American’s AAdvantage Challenge Offers a Short-Cut to Status
American Airlines offers a quicker route to elite status through completion of a Status Challenge. In exchange for paying a fee (it seems to constantly change, but as of last time I checked, it was $120 for Gold and $200 for a Platinum Challenge), you can attain Gold Status by earning 5,000 Elite Qualifying Points or Platinum Status by earning 10,000 Elite Qualifying Points within a 3 month period.
Call American at 1 -800-882-8880 to sign up.
- You can start your challenge on the 1st day or 16th day of any month. I would advise starting a challenge as soon as possible on or after June 16th to the get the longest possible time period (18 months) in your new status. The absolute worst day to start would be June 1, as your elite status will only last until the last day of February of the next year (about 6 months of status). A June 16th start date will last through the current year, the following year, and then until the last day of February a year later (about 18 months).
- Points, rather than miles, are what matter in the challenge. Pay attention to your fare code (chart below); deep discount economy tickets will only earn you 0.5 points per mile.
- If you’re doing the Platinum Challenge, politely ask to be upgraded to Gold status during the challenge. While Gold status during the challenge is intended for those holding elite status with other airlines, it’s occasionally granted simply for asking. Don’t expect it, but it never hurts to ask.
- You can start a Gold Challenge, and then upgrade to a Platinum Challenge (for an additional fee) if during the 3 months, you decide you’d rather go for Platinum instead.
- You can’t challenge for Executive Platinum status.
More details can be found here.