I asked American for clarification on a few things that readers wanted to know about the new AAdvantage program, when Dividend Miles gets integrated into AAdvantage during the second quarter of 2015.
The new program will keep American’s “stickers” or e-upgrades for domestic travel. Top tier elite members get unlimited complimentary upgrades, while Gold and Platinum elites get unlimited complimentary upgrades on flights up to 500 miles and will earn free upgrades based on their flying for use on longer flights.
Historically there’s been a ‘grace period’ so that flyers wouldn’t have to use an extra certificate for ‘going over’. It’s been discussed that the grace period goes away, and American confirms this.
I asked Whether 500 mile e-upgrades will no longer have a “buffer” (a 508 mile flight will require 2 certificates) and whether this new requirement may have already even been implemented?
Any “buffer” that may have existed will no longer be there when we introduce the new upgrade policy sometime in second quarter 2015.
I wanted to know, because a few readers have asked, whether the combination of American and US Airways miles would — in and of itself — extend the expiration of an AAdvantage account.
I asked Whether moving US Airways miles to American with the integration resets the “activity date” for an American account and extends expiration or whether original activity dates get carried over?
When an AAdvantage & DM account are merged (for matched accounts), the Last Activity Date on the merged-to AADV account will be the most recent activity date in either account. So, for example, if the DM activity date was 9/15/14 and the AADV last activity date was 1/1/2014, the AADV account activity date will be updated to the DM date (9/15/14) at merge in second quarter 2015.
Several readers wanted to know, since there’s going to be both a Barclaycard-issued and a Citibank-issued co-brand credit card offering the option to earn elite qualifying miles based on spend, whether it’s going to be possible to earn elite qualifying miles via both cards on an ongoing basis.
I asked Whether it will be possible to earn up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles from each of the Citibank and Barclays premium American Airlines credit cards (so 20k total EQMs)?
Yes, this is possible. If a member has both credit cards, all EQMs will be combined into a single AAdvantage account sometime in second quarter 2015.
The new Barclaycard US Airways card that will earn elite qualifying miles is currently by invitation only.
We know that it will only be possible to apply for the US Airways card until the two programs merge — and once the programs merge, existing cardholders will be transitioned over to an American Airlines card issued by Barclays. So presumably if you want the US Airways premium card that will earn elite qualifying miles with American, you’ll need to get the basic version in under the wire.
That’s why I’m keeping my US Airways card open. I want to have the option of earning elite qualifying miles via spend from both a Citibank and from a Barclaycard credit card, to retain my American AAdvantage status even in a year that I may not fly as much.