Skip to content

Your Strategy for Retaining Points and Miles Status in 2022

A guide to every major loyalty program that takes into account all the changes and exceptions made in 2021.

American Airlines fleet of airplanes with passengers at O'Hare Airport
Photographer: FangXiaNuo/iStock Unreleased

For anyone who plays the points and miles game, keeping up with changing policies this fall felt similar to tracking the status of international borders and evolving Covid-19 changes. From one minute to the next, everything seems to change; on further inspection, maybe it’s staying the same for now.

Take American Airlines and Marriott. Both companies—loyalty behemoths—made announcements in October that they would be completely overhauling the way that customers can either earn or spend their points, entirely throwing out their old systems. (But not until 2022.) Other companies have waffled throughout the year about how they would incentivize business, ultimately opting for either with point-earning multipliers, reduced thresholds and deadline extensions for earning minimums, or by extending loyalty status automatically. It’s made both the short- and long-term outlooks difficult to parse for anyone who gets a high off paying for vacations with accrued rewards rather than dollars.