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American is in a unique situation as far as the “big three” U.S. carriers go, as they have a non-exclusive credit card agreement. Rather than just having an agreement with one card issuer, American has credit card agreements with both Citi and Barclaycard.
Starting in 2017, both issuers will have rights to different sales channels — Citi will have exclusive access to aa.com, direct mail, and Admirals Club lounges, while Barclaycard will have exclusive access to airport kiosks and inflight sales.
Furthermore, it was recently announced that it will be possible to earn elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) through American’s co-branded Barclaycard products. American is introducing a revenue requirement for status in 2017, where you’ll have to spend $3,000, $6,000, $9,000, or $12,000 for Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum, respectively.
However, you’ll be able to earn up to $6,000 EQDs by spending on a co-branded Barclaycard American Airlines card, as follows:
- AAdvantage Aviator Red, Aviator Blue, and Aviator Business MasterCard accounts can earn up to $3,000 EQDs by spending $25,000 on qualifying net purchases during the calendar year
- AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard accounts can earn up to $6,000 EQDs by spending $50,000 on qualifying net purchases each calendar year; they’ll earn $3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000 on qualifying purchases and another $3,000 EQDs after $50,000 on qualifying purchases
Earning elite qualifying miles with Citi AAdvantage Cards
The premium American Airlines Citi Card is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, which is the only credit card that comes with an Admirals Club membership. The card also offers the opportunity to earn elite qualifying miles through credit card spend. Specifically, you can earn 10,000 EQMs after spending $40,000 on purchases in a year.
Up until now we haven’t heard much about the future of this benefit. The good news is that in 2017 you’ll continue to be able to earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles per year through the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card (though you can’t get an elite qualifying dollar waiver with any Citi credit card).
However, starting in 2017, there will be a very slight change to how this is calculated, per a notice that was just sent out:
As a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive cardmember, you currently earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after spending $40,000 in eligible purchases that post to your January through December billing statements.
Effective January 1, 2017, the qualification period for earning EQMs will change and will be based on eligible purchases that post to your account during a calendar year, from January 1st to December 31st. There are no other changes being made to this benefit at this time. See below for the disclosure.
This is a very minor change, but basically you’ll earn the 10,000 elite qualifying miles based on $40,000 of posted purchases between January 1 and December 31, rather than based on $40,000 of purchases posted from your January through December billing cycle (which typically won’t exactly correspond to a calendar year).
However, the big news here is that you’ll continue to be able to earn EQMs with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, which I know a lot of people were worried about.
This continues to be a really lucrative credit card, especially since authorized users on this card get Admirals Club access as well. You can add up to 10 authorized users to this card at no additional cost, meaning you can essentially get Admirals Club access for 11 people through one annual fee. That’s incredible.
Have you taken advantage of the opportunity to earn 10,000 EQMs per year with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card?