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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 Jun 19, 19, 2:06 am   -   Wikipost
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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: 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


Q. What are the requirements for successfully completing a Challenge?

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.


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):
  • $___ GOLD challenge without interim status during challenge
    • $___ GOLD challenge with Gold interim status
      • $240 PLATINUM challenge with no interim status
        • $440 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.


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).

Q. How long will Challenge-earned elite status last?

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.)


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
            • and QF Qantas usually (has been on and off)

              * "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.



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 and JL 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


On qualifying partner Qantas' marketed flights you MAY earn, on qualifying paid flights:
  • 1.5 EQM maximum on all eligible First, Business and Premium Economy fares
    • 1.0 EQM on the most expensive economy fares (full Y and maybe one or two other fares, depending on marketing airline)
      • 0.5 or 0.25 EQM on most paid discount economy fares
        • 0 EQM on some paid economy fares; see Qantas earning chart on aa.com


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


Q. Is there a passenger age requirement for the challenge?

No.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Q. How can I calculate miles flown for EQM calculations on partner airlines?

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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 Sep 7, 18, 7:41 am
  #121  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 135
I have a flight coming up from ATL-SYD in class O (roundtrip) that may or may not be "Special Fare". Would it be wise to accept the Gold/Plat challenge AFTER flying and backdate the full 5 days? Or am I misunderstanding that feature? Sounds to me like the best way to make sure that I get the challenge fulfilled with minimal risk.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 9:52 am
  #122  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
I tried searching for this question but wasn't able to find any relevant information.

I currently have AA Platinum earned with regular EQMs last year that expires in Jan 2019. I won't fly enough this year to retain it and wanted to sign up for the Platinum challenge so I keep status through 2019.

I was told by the customer service rep at AA that I cannot sign up for a challenge while I already have status and I have to wait until next year for it to expire. Is that the policy? Wanted to confirm before I tried talking to someone else. I have an upcoming flight that will provide enough EQMs and EQDs to clear the challenge.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:07 am
  #123  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
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Originally Posted by argon_ View Post
I tried searching for this question but wasn't able to find any relevant information.

I currently have AA Platinum earned with regular EQMs last year that expires in Jan 2019. I won't fly enough this year to retain it and wanted to sign up for the Platinum challenge so I keep status through 2019.

I was told by the customer service rep at AA that I cannot sign up for a challenge while I already have status and I have to wait until next year for it to expire. Is that the policy? Wanted to confirm before I tried talking to someone else. I have an upcoming flight that will provide enough EQMs and EQDs to clear the challenge.
That is the policy. You can only use the challenge to gain a higher status than you have at the time you undertake it.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 12:22 pm
  #124  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
That is the policy. You can only use the challenge to gain a higher status than you have at the time you undertake it.
Thanks!
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Old Sep 11, 18, 12:32 pm
  #125  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 135
Question

Originally Posted by milesforhire View Post
I have a flight coming up from ATL-SYD in class O (roundtrip) that may or may not be "Special Fare". Would it be wise to accept the Gold/Plat challenge AFTER flying and backdate the full 5 days? Or am I misunderstanding that feature? Sounds to me like the best way to make sure that I get the challenge fulfilled with minimal risk.
Or another question: if you do the Platinum Challenge and reach the Gold requirements, do you get Gold or is it all-or-nothing?
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Old Sep 11, 18, 12:45 pm
  #126  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AA GLD, IHG PLT
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Originally Posted by milesforhire View Post
Or another question: if you do the Platinum Challenge and reach the Gold requirements, do you get Gold or is it all-or-nothing?
Yes if you hit the gold requirements on a PLAT challenge you do get the gold status. You may have to call in at the end of the challenge though.
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Old Sep 11, 18, 12:58 pm
  #127  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 135
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by MathMusic View Post
Yes if you hit the gold requirements on a PLAT challenge you do get the gold status. You may have to call in at the end of the challenge though.
Thanks! Unless I find some info about backdating, I'll just initiate the PLAT challenge and risk it! (With a fallback to Gold.)
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Old Sep 17, 18, 1:09 pm
  #128  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 19
I called on Friday to start a PLAT challenge (without status), and the rep told me that I can save $20 by waiting until Monday to do it. Sure enough, Platinum just went $240 to $220 (without status during the challenge).

If you're curious PLAT with Gold status during the challenge is now $415 and PLAT with PLAT status during the challenge is $520.

I don't know if the Gold rates change. So if I'm reading this right (at least this year) it was $200 through mid-June when you were only qualifying for status through Jan. 2019, up to $240 after that when you would be qualifying through Jan. 2020, and now $220 since we're a quarter in.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 1:15 pm
  #129  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by milesforhire View Post
I have a flight coming up from ATL-SYD in class O (roundtrip) that may or may not be "Special Fare". Would it be wise to accept the Gold/Plat challenge AFTER flying and backdate the full 5 days? Or am I misunderstanding that feature? Sounds to me like the best way to make sure that I get the challenge fulfilled with minimal risk.
I wound up calling three times in researching and ultimately purchasing my challenge. The SECOND call I made was on Friday -- 9/14 -- and the rep said the system could've let her date it all way back to start on Aug. 31 (a lot longer than the WIKI here claims). So, I don't know if the backdating is 14 days or just to the end of the previous month, but she was in her system and I could've booked it had I wanted to go back. That said all THREE have said different things about post-dating a challenge (to start later) so I don't know if even they know the definitive answer.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 3:32 pm
  #130  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 135
Smile

Originally Posted by MoonOverMiami View Post
I wound up calling three times in researching and ultimately purchasing my challenge. The SECOND call I made was on Friday -- 9/14 -- and the rep said the system could've let her date it all way back to start on Aug. 31 (a lot longer than the WIKI here claims). So, I don't know if the backdating is 14 days or just to the end of the previous month, but she was in her system and I could've booked it had I wanted to go back. That said all THREE have said different things about post-dating a challenge (to start later) so I don't know if even they know the definitive answer.
Thank you for the detailed answer.

I will end up waiting until after the fare posts and then attempting to back-date on the day that it posts. Very curious that they all gave different answers. Makes it seem YMMV?
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Old Sep 22, 18, 3:50 pm
  #131  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: LAX, SNA, LGB
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 22
I am on Plat challenge and have >7k EQM and >1k EQD, I tried calling yesterday to see if I now get Gold status. CSR said that I do not as the Plat challenge is a straight shot to Plat. Is this a HUCA time? I think I read that I should be able to have AA manually move me to Gold status for meeting those requirements. The CSR said that if i did Gold challenge to start with, and when I hit the gold req I could call and then pay the difference to up to the Plat challenge.
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Old Sep 22, 18, 8:26 pm
  #132  
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Join Date: May 2000
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Originally Posted by Aedion View Post
I am on Plat challenge and have >7k EQM and >1k EQD, I tried calling yesterday to see if I now get Gold status. CSR said that I do not as the Plat challenge is a straight shot to Plat. Is this a HUCA time? I think I read that I should be able to have AA manually move me to Gold status for meeting those requirements. The CSR said that if i did Gold challenge to start with, and when I hit the gold req I could call and then pay the difference to up to the Plat challenge.
I’m not sure where you’re reading any indication Gold upon completing the requirements for Gold on a Platinum challenge is the norm. Reading this thread reveals very few have succeeded in acquiring Gold on a Platinum challenge.
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Old Sep 22, 18, 8:43 pm
  #133  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Owner of 2,000 TWA shares
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Originally Posted by Aedion View Post
I am on Plat challenge and have >7k EQM and >1k EQD, I tried calling yesterday to see if I now get Gold status. CSR said that I do not as the Plat challenge is a straight shot to Plat. Is this a HUCA time? I think I read that I should be able to have AA manually move me to Gold status for meeting those requirements. The CSR said that if i did Gold challenge to start with, and when I hit the gold req I could call and then pay the difference to up to the Plat challenge.
You're being given a shortcut to get to Platinum and now you've decided you want Gold? Isn't that like changing your mind in the Olympic 400m and deciding mid-race you're tired and rather go for the 200m instead?
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Old Sep 22, 18, 11:35 pm
  #134  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: LAX, SNA, LGB
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Marriott Platinum
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
You're being given a shortcut to get to Platinum and now you've decided you want Gold? Isn't that like changing your mind in the Olympic 400m and deciding mid-race you're tired and rather go for the 200m instead?
I am still going for Plat, and I have time left to hit it. But since I hit those numbers half way through the time period I heard that I would get gold status now as that I met the requirements of that challenge.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 5:59 am
  #135  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Owner of 2,000 TWA shares
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Originally Posted by Aedion View Post
I am still going for Plat, and I have time left to hit it. But since I hit those numbers half way through the time period I heard that I would get gold status now as that I met the requirements of that challenge.
Sorry for misunderstanding. I thought your goals were changing. Good luck to you.
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