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HELP DESK & FAQ: Gold and Platinum Status Challenge

HELP DESK & FAQ: Gold and Platinum Status Challenge

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Old Apr 16, 20, 1:49 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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The current AAdvantage Gold and Elite status challenges supersede the 2016 Challenge, now obsolete.

Please read before asking questions. Read the Feb 2018 email sent Challengers in Post #1.

Please help update information or fill in the blanks by sharing what you learn.


NOTE: As of April 13:

I hope my email finds you and yours safe and well and having celebrated a nice Easter!

Thanks for reaching out to us regarding your AAdvantage® elite challenge. I understand your concern.

Please know we are monitoring this situation very closely and constantly evaluating how to best serve our members in this quickly changing environment.

At this time, we are not pausing or extending challenge end dates. If you are not able to meet the requirements contact us after the end date of the qualification period, April 30th when we are in a better position to evaluate any canceled travel due to the virus. At that time, we will review your account and evaluate the situation on a individual basis.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during this evolving situation.

As always, thanks for being an AAdvantage member! We appreciate you.


NOTE: AA is now accepting miles as well as dollars for Challenges, at 10,000 miles per $100.

NOTE: American Airlines generally doesn't offer status matches to elite members of other airlines' frequent flyer schemes; they offer paid Challenges, shortcuts to status. AA have made significant changes to the AAdvantage Gold and Platinum elite status challenge initiated 2016 (originally begun in 1998) available to anyone, regardless of status on AA or another airline (unless these people have attempted or completed a recent challenge, or are trying to use a challenge to regain status - that is not allowed). There is no publicly available documentation currently. Please update here as the information becomes available, e.g. signup fees.

Call +1.888.697-5636 for details and to sign up.

NOTE: There are also Corporate and Targeted status challenges offered to some levels of certain companies or targeted affinity groups; some may offer up to Executive Platinum status. These differ significantly from this challenge offered the general flying public for a fee, and are discussed here.

See the obsolete thread regarding the Challenge prior to 2016 here.


Frequently Asked Questions and Requirements


="3"%Q. What are the requirements for successfully completing a Challenge?

="3"%AAdvantage Gold status:Earn 7,000 Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM
OR fly 8 Elite Qualifying Segments / EQS
AND earn $1,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars / EQD
within a three month period
AND pay a non-refundable fee (see below)


See the "What are AA Gold / GLD benefits? Are they worth it?" thread here.


="3"%AAdvantage Platinum status: Earn 12,500 Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM
OR fly 16 Elite Qualifying Segments in three consecutive months
AND earn $2,000 in Elite Qualifying Dollars
within a three month period
AND pay a non-refundable fee (see below)


See the "What are AA Platinum / PLAT benefits? Are they worth it?" thread here.


Fees we know so far for Jan-Jun 2019 (same as 2018):

Fees we know so far for Jan-Jun 2019):
  • $180 PLATINUM challenge without interim status
  • $380 PLATINUM challenge with interim Gold status
  • $480 PLATINUM challenge with interim Platinum status


Fees we know so far for Jun-Dec 2019):
  • $140 GOLD challenge without interim status
  • $320 GOLD challenge with Gold interim status
  • $240 PLATINUM challenge without interim status
  • $430 PLATINUM challenge with interim Gold status
  • $540 PLATINUM challenge with interim Platinum status


Challenge begun on or before 15 June 2019: after successful challenge your earned status will be valid through Jan 31 2020

Challenge begun on or after 16 Jun: after successful challenge earned status will be valid through Jan 31 2021

NOTE: See FAQ: Earning EQD / Elite Qualifying Dollars on AA and partner airlines (2017 on) for further information about earning EQD credit on AA and partner airlines.


="2"%Q. When can I sign up for a Challenge? Can I backdate to include flown flights? How far out can I enroll?

Start dates are now anytime, not a particular date, and may be backdated as far five days (If you aren’t requesting and paying for interim status).

="2"%Q. How long will Challenge-earned elite status last?

2019 Rule: Challenges started prior to 16 June 2019 earn status good through 31 Jan 2020; challenges started 16 June or after earn status good through 31 Jan 2021. (It is the start date, not the date of the phone call or the date the challenge is completed, that matters.)
2018 Rule: Challenges started prior to 16 June 2018 earn status good through 31 Jan 2019; challenges started 16 June or after earn status good through 31 Jan 2020. (It is the start date, not the date of the phone call or the date the challenge is completed, that matters.)


="2"%Q. Are there restrictions on earning EQM for the Challenge?

Yes. To qualify, EQM must be earned on flights marketed* by AA's Joint Business Venture partners:
  • AA American Airlines
  • AY Finnair
  • BA British Airways
  • IB Iberia
  • JL Japan Airlines
  • QF Qantas as it is part of the JBA should work

    * "AA marketed" = AA flight is displayed on your boarding pass

    AA marketed fights earn as if flying AA, regardless of operating carrier. AY, BA and IB marketed flights must be operated by a oneworld airline; normally, JL and QF are generally the exceptions to this requirement.



="2"%Q. How many EQM do I earn per flown mile?

On AA marketed flights (AA flight on your boarding pass - regardless of operating carrier) and AY, BA, IB, JL and QF marketed flights you may earn, on qualifying paid fares:
  • 3 EQM per base mile flown on full F, J fares
  • 2 EQM per base mile flown in discounted Business and First fares
  • 1.5 EQM per base mile flown in Premium Economy
  • 1 EQM minimum per base mile in all other qualifying fares, 0.5 on Basic Economy
  • Earning should always be checked on the marketing carrier’s page on aa.com


For tables on aa.com showing EQM earning on partner airlines' specific fares, see here.


="2"%Q. Is there a passenger age requirement for the challenge?

No.


="2"%Q. Will my credit card that pays to $200 incidental fees cover paying for the challenge?

Reports from members indicate your credit card might indeed credit you up to $200 toward your challenge fee.


="2"%Q. Will my credit card spend EQD apply for the Challenge?

No. You must earn your Challenge-qualifying EQD on spend for travel under the same requirements as earning EQM for the Challenge.


="2"%Q. Will my baggage, upgrade and other incidental spend be calculated as EQD apply for the Challenge?

No. You must earn your Challenge-qualifying EQD on spend for travel under the same requirements as earning EQM for the Challenge.


="2"%Q. Where can I learn more about earning EQM on AA and partner airlines?

Read Earning AA Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM on AA, oneworld, partner airlines 2017 (particularly the wikipost at the top of the page) for further information about earning EQM on AA and its partners.


="2"%Q. Do status or class of service bonus miles in Business and First count toward my Challenge or "normal" status?

No. Class of service, status (and all "bonus") miles are Award (Redeemable) miles, not Elite Qualifying.


="2"%Q. Must I fly four segments at least marketed by AA?

No; there is no longer a requirement for earning AAdvantage status in 2017. You may earn Gold or Platinum status flying qualifying AY, BA, IB, JL or QF marketed flights for Challenge-earned AAdvantage status.


="2"%Q. How can I calculate miles flown for EQM calculations on partner airlines?

Distance calculations may be made reasonably with Great Circle Mapper (link).


="2"%Q. I've noticed some have been granted Gold upon enrollment. Can I?

This now depends on a fee paid at the beginning of your Challenge. See Challenge criteria above.


="2"%Q. Do I automatically gain Gold status when I earn 7,000 EQM on my Platinum Challenge?

The new policy is said to allow Gold upon fulfillment of Gold Challenge criteria. It is unspecified at this time if this is automatic, and won't apply if you paid for interim Platinum status.
Current policy appears to be that if you sign up for a Platinum Challenge without interim status then you will not be granted gold upon fulfilling the Gold Challenge criteria until after the last day of the Platinum Challenge should you happen to fall short of meeting the Platinum Challenge criteria yet still met the Gold Challenge criteria.

="2"%Q. If I earn Platinum through a Challenge, can I earn Platinum Pro with 25,000 EQM or Executive Platinum (EP) with 50,000 more EQM?

No. You must earn the full number of required EQM, EQD and EQS to earn higher status, regardless of Challenge status.


="2"%Q. Do I earn bonus miles, etc. on the flight I cross my Challenge threshold?

No. Status is awarded after the flight upon which the required threshold was crossed (some years ago, it was during and miles earning benefits applied to the earning flight - that has changed).


Q. Will my new status update automatically on my account and previously booked flights? Will my new status benefits be available automatically? How long does it take?

Once your miles post in your account, your status will normally update. But you might have to call AAdvantage Customer Service to have Your existing PNRs updated. The AA agent will remove, re-enter your AAdvantage number, which will cause the record to update.


="2"%Q. How often can I sign up for a Challenge?

First, one can not extend or retain status made through a Challenge with a subsequent Challenge. As well, knowledgeable members have posted AA generally allows two "status exceptions" in a five year period, and the Challenge is considered as a status exception. Buying status back would be considered a status exception as well. (However, AA may be getting more liberal about permitting challenges, according to some posts.)

See the first post for the known history of the AA Status Challenge.



LINK to archive of older posts from this thread.

Note: there is a "reingagement challenge" to get back miles lost for inactivity within 18 months after your miles were lost from account inactivity the last five years, which can be read about here: How to Reactivate / Restore Expired Miles – Reengagement Challenge (consolidated)




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Old Jan 20, 18, 5:41 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
Welcome to FT! The thing about the challenge, as you probably know, is that you can't do it very often. It's a good way to get status early if your flying pattern changes so that you will be able to maintain it or to regain it if you have an off year.
Thank you.

Yeah, I understand it only lasting until the end of the year. I’m hoping to achieve gold / platinum through travel for next year. It all depends very much on what projects I get allocated to.

i only did it, as I knew I had 10 flights coming up in January, so seemed to make sense

I’ve just moved to the US from the U.K., and wasn’t doing much as much travel in the U.K. / Europe, and it was all budget airlines for business and pleasure. There just isnt the same budget offering over here.
thedeeg is offline  
Old Jan 26, 18, 8:52 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 131
Quick question. I made gold on Tuesday through the challenge, and flew home again on Wednesday. It was a 500 mile flight, so understand the various bonus miles based on spend, however have 750EQM. I couldn’t see anything about gold bonus for EQM?

It was a standard economy B fare.

Thanks
thedeeg is offline  
Old Jan 26, 18, 4:04 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: DFW / NUE
Programs: Flying Blue Gold
Posts: 118
In spring I will most likely move from Munich to Dallas. I am currently Flying Blue Platinum / SkyTeam Elite Plus. Since Delta does not have a lot of business in Dallas I was looking into doing the status challenge with AA with my relocation flights, it looks like I could reach both the Gold and the Plat challenge. Possibly I will make two return flights, with Premium Eco on the day flight and Business on the night flight. If I understand the EQM table correctly it is better to use qualifying partners' marketed flights for Premium Eco (e.g. BA flight number --> 1.5 EQM) and AA marketed flights for Business class (--> 2 EQM). Am I right?
HeartFist is offline  
Old Jan 28, 18, 5:41 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22
I have a question regarding the starting time of the challenge.

I am looking to do the plat challenge, since I will be flying BOS/NRT r/t in March and April, and will most likely have another trip in June. Is the start date of the challenge the day I call or can it be set to when I fly first? in the event that it's when I call, can I purchase my ticket first then call later to start the challenge?

EDIT: Also quick question on the dates, in the wiki above, it says:
Q. How long will Challenge-earned elite status last?

Challenges started prior to 16 June 2018 earn status good through 31 Jan 2018; challenges started 16 June or after earn status good through 31 Jan 2019. (It is the start date, not the date of the phone call or the date the challenge is completed, that matters.)
I am assuming this means 16 June 2018 --> 31 Jan 2019, and the other is 2020?

Last edited by cewong2; Jan 28, 18 at 5:50 pm
cewong2 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 18, 11:04 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: Avios
Posts: 7
Founderscard backdate?

Hi, did a search but didn't see anything.
Is anyone familiar with the free Founderscard Platinum Challenge? Is there a way to backdate this like the normal AA challenge? I just left for China on biz class and this trip
alone would qualify me
gsteph22 is offline  
Old Feb 5, 18, 4:33 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,108
Originally Posted by andrewp View Post
I asked the agent I spoke to about the availability of a Plat Pro challenge and she said, "well there's an option in the system for it, but it doesn't do anything. I'm not sure if/when this will be offered. Might be a few months out."

Wondering about this myself. Hope it comes to fruition. IF so, I hope it would be similar to the other challenges which give you 90 days to get 1/4 EQM and 1/3 EQD of the full year requirements.

If that were to be the case, as I find myself hitting AA much more this year and significantly next year and beyond, it would be worth it to me for the small challenge fee to hit the level I should easily hit next year. I have a block in Aug/Sept that will hit 25k EQM and $4k EQD, which would be more than enough for a plat/plat pro challenge in 90 days. A couple more flights after that, but not in the 90-day period. End of the year without a challenge would possibly make plat, but barely.

It wouldn't be worth it to me to chase it, but if I'm going to do the miles/time anyway then might as well let them keep tracking it and accept their benefits.
thunderlounge is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 9:56 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 59
Challenging Elite Status

I signed up for the "status challenge" where if you hit a certain amount of miles in 90days you get platinum status. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me challenge for "platinum pro".

Question 1: I've heard people sometimes get invites to 'challenge status' up to platinum pro and executive. Will I get this invite some time this year or next? Or am I disqualified because I signed up for their 'status challenge' already.

Question 2: I'm signing up for 'founders card', does anyone know if this group gets the 'platinum pro or executive' AA status challenge? Or do they only get 'platinum pro' which is available to the public via AA's 1800 number?

Question 3: I have the Barclay AA aviator Red card, where if you spend $25k you get 3000EQD. But I find this perk pointless since you'd also have to make up for it in EQM separately? If that's the case I prefer to put my flight expenses on my AmexPlatinum 5x or ChaseReserve 3x. Do anyone use the Aviator Red for the sole purpose of the 3000EQD, or do you not recommend it because of the EQM caveat.
jungly is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 12:14 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 6,326
I am not sure about PPRO challenges, but typically EXP is highly targeted towards Hi value customers such as UA GS or equivalents. It is almost exclusively targeted and not something one can sign up for or opt in.

you can always call and ask, but usually you have to fly to earn EXP
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 12:16 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 6,326
With regards to the Barclaycard, what are your estimated travel patterns? If you fly a lot of discounted Y international, then you easily make the EQM, therefore the EQD is useful.

if you fly last minute domestic shorthaul, you'll easily make EQD but be short on EQM, so less useful.
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 1:09 pm
  #25  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,802
Originally Posted by jungly View Post
I signed up for the "status challenge" where if you hit a certain amount of miles in 90days you get platinum status. Unfortunately they wouldn't let me challenge for "platinum pro".

Question 1: I've heard people sometimes get invites to 'challenge status' up to platinum pro and executive. Will I get this invite some time this year or next? Or am I disqualified because I signed up for their 'status challenge' already.

You’ve been misinformed. They never do that.

Question 2: I'm signing up for 'founders card', does anyone know if this group gets the 'platinum pro or executive' AA status challenge? Or do they only get 'platinum pro' which is available to the public via AA's 1800 number?

Though this is not a Founders Card forum, you’ll get only what the offer from Founders Card stipulates (I hope - FC and AA had a debacle a few years ago).

Question 3: I have the Barclay AA aviator Red card, where if you spend $25k you get 3000EQD. But I find this perk pointless since you'd also have to make up for it in EQM separately? If that's the case I prefer to put my flight expenses on my AmexPlatinum 5x or ChaseReserve 3x. Do anyone use the Aviator Red for the sole purpose of the 3000EQD, or do you not recommend it because of the EQM caveat.

? The elite qualifying anything you earn via Aviator Red or Silver are Elite Qualifying and are added to your earned EQ. If you fly cheaper fares and make status on EQM, the $3k Red or $6k Silver EQD can make the difference between earning status or not.

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 10, 18 at 2:17 pm
JDiver is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 1:51 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
With regards to the Barclaycard, what are your estimated travel patterns? If you fly a lot of discounted Y international, then you easily make the EQM, therefore the EQD is useful.

if you fly last minute domestic shorthaul, you'll easily make EQD but be short on EQM, so less useful.
​​​​​​​
Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
With regards to the Barclaycard, what are your estimated travel patterns? If you fly a lot of discounted Y international, then you easily make the EQM, therefore the EQD is useful.

if you fly last minute domestic shorthaul, you'll easily make EQD but be short on EQM, so less useful.
i fly same route from YVR Vancouver to DFW Dallas to Shreveport Louisiana.

I fly Two times a month round trip.
450-650 eqd per trip. On average I'd say 520 eqd~.

In three flights this year I'm at 1770 eqd, 13350 eqm, 12 eqs. With another one pending end of month.

Flights are pricy from my origins, so eqd seems to be on track, eqm is behind slightly. My fear is I can make platinum pro but hitting exec will be right on the dot (I can hit $12k but i may be 10k short of 100k miles).

So my curiosity is, if I hit platinum pro can I call AA and outright buy my way to exec? Wonder what it costs for plat pro people to upgrade.

The points guy did an article where he got an invitation to do a 90 day challenge for plat pro and exec. I'm guessing this is sent out to those who are at platinum pro and just missed the exec status the year prior?

As for credit cards, I was willing to put 25k flight expenses on my aviator red to get the 3k eqd, but then realized I'd be short on the eqm. Plus I rather put those expenses on my Amex or chAse reserve card for the points and just outright buy the status of its only a couple of $thousand bucks max.


​​​​​​​
jungly is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 1:54 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 59
Side note: I'm still at zero status but should hit platinum by March due to the challenge I requested from AA. Just a bummer I can challenge a higher status unless it's a personal invite from AA it seems. But many have gotten those invites from what I've read, maybe it takes a full year for AA to notice a new frequent flyer like myself moving to their airline.
jungly is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 1:59 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 59
Let me rephrase my question:

are there any links or guides for people who it platinum pro but know they will miss the exec status requirements? What tactics can they take to get them over the hump.
jungly is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 2:10 pm
  #29  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,802
Originally Posted by jungly View Post
Side note: I'm still at zero status but should hit platinum by March due to the challenge I requested from AA. Just a bummer I can challenge a higher status unless it's a personal invite from AA it seems. But many have gotten those invites from what I've read, maybe it takes a full year for AA to notice a new frequent flyer like myself moving to their airline.
I’ve flown AA well over sixty years, held status since the 1980s and Executive Platinum since 2002. You’ve been seriously misinformed about this issue. AA has occasionally matched higher status of competitors, but you won’t get invited to anything unless you spend over $50,000 and get invited to be Concierge Key (by invitation only, full requirements not disclosed).

If you fall a bit short of achieving status at the end of the year, you might be extended an offer to buy status back, or possibly to buy up.

AA has extended “challenges” for higher status to employees of certain (Fortune 500 with lots of employee Travel and a contract with AA, generally) companies. Not to it’s own frequent flyers, not to members of the public - other than the Gold & Platinum challenge.
JDiver is offline  
Old Feb 10, 18, 2:33 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 59
I am referring to this link:https://thepointsguy.com/2017/06/new...-track-option/Have any of you gotten these promotions to fast track into exec with $4k eqd in 90days?
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