American Airlines AAdvantage Program Announces Full Switch to Dynamic Pricing

American Airlines AAdvantage Program Announces Full Switch to Dynamic Pricing

The updated loyalty program will also include 11 more rewards levels, geared toward heavy spenders
American Airlines planes at O’Hare airport

The American AAdvantage® program just announced a whole host of new changes coming in March of 2023, some of which will have a dramatic impact on its most loyal customers. The new changes will make it considerably easier to unlock new frequent flyer perks through credit card spending alone. The American AAdvantage program is also adding new "reward levels" to its elite status lineup, and it's making some elite status tiers much more difficult to achieve.

In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the American AAdvantage program is also making the full move to dynamic pricing in 2023. This means award flights might cost any number of miles based on factors like ticket prices and demand, so frequent flyers will never know how many miles a ticket might require until they're ready to book.

If you're someone who frequently flies with American Airlines or you want to earn elite status in the American AAdvantage program next year, here's an overview of all the most recent changes and how they might impact your plans.

Rebranded "Loyalty Point Rewards" program offers more rewards tiers

Starting in 2023, the American AAdvantage program is calling its loyalty program "Loyalty Point Rewards". In the process, the program is adding 11 additional tiers of rewards to go along with its four elite status tiers.

The chart below shows how the new program will look starting in March of 2023, as well as an overview of the new rewards that are being added in between American's elite status tiers:

Level
Benefits
Earn 15,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)
  • Receive Group 5 boarding for the membership year
  • Get Group 4 boarding and priority privileges for one trip
  • Receive five preferred seat coupons
Earn 40,000 Loyalty Points
  • Unlock AAdvantage Gold® status and all its benefits
Earn 60,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)
  • Receive Avis Preferred Plus® status
  • Earn a 20% Loyalty Point bonus with eligible partners
Earn 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • Unlock AAdvantage Platinum® status and all its benefits
Earn 100,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)
  • Receive Avis President's Club® status
  • Earn a 30% Loyalty Point bonus with eligible partners
Earn 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • Unlock AAdvantage Platinum Pro® status and all its benefits
Earn 175,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)Choose one of the following:
  • Two systemwide upgrades
  • Receive 20,000 to 25,000 bonus miles based on card membership status
  • Get six Admirals Club® one-day passes
  • Receive a $200 to $250 trip credit based on card membership status
  • Carbon offset
  • $250 donation to eligible charity
  • 15% award rebate
  • Two gifts of AAdvantage Gold® status
  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless® Experience
Earn 200,000 Loyalty Points
  • Unlock AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status and all its benefits
Earn 250,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)Choose two of the following:
  • Two systemwide upgrades
  • Receive 20,000 to 30,000 bonus miles based on card membership status
  • Get six Admirals Club one-day passes
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two choices)
  • Receive a $200 to $250 trip credit based on card membership status
  • Carbon offset
  • $250 donation to eligible charity
  • 15% award rebate
  • Two gifts of AAdvantage Gold status
  • Bang & Olufsen product (requires two choices)
  • One or two visits to American Flagship® Lounge based on card membership status
  • 35,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience
Earn 400,000, 550,000 and 750,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Levels)For each tier, choose two of the following:
  • One systemwide upgrade
  • 25,000 bonus miles
  • Admirals Club membership (requires two choices)
  • Receive a $200 to $250 trip credit based on card membership status
  • Carbon offset
  • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum status
  • Bang & Olufsen product (requires two choices)
  • Two American Flagship Lounge passes
  • One Flagship First dining pass
  • 40,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience
Earn 1,000,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)Choose one of the following:
  • Four systemwide upgrades
  • Carbon offset
  • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum Pro® status
  • Up to 100,000 miles back on redemptions
  • 150,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience
Earn 3,000,000 Loyalty Points (New Reward Level)Choose one of the following:
  • Six systemwide upgrades
  • Carbon offset
  • Gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status
  • Up to 300,000 miles back on redemptions
  • 350,000 AAdvantage miles toward a Mastercard Priceless Experience
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Frequent flyers can "unlock" each of these new rewards levels as they move through the tiers. This also means American AAdvantage elites can continue reaching new rewards levels after they reach the highest tier of status for the qualifying year.

On the downside, achieving some tiers of elite status with the American AAdvantage program will be more difficult. For example, earning AAdvantage Gold status next year will require members to earn 40,000 Loyalty Points, up from just 30,000 points for the previous qualifying year.

Another notable change is the fact that American is removing the requirement for members to fly 30 segments in order to unlock Loyalty Point Rewards. This means American's frequent flyers can enjoy these extra perks not by actually flying, but by earning Loyalty Points through other means such as credit card spending.

Also note that the qualifying year for American AAdvantage status will fall between March 1 and Feb. 28 next year. This means elite flyers who want to achieve American AAdvantage status for 2024 will need to complete qualifying flights and other activities during the 12-month period that starts on March 1, 2023.

Basic economy becomes even less rewarding

Most frequent flyers avoid Basic Economy like the plague already, and for more reasons than one. This tier of fare doesn't even let you bring a carry-on bag on the plane in most cases, and you'll almost certainly board your flight dead last.

Like basic economy fares with other airline reward programs, the revamped American AAdvantage program now offers lower earning rates toward elite status.

For flights issued after Jan. 1, 2023 for travel after March of 2023, frequent flyers will only earn 2 miles and Loyalty Points per dollar on basic economy fares. Mileage bonuses for elite flyers will also be calculated based on this reduced earning rate.

Dynamic pricing takes over

The American AAdvantage program also plans to fully embrace dynamic pricing next year with a new, simplified award chart.

This news is slightly puzzling, since dynamic pricing typically bases awards on factors like demand, thus removing the need for an award chart. This is why many other airlines, including major players like the Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus programs, don't even have one.

However, we can presume the program will simply announce a new award chart that combines some aspects of its old award charts, which are currently still online. Likely, the new chart will show the starting rate for rewards, and the price will increase from this starting rate based on travel dates, ticket prices, demand and other factors.

Other changes coming for AAdvantage members

In addition to this news, American also announced a few other changes that may impact some flyers, both good and bad. These include:

  • No more mileage earning caps on flights, whereas flyers could only earn 75,000 bonus miles per flight before
  • New deals on American AAdvantage vacation packages coming March of 2023
  • Access to exclusive partner offers and promotions

For the most part, the new changes for next year's American AAdvantage program are a mixed bag. They make earning elite status more difficult in some ways, particularly if you're trying to earn AAdvantage Gold status or you want to earn status while saving money with Basic Economy fares.

However, those who spend heavily with American Airlines and its partners may be able to unlock more rewards levels. Plus, American's co-branded credit cards will become even more valuable since you no longer have to fly 30 segments with the airline to unlock the program's new reward levels.

The most worrisome change is American's full switch to dynamic award pricing, which is likely to result in a devaluation of its rewards program. This is especially true considering the airline has already been using dynamic pricing for the last few years.