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American Airlines will once again send physical elite kits, including luggage tags

Aug. 03, 2021
3 min read
American Dreamliner
American Airlines will once again send physical elite kits, including luggage tags
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You might want to check your mailbox.

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 3, American Airlines is once again sending physical elite-status kits to top-tier flyers who achieve and requalify for status.

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Last year, American started phasing out physical membership packages, relying instead on a "fully digital" experience to welcome travelers back to status.

Now, the airline is now doing an about-face after listening to member feedback. "These kits are important keepsakes of their achievements," American cited in explaining why they're making a comeback.

With the latest move, top-tier Executive Platinum and second-to-top Platinum Pro members will receive elite kits, while AAdvantage Gold and Platinum flyers will continue to receive online-only membership packages.

Just like before, Executive Platinum members will receive a personalized membership card along with two personalized luggage tags, while Platinum Pro elites will only receive the membership card.

(Photo from The Points Guy archives)

Starting on Tuesday, if you've achieved either of AA's top two statuses this year, you'll receive an email congratulating you on the achievement, and letting you know to expect a physical kit in the mail.

They'll be sent via USPS and take 4 to 6 business days to arrive. If you achieved status earlier this year and would like a physical kit, you'll need to call AA to request one.

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In addition to bag tags for top-tier members — a source of great pride for select road warriors — all physical kits will include six recognition certificates that can be presented to AA staff for above-and-beyond service. (Those certificates will then be deposited by the crewmember to be eligible for additional bonuses or prizes.)

Elsewhere, United suspended sending physical elite kits in 2021. Delta appears to be continuing to send personalized bag tags for those who qualify for Medallion status.

For those hoping to score one of the physical elite kits, AA has made it considerably easier to earn status this year. Due to the pandemic, the airline slashed thresholds and added limited-time promotions, the latest of which includes an offer to earn either 2,000 elite-qualifying dollars or spend $15,000 on a co-branded American Airlines credit card to automatically requalify for status this year.

In addition to physical kits for elites, each of the Big 3 U.S. airlines has an invite-only status tier. Those members receive an upgraded welcome kit, often tricked out with special gifts, like a pair of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses for Delta 360s, or a personalized metal luggage tag repurposed from a decommissioned MD-80 aircraft for AA's Concierge Keys.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
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  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees