Revealed: New American AAdvantage Elite Status Promotions

Revealed: New American AAdvantage Elite Status Promotions

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American AAdvantage has just launched three promotions that make it easier to qualify for status this year (that status would be valid for all of 2022, and through early 2023). It was rumored that we’d see something like this, and this also follows American recently extending systemwide upgrades issued in 2020.

First let’s recap the current elite qualification requirements, and then we’ll talk about the new promotions.

American AAdvantage 2021 elite requirements

In late 2020, it was announced that American AAdvantage would lower elite requirements for 2021, in light of the pandemic. At the time we saw the airline reduce elite qualification thresholds by around 20%, meaning that qualifying for status requires the following activity this year:

  • Gold status requires 20,000 EQMs OR 20 EQSs AND 2,000 EQDs
  • Platinum status requires 40,000 EQMs OR 40 EQSs AND 4,500 EQDs
  • Platinum Pro requires 60,000 EQMs OR 70 EQSs AND 7,000 EQDs
  • Executive Platinum requires 80,000 EQMs OR 95 EQSs AND 12,000 EQDs

On top of that, for 2021, American is waiving the EQD requirement for Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Pro members, if they spend at least $30,000 on an eligible AAdvantage credit card (there’s no such waiver for Executive Platinum members).

New American AAdvantage elite promotions

In addition to the reduced elite requirements, American AAdvantage has just launched three promotions that make it easier to earn status this year. This includes:

  • Bonus Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) with no flying requirements, ranging from 500 to 3,000 EQDs depending on your status
  • Bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) for upcoming flying, ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 bonus EQMs depending on status
  • The ability to purchase bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) for $495, ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 bonus EQMs (and you earn EQDs for the purchase)

With that out of the way, let’s go over the details of these promotions (you can find all of these promotions by logging into your American AAdvantage account and going to the “promotions” tab).

American AAdvantage is making it easier to earn status

Earn up to 3,000 bonus EQDs

American AAdvantage elite members can earn bonus Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) just for registering by August 31, 2021. There’s no flying requirement, and bonus EQDs will be deposited within 24 hours. Here’s a breakdown of how many bonus EQDs you can receive:

  • AAdvantage Gold members receive 500 bonus EQDs
  • AAdvantage Platinum members receive 1,000 bonus EQDs
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro members receive 1,500 bonus EQDs
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members receive 3,000 bonus EQDs

Earn up to 10,000 bonus EQMs for flying

American AAdvantage elite members can earn bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) for registering by August 17, 2021, and flying by August 31, 2021. Members can earn bonuses on up to 10 flown segments during the promotion period, as follows:

  • AAdvantage Gold members earn 250 bonus EQMs per segment, up to 2,500 EQMs
  • AAdvantage Platinum members earn 500 bonus EQMs per segment, up to 5,000 EQMs
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro members earn 750 bonus EQMs per segment, up to 7,500 bonus EQMs
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members earn 1,000 bonus EQMs per segment, up to 10,00 bonus EQMs

Purchase up to 10,000 bonus EQMs

American AAdvantage will sell elite members bonus elite qualifying miles. To take advantage of this, registration is required by August 31, 2021. You’ll have to make a $495 payment, and then you’ll receive a certain number of EQMs and EQDs within 24 hours.

All elite members will earn 495 EQDs for the purchase, while the number of EQMs earned depends on status, as follows:

  • AAdvantage Gold members earn 2,500 bonus EQMs
  • AAdvantage Platinum members earn 5,000 bonus EQMs
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro members earn 7,500 bonus EQMs
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members earn 10,000 bonus EQMs

My take on these American AAdvantage promotions

Okay, American AAdvantage, now we’re finally talking. Between elite requirements having been lowered by roughly 20% already, and these three promotions, status should be much more attainable for many people. As an Executive Platinum member:

  • I’m being “gifted” 3,000 bonus EQDs
  • I can earn 10,000 bonus EQMs by flying 10 segments by August 31, which is probably pretty manageable
  • I can purchase an extra 10,000 EQMs and 495 EQDs by spending $495; while this promotion kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth (American AAdvantage is basically asking for a donation here), I suspect this is something that many people will take advantage of

If I do fulfill all these requirements and spend $495, then I’d basically still need to earn 60,000 EQMs and ~8,500 EQDs. For what it’s worth, I’m currently at ~4,000 EQDs and ~32,000 EQMs for the year, so I’d still need to earn ~4,500 EQDs and ~28,000 EQMs. I would probably do that naturally.

Are these the most generous promotions ever? Nope. Are they enough to probably keep me on the American AAdvantage hamster wheel? Yes, probably, especially since I live in Miami, where having status with American is valuable. Furthermore, with American’s new Elite Choice Rewards, there are more tangible rewards to requalifying for Executive Platinum status.

I guess American AAdvantage is keeping me on the elite hamster wheel

Bottom line

American AAdvantage has launched three separate promotions to make it easier to qualify for status this year, in addition to elite requirements already having been lowered by ~20%. Elite members will receive some “free” EQDs, can earn bonus EQMs for upcoming flights, and can also outright purchase EQMs, and earn EQDs for that purchase.

While this isn’t my dream promotion, it does the trick. It’s also a good mix between giving members something for “free,” incentivizing them to travel, and even outright generating revenue (which I’m not a fan of, in light of circumstances, but…).

What do you make of these American AAdvantage status promotions?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Gilbert H Guest

    Is this promotion, especially the EQD, targeted to certain members? I received the offer to receive up to 2500 eqm, but no offer for EQDs. Anybody have any information about this? Thanks for the help

  2. Vic_Indy New Member

    Like others have said, this is too little too late. I've been EP for 20+ years, and all my domestic travel this year has been in paid F, but without business travel and above all international travel, I won't requalify. I'm a 2M Miler, which means I get lifetime PLT, which is now American's 4th tier, so yeah.

  3. Amy Guest

    Is the 500 even worth it, couldn't you just spend that flying (speaking for those who only get 2500) instead of just spending $.

  4. Randy Guest

    The purchase EQM isn't too bad if you are PPro or EXP. 7,500 or 10,000 for $495 isn't too bad. Batter than a mileage run.

    Not as good for Gold and Plat.

  5. Ian Guest

    Every time I try to register I get an error from both the app & website. No bonus EQM for me I guess :/

  6. jetset Gold

    I'm surprised they aren't doing more on the EQD side. They can give you all the EQM's they want but that doesn't solve the spend problem (and unless you only want to buy full fare intl business class you'd do quite a bit of flying anyway to hit the EQD numbers).

    United at least 'giving away' 50% of the reduced spend requirement through promotions (assuming you fly 3 times under their new promotion by end...

    I'm surprised they aren't doing more on the EQD side. They can give you all the EQM's they want but that doesn't solve the spend problem (and unless you only want to buy full fare intl business class you'd do quite a bit of flying anyway to hit the EQD numbers).

    United at least 'giving away' 50% of the reduced spend requirement through promotions (assuming you fly 3 times under their new promotion by end of July). So to hit 1K I only need 6,000 PQD without yet counting flying I've done or plan to do.

  7. Zane Guest

    I agree, no one will shell out $500 specially if they are at lower tier, but the freebies do make a lot of sense specially for people who were going to achieve Platinum pro. The freebies gives them a chance to reach executive platinum.

  8. Sel, D. Guest

    Left out. I’m a regional flyer segment boy and this doesn’t help me. At all.

  9. JD19 Guest

    What happens if you move up a tier mid-promotion?

    1. Chris T. Guest

      According to the terms & conditions, you're locked in at the current level.

    2. CS Guest

      Chris T. - please clarify as I'm a little confused. So as of May 25 (as stated in the Terms) I am currently a Platinum. During this promotion period of the additional $1,000 EQD's and the 500 EQM's per segment - let's say that with some planned flying (which will gain me EQM's) + the bonus of the $1,000 and the 500 EQM's per segment - this puts me over the Plat Pro threshold. Are you saying that I would still be considered a Plat instead of a Plat Pro??

  10. Benjamin G Guttery Guest

    This still doesn't help those of us who our international travel has completely dried up. It also just helps maintain existing levels and no encouragement to jump up a level. Like I've been Plat Pro for 3-4 years now and it's still nearly impossible to reach EXPLAT under this for me. I probably have 6-7 domestic round trips left in me this year, all in paid F, and I still won't even be close.

    1. Chris T. Guest

      And that might sort of be AA's intention - not to lose members who drop down in status.

  11. Chris T. Guest

    I'm kind of debating whether to go for Platinum Pro - this gets me closer, but my issue is still plenty of EQMs and not enough EQDs. We'll see!

  12. JC1 Gold

    I just ran the numbers for me and this barely moves the needle. Have been executive platinum for almost a decade and even with this and any possible trips that I might decide to give to American based on this promotion I would only comfortable make platinum and would be short of EQMs for Platinum Pro by about 12k. Plus, this requires me to spend $495 to earn 10k EQMs and find 10 additional segments...

    I just ran the numbers for me and this barely moves the needle. Have been executive platinum for almost a decade and even with this and any possible trips that I might decide to give to American based on this promotion I would only comfortable make platinum and would be short of EQMs for Platinum Pro by about 12k. Plus, this requires me to spend $495 to earn 10k EQMs and find 10 additional segments between now and August 31 which isn't likely to happen since all of my travel through then has already been booked away from American at decent prices so no reason to cancel get vouchers and switch to American and pay 2 to 3 times the price. I say these promotions are too little too late.

    My guess is that they are going to have to run another promotion in the fall or there will be a significant drop in elite ranks because this promotion only applies through August 31 and for most people they have already booked their summer travel plans and most companies are still not having employees travel so unless these leisure travelers booked exactly 10 segments which is 5 non-stop roundtrips or 2.5 one-stop roundtrips they are not likely to max out that portion of the promotion.

    Plus, American Airlines only extended active systemwide upgrades which I am going to guess does not include systemwide applied to flights in the future that have not been traveled which would mean mine have not been extended even though I am unlikely to take the flights I booked since the destination is not open. So that then means I have to beg American to have them extended to July 2022 which they should have done from the outset.

    American only seems to value loyalty if it means digging their hand deeper into your pocket without providing anything in return.

  13. John Gold

    Ben, AA didn't address the expiration of system-wide upgrades. I still have 4 expiring on July 31, 2021. Do you think AA will extend the expiration date?

    1. Vic_Indy New Member

      I'm EP and AA extended mine to July 2022. Check you account again.

  14. Brian Monahan Guest

    This is still not enough for elite members given it's already June and we are just starting to trust travelling again with the vaccines. I've done 4 flights so far, but without international travel available there is no way to reach the still high EQM and EQD thresholds. AA should have done better

  15. Chris Gold

    Is anyone going to give them the 500 dollar handout?

  16. Chris Gold

    I'll take the freebies but this isn't going to make me go out of my way to fly American. In actuality, it might even make me fly them less since it's hardly likely to improve my level up chances. I'm still conflicted about whether to credit to Alaska or American at this point.

  17. kq747 Guest

    Ben; not sure if you know the answer but my next flight will put bump my status to the next tier. If I register now, will I earn bonus EQM at my current tier for all subsequent flights or would it be at the rate for the next tier up once I qualify?

  18. Jerry Gold

    I was at 128,000 EQM, 108 EQS, and 11,000 EQD. I didn't need this and I was looking for fewer EXPs next year. I think they made it too easy.

  19. William Guest

    Yawn. They should have copied Delta's promo and granted EQMs for award tickets.

    1. Franz Guest

      Agreed! This barely moves the needle for me. Meanwhile, DL and UA status are very attainable

  20. Michael Kaplan Guest

    I get the idea, but was still hoping they would extend status another year. I am EP, but my company is slow to have us travel again and will lose it even with these promotions.

  21. Anthony Guest

    Decent. For what it's worth, non-status members also got the 250 bonus EQM per segment offer through August 17. Not generous enough for me to try to get an extra status from American (already on my way to meaningful status with Delta), but good for AA loyalists I guess

  22. Mike Guest

    Yes as usual, the program only takes care of members living in the US, any member outside of the US is always considered 2nd or 3rd class members.

  23. Brian Guest

    This promotion gets me over the hump for Ex Platinum without having to fly again so I’m super happy. I can use miles for the rest of the year.

  24. Luc Guest

    Do oneworld or AA award flights count as “legs” that can earn EQMs for the bonus? It wasn’t clear in the promotion guidelines.

  25. Victor Guest

    What about those EXPs stuck in Australia? Can't fly anywhere overseas legally, and there's no chance of getting anywhere near any of these EQMs with domestic flights.

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.

Benjamin G Guttery Guest

This still doesn't help those of us who our international travel has completely dried up. It also just helps maintain existing levels and no encouragement to jump up a level. Like I've been Plat Pro for 3-4 years now and it's still nearly impossible to reach EXPLAT under this for me. I probably have 6-7 domestic round trips left in me this year, all in paid F, and I still won't even be close.

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Chris Gold

Is anyone going to give them the 500 dollar handout?

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Chris Gold

I'll take the freebies but this isn't going to make me go out of my way to fly American. In actuality, it might even make me fly them less since it's hardly likely to improve my level up chances. I'm still conflicted about whether to credit to Alaska or American at this point.

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