How American’s Account Merging With US Airways Helps With Lifetime Elite Status

My US Airways miles have been combined into my American AAdvantage account.

  • They started with Dividend Miles members who did not have an AAdvantage account
  • Then transitioned members who had matched their AAdvantage and Dividend Miles accounts.
  • They continue with those who may have had accounts in both programs but didn’t link their accounts.

The data combination will continue for a few days, with sweeps to ensure completion and some upgrades still to post.

With this progress made, bobbieddie asks,

Gary – I just received my summary from AA re: the transfer and for the first time saw that I have 997,516 in my million mile balance account. I’ve never paid attention to this or even thought about it. Can you give me the highlights of attaining 1M miles status, benefits going forward, and where I can read about it. Thanks.

Here’s how lifetime status works and boy are you close! Get yourself on some flights to push yourself over the million mile mark!

US Airways offered lifetime Silver status at a million miles. American offers their first and their second tier of status and gifts miles and international upgrades at their million mile levels. So with the merger of American and US Airways mileage programs some AAdvantage members get a boost in status (by moving over US Airways lifetime miles) and US Airways members get the chance at better lifetime rewards.

American and US Airways lifetime miles were combined 1:1.

It used to be that miles from any source counted towards American’s million miler levels (miles from credit card bonuses, checking accounts, bonus miles from flights and not just miles flown, etc).

Some had hoped that there might be a retroactive recalculation of US Airways lifetime miles based on total miles earned in the program, that didn’t seem realistic as it’s not how American currently calculates lifetime status and the IT investment to calculate it on the US Airways side would likely have ben large.

This page details million mile status benefits. It’s a published program now.

At 1 million miles you become Gold for life (that’s the 25,000 mile elite status). You also get 35,000 bonus miles.

Gold gets you main cabin extra (extra legroom seating) at check-in if available, a 25% bonus on flown miles, and priority airport services like check-in and boarding.

At 2 million miles you become Platinum for life (that’s the 50,000 mile elite status tier — currently mid-tier though if they went to four tiers I’d expect it to be second up from bottom). You also get (4) confirmed international upgrade certificates valid from any fare.

Platinum status means main cabin extra (extra legroom) seats confirmed at booking, a 100% bonus on flown miles (I’d expect this bonus to be downgraded at some point because it’s more generous than what others offer) and lounge access when traveling internationally.

At each additional million mile threshold you receive (4) more confirmed international upgrade certificates valid from any fare.

I’m sitting ~ 3.4 million lifetime. Now that I can’t really goose this with earn besides flying, and there’s no lifetime status offered over Platinum, I’m not really paying attention to my counter. I would be up through 2 million though. And if lifetime Executive Platinum were a benefit (ideally at 3 or 4 million; United even offers lifetime Global Services) I would work quite assiduously towards it.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. US Airways used to close accounts permanently if they lapsed in activity, so I lost out on a lot of “lifetime” miles from US Airways over my lifetime. Even if you asked them to merge an expired account into an active they couldn’t recover “lifetime” miles. In contrast, AA keeps my total since joining in 1992.

  2. Didn’t get a chance to link my accounts, they apparently didn’t catch that I had an AA account and created a new one for my US points. Hope they have a new merge link soon.

  3. Gary – I’m the author of your inclusion above under your Dividend Miles balance statement. My DM balance statement referenced my 997,516 MM balance as I stated, but yesterday my wife and I received our AA COMBINED balance account information without any miles assigned to our MM balance accounts. Is this an error in AA’s software program or do we need to contact AA. Are other DM members experiencing the same problem? Thanks.

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