American Airlines will still let you earn elite status next year from flying and meeting minimum spend requirements. However they’re copying United with a new spending-only path towards status.
United Introduced Status Based On Spend Alone In October
United increased its spending requirement for elite status earned next year and introduced a new spending-only level to earn status. United’s status levels can be earned with $5,000; $10,000; $15,000, and $24,000 in spend for Silver, Gold, Platinum and 1K status respectively.
American Is Testing Different Ways to Copy United
AAdvantage accounts, under promotions, have a new offer to register for to earn elite status in 2020 based on qualifying dollars only without a flight requirement at all. That takes making elite status about spending even further than United. MileagePlus still requires a minimum of 4 flights on United to earn elite status regardless of spending.
Reach elite status by earning EQDs only
Exclusive opportunity to qualify for elite status in 2020
Register by Dec 30, 2019
In 2020, you have an alternative way to qualify for status and keep it through January 31, 2022. Either qualify with the normal requirements or by only earning Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs):
$5,000 EQDs for Gold
$10,000 EQDs for Platinum
$15,000 EQDs for Platinum Pro
$24,000 EQDs for Executive Platinum
Register by December 30, 2019
Earn qualifying EQDs when traveling on eligible American Airlines and oneworld® flights from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020
American Airlines Oasis First Class
This is a targeted offer. It appears that while I’ve been offered the exact same spend levels as United’s new program, there are other versions out there as well. Here’s a report of $5000, $9000, $13,000 and $22,000 so slightly lower for status levels above Gold.
What’s Behind American’s New Spend-Based Elite Status
There are two ways to think about American’s new option for qualifying for elite status based on spending rather than flying.
- American doesn’t want to lose business from high spending customers who will earning more status under United’s scheme than their own.
- As a test to see how members opting in respond. They want to know whether this incentivizes additional spend. They also want to know what spend levels work best. The answers to those questions will help them decide whether to follow United completely placing an even greater emphasis on spend alone in awarding elite status.
New Spend-Based Status Means More Elites Competing For Fewer Benefits
It’s striking of course that, like United, they’re giving elites less than ever while asking for more money than ever. Both airlines are monetizing premium cabins more than they have in the past, making upgrades scarce. Will the move towards measuring cash alone – rather than wallet share or shift in business – be enough to push people off the status treadmill?
Will I Spend A Lot More Time In The Back Of The Plane In 2021?
A new way to earn status layered on top of the current method will mean more elites. This means more people competing for fewer upgrades than ever and that’s after handing out Executive Platinum status to a subset of Hyatt’s tens of thousands of Globalist members.
Offer Terms and Conditions
The terms of the offer (promotion code S129P) says it’s targeted. Is it available in your account? And what are your spend levels?
This exclusive offer is only for members who receive the offer directly from American Airlines
Register by 11:59 p.m. CT on December 30, 2019
Flights that don’t earn EQDs won’t count toward this promotion
Bonus EQDs don’t count toward EQD thresholds for this promotion
Offer applies to eligible purchased, published fares flown from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020
After you reach the required thresholds, your elite-status benefits will be extended through January 31, 2022
You can only participate in 1 alternate method of elite qualification in the 2020 calendar year
You must requalify for elite status membership annually
American may, at any time and without notice, change, stop or end this promotion in part or in full
EQDs are awarded based on ticket price (includes base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, but excludes government-imposed taxes and fees) on American-marketed flights
Flights marketed by oneworld® carriers will earn EQDs based on a percentage of the flight distance and the fare class purchased
Notably it appears that spend on Barclays-issued Aviator Silver and Business cards, which can earn elite qualifying dollars, won’t count towards this new way of earning status. It’s money directly to American that counts, and not money to American via a credit card partner, that they see as valuable here.