American Giving Away Platinum Status to People Who Have Rarely Flown

My Facebook feed has been full of folks sharing American sending out targeted giveaways of Platinum elite status. Status is valid for few months with an expedited offer (12,500 qualifying miles and $2000 qualifying dollars) to keep it through the end of the current elite year.

Hans Mast passes along an example.

Enjoy Platinum status through May 26, 2017.

Sign up for American Airlines AAdvantage® Platinum status before you travel and no later than March 8, 2017. You’ll experience all the benefits of Platinum status, plus we’ll give you twenty 500-mile upgrades.

Use promotion code HV1PL.

This is targeted if your account wasn’t intended to receive this, the promotion code won’t work.

This offer amounts to a Platinum challenge with the $500 fee waived.

What’s interesting here is that the account targeted has only 16,800 lifetime miles and in the past two years credited only half of a $450 plus British Airways Avios business class ticket.

American has been reaching out to existing Platinum members and offering to sell them ‘Platinum Pro’ status (amounts ranging from close to $1800 to close to $2000) even if they actually flew 75,000 miles in 2016 — the status didn’t start until 2017, so 2017 flying ‘or buying’ is what counts.

Meanwhile they’re giving away the Platinum tier not just on request of a challenge but proactively and with no fee. But I’d argue that Platinum doesn’t get you much, you won’t often see an upgrade, the key benefits are being able to reserve extra legroom economy seats at time of booking and lounge access on international coach itineraries.

Here are the key benefits of American AAdvantage Platinum:

  • Complimentary upgrades on flights under 500 miles, subject to availability
  • 60% bonus on travel flown
  • Upgrades with 500 mile certificates, confirmed as much as 48 hours prior to departure
  • Priority check-in, security, baggage, and boarding
  • Two free checked bags
  • Complimentary standby
  • Complimentary main cabin extra
  • Waived close-in award booking fee
  • Lounge access when traveling internationally

Still being gifted the status along with 20 500 mile upgrades which doesn’t normally come with the challenge and that customers normally have to fly for or buy is a great lottery win for those who receive it, which probably doesn’t please those who flew to earn it.

Terms and conditions:

This is an exclusive offer only for members who received a letter directly from American Airlines. You must register by 11:59 pm CT March 8, 2017, and prior to travel in order for your Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) to count toward this promotion.

AAdvantage ® Platinum offer through May 26, 2017
AAdvantage Platinum status received through this offer is valid through May 26, 2017. Your AAdvantage Platinum status will be valid within 10 business days of registering for this promotion. You must requalify for AAdvantage elite status membership annually. Learn more about standard qualification levels.

AAdvantage ® Platinum offer through January 31, 2018
AAdvantage Platinum status received through this offer is valid through January 31, 2018. Upon reaching the required Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) threshold, your AAdvantage Platinum status benefits will be extended immediately through January 31, 2018. Your new membership credentials will be mailed to you within four to six weeks after qualification. Qualification is based on AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) earned on eligible, purchased, published fare tickets on American Airlines, American Eagle® service, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas, as well as codeshare flights, between the date you register and May 26, 2017. Travel completed prior to registration will not count toward this promotion. You must requalify for AAdvantage elite status membership annually. Learn more about standard qualification levels.

500-mile upgrades offer
Your 500-mile upgrades will be deposited into your AAdvantage account within 20 business days of registering for this promotion. Standard 500-mile upgrade Terms and Conditions apply.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I received this offer 2-3 years ago as a Plat flyer on UA who also had to take several (but not THAT many) flights on AA to get to a client served out of a small regional airport only served by the one airline. While I appreciated it, let it lapse as, in general, AA wasn’t as convenient for my travel patterns as UA.

  2. As a Plat with over 72K miles last year, I’m livid. I guess I could have bought my spot little higher over these free Plats for only $1799. I guess atleast they offered. This and EQD requirement means i’m no longer loyal to AA. Whatever airline gets me where I need to go for right price wins my business now. And planning on banking AA miles to Alaska for 2017, maybe they will offer me free Plat next year 🙂

  3. They did this same thing last year. I had only flew AA a couple times in 2015 and in January 2016 was offered this exact same challenge (without the min spend requirement).

  4. I’ve been Platinum for about 10 years. Getting upgrades depends on where you’re flying. If I’m doing Dallas-Miami, it’s next to impossible. If I’m going anywhere in Central America, it’s almost a sure thing. Other destinations fall somewhere in between.

    I’m curious how many of these they sent out. If it’s a huge number, okay, then I’m bugged. Mostly, though, I’m curious as to the reasoning behind this marketing ploy.

  5. I got this offer minus the 500-mile coupons back in the fall. I hadn’t been crediting to AA at all for more than a year prior, but I took them up on it, did the challenge and then matched the PLT status to MVP Gold on Alaska.

  6. For the 2nd year in a row I’ve received Platinum status on AA. I don’t think I’ve flown AA in 7 years. I’m exclusive to Delta where I’ve been Platinum for the last 7 years. I thought getting it last year was a fluke, but nope showed up again a few weeks ago for 2017 – and this is the full-length membership, not a limited time status and not one where I need to accrue miles to retain. Even came with a bunch of certs to hand out to AA crew for extra service.

  7. Tried the code you posted, it worked and now I’m Amex plat for next few months. I didn’t receive an email.

    Based in Seattle, I’m Alaska MVP, and hardly ever fly American airlines (maybe once a year and even then always credit miles to Alaska. Even so, i usually have a healthy AA balance purely from churning and nothing else.

    Won’t qualify at end of may for this since I hardly ever fly American, but do have one Dallas flight plan next month so platinum might work out there!

  8. Darn. Just when you think all the more responsible bloggers had begun following the “Always add ‘TARGETED’ disclaimer when applicable” rule in their post teaser titles. Those potential extra clicks are sometimes just too tempting I guess.

  9. @Brady this isn’t about ‘clicks’ and the post isn’t meant to suggest “here’s an offer you can take advantage of” it’s “here’s something american is doing” it says something about their strategy and the value of elite status

  10. I’ve received 5-6 emails to renew my Gold status for $699. I flew zero miles in AA in 2016—it doesn’t seem to occur to them that I may no longer even be a customer, except in rare circumstances when the route demands it.

  11. Lifetime Platinum here – would have liked to have gotten a challenge to Plat Pro especially since I am about to hit 3 million miler mark .

  12. Where do I enter the code to see if I qualify? I’m flying AA a couple times in the next few months … first time flying them in over a decade … Thanks!

  13. There’s another code – HV1MT. Neither worked for my account which is not surprising because I don’t recall receiving any emails.

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