American and US Airways will combine frequent flyer programs in a few months. In preparation for that, they’ve made it possible for you to link your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles accounts so that when the programs combine you can be sure all of your miles go to the right place.
This is all about helping American AAdvantage ensure the right accounts get linked, so there’s a smooth transition when the AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs combine in the second quarter of the year.
- There are no bonus miles for doing this (as Delta/Northwest offered).
- You cannot move your miles back and forth between accounts (which America West/US Airways, Delta/Northwest, and United/Continental allowed).
- Linking accounts does not benefit elite status at this time.
You want to do this so that you’re sure your elite status, status miles, and redeemable miles all combine smoothly. For the most part they’ll do a pretty good job of it even if you don’t, but you have an incentive to make the process as easy as possible so you aren’t tracking down missing miles and missing accounts.
Here’s how to link your accounts…
The American Website
When you log into your AAdvantage account at aa.com, you’re confronted with a popup offering for you to link a US Airways account. I find that interesting, it’s certainly a great way to put this in front of people, but I’d bet that fewer than half of AAdvantage members are also Dividend Miles members. This may be confusing to those people.
I entered my US Airways number — a legacy US Airways account from before the America West merger — and the system is smart enough to add the requisite zeros prior to my number to make it match the current account number structure.
(Current US Airways account numbers are 11 digits, like the old America West system, since when US Airways and America West merged they went with the – in my view – inferior but cheaper America West architecture for managing frequent flyer accounts.)
I got instant confirmation that my accounts linked.
You get confirmation when looking at your AAdvantage account as well.
The US Airways Website
When you log into your account you get this popup offer to combine your accounts. You’ve already logged into your US Airways account. Now you just need to enter your AAdvantage number.
On my first attempt, I failed. The email addresses for the two accounts did not match.
If you don’t match right away when you get the popup, it is still an option to do it when you go to ‘My Account’
Incidentally one account had a middle name and the other account didn’t but that didn’t cause the problem. I changed only the email address, thinking I would check one factor at a time to see what was necessary for linking, and it worked.
Here’s what then shows up under ‘My Account’ when accounts have been linked.
When you link accounts, you’ll receive an email from both US Airways and American.
So Should You Do This Now, or Wait?
I do wish that American and US Airways would offer bonus points for doing this, and some will hold out hoping that they can pick up 500 miles for doing this if they wait… although American has said that they’re not offering bonuses, just the option to do this.
I think it’s worth doing, and doing early enough to see if there’s any problem getting accounts to match. I’ve done it for two accounts already, one had the slight problem of email accounts that were different was easily enough fixed. But I’d rather know up front if there are any problems so I can get them sorted before the programs actually merge.
In the end this is a minor process, there’s no huge benefit to doing it now versus waiting until March. I’d rather do it earlier and tick the box, others will wait in hopes that the airlines change their minds and give a bonus for the activity.