For years American has offered a status challenge for Gold and Platinum status, which provided a fast track opportunity to earn status. You’d have to pay a certain amount and then earn a certain number of elite qualifying miles within a 90 day period in order to maintain that status beyond the challenge period. American has tweaked the requirements for these challenges several times over the years, including at the beginning of last year.
Well, it looks like American has once again tweaked their AAdvantage Gold & Platinum status challenge, and it’s both good and bad news. It’s good news because you have the possibility of receiving status upfront, while it’s bad news because there’s a revenue requirement, which reflects the direction of the 2017 AAdvantage program.
With these changes, there are now three options for the Platinum challenge, as follows:
- The Platinum challenge with no bump in status during the challenge costs $200
- The Platinum challenge with Gold status during the challenge costs $400
- The Platinum challenge with Platinum status during the challenge costs $500
So the change is that you can now pay an extra $200 or $300 to have Gold or Platinum status during your Platinum challenge, while previously you’d only get the status upon completing the challenge. Nothing is being taken away in that regard, as you can continue to pay $200 for the Platinum challenge, without getting the status upfront.
However, there’s also some bad news. You now need to earn 12,500 elite qualifying miles or 16 elite qualifying segments, plus 2,000 elite qualifying dollars during the challenge period to qualify. Before there was no revenue requirement, while now you need to earn a certain number of elite qualifying dollars to complete the challenge.
Ordinarily Platinum status requires 6,000 elite qualifying dollars per year, so you’re having to earn a third of the required annual elite qualifying dollars during a quarter of the year.
The Gold challenge now requires 7,000 elite qualifying miles or eight elite qualifying segments, plus 1,000 elite qualifying dollars.
As a point of comparison, while Delta and United also have revenue requirements, that’s not a metric required for successfully completing a challenge with them.
This change can be positive or negative, depending on how you look at it. On the plus side, you now have the option of paying for status upfront. Unfortunately there’s also now a revenue requirement, which is disproportionately high. While you only need to earn a quarter of a year’s worth of elite qualifying miles, you need to earn a third of a year’s worth of elite qualifying dollars.
(Tip of the hat to @xJonNYC)