As most of y’all no doubt know, American Airlines AAdvantage is unique in its lifetime status qualification — miles from all sources count, not just flown miles.
- One million miles earned = Lifetime Gold
- Two million miles earned = Lifetime Platinum
I’ve never been a regular American customer. I’ve long leaned much more towards the Star Alliance. I don’t think I’ve done more than 25,000 or 50,000 total qualifying miles on paid oneworld tickets in my entire life.
But stay around these programs long enough, watch the promotions, chase after some of them, and the miles build up. And with all the partners and promotions that American has had over time, they’ve been great to build mileage balances up with.
In particular, churning Citibank co-branded credit cards over time was very good to me with signup bonuses (may she rest in peace for most, though do consider getting a business card if you haven’t already had one, a flavor of card like Visa or Amex if you haven’t had one, etc). And BankDirect, for sure.
In the last five months since I’ve written about American lifetime elite status I’ve picked up a couple hundred thousand miles.
So I’m really on the cusp on 2 million miles earned and lifetime Platinum. I’m sitting at 1.9 million, or a little over.
Now I’m desperately resisting the urge to transfer in a boatload of Starpoints, just to push myself over the top. It’s long been speculated that this unique feature of non-flight miles counting towards lifetime status would go away, and somehow I worry that it would go away right before I reach the finish line. It’s an unpublished benefit so there’s no reason to think if it were pulled it would be done with advance public notice.
Of course those Starpoints are more valuable sitting where they are, maintaining their flexibility.
Some might ask why I’d even want American’s Platinum status since I don’t fly American? That’s fair. If they gave me lifetime Executive Platinum I would certainly become an AA customer! But Platinum gets you double miles and higher priority on waitlists of various kinds, more or less (not to mention the 4 international confirmed upgrades you get when you cross the 2 million miler threshold). It’s not enough to sway my business, really.
Still, it’s lifetime status. There’s an allure to that, and of course I don’t know what my future needs or preferences will be and risk-averse type that I am I’d love to lock it in.
Though I guess if American stopped counting non-flight miles towards lifetime status tomorrow, I’d just have to actually fly about 95,000 miles… But that’s the fun in that???