New American AAdvantage Elite Promos Make Requalifying For Status Easy

New American AAdvantage Elite Promos Make Requalifying For Status Easy

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American Airlines has just made it rather easy for AAdvantage elite members to requalify for status. This is the third way in which American has made it easier to earn status this year, in addition to reducing elite requirements, and launching promotions that make qualifying easier.

Two new ways to requalify for AAdvantage elite status

AAdvantage elite members have two new ways that they can requalify for status, either through credit card spending or flying. This offers can be used in lieu of one of the other fast-track status methods.

Before we get into the details, there are a few things to note:

  • These promotions are only valid for existing AAdvantage elite members who had status as of January 1, 2021, so if you earned temporary status through some other promotion you wouldn’t qualify
  • You can only use these promotions to requalify for your existing status, and not to qualify for a higher elite tier
  • While you will maintain your status tier with these offers, if you’re Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum you wouldn’t qualify for AAdvantage Elite Choice Rewards, since those are tied to qualifying the traditional way; so these offers wouldn’t get you systemwide upgrades, etc.

Let’s go over the details of these promotions, which will be especially useful for those who have little elite qualifying activity so far this year.

These new offers make it easy to earn AAdvantage elite status

Spend $15,000 on an AAdvantage credit card

You can retain your AAdvantage status by spending $15,000 on an eligible AAdvantage credit card:

  • You can use this to requalify for AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum
  • You must spend at least $15,000 on your cards between July 15 and November 15, 2021
  • This is valid on AAdvantage credit cards issued by Citi and Barclays, as well as AAdvantage credit cards issued outside the United States
  • Spending across cards qualifies, so in theory you could spend $7,500 on each of two cards

Earn 2,000 elite qualifying dollars

You can retain your AAdvantage status by earning 2,000 elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) on flights this fall:

  • You can use this to requalify for AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum
  • You must earn 2,000 elite qualifying dollars on eligible flights between September 1 and December 31, 2021
  • Travel on American Airlines or partner airlines qualifies

My take on these AAdvantage promotions

These new AAdvantage promotions make it easy to requalify for AAdvantage status, much more so than past promotions. It’s now easier to requalify for status with American than it is with Delta and United.

Here are a few general thoughts I have:

  • If you have the ability to spend $15,000 on a credit card and don’t have travel plans this fall, then I’d say the credit card promotion is the lowest opportunity cost way to requalify for status
  • While these two offers are definitely the easiest ways to requalify for status, many Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members who have been traveling may not prefer qualifying another way, so that they can earn Elite Choice Rewards
  • My plan is to see how my travels on American evolve over the coming months — if I’m close to requalifying for Executive Platinum using the other promotions then I’ll use those (so I can get Elite Choice Rewards), while otherwise I’ll taken advantage of one of these offers
  • I think this promotion is smart on American’s part, since it allows the airline to continue to engage members who may have had their business travel fall off completely during the pandemic, but who may eventually be flying again
You won’t earn Elite Choice Rewards if qualifying this way

Bottom line

American AAdvantage elite members can requalify for status in 2021 by spending either $15,000 on an AAdvantage credit card or by earning 2,000 elite qualifying dollars on flights in the last four months of the year. This should make it easy for most people to requalify for status, particularly those who haven’t been traveling a lot.

To AAdvantage elite members, do you plan on taking advantage of one of these offers?

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  1. Bort

    I read the fine print in the terms and I am a bit confused. It's unclear whether it's counting purchases made between July 15-Nov. 15, or if it counts purchases that post to the aadvantage account between July 15-Nov. 15. I think it's the former, but there's a big difference between the two.

  2. CARRIE SLAUGHTER

    I am confused- is it $15,000 from July 15-Nov 15 or $15,000 from July 15-Dec 15. The text below is copied from AA's website. My statement ended July 7 (miles posted then), so I think my spending would be defined as transactions from July 8-December 7. Is that correct?

    Spend on purchases may be combined across all eligible AAdvantage® credit cards to reach the $15,000 requirement to retain AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro or Executive...

    I am confused- is it $15,000 from July 15-Nov 15 or $15,000 from July 15-Dec 15. The text below is copied from AA's website. My statement ended July 7 (miles posted then), so I think my spending would be defined as transactions from July 8-December 7. Is that correct?

    Spend on purchases may be combined across all eligible AAdvantage® credit cards to reach the $15,000 requirement to retain AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum elite status for 2022. The elite status retention offer will not be applied to members if spending an amount less than $15,000. All Citi® / AAdvantage®, all AAdvantage® Aviator® and all AAdvantage® credit cards issued outside the U.S. are eligible.

    Eligible purchases, defined as purchases, including those made by authorized users on your account, less credits, returns and adjustments, made with your Citi® / AAdvantage®, AAdvantage® Aviator® credit card, and AAdvantage® cards issued outside the U.S. that post as base miles to your AAdvantage® account between July 15, 2021 and December 15, 2021 will count toward your qualifying spend.

  3. Hepworth

    I’m still riding EXP from Hyatt. So I can put $15,000 in taxes on a card and effectively buy another year of EXP for $300. Or if I value the 15,000 points at a penny each, for net $150. That’s a hell of a deal, and will pay for itself with one trip for the family of four (extra checked bags and preferred seats) preferred to the no status I’d have if I passed on the offer.

    Lowest upgrade priority based on rolling 12 mo spend, but still above all the Platinum Pros!

    1. Mark

      I'm in this situation as well, however the terms state "Temporary elite status held due to a promotion is not eligible for status retention." I'm just wondering if they would consider the Hyatt status "gift" to be a promotion. Would hate to sign up for a credit card and spend 15K if thats the case.

  4. Adi89

    Anyone know if the free 3,000 EQDs / bonus 10,000 EQMs count toward elite choice rewards? Curious given this offer does not seem to.

  5. Tom

    Just wondering - if you qualify based on the $2000 EQD and then later meet the EQMs/EQDs normally, will you qualify for the PP or ExPlat benefits?

  6. DC Yukon

    These are pointless and tone deaf. With most long haul international destinations still shut down and business travel at a standstill for all of the country’s largest corporate buyers of airfare, EQDs aren’t (and for me, never have been) the problem. The difficulty is getting the EQMs on short haul domestic only flights. There aren’t enough domestic destinations I’d want to or have time to go to on personal trips this year.

    1. Sir Walter Raleigh

      Exactly — I have the 7k EQD to requalify for PP, but barely have 23k EQM. If I fall from PP to GLD over the distance requirement, I will be very sad and probably go free agent. I just wish AA would provide a way to qualify based on spend alone, even if the spend was higher than the spend + Mileage qualification requirements.

  7. David alan Watson

    READ THE FINE PRINT. YOU RETAIN STATUS UNTIL JAN 2023!!!

    Elite retention through AAdvantage® credit card spend terms and conditionsThis content can be expanded
    The AAdvantage® Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum elite status level held as of January 1, 2021, will be retained through January 31, 2023 for the primary cardholder (“you”, “your”) if the member spends $15,000 (USD) on eligible purchases made with eligible Citi® / AAdvantage®, AAdvantage® Aviator® credit...

    READ THE FINE PRINT. YOU RETAIN STATUS UNTIL JAN 2023!!!

    Elite retention through AAdvantage® credit card spend terms and conditionsThis content can be expanded
    The AAdvantage® Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum elite status level held as of January 1, 2021, will be retained through January 31, 2023 for the primary cardholder (“you”, “your”) if the member spends $15,000 (USD) on eligible purchases made with eligible Citi® / AAdvantage®, AAdvantage® Aviator® credit cards, or AAdvantage® credit cards issued outside the U.S. between July 15, 2021 and November 15, 2021. This offer may not be achievable based on the assigned credit line and ability to maintain that credit line.

  8. Stephen

    super annoying when you are almost at the spend for the companion certs and need to do that all over again to qualify for status.
    I now have 3 x spend count things going on at barclays.

  9. Levy Flight

    This is good for me. I made Plat Pro through a qualification in 2019 as a refugee from the ridiculous new UA 1K requirements. I was wondering how to maintain this until next year as not traveling much, but I will probably make 1K on UA again. If UA go up rates again next year then this gives me the jump to One World. So smart for AA.

  10. Tocqueville

    If I sign up for the Business AA card and add my wife as an authorized user does her spend count towards the $15k required to maintain status?

    1. Gaurav

      Yes. You get credit for all spend on your account.

  11. Randy

    Agree - taking away advantages from those that are actually earning their status. Let the numbers in the ranks drop - so those that earn - have a better chance at benefits - upgrades, use of SWU etc.

    I have qualified under 2020 and 2021 rules - so no benefit to me. I want a promo to move from PlatPro to EXP.

    1. Biz Traveler

      Knee jerk reactions are fun, but if you consider what dictates the upgrade lists you’d realize that you actually would benefit.

      You: plat who spent $6k this year and qualified old fashioned way
      Me: plat who spent $1500 this year and only qualified cuz of credit card

      You are going to be far ahead of me on upgrade lists. Considering this is probably being done because of dwindling lists, that means you are...

      Knee jerk reactions are fun, but if you consider what dictates the upgrade lists you’d realize that you actually would benefit.

      You: plat who spent $6k this year and qualified old fashioned way
      Me: plat who spent $1500 this year and only qualified cuz of credit card

      You are going to be far ahead of me on upgrade lists. Considering this is probably being done because of dwindling lists, that means you are on the super high-end of the example.

      TL:DR you actually benefit from this change if you re-qualified due to actual travel

  12. Enzo

    Sorry if this is a silly question, but does the Citi AA Mile Up card with no annual fee qualify as an eligible card? Wasn't sure if the no fee cards were part of this as it doesnt list out every specific card.

  13. Diego Dave

    Am I correct that if one is Lifetime Platinum, these promos do nothing to help move you to Platinum Pro or EXP?

  14. JB

    I'm planning on booking a round-trip Business Class ticket on Qatar using the $500 off promo for travel in December to see family. That ticket right now is only $2,100 (for round-trip Qsuites for 18 hours each way) That way, I have the chance to see if my travels will get me there using the existing promos. If not, then I can utilize this at the end of the year.

  15. WWRJB

    Would this work if I opened a new AAdvantage credit card and hit the $15,000 limit, or is it only for existing AAdvantage card holders?

  16. Joe

    This link works:

    https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/elite-status/aadvantage-elite-status.jsp#spend

  17. Adam

    I received Exec Plat through the Hyatt program/reciprocal benefits since I was a Globalist. I'm unsure if I'll qualify for this

    1. Gaurav

      Was wondering the same thing. I assumed I would but then read @Ben's note about not applying to status earned through a promotion.

  18. Sir Walter Raleigh

    slap in the face to anyone who already requalified.

    1. Biz Traveler

      Not really. Upgrade position is still determined by spend. Those who re-qualified the old fashioned way will have a huge leg up when considering the previous 12 months of spend. If anything, you benefitted.

    2. Losingtrader

      We'll slap that pipe right out of your mouth

    3. Losingtrader

      We will slap that pipe right out of your mouth

  19. William Buividas

    Do you know if thr business versions of the cards count as long as its linked to your account?

  20. Sally

    Hi Lucky:

    Thanks for this info. Do you have to register for either of these promotions? Thanks a lot.

  21. Sel, D.

    Finally some love for us high segment, low mileage folks. Sweet!

    1. Sir Walter Raleigh

      Generally you don't get love because you don't generate revenue.

    2. Sel, D.

      @Sir not sure I follow. I hit EQDs before EQSs and I never hit EQMs. How is that bad for revenue? I pay way more per flight mile.

    3. JB

      Just curious, what routes do you fly most?

    4. Franklin

      Really? Short flights like DFW-Waco usually cost ridiculous amounts of money. Someone who does that round trip every week is a big spender.

  22. doublejade

    This is great news. Where can I see the announcement? It seems that the link to the offer shows error.

    1. Pierre

      I have just received an AA Email about this, and it does not seem to metion a link or the need to register...

  23. Bobo

    As a lifetime Platinum American flyer but an Alaska top-tier flyer, I'll be interested to see if Alaska does something similar.

Featured Comments Load all 39 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.

Biz Traveler

Knee jerk reactions are fun, but if you consider what dictates the upgrade lists you’d realize that you actually would benefit. You: plat who spent $6k this year and qualified old fashioned way Me: plat who spent $1500 this year and only qualified cuz of credit card You are going to be far ahead of me on upgrade lists. Considering this is probably being done because of dwindling lists, that means you are on the super high-end of the example. TL:DR you actually benefit from this change if you re-qualified due to actual travel

Sel, D.

@Sir not sure I follow. I hit EQDs before EQSs and I never hit EQMs. How is that bad for revenue? I pay way more per flight mile.

Sir Walter Raleigh

slap in the face to anyone who already requalified.

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