After years of devaluations and cuts, American has gone above and beyond in enhancing their program this year.
- In April they shocked the world by bringing back the ability to spend your way to lifetime million miles elite status for the remainder of 2020.
- In August they matched United’s free tickets changes, but did it much better. They included Canada in free changes and they allowed voucher refunds when changes are made to a less expensive ticket.
- They also removed basic economy restrictions. Passengers with basic economy fares can now purchase upgrades, priority boarding, preferred or main cabin extra seating, or same day confirmed flight changes. Elite members on basic economy fares can now get free upgrades, use upgrade certificates, select free preferred or main cabin extra seating, and make same day confirmed flight changes!
- American also eliminated standby fees on all tickets, including basic economy and award tickets.
- In October they announced that they will lower elite status requirements and allow spending on their cards to replace spending on flights to help earn elite status.
- In November they announced that they would eliminated all award redeposit fees and all phone booking fees. They also paused mileage expiration is now paused through 6/30/21. American previously announced that miles won’t expire until a member hits 22.5 years old.
- They also announced last month that they’re eliminating all change fees for all flights, except basic economy, when your travel originates in North or South America.
Platinum Pro normally requires 75K EQMs (elite qualifying miles)+$9,000 EQDs (Elite qualifying dollars spent on flights). For 2021 that’s reduced to 60K EQMs+$7,000 EQDs. American will also waive the spending requirement for Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Pro status for customers who spend $30,000 on American credit cards. All miles that post to your account between 1/1/21-12/31/21 will count for that requirement.
As of 2021 Platinum Pro will have top-tier OneWorld Emerald status instead of OneWorld Sapphire. That will allow access to OneWorld first class lounges, and check-in, and boarding with additional free luggage.
Plus when you reach 2021 Platinum Pro you’ll get to choose one choice reward from this list:
- One systemwide upgrade
- 20K miles (25K for AA cardholders)
- 15% off one award itinerary
- 6 Admirals Club passes
- $200 travel voucher
Those are some major improvements for Platinum Pro between the lower status requirements, the ability to spend on a credit card to waive the EQD requirements, the higher OneWorld status, and the ability to select a systemwide upgrade for the first time ever!
Executive Platinum normally requires 100K EQMs (elite qualifying miles)+$15,000 EQDs (Elite qualifying dollars spent on flights). For 2021 that’s reduced to 80K EQMs+$12,000 EQDs.
Executive Platinums will get to pick one choice reward from the list above when they reach Platinum Pro level for 2021 and another 2 choice rewards from the list below:
- 2 systemwide upgrades
- 25K miles (30K for AA cardholders)
- Gift of Gold status
- Admirals Club membership (requires 2 choice rewards)
- $200 travel voucher
- 10,000 bonus EQMs (can only be selected once)
- Choice of Bang & Olufsen products
Executive Platinums can also earn more rewards when they hit higher EQM tiers.
Best of all, you don’t need to make your choices until 12/30/22! Choices expire 12 months from when you elect them. It’s a no-brainer to wait until you need the choice reward to make the selection!