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TPG reader Todd emailed me to ask:
“Can I earn American Airline EQMs or points by booking tickets for others? I may have occasions where I purchase tickets for my wife and son, and want to maximize my EQMs/points if possible.”
Todd, your wife and son will always earn the Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) for what their own flights. However, you can absolutely earn EQMs from credit card spending. With the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, you can earn 10,000 EQMs after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. With the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard, you can get 5,000 EQMs after spending $20,000, and another 5,000 EQMs after spending an additional $20,000. Altogether, that’s 20,000 EQMs you can earn from credit card spending alone.
You can also earn Business Extra points if you own a small business. If you sign up for the Business Extra program, every time you book plane tickets for employees (or even family members or friends), you’ll earn points if your Business Extra number is on the ticket. Business Extra is separate from AAdvantage, and you can redeem those points for AAdvantage Gold status (not EQMs or points).
As for regular travel, make sure you book your travel through airline portals for extra points. You can’t really take the points earned by your family members for flying, but you can double and triple dip in other ways.