Last-minute strategies for American Airlines Loyalty Points

AAdvantage members have until the end of February to earn enough Loyalty Points for their desired American Airlines elite status. So, discussing last-minute strategies to secure your desired AAdvantage elite status might seem a bit premature.

But it’s never too early for AAdvantage elite status planning. If you haven’t done so already, log into your AAdvantage account and check how many Loyalty Points you have. Then, consider how many Loyalty Points you need for your desired elite status tier and estimate how many you expect to earn by the end of February.

If you’re going to fall short of your goal, here are some strategies you can use to qualify or requalify for AAdvantage status. Remember, many ways to earn Loyalty Points don’t involve travel.

AAdvantage elite status overview


In 2022, American Airlines began using Loyalty Points as its metric for earning elite status. You earn Loyalty Points when you earn base American Airlines miles. However, many bonus American Airlines miles won’t get you Loyalty Points. So, consider whether you’re earning base or bonus miles on your flights, credit card spending and other partner activities.

You need to earn the following amounts of Loyalty Points during the 12 months between the start of March and the end of February to qualify for AAdvantage elite status:

  • Gold: 40,000 Loyalty Points
  • Platinum: 75,000 Loyalty Points
  • Platinum Pro: 125,000 Loyalty Points
  • Executive Platinum: 200,000 Loyalty Points

If you earn enough Loyalty Points for your desired elite status within these 12 months, you’ll keep your status through the end of the following March. So, if you earn your desired status by the end of February 2024, you’ll keep your status through March 31, 2025.

You can also earn Loyalty Point Rewards when you reach certain Loyalty Point thresholds. So, even if you’ve earned enough Loyalty Points for your desired status, it’s worth checking what Loyalty Points Rewards might be within reach if you earn more Loyalty Points before the end of February.

Related: How American Airlines could enhance Loyalty Points

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Strategies for earning Loyalty Points

Unlike many other U.S.-based programs, the current AAdvantage elite qualification period doesn’t end Dec. 31. Instead, you have until the end of February to earn Loyalty Points for the current qualification period.

In most cases, Loyalty Points will be posted to your account based on the activity date of the flight or transaction. American Airlines recently changed how AAdvantage credit card spending posts; now you’ll earn Loyalty Points based on the purchase date, not the date your credit card statement closes.

AAdvantage credit card spending


You can earn Loyalty Points by spending on American Airlines credit cards. However, you’ll only earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent regardless of bonus categories (except for the no-annual-fee AAdvantage® Aviator® Mastercard®, which earns 0.5 Loyalty Points per dollar on purchases). Credit card welcome offers and spending bonuses earn bonus miles that aren’t eligible for Loyalty Points.

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You could qualify for American Airlines status based on credit card spending alone. For example, putting $40,000 of purchases on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (see rates and fees) during your qualification year would get you enough Loyalty Points for AAdvantage Gold status.

In addition, the AAdvantage Executive Card implemented changes earlier this year, allowing you to enjoy two tiers of Loyalty Point bonuses. If you reach 50,000 Loyalty Points during a qualification year (earned in any way), you’ll automatically receive 10,000 more Loyalty Points. And if you reach 90,000, you’ll receive another 10,000.


Also, if you have the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard®, you can earn up to 15,000 additional Loyalty Points each qualification period through purchases on your card. You’ll get 5,000 additional Loyalty Points after $20,000 in net purchases within a status qualification period, another 5,000 additional Loyalty Points after a total of $40,000 in net purchases and another 5,000 additional Loyalty Points after a total of $50,000 or more in net purchases.

The information for the AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Loyalty Points you earn from spending on an AAdvantage credit card now post based on the purchase date. So, spending on your AAdvantage credit cards through Feb. 29, 2024, will count toward the current qualification year.

Related: Which credit card should you use for American Airlines flights?

Click through the AAdvantage shopping portal

The AAdvantage shopping portal is one of the easiest ways to earn Loyalty Points. Whether you’re hundreds or thousands of Loyalty Points shy of your desired AAdvantage elite status, making one or more purchases after clicking through this online shopping portal could help you earn the Loyalty Points you need.

Add your preferred merchants as favorites in your shopping portal profile. After you do so, you’ll get an email when these merchants offer higher-than-usual earning rates.

Use SimplyMiles


Another easy way to earn Loyalty Points if you have a Mastercard is to utilize SimplyMiles offers. These offers let shoppers with a Mastercard earn American miles and Loyalty Points when shopping with select merchants for which they’ve enrolled in an offer.

To get started, enroll in SimplyMiles, link your Mastercard cards to your SimplyMiles account and enroll in SimplyMiles offers you think you might use. Then, when you make an eligible purchase with an enrolled card at a participating merchant, you’ll earn Loyalty Points.

Book and stay at a hotel

You can also pick up some extra Loyalty Points on hotel stays. There are several ways to earn Loyalty Points from hotel stays, including:

  • AAdvantage Hotels and Rocketmiles: Earn Loyalty Points for stays booked through these sites
  • Credit Hyatt stays to AAdvantage: Earn 500 Loyalty Points per stay
  • Credit Marriott or IHG stays to AAdvantage: Earn 1 or 2 Loyalty Points per dollar of qualifying spending (earning rates vary by brand)
  • Link your AAdvantage and World of Hyatt accounts: American elite members earn 1 Loyalty Point per dollar spent on eligible Hyatt stays and experiences

While you’ll likely get elite nights and benefits when you book through the final three methods, you’re unlikely to get them when booking through AAdvantage Hotels or Rocketmiles.

Related: Don’t book hotel stays direct if you want to earn maximum American Loyalty Points

Credit your rental car to AAdvantage

Especially if you don’t get much value from car rental loyalty programs, you may want to earn Loyalty Points when renting cars.

You can book through Avis and use the American Airlines Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K817127 or through Budget and use the American Airlines Budget Customer Direct (BCD) number U072437 to earn 2 to 5 base miles and Loyalty Points per dollar spent when you rent and provide your AAdvantage number. Your earning rate will vary based on your American Airlines elite status level.

Related: Earn American Loyalty Points when you stay at hotels and rent cars

Dine with AAdvantage Dining


You can also earn Loyalty Points through the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining program. To do so, enroll in the AAdvantage dining rewards program, add your favorite dining rewards cards to your AAdvantage dining program account and then use an enrolled card to pay at participating restaurants, bars or clubs.

Depending on your status with the AAdvantage Dining program — different from your AAdvantage status — you’ll earn between 1 and 5 Loyalty Points per dollar spent. The restaurant should register your transaction within five days of your purchase, and then you should see the miles and Loyalty Points in your AAdvantage account one to two weeks later.

Status challenge

In October 2022, American unveiled a new Instant Status Pass challenge. After logging into your AAdvantage account, you can check your online wallet or call the customer service center (800-433-7300) to ask whether you have a personalized Instant Status Pass challenge.

You may be charged a fee for your Instant Status Pass challenge. Once you register for the challenge, you’ll enjoy the perks of the status tier you signed up for, and your four-month challenge period will begin.

The Instant Status Pass challenge is complicated and still requires you to earn a significant amount of Loyalty Points during your four-month challenge period if you want to keep the status for which you are challenging. Check out our full story on American’s Instant Status Pass elite challenge for more details.

Related: Our complete guide to airline status matches and challenges

Go on a mileage run

Finally, you might consider booking a mileage run to earn Loyalty Points.

However, unless you either don’t need many Loyalty Points or don’t mind paying a lot, you’ll likely want to focus on inexpensive premium cabin fares on American Airlines’ partners — excluding British Airways and Iberia, which now credit based on the ticket price — for trips that cover a lot of distance.

In particular, you’ll likely find AAdvantage’s partner-earning charts for Finnair, Cathay Pacific and Qantas appealing since flights in most premium economy fare classes earn at least 100% of the flight distance in base miles.

Related: Earn American AAdvantage status and Loyalty Points quickly with Oneworld partner flights

Bottom line

As the end of February nears, it’s a good idea to check in on your AAdvantage elite status plans. Figure out where you stand now and calculate the Loyalty Points you’ll likely earn through the end of the qualification period based on your planned travel and other activities that can earn Loyalty Points.

Spending more on a mileage run or other activities may let you snag your desired AAdvantage status by the end of February. However, it’s best not to wait until the last minute since your activity might not post as you expect (or as quickly as you expect).

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