I used to travel every Monday through Thursday, 52 weeks a year. I used to have American Airlines Executive Platinum status in the bag! I used to get 8 eVIP upgrades annually. I used to get upgraded to first class 99% of the time. I used to get international lounge access.
Well… my travel habits changed a few years ago and I had to say goodbye to my beloved status. I do have lifetime Gold, so I am excited about that, but I do miss my upgrades and 100% mileage bonus on all flights. However, last night, I took a look at my upcoming travel and saw that I’ll actually be flying a good amount of AA flights in the next three months. The first that the came to my mind was – time to go for the Platinum challenge!
For those of you who are not aware, American Airlines offers a gold and platinum challenge at a cost for EVERYONE (no status match needed).
- Earn 5,000 Elite Qualifying Points* in a three month period
- Cost: $120
- Earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Points* in a three month period
- Cost: $200
*Note that this is Elite Qualifying Points (EQP) and not Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM). EQP’s are based on the fare type, so it is important to look at this fare code when you are booking your flight and planning out your challenge strategy.
- You can have the challenge start on the 1st or 16th of every month – the three months will then start from that date (not the date you call to enroll)
- You are able to backdate the start date of the challenge to the most recent 1st or 16th of the month as well
- For example, if you flew on March 3rd and enroll in the challenge on March 14th, you can elect to have the challenge start on March 1st to include that flight on March 3rd.
- However, if you call just a few days later on March 17 to enroll in the challenge, the earliest the challenge can start is on March 16th, meaning that flight on March 3rd will not count.
- You cannot enroll in a challenge if you already have that status
- For example, if you already have Platinum status, you cannot enroll in the Platinum challenge to maintain status
- However, if you have Gold status, you can enroll in the Platinum challenge, but not the Gold challenge
- If you sign up for the Gold challenge and then realize you can actually hit the number of EQPs needed for the Platinum challenge, you are able to upgrade your challenge (for an additional fee) – you must call AA customer service, you will not be automatically enrolled
- If you enroll for a challenge before June 16th of any calendar year, and meet the terms, you will be given status until February 28th of the following year
- For example, if you enroll June 14, 2012 and meet the terms of the challenge, you will earn status until February 28, 2013
- If you enroll for a challenge after June 16th of any calendar year, and meet the terms, you will be given status until February 28th two years out
- For example, if you enroll June 20, 2012 and meet the terms of the challenge, you will earn status until February 28, 2014
- You must have at leave at least four segments to earn any status, but some have reported that they do not hold you to this
- For the flight that puts you over the amount needed for obtaining the challenge, you will earn the bonus miles for that flight (25% bonus for gold and 100% bonus for platinum)
- To enroll in the challenge: Call American Advantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880
Before enrolling in the challenge, make sure to plot out your upcoming travel. If you do not meet the terms of the challenge, there are no refunds! I personally will have over 11,000 Elite Qualifying Points hit my account between March 1 and April 9!