American Airlines changes how credit card spending will count toward elite status

American Airlines credit cards have long been a popular choice for frequent travelers looking to earn miles and loyalty points. These cards allow cardholders to earn American miles and loyalty points when making purchases, making them a valuable tool for maximizing rewards and benefits.

However, on December 6th, American Airlines sent an email to its AAdvantage program members with some exciting news. The email, titled “Reaching AAdvantage® status with your credit card,” highlighted a significant change to the way loyalty points are earned and counted towards elite status qualification.

The email stated, “The Loyalty Points you earn on AAdvantage® credit card* purchases between March 1 and the end of February of the following year count toward the current status qualification year. This means you can earn Loyalty Points through February 29, 2024, instead of your last statement close date of the qualification year.”

This change means that loyalty points earned through credit card purchases will now count towards elite status qualification based on the date of purchase, rather than the date the credit card statement closes. This is a significant shift that benefits American Airlines loyalists with credit cards issued in the United States.

Previously, loyalty points earned through credit card spending would only count towards elite status qualification if they posted to the cardholder’s AAdvantage account before the end of the qualification year, which typically aligned with the closing date of their credit card statement.

Now, with the new change, loyalty points earned through credit card spending will count towards the qualification year in which they were earned. For example, purchases that post to an AAdvantage credit card account by February 29, 2024, will count towards the 2024 qualification year. The 2024 qualification year runs from March 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024, and AAdvantage status earned during this period will be valid through March 31, 2025.

It’s important to note that it may take up to 10 weeks after a credit card statement closes for miles and loyalty points to post to the AAdvantage account. This means that the loyalty points balance visible on February 29, 2024, may not include all the loyalty points earned during the 2024 qualification year.

On March 1, 2025, the qualification year will reset, and the loyalty points balance will return to zero. However, the loyalty points earned during the 2024 qualification year may still continue to grow as miles and loyalty points from credit card purchases made on or before February 29, 2024, post to the AAdvantage account.

This change in credit card elite status qualification is excellent news for AAdvantage cardholders who want all their February purchases to count towards their 2024 American Airlines elite status qualification year. It provides an opportunity to strategically time credit card spending to maximize loyalty points and elite status benefits.

However, this change also means that cardholders may want to delay significant purchases with AAdvantage credit cards until March 1 or later if they don’t need more loyalty points for the 2024 qualification year. By doing so, they can ensure that their purchases count towards the following qualification year.

For example, if a cardholder has already reached their desired elite status for 2024, they may choose to delay significant purchases until the next qualification year to start accumulating loyalty points for that year instead.

In my case, as someone who is aiming for AAdvantage Platinum Pro status, I plan to do my credit card spending for the remaining loyalty points needed in January. This way, I will have a more accurate view of my loyalty points balance on February 29, 2024, and can ensure that I have reached or exceeded the required loyalty points threshold.

Overall, this change in American Airlines credit card elite status qualification is a positive development for consumers who need more time to spend on AAdvantage cards for the 2024 qualification year. It offers greater flexibility and control over earning loyalty points and achieving elite status with American Airlines. By strategically timing credit card spending, cardholders can make the most of this change and reap the benefits of their loyalty to American Airlines.

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