It has been a 12 months and a half since American Airways launched Loyalty Factors, a completely totally different option to qualify for AAdvantage elite standing. As a substitute of solely crediting standing primarily based on flight exercise, American flyers may earn standing by way of non-flight actions corresponding to staying at lodges, spending on cobranded bank cards and utilizing the airline’s procuring portal.
When Loyalty Factors have been launched final 12 months, there have been ample alternatives to earn on on a regular basis purchases. However throughout the TPG workforce, we’re disheartened by the slashed Loyalty Factors-earning candy spots, lackluster flight accruals and underwhelming SimplyMiles affords. Many American elite members are feeling just like the enjoyable spirit of Loyalty Factors is gone.
Now, with Delta Air Traces poised to make huge modifications to Medallion qualification subsequent 12 months, American has an actual alternative to select up these disaffected elite members whereas concurrently energizing its present members.
Here is how American Airways might improve Loyalty Factors.
1 mile, 1 Loyalty Level — for actual
When American launched Loyalty Factors, it claimed it might “simplify the best way members earn standing” by crediting a Loyalty Level for each redeemable mile earned.
Whereas “one mile earned, one Loyalty Level earned” stays the idea of this system, loads of transactions earn miles however do not earn Loyalty Factors — or earn miles and Loyalty Factors at totally different charges. For instance, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Government World Elite Mastercard® (see charges and charges) earns 4 miles per greenback on eligible American Airways purchases; nevertheless, you earn simply 1 Loyalty Level per greenback on these fees.
Choose partner-issued tickets are additionally ineligible for Loyalty Factors. I not too long ago traveled to Fiji on a Fiji Airways ticket that I credited to my AAdvantage account. Regardless of incomes miles, Fiji Airways-issued tickets do not earn Loyalty Factors.
Likewise, you do not earn Loyalty Factors on Bask Financial institution’s high-yield financial savings accounts that earn miles as an alternative of curiosity.
These are among the many the reason why senior author Katie Genter is not feeling the love from American. A number of months in the past, she revealed an article on why top-tier American Airways Government Platinum standing is not a should for her, citing a number of pitfalls of this system, together with the lengthy highway to Loyalty Selection Rewards, disappointing Loyalty Factors-earning alternatives and little incentive to pursue Government Platinum over Platinum Professional standing.
Day by day E-newsletter
Reward your inbox with the TPG Day by day e-newsletter
Be part of over 700,000 readers for breaking information, in-depth guides and unique offers from TPG’s consultants
American might enhance loyalty by following by way of on the declare to simplify this system by crediting 1 Loyalty Level per 1 mile earned.
Associated: American revamps AAdvantage program with new advantages, some devaluations
Deliver again earlier Rocketmiles incomes charges
Earlier this 12 months, I revealed an article on how AAdvantage members might earn over 75,000 miles and Loyalty Factors on a seven-night Rocketmiles resort keep, subsequently locking in mid-tier Platinum standing (and being effectively on the best way to greater elite tiers of this system). Though that sounds nice, reserving Rocketmiles stays means forgoing resort elite standing as you typically cannot earn resort factors or elite nights, along with not having the ability to obtain your commonplace resort elite standing advantages by reserving this fashion.
With out discover, American massively devalued the Rocketmiles portal over the summer time by slashing incomes charges by over 90%. Now, there’s minimal worth in reserving Rocketmiles stays with AAdvantage. So that you’re typically higher off crediting Rocketmiles bookings to different beneficial airline packages like Air Canada Aeroplan and Alaska Airways Mileage Plan.
Our managing editor, Clint Henderson, examined out American’s resort portal, which was revamped across the identical time the airline devalued Rocketmiles. Along with providing far fewer redeemable miles than Rocketmiles, Clint discovered American does not supply status-qualifying Loyalty Factors once you add miles at checkout.
Alternatively, Rocketmiles provided Loyalty Factors (along with redeemable miles) once you chosen this selection at checkout.
Associated: We examined incomes American Airways miles for 3 totally different resort stays — this is what we discovered
Enhance flight exercise accruals
It is a huge space of alternative.
There’s a whole lot of variation round how American credit flight exercise, particularly after it introduced it might be transferring to revenue-based mileage incomes on British Airways and Iberia.
However even once you’re touring on American metallic, the airline has room to enhance. Because you earn Loyalty Factors for flights primarily based in your present standing, it is tough for non-status members to qualify for standing. Here is a have a look at the potential rewards on a $1,500 ticket:
|Basic member (5 LPs per base greenback)||7,500 Loyalty Factors|
|Gold (7 LPs per base greenback)||10,500 Loyalty Factors|
|Platinum (8 LPs per base greenback)||12,000 Loyalty Factors|
|Platinum Professional (9 LPs per base greenback)||13,500 Loyalty Factors|
|Government Platinum (11 LPs per base greenback)||16,500 Loyalty Factors|
My focus remained on incomes no less than AAdvantage Platinum final 12 months since incomes 8 Loyalty Factors per greenback makes it a lot simpler to retain or improve standing. It does not really feel proper for top-tier American members to earn Loyalty Factors 120% quicker than basic members, as this system is presently designed. It is disheartening for rookies and finally hinders loyalty.
There’s additionally room for enchancment for accruals on the not too long ago enhanced partnership with Alaska Airways. Clint and I each love how American elite members typically obtain the royal therapy on Alaska Airways, however American is stingy in the way it credit Alaska-issued tickets, with as few as 10% base miles earned. Because the two airways are arguably the closest companions, it might make sense to have an incomes chart to encourage reciprocal enterprise.
Associated: Earn American AAdvantage standing and Loyalty Factors shortly with Oneworld companion flights
Improve Hyatt earnings
You are eligible for twin accrual should you maintain Hyatt and American elite standing. By linking your accounts, you may earn 1 Hyatt level for each eligible greenback spent on qualifying American Airways flights and 1 AAdvantage mile and Loyalty Level for each eligible greenback spent on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences.
Better of all, that is along with commonplace American and Hyatt accruals.
Katie observes that there is room to reinforce this partnership, nevertheless. Hyatt might credit score greater than 1 mile/Loyalty Level per greenback spent on stays, or American might add Hyatt to its procuring portal. Different main resort manufacturers, together with Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Selection, Radisson and Greatest Western, are presently on the American procuring portal.
If American needs to ship its prospects to Hyatt, together with Hyatt on the procuring portal would make sense.
Associated: What’s World of Hyatt elite standing price?
Switch/present Loyalty Factors
TPG Senior Vice President of Content material Jamie Web page and Director of Content material Operations Andrea Rotondo maintain American Platinum Professional standing. They’d each like to have the ability to present or switch Loyalty Factors just like the best way American allows you to switch miles to a different member.
Though you could possibly present standing as a Loyalty Selection Reward, Jamie observes that if somebody is inside 5,000 Loyalty Factors of reaching their subsequent standing, she’d welcome the power to switch extra Loyalty Factors to them.
Associated: How (and why) you need to earn transferable factors in 2023
Enhance Loyalty Factors alternatives on lackluster incomes packages
Lastly, when American launched Loyalty Factors, the airline gave its members a laundry listing of how to earn them. These embrace AA Cruises, AA Holidays, AAdvantage Eating and SimplyMiles.
Final 12 months, I earned over 8,000 miles and Loyalty Factors with SimplyMiles (a portal that allows you to earn miles and Loyalty Factors when procuring in-store and on-line) largely as a result of its beneficiant Uber and Uber Eats promotions. However this system hasn’t provided the identical advantageous incomes alternatives it provided final 12 months. Most TPG staffers have solely obtained affords for second-tier retailers and lackluster incomes charges.
Equally, the general angle is that incomes charges must be higher on its cruise, trip and eating portals.
For reference, Delta Air Traces not too long ago enhanced incomes charges and redemption values in its Delta Holidays portal.
As Clint advised me, “I would like to see earnings like we noticed when Loyalty Factors first rolled out.”
Associated: Learn how to ebook a cruise utilizing factors and miles
American Airways’ Loyalty Factors program has misplaced its attraction for a lot of members as a result of slashed incomes charges, restricted alternatives and inconsistencies in crediting factors. To reinforce this system and regain enthusiasm, American ought to look onerous at discovering methods to higher drive worth for its members.
There’s an actual alternative right here with the continued frustration from Delta vacationers over how the service will change its elite standing qualification metrics in 2024. By addressing these points, American Airways can renew loyalty, enhance the general member expertise and regain the belief and enthusiasm of its loyal prospects — all whereas capturing vacationers who’re all of a sudden out there for a brand new major airline.