Get Closer To 2022 And Lifetime Elite Status With AAdvantage Credit Card Spending

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You might normally think that the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a no brainer for 65,000 miles after spending $4000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening and because the card’s $99 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. So you earn a lot of miles quickly, and it isn’t even costly to do so.

But you’d ask, what about ongoing spend with the card, and with other American Airlines co-brands? If you want American miles – they’re the currency I’ve redeemed the most for my own awards – there’s not another card that earns them better the way you can earn United miles faster with Chase cards that aren’t United cards and you can earn Delta miles faster with American Express cards that aren’t Delta cards. American AAdvantage isn’t a transfer partner with a bank currency.

But this year and next they’ve given extra reasons to spend on the card, and which makes it a good idea for anyone seeking elite status with American to get the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® or another AAdvnatege co-brand.

Earn Lifetime Elite Status Faster

This year spending on the card counts towards lifetime elite status. Through December 31, 2020 spend on U.S. American AAdvantage credit cards counts towards lifetime elite status.

  • 1 Million Mile status receives lifetime Gold and 35,000 bonus miles
  • 2 Million Mile status receives lifetime Platinum and 4 one-way systemwide upgrades
  • Each addition Million Mile threshold receives 4 one-way systemwide upgrades.

I’m rounding the bend towards 4 million miles, and will wind up putting over $100,000 spend on AAdvantage cards this year.

Earn Status More Easily In 2021

American is reducing requirements for earning elite status in 2021 that lasts through the 2022 elite membership year. The number of required miles or segments for each tier is reduced, and the amount of spending required is reduced too.

An Executive Platinum member used to need 100,000 miles and $15,000 spend. Instead they’ll need just 80,000 flown miles and $12,000 spend.

  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

As they say “but wait – there’s more.” Customers who spend $30,000 or more on AAdvantage co-brand cards in 2021 will have the elite qualifying dollars requirement waived for earning status up to Platinum Pro. The offer is specific to spend “that post[s] to your account between January 1 – December 31, 2021” rather than spend on statements that close in 2021.

That’s a pretty good reason to spend on a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and their other co-brands (spend on employee cards you add counts towards this requirement).

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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  1. Question: I have a decent amount of American points (miles) but do not foresee flying for awhile. I know if there is no activity in my account within a given period of time, my miles will expire–vanish. If I accumulate points (miles) by buying things through AAdvantage eShopping, will this keep my miles earned from flying to not expire?

  2. Karen – that’s correct. Making a purchase will keep them from expiring. You can also check out awardwallet’s blog/forum. Link your AA account through them and make a single post .. You’ll be rewarded with 5 AA miles and that’ll automatically renew your account without spending a cent.

  3. In general (not COVID-times) is the EQD spend only for tickets purchased or does spend on a credit card count? I always thought the EQD’s were only for AA-revenue tickets only. Thx!

  4. I have lifetime Platinum with American. It is almost useless. They watered it down and added Platinum Pro to further diminish the value of Platinum. Just one more reason I despise American Airlines. I’ve spent millions of dollars on my Citi card and AA stabs me in the back.

  5. Seems like the Barclays credit card is the better play for perks unless you are close to Plat status. Gold doesn’t amount to much on AA. And who is flying 40k miles this year or next?

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