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
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

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