This is the first year where the American AAdvantage program has a revenue requirement. You need to spend a minimum of $3,000, $6,000, $9,000, or $12,000 to earn Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum, respectively.
|Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro||Executive Platinum|
|25K EQMs or 30 EQSs||50K EQMs or 60 EQSs||75K EQMs or 90 EQSs||100K EQMs or 120 EQSs|
|$3k EQDs||$6k EQDs||$9k EQDs||$12k EQDs|
American is also making it tough to get any sort of a waiver on the revenue requirement for status. For example, Delta SkyMiles completely waives the revenue requirement (even for earning top tier elite status), as long as you spend at least $25,000 per year on one of their co-brand credit cards.
Meanwhile American only lets you earn Elite Qualifying Dollars for spend on the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Silver Card, which has a $195 annual fee. The card offers the following perks for incremental spend:
- Up to 6,000 worth of elite qualifying dollars (3,000 when spending $25,000, and another 3,000 when spending another $25,000)
- Up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles (5,000 when spending $20,000, and another 5,000 when spending another $20,000)
- An annual $99 companion ticket on your account anniversary (when you spend $30,000 on purchases)
So as I wrote about in April, I decided to upgrade to the Aviator Silver Card (you can’t apply for it directly, but rather have to apply for the Aviator Red Card, and then have it for a year before you can upgrade).
I’ve just completed my first $5,000 of spend on the card, which earns me 3,000 EQDs and 5,000 EQMs. So, how quickly do these post? Do they post right away, do they wait a couple of billing cycles, do they post at the end of the year, or what?
Well, at least based on my experience, the bonus EQDs and EQMs post as soon as the statement closes where you complete your required spend.
Even with that boost to my account, my totals for the year look pathetic. We’re over halfway through the year, and I still need to earn 5,000 more EQDs and 65,000 more EQMs.
I’m simply not loyal to the program or the airline anymore. I now fly the airline that’s most convenient. For the first time in at least five years, less than half of my domestic travel has been on American.
So on one hand I’m over being loyal to them when it comes to flying, but at the same time I am putting some effort into requalifying in the form of credit card spend, so I know I’m not acting completely rationally. Since irrational consumer behavior is the goal of these loyalty programs, I guess I’m letting them win?