Utilizing vacation purchasing to earn American Airways elite standing

As 2022 winds down, meaning we’re getting right down to the wire in relation to elite standing {qualifications} for 2023.

For longtime members of American Airways’ AAdvantage program, this 12 months’s “finish of 12 months crunch time” might look fairly totally different since we’re nearing the fruits of the primary 12 months of the airline’s revamped program by which members obtain standing by incomes Loyalty Factors.

Now, AAdvantage members do have a bit longer to qualify: The present qualifying interval ends on Feb. 28, 2023.

Nonetheless, as talked about earlier this month, this vacation purchasing interval is usually a vital time to make progress towards elite standing in loyalty applications — like American’s and others — which have shifted to revenue-based fashions that reward not simply journey, however bank card spending, too.

Vacation purchasing can be essential in figuring out whether or not I can attain American’s AAdvantage Platinum standing for the primary time.

An American Airways plane on the gate at Dallas/Fort Price Worldwide Airport (DFW). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

 Greatest causes to intention for standing

I would not go too far out of my approach in my push for Platinum on American. In any case, probably the most tangible advantages lower-level elite members take pleasure in are comparatively constant from Gold to Platinum standing.

The truth that Platinum members earn a second free checked bag and precedence baggage supply, for example, could also be a little bit of a moot level when you’ve been amongst these attempting to keep away from checking a bag in any respect prices in 2022.

You additionally get entry to Important Cabin Additional seats upon reserving a flight — not simply inside 24 hours of departure, such as you get with Gold. Nonetheless, I’ve had nice success snagging Important Cabin Additional seats at check-in anyway.

Additionally, indubitably, it might be good to have my first-class upgrades confirmed as far out as 48 hours predeparture as a substitute of a most of 24 hours out.

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The largest factor I am out for, although, is much less tangible: The precedence of upgrades.

I’ve had some respectable luck getting upgraded on short-hop East Coast flights. Nonetheless, I’ve simply as usually discovered myself a dozen or extra names down the improve waitlist as a Gold member.

Platinum would seemingly assist my upgrades clear with a bit extra frequency, and that is price loads.

Loyalty Factors system modifications year-end standing push

Within the spring, I famous how the AAdvantage program’s shift to Loyalty Factors helped higher place even these vacationers who do not discover themselves on an American Airways aircraft a number of occasions a month.

In any case, as of March, when the AAdvantage program formally made the shift, I discovered myself midway towards Gold regardless of having, at that time, solely flown two segments aboard American within the calendar 12 months.

Reasonably, up till that time, I might made my progress towards elite standing nearly completely by spending on my Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Choose® World Elite Mastercard®.

Underneath the brand new system, members earn 1 Loyalty Level per greenback on spending with cobranded bank cards.

On high of serving to me attain Gold standing over the summer time, that spending plus a ramped-up journey schedule in current months has now put me ready for Platinum standing by the tip of the qualifying interval in February.

Nonetheless, like many within the factors and miles sport, I am going to must focus a bit within the ultimate months of the 12 months to achieve it.

Overlooking a concourse from the Skylink at Dallas/Fort Price Worldwide Airport (DFW). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

No want for a mileage run?

Once I went by my first “ultimate stretch push” for elite standing in 2018, again when elite qualifying miles, {dollars} and segments had been the metrics frequent AA flyers had been in search of to hit, I did what many avid vacationers have finished sooner or later: I went on a standing run.

Now, if you end up equally inside hanging distance, there will not be a necessity so that you can fly in any respect. Some strategic bank card spending would possibly do the trick.

Whereas highway warriors can moderately bemoan the truth that this system can reward even those that spend far much less time on planes, it additionally means you should utilize your on a regular basis spending to earn standing.

That is very true across the holidays.

Utilizing vacation spending to achieve elite standing

As of my November AAdvantage account replace, I am going to want simply over 13,000 Loyalty Factors by the tip of February to achieve Platinum standing for 2023.


Here is how I am utilizing the vacation season to assist.

Focusing my vacation spending on my cobranded card

For starters, I am placing all my Christmas purchases on my Citi/AAdvantage bank card.


This can be a more durable resolution to abdomen in case you have a card just like the Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card, which earns you bonus miles (2 per greenback, to be precise) on limitless on a regular basis purchases. With a card like that, a number of the locations you are seemingly to purchase items (clothes, division, massive field shops, and so on.) are a part of bonus spend classes.

I am more likely to solely earn 1 level per greenback at many of the shops the place I am going to buy items. Whereas I might definitely prefer to earn versatile rewards forex like American Categorical Membership Rewards, this can be a good time to channel my spending right into a card that may assist me earn elite standing.

Stacking earnings by an airline purchasing portal

I am additionally on the brink of dip my toe into airline purchasing portals for the primary time.

By doing this, I am going to stack my Loyalty Factors earnings. AAdvantage credit score cardholders earn 1 Loyalty Level per greenback spent with a cobranded card, and so they additionally earn 1 Loyalty Level per greenback spent by eligible AAdvantage purchasing portal purchases.

As an example, my spouse and I are contemplating shopping for a patio sectional couch. If I spend $500 on one such merchandise by Overstock, by way of the American AAdvantage eShopping portal, paid for with my cobranded bank card, I am going to have the ability to accrue 500 Loyalty Factors for the cardboard transaction, plus 500 Loyalty Factors for the purchasing portal buy.


Be aware that you just solely earn Loyalty Factors on base AAdvantage miles.

When you can earn 2 AAdvantage miles per greenback spent with Overstock by the portal (and three, 4 or extra miles per greenback with another retailers within the portal) you’ll solely earn 1 Loyalty Level per greenback.

Nonetheless, stacked with what you earn with a bank card, it may enable you to make a lot quicker progress towards standing tiers.

Gifting ourselves journey

The Loyalty Factors system has helped extra rare flyers work their approach towards elite standing. Nonetheless, flying remains to be an environment friendly method to make progress.

With that in thoughts, to achieve Platinum standing, I am going to most likely additionally must make some headway the “old school” approach: really flying.

I am crossing my fingers my spouse does not learn this as a result of I am at present within the technique of planning a mid-January weekend getaway I am going to reward her (us) that can function a form of “standing run 2.0” for me.

As a substitute of attempting to hit a specific variety of segments, although, I am going to look to accrue Loyalty Factors by the acquisition of the airfare, stacked with the earnings from the flight itself.

American Airways plane at Chicago’s O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD). SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

Backside line

I am personally utilizing these techniques in my push for AAdvantage Platinum standing.

Related tips might enable you to this vacation season when you’re trying to earn another standing stage with American, or with one other airline loyalty program that likewise rewards each air journey and non-travel spending in your quest for elite standing.

With that in thoughts, this time of the 12 months after we are inclined to spend fairly a bit of cash may also be a time of the 12 months after we can recover from the “end line,” so to talk, in relation to that subsequent tier.

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