Here’s a way to get a ton of American EQMs if you’re short this year — in first class

Oct 29, 2019

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We’re getting closer to the end of the year, and you know what that means: checking (and re-checking) to ensure you’re maintaining elite status for 2020. If you’re finding yourself short on American Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) and you have a few days to take off work, I have the perfect deal for you.

We’re spotting first-class deals from New York (JFK), Washington (IAD) and Chicago (ORD) to London starting at just $2,245 round-trip nonstop. The New York–London deal was first reported on FlyerTalk. If you’re unfamiliar with British Airways’ first-class, make sure you check out this post on the best seats. Just note that if your ticket is nonstop, your connecting leg in Europe might be in business or economy on British Airways or Aer Lingus.

If you’re trying to get (or keep) status, this could be the perfect deal for you. The New York-London ticket alone will net you nearly 14,000 EQMs and $2,600 EQDs. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll put you close to the number of EQDs needed ($3,000) for AAdvantage Gold status. If you’re aiming to keep your status through 2020, and are gunning for Platinum status, for instance, you’ll need 50,000 EQMs (or 60 elite-qualifying segments) plus $6,000 EQD. Note that to get EQDs, you’ll need to book directly through American.

If you’re a holder of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express or The Centurion Card from American Express, make sure to utilize the International Airline Program (IAP), which can score you cheaper flights than what’s publicly out there.

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To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline.

Airline: British Airways
Routes: JFK/ORD/IAD/EWR/SEA/MIA/IAH – LHR/DUB
Cost: $2,245+ round-trip nonstop in first class
Dates: November – August 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare),  Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

New York (JFK) to London (LHR) for $2,245 round-trip nonstop (also works from EWR):

Chicago (ORD) to London (LHR) for $2,245 round-trip nonstop:

Miami (MIA) to Amsterdam (AMS) for $2,336 round-trip:

Seattle (SEA) to Dublin (DUB) for $2,496 round-trip on British Airways and Aer Lingus:

Houston (IAH) to Inverness (INV) for $2,506 round-trip:

Washington (IAD) to London (LHR) for $2,745 round-trip nonstop:

Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card Citi Premier® CardCiti Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured image courtesy of Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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