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When I review my American Airlines AAdvantage account, I notice that I am accruing both "points" and "miles".

Both appear to play a role in determining my elite status, but I can't seem to find the difference between the two.

What is the difference between "points" and "miles" in an AAdvantage account?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This page describes the difference.

Basically "miles" are the number of qualifying miles you've "flown" (where "flown" really means the distances between the airports, not what you've actually flown).

"Points" are a scaled version of Miles, where you are rewarded for buying more expensive fares (First, Business or High-end Economy fares), and penalized for buying cheap fares (low-end Economy fares).

They then use the higher of these two scales to work out your status.

eg, to get Gold status (25,000 miles or points required) you could either fly 25,000 miles in Economy Class, or you could fly 16,667 miles in Business Class, which would give you 25,001 points, or any other combination to get to 25,000 miles OR points.

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Note that the points earnt, and how they map to the booking class of the flight, also vary slightly between AA and some of their Oneworld and codeshare partners. You can find out the points earnt for partners by clicking on the relevant airline here: – Andrew Ferrier Jul 11 '12 at 15:50

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