Elite loyalty programs have had a tough conundrum this year. There are many elite business travelers who have not flown for their company since before the pandemic.
Last year the decision to extend elite status expiring in January 2021 to January 2022 was an easy one. Most people weren’t flying last year anyway and airlines extended status early in the year.
This year has been much trickier. On the one hand, airlines don’t want to give everyone a free pass, as that would discourage people from trying to renew their elite status. On the other hand, airlines don’t want to turn loyal business passengers into free agents when they are not flying for work.
Airlines could also just wait until the end of the year to announce an elite extension, but they risk angering their most loyal passengers who flew with them to extend their status, only to be told it wasn’t needed.
Airlines have tried to thread that needle by doling out elite qualifying miles and dollars and making status easier to renew, but the question has always been, will that be enough?
Clearly, American thinks that it will not. Despite rolling out a plethora of promotions just a few weeks ago to make it even easier to requalify for status, they are back again with generous new offers.
- You can retain the status you had on 1/1/21 through 1/31/23 if you do just one of the following:
- Spend $15,000 on an American credit card between July 15 – November 15, 2021.
- Earn at least $2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) on eligible airline tickets on American or elite qualifying partner airlines flown between September 1 – December 31, 2021.
There is a caveat, that if you use one of these 2 easy methods to requalify for Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro status you will not be eligible for 2022 elite choice rewards, unless of course you also meet the 2021 elite qualification requirements for Executive Platinum or Platinum Pro.
I got American Executive Platinum status in 2019 thanks to being a Hyatt Globalist and it’s been extended ever since. Now I’ll be able to extend it to 1/31/23 by spending $15,000 on my American card!
Even if you have nothing to spend that on, you can pay your federal taxes for a 1.96% fee. If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes. The cost to pay $14,712 in federal taxes is 1.96% or $288, which would bring your spending to $15,000. That’s not a bad price at all for 15,000 AA miles and an extension of your elite status!
Better yet, open an American credit card and earn a sweet signup bonus as well:
- The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum World Mastercard is offering 65,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $4,000 in 4 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage Platinum World Elite Consumer Mastercard is offering 50,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $2,500 in 3 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer Mastercard is offering 50,000 AA miles for opening the card and spending $5,000 in 3 months.
- The Citi AAdvantage MileUp Consumer Mastercard is offering 10,000 AA miles and a $50 statement credit for opening the card and spending $500 in 3 months.
I won’t earn more systemwide upgrades if I requalify via spending, but my current systemwide upgrades were extended through 6/30/22.
- In other American elite status news:
- As previous announced, Platinum Pro members will get OneWorld Emerald status starting tomorrow. That means they will also get 3 free checked bags and access to first class lounges and first class checkin.
- Platinum Pro members will now be eligible for upgrades on Alaska.
- Executive Platinum members will now board with Group 1 instead of 2.
- Don’t forget to check if you’re targeted for Platinum status for free.
Will you take advantage of the latest short cut to elite status? Will Delta or United be forced to mAAtch AA?