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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
This week, some TPG readers have reported 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 and even Platinum Pro elite status.
For reference, Platinum Pro elite status typically requires 75,000 Elite Qualifying Miles and 9,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars, so this is a pretty generous offer:
So far, all of the offers we’ve seen have the following terms:
- Sign up by Sept. 25, 2019.
- Complimentary status runs through Dec. 13, 2019.
Along with free elite status, some targeted members are also getting 500-mile upgrades. AAdvantage members targeted for Gold elite status are getting 10 upgrades upon accepting the offer. AAdvantage Platinum offers seem to be all coming 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. Currently I’m only targeted to earn 1,000 bonus miles for joining AAdvantage Dining — a program I’ve already joined:
Elite Status Challenges: All of the offers we’ve seen so far 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 Dec. 13, 2019 to earn elite status all the way through Jan. 31, 2021.
The fast-track to extending Gold elite status through Jan. 31, 2021 is very reasonable, requiring just 7,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) and 850 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD).
Members targeted for Platinum elite status challenges require 12,500 EQM and 1,500 EQD.
Those who received a Platinum Pro challenge need to earn 20,000 EQM and 2,400 EQD to extend their Platinum Pro elite status through the end of January 2021. While that’s a significant spend, it’s far less than the typical 75,000 EQM and 9,000 EQM requirements for this status.
There’s one offer we’ve seen so far that allows a challenge all the way up to top-tier Executive Platinum elite status. The challenge requires flying 35,000 EQM and spending 4,000 EQD in a little over three months. However, this member is only targeted for Gold status initially:
Who’s Targeted: We don’t know exactly who and why some members were targeted, but it certainly seems AA is trying to win back some previous elites.
TPG Reader Dan E. was targeted for Platinum Pro status and shared that he was a top-tier Executive Platinum for years before moving over to United a couple of years ago.
Likewise, TPG’s Julian Kheel was an Executive Platinum for several years in a row before switching most of his loyalty to Delta. 2019 was the first year in at least seven years that Julian hasn’t been an AAdvantage elite and now it seems AA wants him back.
Featured photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.