[Final Day To Finish 2023 Loyalty Point Spending] Should You Swipe Your Way To American Elite Status?

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Update, 2/29: Today is the last day to spend your way to a higher status level or milestone. You can select 2023 milestone awards through 3/30.

The 2024 qualification year starts tomorrow, see details here.

Update, 12/12: If you are swiping your way to AA status, note that unlike last year, all spending done in February 2024 will count towards 2024 status, even if it’s done after your February statement date closes.

In other words, if your statement closes on February 15th, spending from February 16th-29th will count towards 2024 status (expiring 3/31/25), and spending from March 1st and on will count towards 2025 status (expiring 3/31/26). 

Personally, I’m not a fan of this change, as it gives less time to double dip on alternating status years as you now only have March to do spending if you want to qualify for status every other year without a gap in status. But it does make things less confusing for people who don’t know when their statement close date is.


Originally posted on 5/2:

A game-changer for elite status

Last year, American changed the elite status game by counting all credit card spending toward earning elite status.

This year they did it again by allowing loyalty choice rewards to be earned without needing to ever pay for or step onto an American flight, by dropping the 30 flight requirement for those rewards.

For big spenders or business owners, that means you can spend your way to elite benefits. But should you?

You need to earn 40K loyalty points for Gold status, 75K for Platinum status, 125K for Platinum Pro status, or 200K for Executive Platinum status.

Status requirements and benefits

  • If you want Gold status, you’ll need to spend $40,000 on AA cards between 3/1/23-2/29/24 and the status will last through 3/31/25.
    • Benefits include OneWorld Ruby status, Alaska benefits, 40% bonus loyalty points on flights, a free checked bag, group 4 boarding, upgrades for you and a companion when available starting 24 hours before flights, upgrades on award tickets for you and a companion, preferred seats at booking, and main cabin extra seating at checkin.
  • If you want Platinum status, you’ll need to spend $75,000 on AA cards ($65,000 if you have Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard) between 3/1/23-2/29/24 and the status will last through 3/31/25.
    • Benefits include OneWorld Sapphire status, Alaska benefits, 60% bonus loyalty points on flights, 2 free checked bags, priority baggage handling, group 3 boarding, OneWorld business class lounge access when flying internationally, upgrades for you and a companion when available starting 48 hours before flights, and main cabin extra seating at booking.
  • If you want Platinum Pro status, you’ll need to spend $125,000 on AA cards ($105,000 if you have Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard) between 3/1/23-2/29/24 and the status will last through 3/31/25.
    • Benefits include OneWorld Emerald status, Alaska benefits, 80% bonus loyalty points on flights, 3 free 70 pound checked bags, priority baggage handling, group 2 boarding, free same day flight changes, OneWorld first class lounge access when flying internationally, upgrades for you and a companion when available starting 72 hours before flights, upgrades on award tickets for you and a companion, upgrades for you and a companion on Alaska, and main cabin extra seating at booking.
  • If you’re gunning for top-tier Executive Platinum status, you’ll need to spend $200,000 on AA cards ($180,000 if you have Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard) between 3/1/23-2/29/24 and the status will last through 3/31/25. Of course, if you’re earning loyalty points from flying or other methods, that requirement will be reduced.

Executive Platinum benefits include:

  • OneWorld Emerald status
  • Alaska benefits, such as priority access, preferred seating, 3 free bags, same-day flight switch, upgrades for you and a companion, lounge access, and more.
  • 120% bonus loyalty points on flights
  • Three free 70 pound checked bags
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Group 1 boarding
  • Free same-day flight changes
  • OneWorld first-class lounge access when flying internationally
  • Upgrades for you and a companion when available starting 100 hours before flights
  • Upgrades on award tickets for you and a companion
  • Guaranteed availability in coach
  • Free drink and snack in coach
  • Main cabin extra seating at booking.

Loyalty point rewards

  • At 15K loyalty points you will obtain group 5 boarding and can select one of these Loyalty Point Rewards:
    • Group 4 boarding for a trip
    • 5 preferred seat coupons
  • At 60K loyalty points you will earn Avis Preferred Plus status and a 20% loyalty point bonus with AA Vacations, eShopping, SimplyMiles, AA dining, and AA hotels.
  • At 100K loyalty points you will earn Avis President’s Club status and a 30% loyalty point bonus with AA Vacations, eShopping, SimplyMiles, AA dining, and AA hotels.

When you reach 175K loyalty points, you also get to select 1 loyalty point rewards from this list:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades, good for a one-way upgrade on AA or BA flights from coach to business or from business to first class.
  • 20K bonus miles or 25K bonus miles for AA cardholders
  • 15% award rebate for up to 2 passengers flying round-trip anywhere on any airline with AA miles.
  • 6 Admirals Club day passes
  • $200 trip credit or $250 trip credit for AA cardholders
  • Carbon offset
  • $250 donation to select nonprofits
  • 2 gifts of AAdvantage Gold status
  • 35K miles towards a Mastercard Priceless Experience

At 250K loyalty points, you can select two of these Loyalty Point Rewards:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades
  • 20K bonus miles or 30K bonus miles for AA cardholders
    • You can select this twice and earn a total of 85K miles if you also select miles at the 175K level.
  • 6 Admirals Club day passes
  • 1 Flagship Lounge visit or 2 visits for AA cardholders
  • Admirals Club membership (requires 2 rewards)
  • Bang & Olufsen product (requires 2 rewards)
  • $200 trip credit or $250 trip credit for AA cardholders
  • Carbon offset
  • $250 donation to select nonprofits
  • 2 gifts of AAdvantage Gold status
  • 35K miles towards a Mastercard Priceless Experience

You can select the same award choice multiple times, so after earning 250K loyalty points you can have 6 systemwide upgrades or 85K bonus miles.

Additional rewards are available for spending 400K (such as 2 systemwide upgrades or 50K miles), 550K (such as 2 systemwide upgrades or 50K miles), 750K (such as 2 systemwide upgrades or 50K miles), 1M (such as 4 systemwide upgrades or 100K award rebate or gift of Platinum Pro status), 3M (such as 6 systemwide upgrades or 300K award rebate or gift of Executive Platinum status), and 5M (such as 10 systemwide upgrades or 500K award rebate or gift of Executive Platinum status) points.

Cost for spending towards top-tier status

Scenario 1: Spend $200K for Executive Platinum status and 1 loyalty point reward choice:

Let’s say that a business has a $196,367.21 federal tax liability. The business owner can pay those taxes on an AA card for a fee of $3,632.79 (which may be tax deductible, ask your accountant). In total, they will have spent $200,000 and earned 200,000 AA miles, 200,000 loyalty points, Executive Platinum status through 3/31/25, and a loyalty point reward such as 25K miles, 2 systemwide upgrades, or a 15% award rebate.

Is that worthwhile? AA points are still quite valuable, in no small part due to their partner award chart, which has bargains on airlines like Etihad, Cathay Pacific, JAL, Qantas, Qatar, and more. I just flew JAL first class from Cleveland to Osaka via JFK and Tokyo for 80K AA miles+$5.60. The ticket would have cost $14,000 cash, meaning the redemption had a value of 11.2 cents per mile.

But let’s say AA miles are worth 1.4 cents on average. If you earned 225,000 miles after the loyalty point reward, you’d have $3,150 worth of AA miles. You’ll have effectively paid $482.79 for the Executive Platinum status.

Scenario 2: Spend $250K for Executive Platinum status and 3 loyalty point reward choices:

Or if you have a business that has a $245,459 federal tax liability. The business owner can pay those taxes on an AA card for a fee of $4,541 (which may be tax deductible, ask your accountant). In total they will have spent $250,000 and earned 250,000 AA miles, 250,000 loyalty points, Executive Platinum status through 3/31/25, and 3 loyalty point rewards. You could claim 85K miles or 6 systemwide upgrades for example.

If we say AA miles are worth 1.4 cents on average and you earned 335,000 miles after the loyalty point rewards, you’ll have $4,690 worth of AA miles. You’ll have effectively paid negative $149 for the Executive Platinum status.

Of course, those numbers will change depending on what you actually redeem the AA miles for.

Scenario 3: Executive cardholder spending $180K for Executive Platinum status and 1 loyalty point reward choice:

That math changes if you have a Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard and have a business that has a $176,730.49 federal tax liability. The business owner can pay those taxes on an AA card for a fee of $3,269.51 (which may be tax deductible, ask your accountant). In total, they will have spent $180,000 and earned 180,000 AA miles, 200,000 loyalty points, Executive Platinum status through 3/31/25, and a loyalty point reward such as 25K miles, 2 systemwide upgrades, or a 15% award rebate.

If you earned 205,000 miles after the loyalty point reward, you’d have $2,870 worth of AA miles. You’ll have effectively paid $399.51 for the Executive Platinum status. Plus you only need to spend $180K instead of $200K.

Scenario 4: Executive cardholder spending $230K for Executive Platinum status and 3 loyalty point reward choices:

Or if you have a Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard and a business that has a $225,822.29 federal tax liability. The business owner can pay those taxes on an AA card for a fee of $4,177.71 (which may be tax deductible, ask your accountant). In total they will have spent $230,000 and earned 230,000 AA miles, 250,000 loyalty points, Executive Platinum status through 3/31/25, and 3 loyalty point rewards. You could claim 85K miles or 6 systemwide upgrades for example.

If we say AA miles are worth 1.4 cents on average and you earned 315,000 miles after the loyalty point rewards, you’ll have $4,410 worth of AA miles. You’ll have effectively paid negative $232.29 for the Executive Platinum status.

Of course, those numbers will change depending on what you actually redeem the AA miles for.

Opportunity cost

As always, you also have to look at the opportunity cost of doing something like this.

Looking at the opportunity cost, you are trading 500,000 ThankYou or Capital One points for 335,000 AA miles and Executive Platinum status. Most people would be better off with the extra points, but that may be a good tradeoff for people who highly value AA miles as they are otherwise hard to get, and/or people who would get a lot of value from the elite status.

AA deserves credit for making it at least somewhat compelling to spend money on their credit cards over more flexible hybrid or cash back cards.

Will you spend your way to elite status?

Leave a Reply

61 Comments On "[Final Day To Finish 2023 Loyalty Point Spending] Should You Swipe Your Way To American Elite Status?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Cb

How do you value AA systemwide upgrades compared to. UA pluspoints?

AlanBroas

Do the 75k AA miles earned from Citi AAdvantage Platinum World Elite Consumer Mastercard or AA miles from any of the mentioned cards also count as Loyalty Points?

Justmeha

No

eh

the gifting of 1 gift of AAdvantage Platinum status etc. that come with 400K, 550K and 750K, is that also for the same time period? through 3/31/25?

Ly

Yes

Chris Wright

No it only lasts a year from gift date

Moish

Don’t you have to fly a certain amount to reach top level? Even if you spend on the card, enough to earn top level status, I think that in order to get “all” the benefits (system wide upgrades etc), you also need to actually fly a certain amount.

Dan, can you confirm?

Justmeha

Not anymore, that was last year.

od

“But let’s say AA miles are worth 1.4 cents on average. If you earned 225,000 miles after the loyalty point reward, you’d have $3,150 worth of AA miles. You’ll have effectively paid $482.79 for the Executive Platinum status.”

how did you arrive at$482.79?

Chase what matters

Minus the fee you paid for your taxes

Pashtus

subtracted $3,150 from the cost of the fee incurred from paying the taxes with a CC

LP

The transaction fee for paying the taxes on a credit card was $3,632.79. He subtracted from that fee the value of the points ($3,150) which come to $482.79.

Joseph

Are there free upgrades to first class if available?

Ly

In North America

Shmueli

“I just flew JAL first class from Cleveland to Osaka”
TR in the making?
Please?

iahphx

Everyone is different, but for most people “spending” your way to high elite status would be foolish. Putting the spend on other high reward cards is usually a no-brainer. If you feel you MUST fly up front, get a few credit card sign up bonuses and earn the points that way. I fly AA all the time, and I think the sweet spot in the program is gold status:certainly last year when you only need 30K points. It was pretty easy to do that mostly by buying virtual gift cards below cost (on the periodic sales) and using the bonus points (usually 3x) to earn the loyalty points AND frequent flyer points. Not sure it’s worth the trouble to figure out what will work this year, but I know putting 40K on an AA credit card isn’t it.

JoeSchmo

Since AA doesn’t upgrade flier using award tickets (unless Exec PL), I don’t play this game. If AA changes that policy, then i’ll be purchsed.

szz

I’ve been thinking about it but my main city is an UA hub. If it’s UA I’ll be happy to do it.

User

Great post thank you

Henry G

What are the exact ways to get status by flying only? I’m having difficulty understanding the new loyalty method

Ben

I think there are free upgrades to premium ( when available) on international flights when you are platinum level and up. Can anyone confirm?

M

I know for EP, if you requested SWU to business, and didn’t get upgraded, if PE is available, they will give you before boarding free.

Ly

Even without the SWU

Ly

As EXP day of departure if available on paid tickets

Danfan

Can’t decide if it’s worth going for this… I can swipe my way through, but I’ll be missing out on all other CC bonuses, and I am not sure how much upgrade availability AA has for upgrades on my routes (nyc-lhr/nyc-tlv), Maybe I should just stick to my current strategy, racking up half a million points a year or more on transferrable points, and them buying whatever there is available… Can anyone help?

Than you sir

Your current strategy seems reasonable. When flying domestically with EP status, you may receive upgrades anywhere from 30% to 80% of the time, depending on the route. However, keep in mind that SWUs for international flights may not always clear. Many of the other benefits of EP status can be obtained through credit card perks, without having to spend $200k on an AA card. Unless you are flying at least twice a month and are committed to one airline, the opportunity cost may be too high.

dov

can one use the system wide upgrades from JFK-TLV?
is there ever any space available?

Zal bar

I think
The conversation is ridiculous
Because if you have 250K to spend only
On taxes
I believe you could afford to pay a first class ticket
And have no time to read doos this kind of conversation

I’m sure that your time works much more than that

Yudi

Do the upgrades work to Israel?

vic

The AA barclay business card also has

5% AAdvantage® mileage bonus

And also gets 2x at office supplies. so its 1.05 aa miles or 2.1 miles at office supply. Do not think the bonuses count towards loyalty points but changes the math in a beneficial way.

Is it worth the time and effort to buy $1600 of visa gift cards every day at staples during promotions (or hit multiple staples each day)? Probably not for most people, and you would not do that unless your maxed out at 5x on ink cards.

250k loyalty points every other year does appear to be a bit of a sweet spot. If you use AA enough it makes sense, and there isn’t an easy/steady/effective way to get tons of AA points (Looks like Bilt is gaining recognition and is the exception, but the bonus category is 1 day a month, but those don’t count towards loyalty pts anyways).

Too bad you can’t pay off your citi cards (automated phone system) anymore with those pesky $200 vgcs/mcgcs. That was a pretty amazing full circle situation.

I think 1.4 is an extremely conservative valuation as well. I’ve been flying for 7.5k-9k each way with free cancels routinely cle-dfw-rno where the cash price is regularly $500+ rt 3 weeks out and $700+ within. also 19k in business class still pops up now and then.

So for someone/a business who has tax bills north of $200k every *other* year, this does make sense. Also the whole overpayment and getting a check back seems to still be in play. Your essentially buying miles near a conservative valuation rate and getting the status as a cherry on top.

TLDR, worth it every other year if you can flex that much spend.

Izzy

What’s the best way to get to Israel with AA miles?

Director

Direct from jfk on aa.

Moishebatchy

Absofreakingloutely NOT.

American has proven themselves to be bad actors time and time again, whether buying back their own stock instead of investing, or taking Covid bailout money and then promptly raising bag fees. Now they are trying to destroy the travel industry with their stupid NDC crap.

It is my sincere hope and desire to see AA crash and burn miserably, and go out of business in the most spectacular fashion possible. Of course there’s almost no chance of that happening… but hey, a man can dream.

EG

Until AA started flying NYC-TLV I didn’t have much use for the program, despite being a member since the early 90s or late 80s. As a person who doesn’t do much flying, I got interested in the opportunity to earn top status by spending only.

However, given the unpredictability of the AA seat configuration on 777 – between a great seat and a terrible seat, coupled with the cooperation between LY and DL, I think this will be a one off run for me. I hope once I get there I will be able to get a status match with DL and/or UA.

BT

Not worth it unless you have unlimited spend. Loyalty ain’t what it used to be and banking on upgrades is nerve-wracking.

Use the spend on as many SUB as you can get and use the points to buy the seat you want upfront

AE

As EG mentioned – what about using this as a ladder to get status match on UA or Delta? Would UA/Delta/etc. do that?

For United, for example, you would have to spend $360K spread out over at least 3 different cards to earn Platinum status. You could earn AA Executive Platinum (which I believe is equivalent to Premier 1K) for 1/2 the spend using only 1 card.

Joetraveler

How do you transfer thank you points to Aadvantage miles?

Henry

Can you add or post a new post regarding how to earn AA status only from flying?

Eliraps

Do they allow platinum members to get away with suitcase weighing up to 70lb?

Ruven P

I am surprised you didn’t advertise about the Southwest companion pass with one card that ended yesterday. Much better bang for the buck compared to this.

Jeremy

How do these deals compare to Capital One Spark or Chase Ink Premier?

moe8555

If you factor in the Barclays Aviator Silver card, the math becomes more interesting when looking to achieve Platinum status. You would only need to put $50K on the Aviator Silver card to obtain the 75K LP needed (math as follows: $50K on the card would earn 50K base LP, plus 15K bonus spend milestone LP from the card, plus an additional 10K bonus LP from the Citi card for reaching 50K LP). You would also be earning from the Silver card: 2 $99 companion airfare certificates, the annual $50 wifi credit, and the daily in-flight food and beverage credit.

This is a fairly reasonable amount of spend and could really be a no-brainer if you can use the 2 companion tickets and fly AA or OneWorld airlines even relatively infrequently. Platinum is a great status for the more casual flyer since you get the lounge access abroad, MCE seats at booking, 2 suitcases, a chance for upgrades to F, and all the priority stuff.

Peggy

Advice on best way to fulfill the spend requirement…?

Sruly

Seems like JetBlue (Barclays) just made the same change.

Been There

I joined AA Advantage in 1981. Within 10 years I had amassed a million miles and achieved lifetime Gold status. That used to mean something. Today’s, it’s chopped liver. Everything hanged when US Air management took over. After a few years of their indifferent treatment, I stopped being a loyal AA customer.

pete

would this help with hyatt status

Moish

If I swipe the card today, but don’t pay for the charges for a week or a month, will it still count for this year?

Esaphire3

Anyone else here have issues with points from the citi business card not posting correctly? I shot for way over and will hopefully call and sort it all out next month.

cb

Reminder to use your remaining SWU before 3.29

Mendy

If you swipe, statement closes, then you need to return. What happens to your status?

Valentin

A third of my transactions on aadvantage eshopping don’t transfer the points. I have to save every single screenshot and I am so tired of contacting the customer service over and over. Today, 02/29 I am still waiting for points to be manually credited. I don’t trust them so I went to do some shopping (aa credit card) in person at 8 pm, only 360 points away for platinum.

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