Even Easier To Earn Top American Airlines Credit Card Status In 2022 Than It Seemed

The new American Airlines elite status-earning program that goes into effect next year is going to make some flyers very happy. Anyone who can spend a lot on credit cards is going to find status-earning much easier. In fact, you can earn Executive Platinum status with $200,000 in spend alone.

    Gold: 30,000 miles earned
    Platinum: 75,000 miles earned
    Platinum Pro: 125,000 miles earned
    Executive Platinum: 200,000 miles earned

Doing that won’t earn “choice rewards” given at the Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum level (options such as confirmed international upgrades). That will require a minimum of 30 flights on American Airlines, oneworld airlines, or JetBlue. I can see a return of ‘segment runs’ – people taking extra flights to earn their choice benefits after they’ve hit the 125,000; 200,000; or more qualifying points thresholds to make sure they reach those 30 segments.

Earning elite status via credit cards is even easier in 2022 for the 2023 program year.

  • Normally you’ll earn 1 qualifying point per dollar spent on their co-brand card.

  • You’re going to have 14 months (instead of 12) to earn 2023 elite status, January 2022 through February 2023, since January and February of 2022 are ‘double dip’ months that count as both an extended 2021 and a new 2022 as the program transitions to a new March – February qualifying year.

  • However the Citibank premium AAdvantage Executive card and the Barclays premium AAdvantage Aviator Silver card have – as published benefits – qualifying miles as threshold bonuses. It’s difficult to make changes to credit cards without at least 90 days’ notice before a new benefit year. Note this is not a benefit of the base consumer cards but rather of the premium Executive and Aviator Silver cards.

  • So in 2022 you’re not just going to earn 1 ‘loyalty point’ per dollar spent on these cards, you’re also going to be eligible for threshold bonuses of additional loyalty points based on your spend.

According to American’s FAQ on how the new elite program works with its credit card partners,

  • You get the extra two months of January and February 2022 to reach spending thresholds to earn qualifying dollars and qualifying miles in 2021.

  • And you get 14 months (January 2022 – February 2023) to earn threshold bonuses as what appears to be a one-time transition.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® will earn an additional 10,000 Loyalty Points on top of the points earned on the card (at 1 point per dollar) when they reach $40,000 in eligible purchases between January 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® cardmembers will earn up to 15,000 additional Loyalty Points at different spend thresholds between January 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023.

  1. 5,000 Loyalty Points after $20,000 on purchases
  2. 5,000 more Loyalty Points after $40,000 on purchases
  3. 5,000 more Loyalty Points iafter $50,000 or more on purchases (since this card didn’t just earn elite qualifying miles after $20,000 and $40,000 spend, it earned 3000 qualifying dollars after $50,000 spend).

Oddly, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® which earned 3000 qualifying dollars after $25,000 spend doesn’t get a make-good (other than two extra months to hit spend for the 2021 year like everyone else). Presumably this is because consumer protections aren’t the same on small business cards as they are for consumer cards.

My strategy, as I’ve shifted away from flying American almost exclusively over the past 7 years, has been to max out on credit card contribution towards status and re-up Executive Platinum with the minimum flying and spend required. I was earning 20,000 qualifying miles and 3000 qualifying dollars with both the Citi Executive ($40,000 spend) and Barclays Aviator Silver ($50,000 spend). So I had to do 80,000 flown miles and $12,000 spend.

That same $90,000 spend between January 2022 and February 2023 will actually net me 115,000 Loyalty Points, leaving only 85,000 Loyalty Points to re-up status. At 11 miles per dollar earned on American Airlines flights, that’s $7727 in tickets. This cuts my required spend down by one-third next year. And that’s without any online shopping portal purchases or other qualifying activity.

Indeed, this status quo ante credit card spend alone would be only 10,000 points in online shopping portal purchases away from Platinum Pro status without a single flight.

So far only eligible flying, credit card, dining, online shopping and SimplyMiles transactions count but it appears American is selling Loyalty Points to interested partners on top of the miles they’re awarding.

I’m hopeful that Bask Bank joins in this. I use their Bask Savings Account to earn 1 AAdvantage mile per average dollar deposited over the course of a year, and stick quarterly tax payments and property tax payments in that account since it’s short-term money I need to keep liquid. It would be nice if these points also counted towards status. However with interest rates so low I wonder if there’s enough margin to allow Bask Bank to pay any required premium for this.

There would be some people who deposit $200,000+ into a Bask Savings Account and earn Executive Platinum status on that basis alone! (This is, cough, more than I have in my account there.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. $30k/yr spend for the ability to get *some* priority in rerouting during IROP’s is probably the best value, at least in my view. That number is achievable even for a lot of middle class families.

  2. Gary, the Bask savings account seems to earn miles, not loyalty points. So, it wouldn’t earn AA status in the future (post 2021), correct? Thanks.

  3. $200K? Now if I could only put my next home on my credit card — would just need to refinance before the first month’s credit card interest kicks in…..

  4. As a low mileage, high segment flyer on AA and a person who puts $50k ish on AA cards I wonder if there will be any value in Gold status if so many people will have that. I have.a ton of 500 mile stickers but on hub routes it may not matter if you are #89 on the upgrade list.

  5. Per my post in the other thread, this helps a bit. With the bonus on the Executive card, this should mean a bit over a $50,000 spend to maintain PlatPro. But unless I hear otherwise, it seems like replacing my Citi Advantage Platinum card in my spouses name with the Aviator card may be the best option for their status, since the Citi card will not get us an EQD waiver now.

  6. So, what is the benefit for earning status via credit card spend alone. As a recreational flyer these days I can’t hit the segments required for the desireable perks. Just trying to sort this new news out and so far I have read conflicting reports on the new program.

  7. So AA has basically gotten rid of their frequent flyer program and become a bank with a problematic airline. I used to be a loyal AA flyer until their customer service went into the crapper. This just makes it worse. AA needs to get rid of their management team and ry to become the great airine they once were.

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