Miles and Points (AA)

Miles and Points

AAdvantage members receive several different types of miles and points for each qualifying flight on AA and its partner airlines on which your AAdvantage number is recorded in the reservation. Because these distinctions are not explained clearly on AA.com, this is a frequent source of confusion among AA flyers, both new and old.

General

There are several different types of miles and points that count toward qualifying for Elite Status or are redeemable for various AAwards. AAdvantage members can also accrue Non-Air Mileage that does not count toward annual elite status qualification but can be redeemed for AAwards.

Types of Miles and Points

Here are the different types of miles and points discussed on this page:

  • Base Miles Flown – These are basically the miles flown; all other miles are calculated on the Base Miles Flown.
  • EQM: Elite Qualifying Miles – These miles count toward annual elite status qualification and are listed as “YTD Elite Qualifying Miles” on AA.com.
  • EQP: Elite-Qualifying Points – These points count toward an alternative mechanism for annual elite status qualification and are listed as “YTD Elite Qualifying Points” on AA.com
  • RDM: Redeemable Miles – These miles are redeemable for AAwards and are listed as “Miles subject to Expiration” and “Total Available Award Mileage” in your AA.com Account Summary. RDM also increment your “Program to Date Miles”, which has informational value only, and may also be called “Prize-eligible miles” by AA on occasion.
  • MTEU: Miles Towards Elite Upgrades – These miles count toward 500-mile electronic “sticker” upgrades earned by PLT and GLD elites and are listed as “Miles Towards Elite Upgrades” on AA.com.
  • Million Miler Miles – These miles count toward lifetime Million Miler elite status and are calculated using Base Miles Flown (excluding elite minimums) on eligible AA, partner and oneworld flights and are listed as Million Miler Balance on AA.com (as of 1 Dec 2011). A separate radio button can also be used to show only those Mileage Activity transactions that pertain to Million Miler Miles.

AA Flights

Earning Rules

EQM and EQP earning rules are listed on the AA.com Elite Qualification Requirements page. RDM earning rules are listed on the AA.com Earning AAdvantage Miles page. These rules are also listed on the Inventory Classes and Mileage Eligibility page.

EQM are awarded for each segment at a rate of 1.0 EQM per Base Mile flown, with elites earning a minimum of 500 EQM. MTEU are earned at the same rate as EQM, but are accrued based on the current membership year (March 1 – February 28/29) rather than the calendar year.

EQP are awarded for each segment based on booking class, ranging from 0.5–1.5 EQP per EQM. This provides a means for premium and full fare flyers to attain status faster, by purchasing fares that earn 1.5 EQP per EQM and qualifying on points rather than miles. Note that upgraded segments are credited based on the originally purchased booking class.

RDM are awarded for each segment based on booking class and elite status, at a rate of 1.0 RDM per Base Mile Flown on AA flight numbers, with elites earning a minimum of 500 RDM (effectively a 625 total RDM minimum Guarantee since one has to be at least a Gold member to obtain the 500-mile minimum and Gold members receive an extra 25% elite bonus on top of that). Paid segments in First Class (50% bonus) and Business Class (25% bonus) receive additional Class-of-Service Bonus RDM based on actual miles flown (exclusive of the elite minimum); note that upgraded segments are credited based on the originally purchased booking class. GLD (25% bonus), PLT (100% bonus), and EXP (100% bonus) elites also receive Elite Bonus RDM based on Base Miles Flown (inclusive of the elite minimum).

Million Miler Miles are awarded for eligible flight segments on American Airlines, oneworld and other eligible partners based solely on Base Miles Flown, excluding any bonuses and minimums. These count for lifetime elite status (1 MM = Gold plus 35,000 RDM, 2MM = lifetime Platinum and 4 SWUs, and every additional MM provides four more SWUs).

Notes:
• Direct Flights: So-called 'direct' flights, involving two or more segments with the same flight number, are treated as a single segment from the origination city to the destination city for the purposes of mileage calculations. As a result, many avoid booking direct flights due to decreased mileage earning and complications with clearing upgrades and seat assignments.
• The One Ineligible Route & Fare: As of May 1, 2012, ALL flights earn EQP, EQM, and RDM credit. (Previously, tickets booked in O class between North America and Latin America (including Central and South America) did not earn EQM, EQP, or RDM. Other previously ineligible fares/routes became eligible as of Oct 15, 2008. See Inventory Classes and Mileage Eligibility for additional information.)
• Non-elites no longer receive a 500 minimum miles (EQM, RDM) per segment as of Jan 16, 2009. In addition, the 500 EQP minimum guarantee was discontinued for all passengers, with EQP now calculated based on fare class and EQM (inclusive of the elite minimum), rather than fare class and actual miles flown. This results in de facto minimums for elites of 250, 500, or 750 EQP, depending on fare class, and this has been confirmed through FTer experience. These changes were originally scheduled to take place as of Jan 1, 2009.
• Award tickets: Award tickets do not earn RDM, EQM, EQP, MMM or EQS.
• RDM / EQP earning can vary with marketing carrier: While eligible AA flight numbers earn RDM at a base of 1:1, this earning can vary with partner airlines depending upon the booking class. For example travel in L class on QF flight numbers earns at a rate of ½ RDM per mile flown. With EQP earning, it can vary more. e.g. Travel in S class on QF flight numbers earns at a rate of ½ RDM per mile and EQP are earned at ½ of RDM earning, thus giving an effective earning rate of ¼ EQP per mile flown.

How Miles and Points Post to Your AA.com Account

The most important thing to realize is that the itemized posts in the View My Miles section of your AA.com Account page pertain only to RDM, and not to EQM, EQP, or MTEU. The latter three are tracked only in the Summary section of the Account page and are not itemized. Therefore, if you wish to track these miles and points for each flight, you will have to do so on your own.

The second most important thing to recognize is that incremental 500-mile elite minimum RDM, Class-of-Service Bonus RDM, and Elite Bonus RDM are all lumped together under the Bonus column of the View My Miles table. The Mileage column shows only the actual miles flown. The Total column indicates the total RDM credited to your account.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Calculating Miles and Points

  1. Look up your original (prior to any upgrades) reservation on AA.com and determine the booking class for each segment.
  2. Calculate the number of EQM you will earn for each qualifying segment at 1.0 EQM per mile flown, subject to the 500-mile minimum for elites only. Elites will also earn the same number of MTEU.
  3. Calculate the number of EQP you will earn for each qualifying segment based on EQM and booking class.
  4. Calculate the number of RDM you will earn for each qualifying segment based on miles flown, booking class, and elite status.
a. Determine miles flown
b. Calculate any Class-of-Service bonus RDM based on miles flown
c. Calculate miles flown + Class-of-Service bonus; if you are an elite, increase this total to the 500 RDM minimum
d. Calculate any Elite Bonus RDM based on the higher of miles flown or 500 miles, excluding any Class-of-Service Bonus RDM
e. Add (c) and (d) to arrive at your Total RDM.

Examples

For a systematic treatment of these calculations with additional examples, see the Bonus Miles Calculation page. Note, however, that those calculations were based on the old pre-2009 earning rules.

LGA-ORD / N / no status

  • Deep Discount Economy fare (N)
  • 733 miles flown
  • 733 EQM: 733 mi flown = 733 EQM
  • 367 EQP: N fare = 0.5 EQP/EQM x 733 EQM = 367 EQP (no longer subject to 500 minimum EQP guarantee)
  • 733 RDM: 733 mi flown = 733 RDM
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 733; Bonus = 0; Total = 733

LGA-ORD / N / GLD

  • Deep Discount Economy fare (N)
  • 733 miles flown
  • 733 EQM: 733 mi flown = 733 EQM
  • 367 EQP: N fare = 0.5 EQP/EQM x 733 EQM = 367 EQP (no longer subject to 500 minimum EQP guarantee)
  • 916 RDM: 733 mi flown = 733 RDM; 733 mi flown x 25% GLD bonus = 183 Elite Bonus RDM; 733 + 183 = 916 RDM
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 733; Bonus = 183; Total = 916

LGA-ORD / F / GLD

  • First Class fare (F)
  • 733 miles flown
  • 733 EQM: 733 mi flown = 733 EQM
  • 1100 EQP: F fare = 1.5 EQP/EQM x 733 EQM = 1100 EQP
  • 1283 RDM: 733 mi flown x 50% F bonus = 367 Class-of-Service Bonus RDM + 733 mi flown = 1100 RDM; 733 mi flown x 25% GLD bonus = 183 Elite Bonus RDM; 1100 + 183 = 1283 RDM
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 733; Bonus = 550; Total = 1283

LAX-SFO / L / no status

  • Discount Economy fare (L)
  • 337 miles flown
  • 337 EQM: 337 mi flown = 337 EQM (no 500-mile minimum for non-elites)
  • 337 EQP: L fare = 1.0 EQP/EQM x 337 EQM = 337 EQP (no longer subject to 500 minimum EQP guarantee)
  • 337 RDM: 337 mi flown = 337 RDM (no 500-mile minimum for non-elites)
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 337; Bonus = 0; Total = 337

LAX-SFO / L / PLT

  • Discount Economy fare (L)
  • 337 miles flown
  • 500 EQM: 337 mi flown subject to 500 minimum EQM guarantee for elites only = 500 EQM
  • 500 EQP: L fare = 1.0 EQP/EQM x 500 EQM = 500 EQP
  • 1000 RDM: 337 mi flown subject to 500 minimum RDM guarantee for elites only = 500 RDM; 500 minimum mi flown x 100% PLT bonus = 500 Elite Bonus RDM; 500 + 500 = 1000 RDM
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 337; Bonus = 663; Total = 1000

LAX-SFO / F / PLT

  • First Class fare (F)
  • 337 miles flown
  • 500 EQM: 337 mi flown subject to 500 minimum EQM guarantee for elites only = 500 EQM
  • 750 EQP: F fare = 1.5 EQP/EQM x 500 EQM = 750 EQP (now based on EQM instead of actual miles flown)
  • 1006 RDM: 337 mi flown x 50% F bonus = 169 Class-of-Service Bonus RDM + 337 mi flown = 506 RDM; 500 minimum mi flown x 100% PLT bonus = 500 Elite Bonus RDM; 506 + 500 = 1006 RDM
  • View My Miles: Mileage = 337; Bonus = 838; Total = 1006

Partner Flights

Earning Rules

Rules for mileage and point earning on partner flights are listed on the AA.com partner pages. There are several differences to keep in mind:

  • Flights on oneworld airlines and Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air earn EQM, EQP, MTEU, and RDM, according to the rules posted for each airline. See the AA.com Elite Qualification Requirements page for a list of airlines on which you can earn EQM, EQP, and MTEU. In contrast, flights on partners other than oneworld airlines and Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air earn only RDM, with no elite qualifying miles or points.
  • Some fare classes on partner airlines are subject to fractional mileage accrual, which is applied to the miles flown figure before calculating EQM, EQP, and base RDM. This is listed in the Base Miles column of the fare table on each partner page.
  • Some fare classes and routes on partner airlines do not earn any miles or points at all. (Prior to Oct 1, 2010, British Airways transatlantic flights between the U.S. and U.K. were a notable example of such flights, but those flights are now eligible to accrue AAdvantage miles.)
  • As of Apr 1, 2011, elite status RDM bonuses apply on all oneworld partner airlines except MA and S7, in addition to AS. As of Nov 1, 2011, GLD bonuses will begin applying for the first time on BA, to coincide with the addition of the equivalent BAEC Bronze elite level. For a list, see the AA.com Elite Status Bonus page.
  • As of Oct 1, 2010, elite minimum RDM and EQM guarantees apply on all oneworld partner airline flights except S7. Minimums also apply on AAdvantage participating airlines, although HA and Deutsche Bahn segments carry only a 250 mile minimum. For a list, see the AA.com Minimum Mileage Guarantee page. (There was a previous, undocumented benefit on BA and IB flights that passengers would still earn 500 minimum EQM, EQP, and MTEU for discount economy fares, however, this has been eliminated under the new 2009 earning rules.) zman has posted the following information from AAdvantage Customer Service on oneworld partner minimum mileage guarantees:
oneworld Partner Minimum Mileage Guarantees
Airline Non-elites Elites
AB none 500 (as of Mar 20, 2012)
AY none 500
BA none 500 (as of Oct 1, 2010)
CX none 500
IB none 500 (as of Oct 1, 2010)
JL none none
LA none 500; 169 UIO-GYE on XL
MA none 500
MX none 500
QF none 500
RJ none 500


  • EQP and bonus RDM calculations are based on EQM (subject to elite minimum miles guarantees first). (Under the new 2009 earning rules, this is now also the case for AA flights, on which EQP calculations used to be based on actual miles flown.)

Codeshare Flights

  • Codeshare flights operated by partner airlines but ticketed with an AA flight number are subject to AA earning rules rather than partner earning rules.
    • Exceptions to the 500-mile minimum guarantee for elites: AA codeshares on Deutsche Bahn German Rail and on Hawaiian Airlines within Hawaii earn only 250 minimum EQM and RDM (EQP based on fare class).
  • Codeshare flights operated by AA but ticketed with a partner airline flight number are subject to partner earning rules.
  • Codeshare flights operated by non-partner airlines but ticketed with a partner airline flight number generally do not qualify for AA mileage or point earning.

Resources

Several FlyerTalk members have created resources to assist in mileage and point calculations:

Related FlyerTalk Threads

Last modified on 23 March 2013, at 16:33