Cobranded American Airlines credit cards let you earn American miles and Loyalty Points when you make purchases with your card. But on Wednesday, Dec. 6, I got an email from the American Airlines AAdvantage program titled “Reaching AAdvantage® status with your credit card.” The highlight of the email is displayed under the “What has changed?” heading:
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.
The asterisk in the above statement from the email notes that “For AAdvantage® credit cards issued outside of the U.S., Loyalty Point earn will continue to count based on the date the activity posts to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.” So, this news is only relevant for American Airlines loyalists with credit cards issued in the U.S.
American Airlines credit card elite status changes
Loyalty Points from AAdvantage credit card spending will now count toward status based on the date of your purchase instead of the date your credit card statement closes. Therefore, purchases that post to your AAdvantage credit card account by Feb. 29, 2024, will count toward the 2024 qualification year. The 2024 qualification year runs from March 1, 2023, to Feb. 29, 2024, and AAdvantage status earned during the 2024 qualification year will run through March 31, 2025.
However, AAdvantage says it may take up to 10 weeks after your credit card statement closes for miles and Loyalty Points to post to your AAdvantage account. So, the Loyalty Points balance you see on Feb. 29, 2024, may not include all the Loyalty Points you’ll earn for the 2024 qualification year.
On March 1, your 2025 qualification year will begin, and your Loyalty Point balance will reset to zero. However, your Loyalty Point balance for your 2024 qualification year — which you likely won’t be able to see in your AAdvantage account after the end of February — may still grow as miles and Loyalty points from credit card purchases on or before Feb. 29, 2024, post to your AAdvantage account.
This is good news for AAdvantage cardholders who want all their purchases in February to count toward their 2024 American Airlines elite status qualification year. However, this news also means you may want to delay big purchases with AAdvantage credit cards until March 1 or later (instead of waiting until your February credit card statement closes) if you don’t need more Loyalty Points for the 2024 qualification year.
I’ll still do any credit card spending for the final Loyalty Points I’ll need for AAdvantage Platinum Pro status — requalifying for AAdvantage Executive Platinum status isn’t important for me anymore — in January. After all, I’ll feel more confident if my Loyalty Point balance on Feb. 29, 2024, shows 125,000 Loyalty Points or higher. Still, this American Airlines credit card elite status change may really help consumers who need more time to spend on AAdvantage cards for the 2024 qualification year.