As the pandemic continues to rage in parts of the world, frequent flyers are finding it difficult to re-qualify for elite status the traditional way. Therefore, airlines are running promotions to keep elite fliers.
By comparison, America’s efforts to hold onto the elites have not been overwhelming, but that changed in late June. American has introduced two new acronyms to help existing elites maintain their AAdvantage elite status through January 31, 2023, and both options are perfectly attainable. Travelers even have the option to extend their existing AAdvantage Elite status without taking a single flight.
How to renew your AAdvantage Elite status
American Airlines AAdvantage members who had elite status as of January 1, 2021, can now retain elite status through January 31, 2023. To do this, elites must overcome one of two challenges: $ 15,000 for one AAdvantage credit card or earn 2,000 EQD by flying.
Spend $ 15,000 on an AAdvantage credit card
The first way to renew your elite status doesn’t require a single flight. Charge only $ 15,000 for eligible purchases from an eligible AAdvantage credit card between July 15 and November 15, 2021. All Citi / AAdvantage credit cards and Aviator cards issued by Barclaycard are eligible – in addition to all AAdvantage credit cards issued outside the United States
Just make sure you are spending at least $ 15,000 on combined purchases. Although bonus miles will help you get on your next award flight, spending in bonus categories will not reach the spending threshold twice as quickly.
Eligible purchases exclude balance transfers, cash advances, returned items, interest and account fees, and cash-like transactions. Make sure, that Check the full terms for excluded purchases.
Earn 2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars this fall
The other way to keep your AAdvantage Elite status is by flying. Simply earn 2,000 qualifying elite dollars on qualifying flights between September 1 and December 31, 2021 to extend your elite status, which you held in early 2021, through January 31, 2023.
This EQD requirement is the same for all levels of AAdvantage Elite status. This means that both Gold and Executive Platinum Elite members must meet the same 2,000 EQD requirements in order to renew their elite status.
The good news is that you’re not limited to earning EQD with American Airlines. EQD can be purchased on flights marketed by American Airlines or on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, Oneworld airline partners, and JetBlue. If a cash flight brings in EQDs, these EQDs are practically counted towards this promotion.
Plus, you don’t have to book any new flights to take advantage of this promotion. Flights already purchased for travel between September 1 and December 31, 2021 will qualify for this offer.
The disadvantage: flights that were flown before September 1, 2021 do not qualify. However, American Airlines has eliminated rebooking fees on most fares (excluding Basic Economy fares). If you have flexible travel plans, you can change existing flights to later dates in order to qualify for this promotion.
Shortcuts to achieving AAdvantage Elite status in 2021
This elite maintenance offer is ideal for those who have had AAdvantage elite status as of January 1, 2021. However, for non-elite members and those aspiring to a higher elite tier, American Airlines also offers shortcuts and additional ways to earn AAdvantage Elite as of 2021.
Reduced AAdvantage Elite status requirements for 2021
American Airlines reduced the requirements for Achieve AAdvantage Elite status in 2021 by 20% to 33% compared to pre-COVID requirements. To achieve AAdvantage elite status in 2021, you must meet the following thresholds:
Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)
Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs)
Elite Qualification Segment (EQSs)
American Airlines EQD Exemption Airlines
American Airlines will waive the EQD requirement for Elite Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Pro status in 2021 for AAdvantage members who spend $ 30,000 on a qualifying AAdvantage credit card.
Earn AAdvantage Elite Status Credits on JetBlue
American Airlines elite status promotions
In early June 2021, American Airlines launched three promotions for elites to help them achieve elite status in 2021: an EQM accelerator, bonus EQD, and the option to purchase EQM.
AAdvantage members with Elite status May 25th or later can register to earn bonus EQM on up to 10 American Airlines flights through August 31st. The Bonus EQM depends on your Elite Status Level:
250 bonus EQM per flight for Gold and non-elite members.
500 bonus EQM per flight for platinum elites.
750 Bonus EQM per flight for Platinum Pro Elites.
1,000 Bonus EQM per flight for Executive Platinum Elites.
Elites can also register to receive bonus EQDs:
500 bonus EQD for gold elites.
1,000 bonus EQD for platinum elites.
1,500 Bonus EQD for Platinum Pro Elites.
3,000 Bonus EQD for Executive Platinum Elites.
Finally, Elite members can purchase bonus EQMs for $ 495. The amount of EQM you will receive with this purchase is based on your Elite status on May 25, 2021.
2,500 bonus EQM for gold elites.
5,000 bonus EQM for platinum elites.
7,500 bonus EQM for platinum pro elites.
10,000 Bonus EQM for Executive Platinum Elites.
Why you still want to earn elite status
The new ways to maintain elite status are very helpful for travelers who are still grounded from the pandemic. However, if you are able to travel, you may want to stay loyal to American Airlines – even after maintaining your elite status through one of these offers.
First, only travelers who meet AAdvantage Elite Status Requirements 2021 will receive Elite Choice Rewards. These are the new benefits – such as system-wide upgrades, bonus miles or Admirals Club membership – that Elite members receive when they achieve Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum status. To take advantage of these benefits in 2022, you must meet the AAdvantage Elite reduced tier requirements in 2021. Elite retention activities do not qualify.
EQD revenues are also a key factor for American Airlines upgrade priority. If your EQD earnings are low, you will be prioritized over other elites on the same flight. Even if you keep your elite status through any of these offers, you may want to keep flying American Airlines to increase your EQD earnings.
If you are an elite member of American Airlines
After American Airlines only received overwhelming offers to maintain elite status, American Airlines surprised loyal travelers with two ways to keep elite status. To maintain your elite status from early 2021 through January 31, 2023, simply do one of the following:
Spend $ 15,000 on an eligible AAdvantage credit card between July 15 and November 15, 2021.
Earn 2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars between September 1 and December 31, 2021.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what is important to you. Here are our tips for that The best travel credit cards 2021including the best for: