Successful Status Match from AA EP to Alaska Mileage Plan MVP Gold 75K
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After years as an American Airlines Executive Platinum member, I realized late last year that I would no longer be able to qualify.
I wrote about my successful status challenge to Delta Platinum, but I figured I might as well get as much mileage as possible out of the last days of AA EP status, so I reached out Alaska Airlines to see if I could also enroll in a challenge to their top-tier status.
I’ve been treated very well by American Airlines, and despite bumps in the road, I’d never thought about switching carriers.
But after AA instituted a new spend requirement of $15,000 for 2019 that could no longer be — at least partially — mitigated with credit card spend, I knew I could no longer swing Executive Platinum status.
You see, I used to be able to take off $6,000 of the former $12,000 AA spend requirement by putting all my spending on the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard. (You can get this card only by upgrading from the Barclays Red Aviator Card.)
Last year, I put $50,000 on the card and got $6,000 in EQDs. But this year, I only got $3,000 in EQDs after spending that same $50,000, as Barclays had cut its EQD benefit in half. (I still got 10,000 in EQMs toward status, which was nice.)
In any case, this higher spending requirement coupled with the new limits on EQDs through credit card spending made it unlikely that I’d reach Executive Platinum again.
I figured if I was going to be a midlevel status, I might as well try something new. So I signed up for an Alaska Airlines status challenge. TPG’s guide to status matches and challenges was instrumental. TPG values Alaska MVP Gold 75K at $6,825, so it’s definitely worth the effort.
Alaska has an official Mileage Plan Status Match Challenge landing page where you can upload your proof of current status and request to begin a challenge.
I sent them a screenshot of my AA balance showing I held Executive Platinum status via the website, and got a confirmation that my request was received. I eventually got word via email that I was enrolled.
Then came the fun part. I obsessively checked the Alaska Airlines website at least twice a day. I was all set to book some flights, but figured I had about three months to complete it, so no rush. I wanted to wait until I had the status before I started booking. Finally, about two weeks later, I saw that my status had been upgraded to MVP Gold 75K.
At the time my status was granted, there was no email indicating what I needed to fly before I got to keep the status. Is it possible that I had been granted a status match instead of a challenge? A letter in the mail this week built up my hopes. I thought Alaska gave me a match instead of a challenge.
Not so fast. Editor Nick Ewen told me it was highly unlikely. A call to Alaska confirmed I’d still need fly 20,000 miles by the end of March to keep my status for all of 2020. So I need to get busy doing some status runs! Stay tuned for some flight reviews of Alaska Airlines!
They do make it clear in the rules that it’s once a lifetime, so I’m busy planning the best ways to use my new status. I may do a long-desired trip to Alaska. I also have some flights coming up on Alaska that I used AA miles to book, so It will come in handy then. And now there’s a fantastic new promo that gives you 10,000 Alaska miles for flying on paid partner-flights to international destinations.
I’ll report back on how flying Alaska Airlines compares to American Airlines. With my status challenges, and matches I’ll enjoy Platinum on Delta and MVP Gold 75K with Alaska MileagePlus. I did end up earning Platinum Pro on AA too. 2020 should be an interesting year.
Featured image by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy.
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