American Airlines is launching a new program called “Enhance With Miles,” which gives elite members the chance to earn elite status for a day… for a price, and with a few catches.
Basics of American’s “Enhance with Miles” concept
Currently, American AAdvantage elite status is earned based on how many Loyalty Points you accumulate in a program year (the year is from the beginning of March to the end of February of the following year). As a reminder, here are the current elite requirements:
- AAdvantage Gold status requires 40,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Platinum status requires 75,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro status requires 125,000 Loyalty Points
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum status requires 200,000 Loyalty Points
American Airlines is launching a new program called “Enhance with Miles,” where you can redeem miles for special status perks as you pass above Loyalty Points limits. Note that this is completely separate from the Loyalty Point Rewards program, where you can choose perks at no additional cost when passing different Loyalty Points thresholds (from 15,000 Loyalty Points to 5,000,000 Loyalty Points).
So, how does the Enhance with Miles concept work?
- When you pass 40,000 Loyalty Points, you can redeem AAdvantage miles to gift someone else with AAdvantage Gold status for one day, or you can redeem AAdvantage miles to give yourself AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for In one day
- When you pass 75,000 Loyalty Points, you can redeem AAdvantage miles to gift someone else with AAdvantage Platinum status for one day, or you can redeem AAdvantage miles to give yourself AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for In one day
- Once you pass 125,000 Loyalty Points, you can redeem AAdvantage miles to gift someone else with AAdvantage Platinum Pro status for a day, or you can redeem AAdvantage miles to gift yourself with AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for one day
- Once you pass 200,000 Loyalty Points, you can redeem AAdvantage miles to gift someone else AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for one day
American doesn’t share how many miles are required to redeem for these rewards, but instead you’ll see these options in your account when you pass the thresholds. It probably takes more miles for an AAdvantage Gold member to gift themselves Executive Platinum status for a day, than what it takes to gift someone else AAdvantage Gold status for a day.
As you might expect, there are several terms related to it:
- You can take advantage of this up to twice per threshold
- One-day perk status must be purchased at least seven days prior to travel
- Those without access to Main Cabin Extra seats will receive four Main Cabin Extra seat coupons, which expire two days after the selected date, and must be applied to future travel before then.
- Members who receive status for a day cannot purchase discounted Admirals Club membership based on higher elite tiers
- One-day perk status is only valid for flights operated by American, and not for travel on partner airlines
- If you have prepaid for any preferred seats or similar perks, you will not get a refund for those
- Any complimentary elite upgrade will only be cleared based on the higher elite tier on the day of travel, and not based on the standard elite window
- One-day perk status can be applied to all tickets, including tickets purchased with cash or miles, or even employee travel
My take on the American elite status for a day concept
As I’ve often said in the past, I think the ability to share elite status perks with friends and family is a minor benefit. For example, World of Hyatt’s Guest of Honor benefit allows Globalist members to gift their status perks to others when redeeming points. On the airline front, Air Canada Aeroplan offers a Status Pass, where you can choose the ability to provide elite perks as part of your suite of elite benefits.
American AAdvantage is the first US airline to introduce something like this. While I’m glad to see a perk like this introduced, the reality is that you have to redeem the miles, so it’s not something that’s offered on a complimentary basis as part of the elite benefits.
Am I the only one who finds that implementing all of this is a bit complicated, and almost sets people up for failure? For one, it’s a bit confusing to know how and when perks apply through it.
Furthermore, if someone redeems miles for elite status for the day, could they be setting themselves up for disappointment? For example, let’s say a Platinum Pro member redeems miles to earn Executive Platinum status for a day.
What do they really get? Higher upgrade priority for one day, but only on the day of travel? Wouldn’t they be better off redeeming those miles to try to get a confirmed upgrade?
I guess I just see the value here as a niche. A lot of people struggle to understand the Loyalty Points system, and it’s more complicated. It’s probably pretty cool to be Executive Platinum for a day, but because of how it’s run, you don’t really reap all the rewards.
American AAdvantage introduced the Enhance with Miles concept, where you can redeem miles for select experiences when passing certain Loyalty Points thresholds. Here’s how it works, you can redeem miles to gift someone else with your elite status for a day, or you can redeem miles to upgrade your status to Executive Platinum for a day.
Of course the big question is how many miles are required for this, as that will determine the cost. I wonder how many people are taking advantage of this, and if they are happy with their purchase.
What do you think of the new American elite status for a day concept?