Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
American Airlines recently announced several changes to its frequent flyer program starting in 2019. They are increasing the Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) required for their highest elite status tier, Executive Platinum. But other changes were also announced, including positive changes coming to the Elite Qualifying Mile (EQM) earning rates on some of American Airlines’ partners.
Sometimes when you think of earning miles for a specific airline we often forget about options available for earning with partner airlines. But this is a great way to accumulate miles with a single loyalty program, while flying with many different airlines.
The changes impact some of its transatlantic and transpacific partners. Almost all these rates will match those on American Airlines’ own fares. This makes American Airlines partner fares a truly viable alternative for frequent flyers.
And not only can you earn American Airlines miles while flying with their partners, you can also use American Airlines miles to book award flights with their partners. If you want to learn more about how to do this, check out our complete guide to using American Airlines miles.
American Airlines EQM Earning Rates Increased for Select Partner Airlines
The changes coming to American Airlines’ partner fares starting January 1, 2019, only impact flights with American Airlines’ partners British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, and Japan Airlines.
American Airlines will reduce the earning rate of Y fares (full-fare coach) on its own flights, meaning that all coach tickets (except Basic Economy) on American Airlines now earn the same 1 EQM per mile flown. Additionally, they are increasing the earning rate on the partner airlines from .5 EQM up to 1 EQM per mile flown. So all of the more expensive coach fare classes will earn the same 1 EQM per mile flown.
But if you’re booking a discount coach fare class, nothing will change in 2019. You’ll still earn the same .5 EQM per mile flown with the partners or in American Airlines Basic Economy.
One of the best changes for 2019 is Business and First Class fares with these partners will earn the same EQMs that you would earn with American Airlines. Full-fare Business and First Class tickets will earn 3 EQMs per mile flown and discount fares will earn 2 EQMs per mile flown.
See related: Looking for American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access? Then check out the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®.
Are American Airlines Partners Worth Booking?
Absolutely! The changes that American Airlines is bringing to EQM earning rates with British Airways, Japan Airlines, Finnair, and Iberia are all positive. For the most part, you can now expect to earn the same EQMs regardless of whether you choose to fly on a partner airline or on American Airlines themselves.
This is especially good news for folks who fly transatlantic or transpacific routes frequently. Now you will not earn fewer EQMs because of it. This makes earning elite status much easier on international flights in particular.
The one exception is discount partner flight fares. When purchasing a discount coach fare on a partner airline you will still earn only half the EQMs compared to flying on American Airlines (except Basic Economy).
All these changes will take effect for flights starting January 1, 2019.
Are you excited for these changes coming to American Airlines partners?
Are you in need of boatloads of extra American Airlines miles? Then check out the bonuses you can earn with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®!
Stay on top of the latest travel news by subscribing to our newsletter!