American Airlines has introduced two new ways to keep your status that you held at the start of 2021. These make it really easy for existing elites to keep status, especially upper tier elites or those who do a lot of credit card spend.
- Spend $15,000 on an AAdvantage co-brand credit card between July 15 and November 15
- Earn 2000 elite qualifying dollars between September 1 – December 31
If you do either of these two things you will keep the status you started the year with (and yes this means status that was extended in 2020 during the pandemic too) and it will last through January 31, 2023. Those whose temporary status comes from a status challenge do not qualify for this.
However if you keep Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status this way it will not come with ‘elite choice rewards’ such as systemwide upgrades or bonus miles.
Already American had reduced miles and qualifying dollars required for earning status this year by 20%:
|Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro||Executive Platinum|
|Elite qualifying dollars (EQD)||2,000||4,500||7,000||12,000|
|Elite qualifying segments (EQS)||20||45||70||95|
|Elite qualifying miles (EQM)||20,000||40,000||60,000||80,000|
And they’re running 3 simultaneous promotions to make earning status this way easier: free qualifying dollars for existing elites, bonus qualifying miles on 10 segments flown by August 31, and purchased qualifying dollars.
Anyone that’s purchased qualifying dollars is now punching air. When I covered the offers I told you to wait, since there was little advantage to doing it right away. And the offer is non-refundable.
To be sure, $15,000 spend on an AAdvantage co-brand credit card is a lot in four months. But remember these are Mastercards to you can pay a mortgage with them via Plastiq (2.5% service fee). Make your car payment this way. Put your utilities on your credit card and pay them forward a few months if you’re able.
Anyone on track to re-earn Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum, at least, would probably have been earning 2000 qualifying dollars anyway during the last four months of the year as well. However anyone qualifying through a reasonable amount of flying is going to be happy-ish despite a promotion that really swells the elite ranks compared to where they’d otherwise have been, since upgrades are prioritized based on rolling 12 month qualifying dollars and those requalifying this way will have low qualifying dollars totals.
The funny thing for me is that the promotion will make me less likely to fly American. Giving them planned trips would have gotten me to Executive Platinum with the current promotions. Now that it’s easier to stay at that level (without systemwide upgrades for which there’s rarely advance-confirmable space), I’ll be able to spread my travels out for the rest of 2021 and use these easy offers instead.
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