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Some travelers work all year to get elite status — spending thousands of dollars, doing year-end mileage runs or even just paying airlines large sums to maintain status. But, sometimes, airlines will simply offer members status for free. And a slew of these free elite status offers were just sent out by American Airlines.
On Tuesday, many TPG readers report receiving an email from American Airlines offering completely free elite status with “no strings attached.” Readers who’ve passed along their offer were targeted for Gold, Platinum or Platinum Pro elite status. Platinum Pro elite status typically requires 75,000 Elite Qualifying Miles and 9,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars:
So far, all of the offers we’ve seen have the following terms:
- Sign up by June 25, 2019.
- Complimentary status runs through September 25, 2019.
Along with free elite status, some targeted members are also getting 500-mile upgrades. Some AAdvantage members targeted for Gold elite status are getting 6 upgrades upon accepting the offer, while others aren’t getting any upgrades. At least some Platinum offers come with 20 upgrades — which are good for upgraded travel up to 10,000 direct flight miles. There’s no offer of 500-mile upgrades for those targeted for Platinum Pro, as these elites get unlimited complimentary upgrades without needing to use 500-mile upgrades.
How to Check If You’re Targeted: Members who were targeted for this promotion should have received an email. However, you can check to see if you’re targeted without digging through your inbox by heading to AA’s Promotions website and see if you have an offer listed:
If you want to try a specific link to see if you were targeted, this is the link embedded in the email to some of the targeted members.
Elite Status Challenges: Some — but not all — offers are combined with a challenge to maintain elite status or earn an even higher elite status. For all challenges, EQMs and EQDs must be earned between the date of registration and September 25, 2019 to earn elite status all the way through January 31, 2021.
The fast-track to extending Gold elite status through January 31, 2021 is very reasonable, requiring just 7,000 Elite Qualifying Miles and $850 Elite Qualifying Dollars.
Members targeted for Platinum Pro status need to earn 20,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) and 2,400 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) to extend their status for the rest of the year. This is significantly less than the typical 75,000 EQM and 9,000 EQM requirements for this status.
Who’s Targeted: It’s interesting to see a bit of data behind who’s targeted. TPG reader Patrick was targeted for Platinum Pro despite the fact that he’s never had more than AA Gold in the past.
A Delta Diamond and Million Miler on FlyerTalk also reports being targeted for Gold status — but without any 500-mile upgrades. While that’s better than nothing, that measly status offer isn’t likely to cause a loyalty change.
Hearing that targeted members barely ever fly AA has got to be frustrating to those of us that are loyal to AA. TPG reader Abraham — who was targeted for Gold — notes that he “hardly flies [American] or has miles … so this leaves me perplexed as to why I was targeted.” He only has an upcoming flight on American Airlines to Hong Kong (HKG) in September in economy. Another FlyerTalk member notes his mother-in-law was targeted for Gold elite status despite flying “AA 2-3 times per year” and not having status on another airline.
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If you're a frequent American flyer but don't have status, additional perks that come with this card like first free checked bag on domestic AA itineraries, preferred boarding on American flights can be extremely valuable.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
- Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
- Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*