Participate in a free American Airlines status challenge through Mastercard

Nov 20, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you have a Mastercard and want near-free American Airlines elite status, listen up.

American Airlines is currently offering Mastercard cardholders the opportunity to fast-track AAdvantage Gold or Platinum elite status with just two trips within a 90 day period. The promotion is available to all Mastercard World and World Elite cardholders — regardless of whether it’s a credit card, debit card, cobranded card or not — and doesn’t require you to have elite status with another airline. As first discovered by Bougie Miles, there’s no registration necessary to participate, but there are some important rules you need to know.

Want more travel news and advice from TPG? Sign up for our daily newsletter.

American Airlines status challenge for Mastercard cardholders

American Airlines’ latest status challenge is publicly available to all Mastercard World and World Elite cardholders, including no-fee cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card. This promotion provides an easy opportunity to earn Gold status, as well as a pathway to Platinum if you booked and take two round-trips within 90 days.

With this promotion, current non-status members can earn Gold status after booking and traveling on two domestic roundtrips (any cabin) or one domestic roundtrip and one international roundtrip (coach). Current non-status members earn Platinum by booking and traveling on two international round-trip flights (coach) or one domestic roundtrip (coach) and one international roundtrip (premium cabin). If you already have Gold status, you can fast-track Platinum by completing two round-trip flights within the 90-day period.

Related: Current airline elite status match and challenge options you should know about

American Airlines elite status has its perks. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy).

The full details of the promotion can be found under the “Offers and Virtual Events” tab on the Mastercard Travel website (account required), but the main requirement is that the flights must be booked through the Mastercard travel concierge. Also, only paid bookings through March 31, 2021 are count. Unlike most American Airlines status challenges, there’s no qualifying dollars requirement, so those $40 transcontinental flights should count.

If you complete the challenge, your elite status will be processed within 30 days of the second trip being completed.

Related: You can fly lie-flat seats over the holidays for under $200

Bottom line

This is one of the most generous status challenge opportunities we’ve seen from American Airlines. Obviously, not everyone is flying right now, but if you are, then it’s definitely worth taking advantage of.

American only allows members to receive elite status through a challenge once every five years. But, if you’re eligible and meet the requirements, you could be getting tremendous value. With perks like free checked bags, 500-mile upgrades and complimentary Main Cabin Extra (MCE) seats within 24 hours of departure, Gold status is worth $930 according to TPG. Thanks to additional perks like lounge access when traveling internationally and better upgrade status, Platinum status can be worth over $2,000.

Featured image by Mark Rightmire/Orange County Register/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.