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Right after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we saw travel come to a complete standstill. All of a sudden, people were still accumulating miles and points via credit card spend. However, they didn’t really have any realistic way of using them right away. We saw major issuers like Chase come up with offers like Pay yourself back in order to help people redeem their Chase points for things other than travel.

American Airlines, the last shoe to drop?

As card issuers kept offering amazing welcome bonuses, many of us continued to rack up six figure miles and points balances during the last couple of years. So it isn’t really surprising that American Airlines is one of the latest airlines looking to devalue their miles.

Delta started the trend, then United and Southwest followed. If Twitter user JonNYC (who seems to have sources inside AA) is to be believed, then it’s almost a matter of time before American Airlines also devalues their miles.

The Big 3

Another thing that will be interest to see is how these negative changes affect AA’s co-brand card portfolio. Currently, both Barclays and Citi offer co-brand AA credit cards. While we may see an increased offer on those cards, the offer won’t be worth much if the miles lose their value when it comes to redemptions.

We’ve seen a similar trend with Delta’s co-brand credit cards with American Express. Currently, you can earn up to 90,000 Delta SkyMiles. However, if you’re looking to fly premium cabin with Delta or its partners, you’ll have a tough time finding award seats that are decently priced.

Similarly, we’re seeing increased offers on United’s co-brand credit cards with Chase as well, all the way up to 100,000 United MileagePlus miles. While these may be useful for some on specific routes, redeeming them on premium cabins for decent value seems like a tough task.

The Pundit’s Mantra

The miles and points enthusiast in me sure hopes this is just a rumor and doesn’t have any teeth to it. However, given that AA’s own senior executives have hinted at it, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this were to happen before the end of the year.

The marketer in me is surely skeptical about how this will be communicated to members. An email with the subject line: “Exciting changes coming to the AAdvantage program?”

If AA indeed devalues, which will be your go-to mileage program for premium cabin travel? Tell us in the comments section.


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