Airlines changing frequent flyer programs once again 

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Airlines are once again altering their frequent flyer programs after making changes earlier in the pandemic. Now, it matters less how much you fly, and more how much you’re spending. 

As The Wall Street Journal reports, carriers are increasingly rewarding spending on partnered credit card programs over actual flying, and American Airlines is about to push this trend further than any big carrier. The pandemic accelerated the transition as many formerly frequent travelers have been earning more miles and points on the ground through their credit card points.

The airline will make it possible to earn elite status without taking a single flight starting in March. Credit card miles will count more toward status than ever before.

Those who are true frequent flyers will get some added benefits, and business travelers who aren’t taking as many trips will be able to boost their status with their spending. Small business owners and others who use their credit cards a lot now can be a top dog at American before they ever lift the buckle on a seat belt. 

But, flyers who qualify only by flying long distances on cheap tickets will lose some of their priority booking status and benefits. Read the full story.