This single perk is the reason I’m trying to earn AAdvantage status

Jun 24, 2022

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Why am I trying to earn AAdvantage status? It’s not for the domestic first-class upgrades or the business class lounges on international flights. It’s for the mileage bonuses. Am I crazy? Save your judgments for the end.

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American Airlines Loyalty Points have been a game changer in the world of elite status. At TPG, our staff is trying a variety of different methods to earn AAdvantage status. Some of us are using AA cobranded credit cards to earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent, while I am focusing on taking discount, long-haul, premium cabin Oneworld flights to earn lots of Loyalty Points.

bed on American Airlines flight
Finding discounted fares on the British Airways Club World Suite is a great way to earn lots of Loyalty Points. (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

So we’re putting in all of this time, money and flying — for what?

If I make it to the 75,000 Loyalty Points required for AAdvantage Platinum by the end of February, I’ll earn 8 miles/Loyalty Points per dollar on American flights until Feb. 28, 2024.

Related: What is American Airlines elite status worth in 2022?

Earning 8 miles per dollar next year will make it much easier for me to retain — or even upgrade — my AAdvantage status in future years.

Since I don’t currently hold AAdvantage elite status, I’m on a slow path to status this year. As a general member, I only earn 5 Loyalty Points per dollar spent. For example, look at the potential rewards for flying on a $1,500, American-issued ticket. As a general member, I would only earn 7,500 Loyalty Points, but as a Platinum member, I would earn 12,000 Loyalty Points. Even more impressive, a top-tier Executive Platinum elite would earn 16,500 Loyalty Points.

passengers on AA flight
I’m spending lots of time in the back of the bus to earn status with American. (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)

The disparity between what a general member and an upper elite member can earn is immense. Since I am flying American without status, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum status are simply out of reach this year.

In other words, Loyalty Points inherently make it harder for those with no status to qualify. But, if I can make it to 75,000 Loyalty Points (Platinum status) by Feb. 28, 2023, and start earning 8 miles/Loyalty Points per dollar, I’ll be in a much better place to upgrade my status in subsequent years.

I am hoping to start 2023 off without being status sandbagged the way that I have been this year. Then, maybe we can start talking about other perks I hope to get to one day, such as systemwide upgrades and access to the Japan Airlines first class lounge in Tokyo.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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