American Airlines continues to release AAdvantage Program Updates, as we move toward the “go live” of a few new aspects of the program, previously announced in June.
Just a brief summary of the AAdvantage Program Updates announced in June:
AAdvantage Redeemable Mileage went Revenue Based (for the most part)
Of course, we’ve learned subsequently that there are a handful of ways that you can accrue mileage based on miles flown, rather than the price of your ticket. For example, revenue tickets booked with Citi Thank You Points (TYP) categorize as a “Special Fare” and receive miles flown.
A New Status Level and I don’t just mean Platinum Pro
American AAdvantage previously made this chart available, highlighting their new mid-tier Platinum Pro, which will no doubt make many legacy US Airways elites happy.
Except that when talking about upgrade windows, AAdvantage snuck in the ConciergeKey level, as essentially another level of status, at least for upgrades.
Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) – The best part of these AAdvantage Program Updates!
We knew before what the required Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) requirements would be for the various status levels, those are here:
The interesting piece that AAdvantage highlights in the most recent update, is that it is possible to earn EQDs by spending with their AAdvantage Aviator Red, Blue, Business, and Silver cards. These are all issued by Barclays, however, not currently taking on new applicants. Gary Leff reports that will change.
Here are the details from American with respect to earning up to $6,000 EQDs:
Reach elite status faster
AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red, AviatorTM Blue and AviatorTM Business MasterCard® accounts can earn up to $3,000 EQDs by spending $25,000 on qualifying net purchases during the calendar year.
AAdvantage® AviatorTM 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.
I find it very interesting, that Citi, who has long had a very strong co-brand partnership with American, has absolutely no play in the EQD game. Recall that American did not make an exclusive credit card deal the last go-round, I assumed this was just a negotiating strategy. But for Barclays cardholders to be the only ones to accrue EQD’s through spend, that, sends quite the message to Citi, and not a good one.
American’s AAdvantage Program Updates are mostly positive, in my opinion. They’ve clarified things where we definitely had questions. American has also provided more insight into ConciergeKey, though I think there are still questions, as it starts to become as public as United’s Global Services. The real positive here is the way to earn Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) through spend on your Barclaycard Aviator cards. I think this is a huge positive, but it leaves open the big question: What about Citi AAdvantage card holders? I suppose only time will tell, whether Citi balks at this slight, or if there is something bigger in the works.
What do you think about the updates? Does the EQD announcement change your strategy for next year?