unless you fly frequently, you're unlikely to meet those qualifications.

A few airline credit cards offer ways to ease the pain -- a little. Unlike hotel credit cards, which come with complimentary elite status outright, airline credit cards only help you get there by providing extra qualifying miles or dollars. Until now.

American Airlines recently revamped their loyalty program, streamlining it significantly. And under the new program, your airline credit card could be the key to elite status.

Status now requires Loyalty Points

American Airlines has gotten rid of all the complicated branches of their elite tree. Instead, there's only one thing you need: Loyalty Points. You'll hit base tier status with just 30,000 points, and it goes up from there:

  • AAdvantage Gold® / oneworld® Ruby status: 30,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum® / oneworld® Sapphire status: 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro® / oneworld® Emerald status: 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum® / oneworld® Emerald status: 200,000 Loyalty Points

And yes, as noted above, having AAdvantage status still unlocks oneworld® status. This gives you benefits with more than a dozen oneworld® alliance airlines.

It also means you can earn your way to status with all of these airlines with just your American Airlines credit card.

Earn Loyalty Points for every dollar you spend

You can earn Loyalty Points in a few ways, including the traditional route of flying with American Airlines. You'll also earn miles -- and Loyalty Points -- when you fly on oneworld® and partner airlines.

But the exciting new change is that you can also earn Loyalty Points simply by swiping your American Airlines credit card. Each base mile you earn with your American Airlines cobranded credit card also earns you one Loyalty Point.

Every AA card is eligible to earn Loyalty Points. Some of our favorites include:

One thing to note is that you only earn Loyalty Points for your base miles earned. You won't earn extra Loyalty Points for bonus miles. In essence, this means you earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent, not for every American Airlines mile earned.

For example, you may earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airline purchases made with your card, but you'll only earn 1x Loyalty Point per dollar spent. So, that $500 airline ticket may earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles, but it will only earn 500 Loyalty Points.

Unfortunately, this policy also extends to things like sign-up bonuses. You won't earn Loyalty Points for any miles earned as a part of a sign-up or welcome bonus. Bonus miles earned during special promotions also don't qualify unless otherwise stated.

Double up with shopping and dining portals

If you're bummed about bonuses not earning Loyalty Points, there may be another way to boost your earnings: portals. American Airlines offers both shopping and dining portals -- known as AAdvantage eShopping and AAdvantage Dining -- and your purchases could earn Loyalty Points.

As with card purchases, your portal purchases earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent, not miles earned. However, you can double up on Loyalty Points if you use your AAdvantage credit card; you'll earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent through the portal, plus one for each dollar spent on your card.

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