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How to double dip your 2022 elite bonuses with an American Airlines credit card

Dec. 01, 2021
4 min read
How to double dip your 2022 elite bonuses with an American Airlines credit card
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Earlier this fall, American announced it would overhaul how you earn elite status starting next year.

The elite qualifying metrics we've come to know over the years — miles, segments, and dollars — will disappear and be replaced by a single benchmark called “Loyalty Points.”

Among the many changes that will unfold, there is one that is particularly notable for American cobranded credit cardholders. Starting in 2022, you will be able to spend your way to elite status using a cobranded card without needing to fly. (Just note that without 30 segments per year, you won't unlock key benefits at higher Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum tiers.)

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There will also be a shift in the elite qualifying period, which will begin to run from March 1 through Feb. 28 (or Feb. 29) of each year. For 2022, however, flyers get two extra months – January and February – to rack up elite qualifying activity toward their 2023 status. Folks with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® may benefit the most.

Here's why.

Extra time for elite qualifying spending

The Citi®/ AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is an example of a World Elite Mastercard. (Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

Because the elite status year is shifting by two months, American Airlines is giving customers an extra two months – January and February of 2022 – to sock away even more elite qualifying activity than they'd be able to in a normal 12-month period.

Activity from January and February of 2022 will count toward elite status for the 2022 elite membership year (the old system) as well as the 2023 elite membership year (the new system). So January and February 2022 essentially become double-dip months in the sense they can help you earn status for 2022 and 2023.

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What this means for select AAdvantage cardholders

Cardholders of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard have the ability to earn an additional 10,000 elite qualifying miles after they spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.

As expected, that's going away with the introduction of Loyalty Points in 2022.

However, you'll get an additional two months (through Feb. 28, 2022) to earn the 10,000 elite qualifying miles towards elite status in 2022. That means if you're nearing $40,000 in card spending on the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard this year — and those EQMs are helpful in your quest for status — you now have extra time to hit your EQM-boosting spending threshold.

In addition, the card will get you 10,000 additional Loyalty Points (since elite qualifying miles are going away) after you spend $40,000 in eligible purchases between Jan. 1, 2022 and Feb. 28, 2023. Again, that's an additional two months – and those Loyalty Points will count toward your 2023 status.

Let's illustrate this with a simple example. If you spend $25,000 in 2021 and $15,000 in January 2022, you will reach the $40,000 spend threshold and earn the 10,000 elite qualifying miles that count toward your 2022 membership year. In addition, that $15,000 spent in January 2022 will count towards your additional Loyalty Points for the 2023 elite year (though you'll still have to spend another $25,000 on purchases with the card before the end of 2022 in order to get the 10,000 Loyalty Points toward 2023 status).

This means a little strategic spending in the first two months of 2022 can help you get to a higher status for both 2022 and 2023.

Related: 11 things you might’ve missed in American’s massive loyalty program update

Bottom line

While the EQM bonus offered by the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard will be changing you can still spend your way to a Loyalty Points boost come next year. If you're closing in on the $40,000 mark for spending on the card, you might want to strategize around getting there by the end of February 2022, since that might get you to a higher rung with AAdvantage and put you on the path to earning more Loyalty Points through the card for the 2023 elite year.

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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