American Airlines is introducing a brand-new way to redeem your miles that doesn’t involve flying.
Dubbed “Enhance with Miles,” eligible AAdvantage members will be able to cash in their miles for experiences after reaching certain Loyalty Point thresholds.
While that might sound like a mouthful, this new offer from American is actually quite interesting and certainly worth considering as you rise through the elite status ranks.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free biweekly Aviation newsletter
Here’s what you need to know.
American Airlines ‘Enhance with Miles’ basics
Enhance with Miles is a brand-new offering from American that allows you to redeem miles for certain experiences. But the program isn’t available to everyone.
Last year, American formally introduced Loyalty Points, its new elite currency that tracks how you earn status with the AAdvantage program. The more Loyalty Points you earn, the higher your elite status, as you can see below.
- AAdvantage Gold: 40,000 Loyalty Points.
- AAdvantage Platinum: 75,000 Loyalty Points.
- AAdvantage Platinum Pro: 125,000 Loyalty Points.
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum: 200,000 Loyalty Points.
In addition to enjoying the benefits of elite status after crossing the aforementioned Loyalty Point thresholds, you’ll also unlock Loyalty Point Rewards, such as priority boarding, systemwide upgrades, bonus miles and much more at different Loyalty Point intervals.
Enhance with Miles is a separate offer that you’ll find in the “Rewards” tab of your AAdvantage profile.
Sign up for our daily newsletter
There are four Loyalty Point thresholds that you need to hit in order to take advantage of this new offering. These thresholds are:
- 40,000 Loyalty Points.
- 75,000 Loyalty Points.
- 125,000 Loyalty Points.
- 200,000 Loyalty Points.
After earning the required number of loyalty points between March 1 and Feb. 28 of the following year (or Feb. 29 in a leap year), you’ll be able to redeem your miles for an Enhance with Miles experience.
American Airlines ‘Enhance with Miles’ redemptions
After earning the required number of Loyalty Points, you’ll be able to partake in American’s Enhance with Miles program.
Each Loyalty Point threshold includes different redemption options, and “as the program evolves, American will continue to add new Enhance with Miles opportunities,” the carrier shared with TPG in a statement.
For now, the redemption options are as follows:
40,000 Loyalty Points
- Gift of AAdvantage Gold status for a day.
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for a day.
75,000 Loyalty Points
- Gift of AAdvantage Platinum status for a day.
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for a day.
125,000 Loyalty Points
- Gift of AAdvantage Platinum Pro status for a day.
200,000 Loyalty Points
- Gift of AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for a day.
According to American, the pricing for the Enhance with Miles redemptions will vary, though I’m seeing a 15,000-mile price point for the “gift of AAdvantage Gold status for a day” redemption.
You can take a look at your pricing options directly on American’s website or mobile app in the “Rewards” tab.
Interestingly, American is the first of the U.S. carriers to offer a status-for-a-day pass. Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program debuted this (free) perk back in 2020, but no other domestic airline has formally introduced this offering until now.
American Airlines ‘Enhance with Miles’ terms
As you’d expect, the terms and conditions with these status passes are quite extensive.
While you’ll want to review them all before making a redemption, it’s worth noting that you cannot change the recipient after you make a redemption. Status for a day can only be gifted to an AAdvantage member without status or holding a status tier lower than the gifted tier.
Additionally, you’re limited to two status-for-a-day purchases per unlocked Loyalty Point level each membership year.
If you’re interested, here are the full terms and conditions of the status-for-a-day passes, pasted directly from American’s website:
- Once purchased, status for a day cannot be changed, exchanged, modified, or transferred
- Status for a day is nonrefundable
- If your selected day is impacted by an involuntary flight cancellation, please contact AAdvantage® customer service.
- Recipient of gift of status must be an AAdvantage® member.
- Status for a day can only be gifted to an AAdvantage® member without status or holding a status tier lower than the gifted tier.
- If your gift of status recipient earns the gifted tier or higher on their own before their use of the gift of status for a day, contact AAdvantage® customer service.
- The date selected by your recipient to use the award must be at least 7 days in advance of the desired usage date.
- Recipients of status for a day must choose a day to use their award within 372 days from receipt.
- Recipients who do not already have access to complimentary Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats when the day is chosen will receive 4
- Preferred seat coupons in their AAdvantage® account.
- In cases where seat coupons are deposited, they will expire 2 days after the selected date and must be applied to travel before expiration.
- Travel date must be before the coupon expiration date.
- Status benefits and seat coupons cannot be applied retroactively to ancillaries which have already been purchased.
- Complimentary upgrades and access to Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats for status for a day recipient and companion(s) are subject to availability and may not be available on all flights.
- Members who have AAdvantage® status through status for a day are not eligible for discounts on Admirals Club® memberships other than what your earned tier status may provide.
- Status for a day is only available on American Airlines marketed and operated flights.
- Gift of status for a day is limited to 2 purchases per member, per unlocked Loyalty Point level available until the expiration date shown in your AAdvantage® account.
- Applies to all ticket types including purchased, award and employee travel.
- AAdvantage® program terms and conditions apply.
While the value will differ depending on how many miles American charges for a redemption, it’s great to see the airline innovating in the number of ways that you can redeem your miles.
Gifting status is a great way to enhance the travel experience for a friend or loved one, though you’ll definitely want to crunch the numbers. In my case, spending 15,000 miles to gift AAdvantage Gold status for a day likely wouldn’t make sense.
I value those miles at around $260, so unless my recipient scores a last-minute first-class upgrade using the temporary status, it probably wouldn’t be a worthwhile redemption. (That said, if the 15,000-mile pricing sticks for some of the more lucrative passes, then it could certainly make sense to make a redemption.)
Of course, more redemption options are better than fewer, so I’m looking forward to seeing how American evolves this new program over time.