Nowadays American AAdvantage awards elite status based on how many Loyalty Points you earn, meaning it’s possible to earn elite status with credit card spending. American doesn’t follow the calendar year for its elite status program.
With the end of the elite year coming up soon, I wanted to post a reminder of how American has made a minor but important change to how and when credit card spending counts toward status, as it impacts spending right now.
In this post:
American updates how credit card spending counts toward status
The AAdvantage elite status qualification year doesn’t follow the traditional calendar year, but rather runs from the beginning of March of one year until the end of February of the following year (in this year’s case, from March 1, 2023, until February 29, 2024).
Understandably, one important question is when the cutoff is for credit card spending counting toward a particular year. Does all credit card spending through the end of February count toward status for that year? Or is it based on your credit card statement closing date? Well, American has made a change with that.
Historically, which qualification year credit card spending counted toward was based on when your credit card statement closed, rather than when you completed spending. Your last statement close date prior to the end of the program year would be the last to earn you Loyalty Points toward that year’s status (or to help you qualify for Loyalty Point Rewards).
In other words, under the old system, if your credit card statement closed on the 15th of each month, all credit card spending through February 15 would count toward the current elite qualification year, while all credit card spending after February 15 would count toward the following elite qualification year.
With the latest change, all credit card spending that posts to your account before the end of February counts toward the current elite qualification year, so credit card statement closing dates no longer factor into this. Just make sure that the charge has fully posted to your account (and isn’t just “pending”) prior to the end of the month.
This is a sensible change on American’s part
I think this change from American AAdvantage makes a lot of sense. I know for the previous elite year, many AAdvantage members were confused about the credit card statement close date determining which elite year spending counted toward, rather than the actual spending date.
For many, it’s confusing enough that elite status no longer follows the traditional calendar year, so then when you add in the cutoff based on the statement close date, I imagine a considerable number of people ended up not quite earning their intended status.
Nowadays American co-branded credit card spending counts toward elite status based on when the charge posts to your account, rather than based on when your statement closes. This means that all credit card spending through the end of February counts toward the current elite year, rather than only all spending through the last statement close date prior to the end of February.
How’s your American credit card spending looking for February? 😉