American just unveiled 2 easier ways to requalify for elite status

Jun 29, 2021

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Requalifying for elite status with American Airlines just got easier.

On Tuesday, the Fort Worth-based carrier unveiled two new paths to requalifying for AAdvantage status, both of which are open to all current elite members.

The two new pathways join AA’s other recently announced promotions intended to make it easier to earn and requalify for status this year.

American’s new opportunities to requalify for status

Any current AAdvantage elite member can partake in one of the following two paths to requalifying for status without needing to register.

  • Spend $15,000 on an AAdvantage credit card.
    • If you spend $15,000 or more on eligible purchases on an AAdvantage co-branded credit card between July 15 and Nov. 15, you’ll requalify for status through Jan. 31, 2023.
    • All Citi® / AAdvantage® credit cards are eligible as well as all AAdvantage® Aviator® and all AAdvantage® credit cards issued outside the U.S.
    • You can combine spend on purchases across all AA co-branded credit cards to reach the $15,000 threshold.
  • Fly with American or a partner airline in the last four months of the year.
    • If you earn 2,000 elite-qualifying dollars (EQDs) from AA or partner-operated flights between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, you’ll requalify for status through Jan. 31, 2023.

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Note that these two new paths to requalifying for elite status are available to those who held status with American on Jan. 1, 2021. As such, those currently enrolled on limited-time status challenges are excluded from this offer.

Related: The best credit cards for American Airlines flyers

Additionally, it’s important to note that the promotions are only open to existing elites who are looking to requalify for the exact same tier they held as of Jan. 1, 2021. If you’re trying to achieve a higher status tier or earn elite status for the first time, this promotion isn’t for you.

That said, this latest AAdvantage update will likely make it significantly easier for current elites who might’ve just restarted flying this summer. Even if spending $15,000 on a co-brand card is too high of a threshold, the $2,000 EQD track should be achievable, even if you only plan to travel a few times during the four-month period at the end of the year.

Requalifying for AA status just got much easier (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Airfares are on the rise once again, and the EQD promotion applies to flights with AA’s partners, including Alaska and JetBlue. If you take a few trips, especially with some in premium cabins, hitting the $2,000 EQD mark shouldn’t represent too much of a challenge.

The one major “catch”

The one major “catch” to these two new paths is that you won’t earn elite choice rewards — which include systemwide upgrades — if you’re requalifying for Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status. You’ll need to earn status at the reduced flying thresholds below to earn the full suite of status benefits.

But for those that don’t envision traveling enough to hit AA’s reduced thresholds, this new promotion represents a much easier opportunity to requalify. In fact, it’s now the most generous of the big 3 U.S. airlines — neither Delta nor United have announced a similar program for elites.

Related: American’s mid-year AAdvantage program updates, including EQM and EQD promos

Other ways to qualify for AA elite status

If you’re still trying to requalify through flying, or attempting to earn AA status for the first time, you’ll need to hit the reduced thresholds in the chart below.

Metric Gold Platinum Platinum Pro Executive Platinum
Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) 20,000 40,000 60,000 80,000
Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) 20 45 70 95
Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) $2,000 $4,500 $7,000 $12,000

 

In late 2020, American Airlines slashed the traditional pre-COVID thresholds by roughly 20% to 33% and rolled over all elite-qualifying progress earned in the fourth quarter of 2020 into the 2021 program year.

Related: Complete guide to AA’s elite-qualifying miles

Additionally, earlier this month, the carrier unveiled three promotions to make it easier to earn EQMs and EQDs.

  • Every AAdvantage member will receive bonus EQMs on the first ten flight segments flown between June 3 and Aug. 31.
  • All current elites received a one-time EQD deposit varying based on elite status, ranging from 500 bonus EQDs for Gold members to 3,000 EQDs for Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members.
  • Current elites can purchase a package of EQMs for $495, which will earn you 495 EQDs, as well as the following number of EQMs:
    • Gold members receive 2,500 EQMs
    • Platinum members receive 5,000 EQMs
    • Platinum Pro members receive 7,500 EQMs
    • Executive Platinum and invite-only Concierge Key members receive 10,000 EQMs

All told, American’s leading the way with its latest status adjustment. Though the airline isn’t outright extending status like it did in 2020, for most elites, retaining status through January 2023 just became much easier.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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