Do an American AAdvantage Status Challenge Now Before They Raise the Requirements

For a long time American AAdvantage has offered status ‘challenges’ that:

  • Do not require you to already have status with another airline
  • You pay for

These allow you to earn elite status more quickly with travel over a compressed period of time.

There have also been targeted offers or periods of time where American would extend status temporarily while completing a challenge. But challenges usually haven’t given status until the challenge was complete.

When American introduced a minimum revenue requirement for elite status they added a revenue component to the challenge also. And for extra money they started to let you have status during the challenge period, too.

I believe a Platinum challenge required flying 12,500 qualifying miles or 16 segments during the challenge, plus a minimum of $2000 qualifying dollars.

Expect the amount of qualifying dollars for these challenges to go up:

I don’t think any change here is related to American’s elite qualifying dollars for status this year since those apply to Executive Platinum only (going up from $12,000 to $15,000 for the year), qualifying dollars for lower status levels remain the same for now — $3000, $6000, and $9000 respectively for Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Pro.

And do bear in mind that if you are a United 1K or a Delta Diamond you can separately inquire about a status match with no fee to Executive Platinum status. That has been offered at times but not always.

Oddly while Delta’s status challenge has a minimum spending requirement, United’s does not.

And of course AAdvantage Platinum status is no longer as valuable as it used to be — it’s no longer one level below top tier (Platinum Pro 75,000 mile status has been introduced above it), domestic upgrades now begin to process 48 ours prior to travel rather than 72 hours, and bonus miles for flights have been reduced from 100% to 60%. What’s more since upgrades are prioritized within each status level based on past 12 months of spend, a newly minted Platinum without a full year of spend would be low on the totem pole.

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

Nonetheless if you’re considering asking American to do an elite status challenge you may want to ask for it now before a bigger spending requirement kicks in.

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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Comments

  1. When doing a challenge, does flying on partner airlines count, or would it need to be on AA metal? Might be good to leverage with the Cathay NYE fare (since one way First could effectively qualify for platinum, as long as partners count!). Thanks Gary!

  2. LOL. Do not do a challenge. Flying American Airlines is stupid, unless you are in a captive hub, like DFW. Just remember, you are rift/raft to American Airlines unless you spend a fortune on them.

    –In 2016 and before, I made Executive Platinum before they had revenue requirements. Most likely I would have made the revenue requirements.
    –In 2017, I continued to fly American Airlines because I had Executive Platinum, and received benefits.
    –In 2018, my status dropped to Gold (even though I had enough miles for Presidential Platinum, because I could not be bothered to meet revenue requirements). In 2018, I flew 0 miles on American.
    –2019, no status. :-).

  3. I’m in the AA captive hub of DFW but managed to qualify for UA 1K for second time in a row and flipped all spend from AA where I’d been ExPlat for a decade. The AA ExPlat experience deteriorated to the point I gave up and asked UA if they’d have me. Glad I did.

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