Guide To American AAdvantage Platinum Status

Guide To American AAdvantage Platinum Status

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American AAdvantage has four published elite tiers (in addition to Concierge Key status, which is invitation-only). In separate posts I’ve written guides to Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro status, and Gold status, and in this post I wanted to look at Platinum status, which is the second lowest elite tier in the AAdvantage program.

Ultimately Platinum status is significantly more valuable than Gold status, but not as valuable as American’s higher elite tiers. As a Platinum member you can primarily expect Main Cabin Extra seating and oneworld Sapphire perks, but don’t necessarily count on all that many first class upgrades.

So let’s get right into it. How do you earn Platinum status, what are the perks, and is it worth it?

How to earn AAdvantage Platinum status

Nowadays you can earn elite status in the AAdvantage program by racking up Loyalty Points, which is American’s elite currency. Platinum requires earning 75,000 Loyalty Points over the course of the program year. Platinum requires 35,000 more Loyalty Points than Gold status, and 50,000 fewer Loyalty Points than Platinum Pro status.

For context, here’s how many Loyalty Points you need to earn in order to qualify for the various AAdvantage elite tiers:

  • AAdvantage Gold status requires 40,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum status requires 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro status requires 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum status requires 200,000 Loyalty Points

Loyalty Points are different than redeemable AAdvantage miles, as your Loyalty Points total resets every calendar year.

With AAdvantage, the elite status qualification year runs from the beginning of March until the end of February of the following year. In other words, the 2024 elite year runs from March 1, 2024, through February 28, 2025. Status earned during this elite year would be valid all the way through March 31, 2026 (there’s a one month buffer after the end of the status year).

You can earn Loyalty Points through a variety of methods, ranging from credit card spending to flying. You earn one Loyalty Point per dollar spent on a credit card, so $75K in eligible credit card spending would earn you Platinum status. Note that the number of miles flown is in no way factored into earning status — you could qualify for Platinum status without stepping foot on a plane.

For more on how to qualify, see my guide on the AAdvantage Loyalty Points program, and my guide to earning Loyalty Points with credit card spending.

Lastly, I should mention that with the American AAdvantage lifetime status program, you can earn Platinum status for life if you qualify for two million miler status.

Platinum status requires 75K Loyalty Points

AAdvantage Platinum status benefits

AAdvantage Platinum status comes with a variety of perks, ranging from complimentary upgrades, to lounge access, to extra legroom seating. Let’s go over the details of each of these perks.

I’ll rank them roughly in the order that I value them, starting with the most valuable perks.

Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seating

AAdvantage Platinum members receive complimentary Main Cabin Extra seating for them and up to eight companions on the same reservation at the time of booking, subject to availability. This perk applies on flights globally.

Main Cabin Extra is American’s extra legroom economy seating, typically in the front of the economy cabin and at exit rows, and it offers several extra inches of legroom. Furthermore, passengers seated in Main Cabin Extra can receive complimentary alcoholic drinks.

While Platinum members also receive space available upgrades (as I’ll cover below), you’re not likely to clear on most flights, so having guaranteed extra legroom economy seating at the time of booking is worth quite a bit, in my opinion.

Receive Main Cabin Extra seating as a Platinum member

oneworld Sapphire status (including lounge access)

One of my favorite perks of AAdvantage Platinum is oneworld Sapphire status, which is a pretty valuable alliance-wide status. This offers various benefits when traveling on any of the over dozen oneworld airlines, including priority check-in, priority boarding, and more.

As a oneworld Sapphire member you’ll also get access to most oneworld business class lounges when traveling on long haul international flights. This includes everything from the Greenwich Lounge JFK, to the oneworld Lounge LAX. It’s a real treat to be able to visit many of these lounges when traveling internationally.

As a point of comparison, Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members receive oneworld Emerald status, while Gold members receive oneworld Ruby status.

Access the Greenwich Lounge JFK as a oneworld Sapphire

Complimentary upgrades within North America

AAdvantage Platinum members receive unlimited complimentary space available upgrades within North America, including for up to one travel companion:

  • Complimentary elite upgrades can start clearing up to 48 hours before departure
  • Complimentary elite upgrades apply both on revenue tickets and on AAdvantage award tickets
  • Upgrades are prioritized first by elite tier, and then by your rolling 12-month total of Loyalty Points; so Platinum upgrades clear after Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro upgrades, but before Gold upgrades
  • American and Alaska offer reciprocal elite upgrades, and you can read more about how that works here

How often should you expect upgrades to clear as a Platinum member? It really depends on the routes you fly, the days of the week you fly, etc. American has gotten much better at selling first class seats over the years, leaving fewer seats for upgrades. Furthermore, the airline has started aggressively selling upgrades for cash, and the new pilot contract also allows deadheading pilots to be upgraded ahead of elite passengers on the airport upgrade list.

I’d guess that on average, AAdvantage Platinum members are clearing upgrades well under half of the time. So I’d view an upgrade as a nice treat, but not something I’d count on, especially on the routes where it matters most.

See my guide to American’s complimentary elite upgrades.

Receive upgrades as a Platinum member

60% status mileage bonus

AAdvantage Platinum members receive a 60% mileage bonus on flights. All AAdvantage members earn 5x miles per dollar spent on American flights, meaning that Platinum members earn 8x miles per dollar spent. This same percentage bonus applies on partner airlines (though mileage earning is calculated differently).

Keep in mind that status bonus miles qualify as Loyalty Points, so that means it’s easier to qualify for status if you already have it, rather than starting from scratch. As a point of comparison, Executive Platinum and Platinum members receive a 120% and 80% mileage bonus, respectively, while Gold members receive a 40% mileage bonus.

Earn 8x miles per dollar spent on American flights

Two free checked (priority) bags

AAdvantage Platinum members can check two bags free of charge on all itineraries. The weight limit is ordinarily 50 pounds per bag, but if you’re traveling in first or business class, the weight limit is 70 pounds per bag.

Furthermore, your bags will be tagged as being priority. Don’t necessarily expect that those bags will consistently come out first at baggage claim, though.

As a point of comparison, Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members receive three free checked bags, while Gold members receive one free checked bag.

Receive two free checked bags as a Platinum member

Priority check-in, security, and boarding

AAdvantage Platinum members receive a variety of priority services at the airport, including:

  • Priority check-in, typically with first & business class
  • Priority security screening
  • Priority boarding, typically with group three

These perks are largely similar across elite tiers, with the difference being what group you can board with. Executive Platinum members can board with group one, Platinum Pro members can board with group two, Platinum members can board with group three, and Gold members can board with group four.

Same day priority standby

Platinum members receive priority standby, as the standby list is prioritized based on elite status. As a Platinum member, you’ll clear standby behind Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members, but ahead of Gold members and non-elite members.

Receive priority standby as a Platinum member

AAdvantage Platinum phone number

AAdvantage Platinum members get access to a special elite phone number. However, don’t expect that this will necessarily get you access to more knowledgable agents. Rather you generally just get priority with standard reservations agents.

Access to Loyalty Point Rewards

This isn’t directly tied to elite status, but American has the Loyalty Point Rewards program, whereby you can select benefits when earning a certain number of Loyalty Points over the course of the program year. This is also how you can earn systemwide upgrades, which are a benefit that many appreciate, since it allows you to upgrade to business class on long haul flights.

Unfortunately the valuable thresholds only kick in around 175,000 Loyalty Points, above Platinum Pro status. When earning Platinum status you’d only qualify for the rewards at 15,000 and 60,000 Loyalty Points.

See my guide to American Loyalty Point Rewards.

Earn systemwide upgrades with Loyalty Point Rewards

Is AAdvantage Platinum worth it?

Whether or not AAdvantage Platinum status is worth it depends on a lot of factors, and it’s also both a question of absolute and relative value.

AAdvantage Platinum status is pretty attainable, as it requires “only” 75,000 Loyalty Points, so the requirements are 60% lower than for Executive Platinum, and 40% lower than for Platinum Pro.

I’d view the fundamental value proposition of Platinum status to be Main Cabin Extra seating at the time of booking, oneworld Sapphire status (including lounge access and priority services), bonus miles, and the chance of the occasional first class upgrade.

In terms of relative value, I’d say Platinum is much more valuable than Gold. That’s because Platinum offers Main Cabin Extra seats for free at the time of booking, and also offers oneworld Sapphire status, getting you perks like lounge access on select itineraries, and priority boarding.

Meanwhile I’d also say that Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum are quite a bit more valuable, as they offer perks like oneworld Emerald status, higher upgrade priority, and the chance to earn more valuable Loyalty Point Rewards, like systemwide upgrades.

In my opinion, Platinum status is where AAdvantage status really starts to get valuable, though if you can earn a higher elite tier and maximize it, it’s probably worth it.

I like the lounge access available to oneworld Sapphires

Bottom line

Platinum is American’s second lowest published elite tier. It offers perks like Main Cabin Extra seating, oneworld Sapphire status, space available first class upgrades, priority airport services, and more.

AAdvantage Platinum status is fairly easy to earn, and it’ll certainly make your journey with American and other oneworld airlines more pleasant. However, I’d manage my expectations when it comes to first class upgrades, since in most markets they’re not likely to clear as a Platinum member.

If you’re Platinum with American, what has your experience been?

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  1. Steve Guest

    Worthless my 2 million miler on AA

    1. jacobin777 New Member

      Why? I've found being Platinum every year well worth it for the items mentioned in the article.

  2. Robert Fahr Guest

    Lifetime Platinum went from aspirational to meh in my lifetime.

  3. Johhny Guest

    Lifetime Platinum and haven't been upgraded once in the past probably 7 or 8 years. Though in fairness I avoid AA to the extent I can despite living in DFW. I would guess 0 for 50.

  4. Tom Guest

    I have been a two million miler for about four years. With 1.5+MM FF miles, I don't pay to fly very often at al. Something that was not noted in your reporting...my emerald status was downgraded to ruby because I haven't qualified for any loyalty points or any of the others for a long time. I was surprised to earn this at Heathrow las year and it stayed the same this year. I got into...

    I have been a two million miler for about four years. With 1.5+MM FF miles, I don't pay to fly very often at al. Something that was not noted in your reporting...my emerald status was downgraded to ruby because I haven't qualified for any loyalty points or any of the others for a long time. I was surprised to earn this at Heathrow las year and it stayed the same this year. I got into a nice BA club, but not the BA emerald club. Would like to see this discussed and explained in a future post.

  5. Beachfan Guest

    Dont you get lounge access in short intraeurope flights too? Within Australia as well. Long haul really isn’t true, its just some North America carve outs, right?

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

jacobin777 New Member

Why? I've found being Platinum every year well worth it for the items mentioned in the article.

0
Steve Guest

Worthless my 2 million miler on AA

0
Robert Fahr Guest

Lifetime Platinum went from aspirational to meh in my lifetime.

0
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