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By Denver Nicks
November 17, 2015
Scott Olson—Getty Images

American Airlines, the biggest airline in the United States, announced Tuesday it is changing its frequent flyer program to reward money spent rather than distance flown, making it harder to reward travel with budget flights.

The move is similar to changes made to other loyalty programs for Delta and United, has been long anticipated by investors, Reuters reports.

The policy change is sure to stir things up in the “travel hacking” scene, in which people read the fine print to game loyalty programs and fly for cheap or even free, but it also represents a hit for budget travelers, as airlines seek instead to court bigger-spending business travelers and wealthier customers.

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Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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