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At the end of April, United Airlines offered its customers three different promotions which all gave flyers a chance to boost their progress along the path to elite status, and now American Airlines appears to have followed suit. The key difference here, however, is that flyers can sign up to all three of American’s promotions while United asked flyers to choose one from three.
American Airlines Elite Status Promotions
American Airlines customers will find all three of these promotions in the promotions section of their online AAdvantage accounts and they’ll find that one of the options requires no effort whatsoever (other than the effort needed to register) and requires no spending at all.
Get Closer To Elite Status With An EQD Bonus
This is the simplest of all three promotions and is the one that requires American Airlines customers to do nothing more than register.
Flyers should register (via their AAdvantage accounts) by 31 August 2021 and in return, American Airlines will deposit a number of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) into their accounts within 24 hours. The number of EQD on offer varies according to a flyer’s elite status level:
- Concierge Key – 3,000 EQD
- Executive Platinum – 3,000 EQD
- Platinum Pro – 1,500 EQD
- Platinum – 1,000 EQD
- Gold – 500 EQD
The terms and conditions of the promotion state that the EQD on offer are based on a flyer’s elite status as of 25 May 2021 so there’s no benefit to be had by waiting to register at a later date. Also, the EQD on offer in this promotion will not apply to any EQD targets that a flyer may have been set as part of an elite status challenge – the original terms for the challenge stand.
Earn Bonus EQM From Flying
Unlike the first promotion, this one involves a bit of effort and requires an American Airlines AAdvantage member to actually fly.
Flyers should register (via their AAdvantage accounts) by 17 August 2021 and they’ll earn bonus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) on the first 10 segments they fly following registration. The number of EQM on offer varies according to a flyer’s elite status level:
- Concierge Key – 1,000 EQM per segment
- Executive Platinum – 1,000 EQM per segment
- Platinum Pro – 750 EQM per segment
- Platinum – 500 EQM per segment
- Gold – 250 EQM per segment
Flights flown before registration will not count towards this promotion but all flights marketed and operated by American’s elite qualifying partner airlines will qualify for this promotion as well as all flights marketed and operated by American Airlines.
Flights taken between the date of registration and 31 August 2021 will qualify for this promotion but flights booked into Basic Economy will not qualify. Note also that the bonus EQM on offer will not count towards AAdvantage Million Miler status.
Buy EQM & Earn EQD On Your Purchase
Like the first promotion, this promotion doesn’t really require much effort, but unlike the first promotion, it requires flyers to part with some cash.
This promotion allows AAdvantage members to buy a quantity of Elite Qualifying Miles for $495 (the quantity on offer is based on an AAdvantage member’s elite status as of 25 May) with 495 EQD also being deposited into the member’s account. Here’s how many EQM elite members can earn with $495:
- Concierge Key – 10,000 EQM
- Executive Platinum – 10,000 EQM
- Platinum Pro – 7,500 EQM
- Platinum – 5,000 EQM
- Gold – 2,500 EQM
Members are limited to 1 transaction which must be completed by 31 August 2021 and the Elite Qualifying Miles and Dollars should be in a member’s account within 24 hours of their transaction. The bonus EQM on offer will not count towards AAdvantage Million Miler status nor will they count towards any elite status challenges that members may be undertaking.
As any purchase of EQM will be processed by American Airlines, any AAdvantage elites who decide to take up this opportunity should make sure they use a credit card that will reward the well for travel spending or for spending made directly with an airline – e.g. The Platinum Card® from American Express (review).
American’s Reduced Elite Status Targets
Back in October last year, American Airlines announced that it was reducing the elite status targets for qualification in 2021 so the promotions that have been published today are a boost towards already lowered thresholds. This is what American’s elite status requirements look like for 2021:
These thresholds mean that the number of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) required for status is currently 20% lower than normal and that the number of Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS) and the number of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) required for status is currently between 20% and 33% lower than normal (depending on the status tier).
In practical terms, someone with Executive Platinum status (for example) who chooses to participate in all three of the promotions published today could see their 2021 targets reduced to 60,000 EQM & 8,505 EQD…and that’s not too bad.
American Airlines has launched three new promotions for AAdvantage elite status holders and each promotion makes it a little easier for a flyer to earn/retain elite status in 2021. While one promotion requires no effort or out of pocket spending at all, the other two require some degree of effort and/or spending in order for their bonuses to be earned.
What do you think of these promotions?