American Airlines has completely moved to a revenue based system just like Delta and United, this is not a good thing for consumers, but we must now work within that system. Up until this week Delta had a significant advantage over American Airlines. Each airline requires a minimum spend limit on flights to get elite status. Delta had a way to spend money on their credit card and bypass the spending requirement for flights. Finally this week American Airlines has come out with their plan for Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD), and it's not good.
American Airlines almost completely mimics the Delta EQD requirements.
- Gold - $3000
- Platinum - $6000
- Platinum Pro - $9000
- Executive Platinum - $12000
The way American plans to work this is that if you spend $25,000 on an AAdvantage credit card, you get $3000 toward your Elite Qualifying Dollar requirement. On certain credit cards, you can then make additional purchases to $25,000 to gain another $3000 toward your EQD requirement. That is a blistering $50,000 of spend to only make it half way to the Executive Platinum requirement.
Compare this with Delta where you can spend $25,000 on any Delta Skymiles credit card and that will waive the MQD requirement. The requirements are identical to American Airlines except Diamond Medallion status is $15,000. The beauty here is you need to put half as much spend on your credit cards and receive more than twice the benefit toward qualifying dollars.
Once again, Delta comes out ahead here. I really want to like American Airlines again, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot.