When you are new to the frequent flyer game there is always some confusion regarding earned miles for redeeming awards (RDM) versus the miles used to qualify for elite status (EQM). From a listener:
“I was planning on going for Executive Platinum (EXP) this year. Question: I have just completed the challenge, and am now a Platinum (PLT), there’s a 100% bonus on all miles flown, correct? Does that mean that I have to fly
50,000 miles * 100% bonus = 100,000 miles
to get EXP, or do I have to fly butt in seat 100,000 miles (aside from the double EQM promotion).”
There are two different terms here:
EQM – Elite Qualifying Miles – the numbers of miles you earn toward elite status. Not used to redeem for free tickets, just a measure of Gold (GLD), Platinum (PLT), or Executive Platinum (EXP) elite status on American Airlines. Labeled as “YTD Elite Qualifying Miles” in your aa.com account.
RDM – Redeemable Miles – the miles you use to get an award ticket, upgrade using miles, or redeem for other airline and partner awards. Labeled as “Award Mileage” in your aa.com AAdvantage account.
The 100% bonus that PLT’s receive is only for RDM not EQM.
On a flight from SFO-JFK (which is 2,580 nautical miles) you will earn 2,580 miles towards your next status level (EQM), in your case EXP, and 5,160 redeemable miles since Platinums get a 100% RDM bonus.
Once you have accumulated 100,000 RDM you can use them for a business class round trip MileSAAverPeak award to Europe. Once you have 100,000 EQM you have qualified for Executive Platinum (EXP) status and all the perks that come along with it.
If the above alphabet soup of abbreviations still doesn’t make sense, please leave a question in the comments below.