Earning American Elite Qualifying Miles Through Spending
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
Apart from the occasional 100,000-mile sign-up bonuses it offers, one of the best benefits my Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers is the ability to earn 10,000 AAdvantage elite-qualifying miles every calendar year I spend $40,000 in purchases on it. That benefit alone makes it one of the best credit cards for earning airline elite-status-qualifying miles, and a crucial pillar in my American elite status strategy each year.
Well, I had some major expenses come up so far this year, including some taxes to pay, and I hit that $40,000 mark a bit faster than I expected! The good news is, Citi already emailed me to say that I had earned my 10,000 EQM’s, putting me another big step closer to requalifying for Executive Platinum status for 2016.
However, my elite-status-qualifying spending spree wasn’t over yet. Barcylaycard targeted me as a high-value customer (thanks to credit card spending and elite status, I suspect) to receive the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard as a replacement for my now-defunct US Airways Premier World MasterCard. There is a more basic AAdvantage Aviator Red version many folks got an offer for as well, but I was targeted for the higher-end card Silver card.
In addition to perks like 3x miles per $1 on American/US purchases and 2x on hotels and car rentals, a Global Entry application fee waiver, a mileage redemption refund, and an annual companion certificate, the Aviator Silver offers the opportunity to earn elite-qualifying miles through spending like the Citi Executive / AAdvantage card does. Only this card’s spending perk is slightly more flexible in that you can earn the EQM’s in batches of 5,000 for spending $20,000 then an additional $20,000. That is rather than having to spend the full $40,000 to get 10,000 EQM’s or risk not hitting it and getting nothing at all.
Well, as I mentioned, I have had a lot of expenses so far this year, and I actually hit the spending threshold on this card, too!
That puts me at 20,000 EQM’s – a fifth of the way toward requalifying for Executive Platinum status – without setting foot on a plane (though I have been flying American quite a lot this year so far again as well). Not only that, but as you might have noticed in the screenshot above, I have actually also gotten 10,000 miles refunded to me from award redemptions I have recently made.
That benefit is more in line with personal Citi AA cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, which also offers a 10% mileage refund up to 10,000 miles per year on award redemptions. So the Aviator Silver is kind of like a hybrid of the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select and the Citi Executive / AAdvantage card.
The one major benefit that card carries that the Aviator Silver does not is Admirals Club membership, which I do not often use. The Aviator Silver also earns 3x miles per $1 on American Airlines purchases, beating the 2x offered by the Citi Executive / AAdvantage handily.
While I haven’t decided yet which credit cards to keep and which to cancel in 2015, I think I will probably end up holding onto the Citi Executive / AAdvantage card after all thanks to the club access, but more importantly, because of the opportunity to earn elite-qualifying miles through spending on it.
All in all, though, I’m thrilled with my new Silver Aviator benefits. Especially the elite-qualifying miles it has already earned me – allowing me to double dip on EQM-earning with the Citi Executive / AAdvantage I already carried – as well as the mileage redemption refund.
How do you leverage your spending to earn Elite Qualifying Miles with American?