How to Understand American’s New Award Miles Terminology

How to Understand American’s New Award Miles Terminology

Ok ok, I’m not going to waste any more of your time decrying American’s AAdvantage changes: they’re here and that’s too bad. That said, many of us will still fly with American, so it doesn’t hurt to stay informed about what’s going on.

I have to give American credit where it’s due. In addition to rolling out the new redeemable miles scheme American also added functionality to their website to make everything as upfront as possible during the purchase process. Let’s look at a hypothetical trip from DFW-PDX that I was looking at. On the “Review & Pay” section of the website, I saw the below, clearly listing the various kinds of elite-qualifying miles, segments, and (coming in 2017) dollars I’d earn for this trip.

(Click through for the rest of the details!)

Earning and Redeeming AAdvantage Miles, Part I: The Good Ways to Earn Miles

So, we’ve talked about how to earn status with American Airlines, and I’ve gotten thousands of compliments on the information I provided (note: actual number of compliments far less, used Severe Rounding).  American posts all of the info, I just parsed through it and tried to explain it in as many Normal People terms as possible. Quick review of some terms, although I’m sure everyone knows them by now: EQM = Elite-qualifying miles EQP = Elite-qualifying points EQS = Elite-qualifying segments RDM = Redeemable miles And a new term: CPM = Cents per mile If all of the elite status stuff bugged you or you were quickly overwhelmed by all of it, or if you simply don’t fly that much, this post is for you, for it answers the age-old question: How can I travel wherever I want, and in whatever class I want, for free? YES.  I love that attitude.  You and I will get along very well.  Forget about EQM, EQP, and EQS, we’re going to now focus on RDM and CPM. To travel wherever you want, you need one of two things: a pilot’s license or redeemable miles.  RDM are probably a bit easier, if I’m honest.  There are endless ways to get redeemable miles, I’m going to focus on the most well-known arenas for mileage earning: flying, shopping portals, and dining services.  Credit card sign-up bonuses, the most efficient and effective way of earning miles, will be covered in a later post, as that is a… read more


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