BREAKING: American (Finally!) Extends Elite Status

by Jeremy Chesney

After United Airlines and Delta Air Lines made their announcements last week, American finally joined the party and extended elite status and decreased elite-earning thresholds. The key points of their announcement are as follows:

  • Elite status expiring on 1/31/2021 now expires on 1/31/2022
  • Systemwide upgrade certificates expiring on 1/31/2021 now expire on 7/31/2021
  • Elite qualification tiers lowered for this qualification year
  • Executive Platinum Choice Rewards now earned at 90,000, 120,000, and 150,000 EQM
  • Spend on all US-issued and some non-US Citi AAdvantage and AAdvantage Aviator products will earn one mile per dollar towards million miler status for transactions posted May 1, 2020 – Dec 31, 2020.

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The Upshot

Overall, that American Airlines extends status and upgrade certificates is the right move. The status extensions, plus decreased qualification tiers, matches Delta and United’s announcements. However, American’s decision to re-implement million miler qualification miles based on credit card spend is a unique and fascinating choice. Given how much money the airlines make from spend on their co-branded credit cards, this decision seems quite smart. Though American was late to the status extension party, they certainly made it worth the wait.

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