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American Airlines just updated its status challenge policy due to coronavirus

May 21, 2020
3 min read
American Airlines just updated its status challenge policy due to coronavirus
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There was one component of American's elite status extension announcement that was still to be determined. And that's what would happen to those who were participating in status challenges once travel was halted.

At the time, we confirmed with AA that they would do something to make it up to those who could no longer complete their status challenge. And now, we've got the details of what AA's doing.

For anyone who was registered for an elite challenge starting on or before March 31 that ended after March 31, 2020, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier is offering a do-over. AA will provide the opportunity to register for a new challenge any time between July 15, 2020 and Nov. 1, 2020. This expanded window will allow flyers to determine when's the best time to restart their challenge, based on when they feel comfortable getting back in the air.

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Affected customers should expect to see an email from AA with details of the new challenge offer in the next few weeks, and the registration portal should appear in the AAdvantage promotion center as of July 15.

American Flagship First Dining at LAX. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.)

It's unclear if AA is planning to lower the thresholds for earning status through a challenge like its doing for those earning status outright, but we'll be sure to update this post when we learn more. Also, note that the progress earned during the first challenge won't be rolled over to the second.

Though American's been known to send out a plethora of targeted fast-track status challenge offers, it's not the only U.S. airline to offer such a program —Delta and United do too.

As part of Delta's Medallion updates, the carrier says that members currently enrolled in a challenge or promotion, like Status Match Challenge, Reclaim My Status or promotions offered through an employer, can start a new promotion when ready to start traveling again.

United similarly told TPG that if you’re in the middle of one and want to change the date or cancel and restart later, you can do so by calling United.

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Related: The most generous and creative perks you can enjoy as a result of the elite status extensions

There's one U.S. airline that has gone above and beyond for those who were enrolled in a status challenge. As part of Alaska's status extension news, the carrier is granting full status through the end of 2021 for those participating in a challenge. If you initiated one with Alaska between Dec. 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, the temporary status has been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.

American Flagship First on the Airbus A321T. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.)

Nonetheless, it's great to see American finally formalize its status challenge extension. If travel is slow to recover, I'd imagine the carrier might further extend the valid dates. For now though, rest assured that you have until November to start planning future travel.

All photos by the author.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees