The American Airlines Frequent Flyer Program No Longer Rewards Based On Miles

American Airlines Frequent Flyer Miles

American Airlines is no longer going to give customers frequent flyer points based on the number of miles they fly. Instead, the company will base those points on the cost of a ticket.


The plan will reward customers who fly first-class, buy full priced tickets, and ultimately avoid discounted fares. Customers who travel longer distances should also benefit since their tickets typically cost more money.

Customers who take short trips or buy last minute tickets are likely to reap the most benefits from the program, according to a report from PwC published in March.

A spokesperson for American Airlines says the new setup will reward “our most loyal and most valuable customers.”

American Airlines isn’t alone in the pay-for-rewards structure. United, Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue all use a price-based rewards program.

In changing the program American Airlines also says it will lower the number of reward miles it takes to redeem free flights “by as much as 40 percent” in March 2016.

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Customers can expect to receive at least five reward “miles” for every dollar spent on American Airlines and American Eagle flights. Those points include all airline fees but exclude taxes.

Basic members will get five miles per dollar while “Executive Platinum” members, the highest of the four tiers, will be given 11 miles per dollar spent.

Written by Lane Hanson

Lane Hanson

Lane Hanson is BusinessPundit's Economy Editor. He reports on major changes in the US and Global Economies.