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New Year’s AAdmission! Why I Flipped On American Airlines Status

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American Airlines Status

American Airlines Status

I cannot underscore how diabolically genius I feel American Airlines has been with their Loyalty Points scheme.  Seemingly overnight, they made many (me, for one) automatically care about their elite status.  But initially, I stayed away from collecting Loyalty Points, as doing so would mean giving up other rewards for the same spend.  Eventually, that opportunity cost melted away (it’s a longer story for a different forum), and I went hard during year one of the Loyalty Points program.  I reached Executive Platinum status in the fall of 2022 and enjoyed using it throughout 2023.  I’m still EP, but I had planned for my American Airlines status to expire at the end of this coming March.  But things have changed – here’s why.


Last year, I talked plenty about why I had no plans to requalify for American Airlines status for 2024.  I laid out why my best return would have been to pursue it in non-consecutive years.  But along the way, other opportunities came along.

Similar to my previous American Airlines status chase, these options took things to a different, significant level.  In these cases, opportunity cost essentially disappears, and the sky’s the limit.  These aren’t “once in a lifetime” options – they’re more “once in a while” opportunities.

So there’s no reason for me NOT to chase AA status for another year.  I got a late start this qualification year, but I’m at about 150k Loyalty Points currently.  I’m confident I’ll achieve the 200k threshold for Executive Platinum, perhaps even 250k for more Loyalty Point Rewards (more on that later).

American Airlines Status
Hello, again.


It’s a long story (yes, I’m saying that again in this article), but I haven’t done much with Citi in the past couple years.  I pursued a Citi AA Business card last fall, though, and to my delight and slight surprise, I was approved.  This new card gave me extra capacity to earn American miles, and just as important, Loyalty Points toward elite status.  I plan to keep it going.

American Airlines Status
Source: Barclays.

Barclays Upgrade

I’d downgraded from the Aviator Red to the Blue several years ago and paid the $49 annual fee without flinching.  I liked retaining the ability to earn AA miles on a card not issued by Citi.  Holding onto this card paid off a couple years ago, and it did so last fall when I upgraded to the Aviator Silver.  It’s probably my favorite AA card overall, with an impressive suite of benefits for a $199 annual fee.  Perhaps the biggest feature is an easy 15k bonus Loyalty Points for big spenders.

I Like Fun

AA enthusiasts can earn Loyalty Points in a variety of ways, which I think makes chasing status even more fun.  I primarily focus on credit card spend and the AA shopping portal, but many other options exist.  Delta has clearly moved toward AA’s model with their changes, but they still don’t compare to AA in terms earning flexibility, perhaps intentionally.

Extra Stuff

In the Loyalty Points program’s first year, they offered Loyalty Choice Rewards at certain Loyalty Point thresholds.  But those rewards also required 30 eligible flight segments for individuals to qualify.  But AA improved in year two, throwing out the flight segment qualification and rebranding the program Loyalty Point Rewards.  Chasers can now solely qualify for Loyalty Point Rewards like extra redeemable miles, lounge passes, and systemwide upgrades based on their sheer LP totals.

American Airlines Status
Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

American Airlines Status – Conclusion

With the Loyalty Points scheme, there’s no doubt AA has brought more interest (and players) into their AAdvantage loyalty program, which creates more competition for perks like upgrades.  Some traditional elite qualifiers are undoubtedly disappointed at the perceived watering down of AA elite status.  If everyone’s an elite, no one’s an elite, right?

But overall, I think chasing American Airlines status via Loyalty Points is a net win for many out there.  I happen to be in this group again now, but as always, it’ll be an annual consideration.  And those plans can change even within the year, as is currently the case.  What makes sense now won’t necessarily in the future, and more importantly, opportunities change.  In our dynamic points and travel hobby, I’d have it no other way.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


    • Chase,
      As I mentioned in the I Like Fun section above, I’m primarily earning via credit card spend and AA shopping portal purchases.

  1. Bengy hopefully you can help …..With American hotels they show 2 prices
    Example…….your stay will earn 1-500; miles but with credit card and elite status will earn 15,000 miles …….does the 15,000 count towards loyalty points or the lower 1,500?

  2. Now, if only other airlines would comprehend motivating customers to spend in all revenue channels. Delta, are you listening? And, Amex Delta Reserve needs to follow Citi AA Executive.


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