American Airlines Is Making It Easier to Access Perks for 2023 — Here’s How

The airline will lower the minimum for passengers to start earning perks in March.

Exterior of an American Airlines 737 Aircraft on a tarmac

Courtesy of American Airlines

American Airlines is revamping its loyalty program and making it easier to earn perks, becoming the latest airline to change its benefits for next year.

Starting in March 2023, the airline will introduce a series of benefits customers can access before they reach gold status (like priority check-in and preferred seat coupons), lowering the threshold customers need to reach to start enjoying perks, the airline shared with Travel + Leisure. These benefits will kick in after travelers earn 15,000 Loyalty Points, significantly lower than the 40,000 points that will be needed to reach American’s lowest gold status level.

“We’re creating a more meaningful travel rewards program for our AAdvantage members,”  Vasu Raja, American’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement shared with T+L. “Only our members will have access to everything American has to offer. Achieving status will unlock an even wider world of unique experiences with the airline and our partners. With these and other innovations to come, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment that travel is better when you’re an AAdvantage member.”

In addition to earning points before a traveler qualifies for status, American customers who are between status levels will be able to earn additional benefits. For example, gold members receive perks like complimentary upgrades and a free checked bag. But now, travelers who reach 60,000 points (15,000 less than is required to reach the platinum level) will also receive additional perks like two free checked bags.

Travelers can earn these qualifying points in several ways, including by flying or using an AAdvantage credit card. And starting next year, AAdvantage members will earn two miles for every dollar spent on basic economy fares for all tickets purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2023, for travel starting March 1.

American Airlines isn’t alone in revamping its loyalty program. Earlier this month, JetBlue introduced new ways to earn points and status, creating a “tile” system travelers can use to exchange for rewards.

For its part, Delta Air Lines will make it harder to earn status for 2024, increasing the thresholds to qualify for higher status levels and introducing new benefits for Diamond and Platinum members.

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