What is American Elite Status Worth in 2024?

American's elite status program ties for third with United in our yearly analysis of airline loyalty programs.
Natasha Etzel
By Natasha Etzel 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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When achieving elite status with an airline, flyers can take advantage of extra perks. If you frequently fly with American Airlines and are working to earn elite status, you may be wondering how much is American Airlines elite status worth.

NerdWallet analyzed elite status benefits from multiple airlines to estimate the value of the perks offered.

American Airlines elite status has four tiers: AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum Pro and AAdvantage Executive Platinum.

Below, you'll find further explanation of the estimated value of each of American’s elite status tiers so you can decide if achieving elite status with the airline is worth it.

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Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Airlines credit cards and find the right card for you.

AAdvantage Gold: Estimated value of $2,846

To become an AAdvantage Gold member, you need to earn 40,000 Loyalty Points within twelve months starting on March 1 of each year. Below are a few of the most valuable benefits of AAdvantage Gold: 

  • Priority check-in, security and boarding. 

  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats at check-in, when available. 

  • Complimentary Preferred seats, when available. 

  • Complimentary upgrades within North America as early as 24 hours before departure (including award tickets). 

  • Earn 40% more miles.

  • Same-day standby priority. 

  • One free checked bag. 

  • Oneworld Ruby benefits. 

AAdvantage Platinum: Estimated value of $7,426

To become an AAdvantage Platinum member, you need to earn 75,000 Loyalty Points within twelve months starting on March 1 of each year. Below are a few of the most valuable Platinum benefits: 

  • Priority check-in, security and boarding. 

  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats, when available. 

  • Complimentary upgrades within North America as early as 48 hours before departure (including award tickets). 

  • Earn 60% more miles. 

  • Same-day standby priority. 

  • Two free checked bags. 

  • Oneworld Sapphire benefits. 

AAdvantage Platinum Pro: Estimated value of $15,030

To become an AAdvantage Platinum Pro member, you need to earn 125,000 Loyalty Points within twelve months starting on March 1 of each year. Below are a few of the most valuable benefits of AAdvantage Platinum Pro: 

  • Priority check-in, security and boarding. 

  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats. 

  • Complimentary upgrades within North America as early as 72 before departure (including award tickets). 

  • Earn 80% more miles. 

  • Same-day standby priority.

  • Free same-day flight change. 

  • Three free checked bags. 

  • Oneworld Emerald benefits. 

AAdvantage Executive Platinum: Estimated value of $28,894

To become an AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, you need to earn 200,000 Loyalty Points within twelve months starting on March 1 of each year.

Below are a few of the most valuable benefits of AAdvantage Executive Platinum: 

  • Priority check-in, security and boarding. 

  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats. 

  • Complimentary upgrades within North America as early as 100 hours before departure (including award tickets). 

  • Earn 120% more miles. 

  • Same-day standby priority.

  • Free same-day flight change. 

  • Three free checked bags. 

  • Oneworld Emerald benefits. 

The value of American miles

If you plan to pursue American status, you might be wondering how much American miles are worth. The easy answer is that they are worth approximately 1.7 cents each toward main cabin travel, according to a recent analysis from NerdWallet.

How the value of American elite status compares with competitors

Based on a separate NerdWallet analysis that compares the cost and value of each airline's elite status, American Airlines received a rating of 4.2 out of 5.

While not at the top of the list, only Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines beat American on elite status value, while United Airlines was tied with American.  

Should I earn elite status with American Airlines this year?

Frequent American Airlines flyers may wonder if achieving elite status is worthwhile. Since American Airlines flies to nearly 350 destinations around the globe and has many partner airlines travel partners, there are plenty of opportunities to earn miles and Loyalty Points.

Travelers living near one of American's hubs who are willing to get an American Airlines credit card may find it worthwhile to achieve elite status, as flight offerings will be more plentiful, thus giving them ample opportunity to take advantage of high-value elite status perks.

What's the best way to earn American Airlines status?

American Airlines offers several ways to earn Loyalty Points, which are required to achieve elite status. As you earn AAdvantage American miles, you’ll also earn Loyalty Points. Here are a few of the best ways to earn American Airlines status: 

Earn elite status by flying with American Airlines

When flying on American Airlines-operated flights, you can earn Loyalty Points as you work toward achieving elite status. The amount of Loyalty Points earned depends on your AAdvantage status level. Here is a breakdown of how many points you'll earn for every dollar spent on your flight: 

  • General member: 5 Loyalty Points per dollar spent.

  • AAdvantage Gold member: 7 Loyalty Points per dollar spent.

  • AAdvantage Platinum member: 8 Loyalty Points per dollar spent.

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum member: 9 Loyalty Points per dollar spent.

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum member: 11 Loyalty Points per dollar spent.

Luckily, American Airlines have numerous travel partners, including being a member of the Onewold alliance. And flying with these partners can be worth it. While flying with a Oneworld partner or one of American’s other travel partners, American Airlines status holders earn the same number of points as they would when flying American with their given status level. 

Earn elite status by flying with a Oneworld airline 

American Airlines is part of the Oneworld Alliance. When flying on Oneworld airline flights, AAdvantage members will earn Loyalty Points toward elite status with American. Below is a list of Oneworld partner airlines: 

  • Alaska Airlines.

  • American Airlines.

  • British Airways.

  • Cathay Pacific.

  • Finnair.

  • Iberia.

  • Japan Airlines.

  • Malaysia Airlines.

  • Qantas.

  • Qatar Airways.

  • Royal Air Maroc.

  • Royal Jordanian.

  • Sri Lankan Airlines.

Earn elite status by flying with other partner airlines

In addition to earning Loyalty Points when flying on American Airlines or Oneworld partner flights, you can earn Loyalty Points by flying with other partner airlines as well. 

Below is a list of American Airlines' other airline partners:

  • Air Tahiti Nui.

  • Cape Air.

  • China Southern Airlines.

  • Etihad Airways.

  • Fiji Airways.

  • GOL Airlines.

  • Hawaiian Airlines.

  • IndiGo.

  • etBlue Airways.

  • Silver Airways.

Earn elite status by spending with American Airlines credit cards

Rack up miles or enjoy lounge privileges with our favorite American Airlines cards
Check out our nerdy picks for the best American Airlines credit cards and find the right card for you.

You can earn elite status by earning Loyalty Points using American Airlines credit cards. You'll also earn Loyalty Points as you spend and earn AAdvantage miles. Cardholders will earn one loyalty point for every mile earned through American Airlines' credit card spending. This includes such cards as:

Earn elite status through other travel partners 

Another way to achieve elite status with American Airlines is by booking eligible travel reservations with partners, including participating hotel and car rental companies.

The exact mile and loyalty point amount earned varies by partner. Don't miss out on extra opportunities like this to reach elite status sooner. 

The bottom line 

If you're loyal to American, achieving American elite status may be worthwhile. You can take advantage of valuable benefits that take your flying experience to the next level. 

Now that you know how much is American Airlines elite status worth, you can decide whether achieving elite status with American Airlines is something that you want to do. 

Methodology

Value of each tier

To determine the value of each elite status tier, we considered those perks that carry a clear value, and we omitted luxury benefits (like dedicated phone lines) that don't. Specifically, we considered:

  • Bonus miles earned.

  • Bag fee offsets.

  • Premium seating upgrades.

  • First class upgrades.

  • Upgrade certificates.

  • Fee waivers.

  • Other individual program perks with clear value.

The table below explains these benefits as well as the assumptions we made in calculating their value.

Elite benefit

Explanation

Assumptions

Bonus miles

The number of extra miles or points earned for this status tier. For example, Alaska MVP members receive 50% bonus miles.

The traveler will fly the number of miles needed to achieve this status tier, and the miles are worth the value that we estimate here.

Bag fee offsets

The value of offset bag fees.

The traveler takes advantage of these offset bag fees every 10,000 miles flown.

Premium seating upgrades

Complimentary upgrades to economy plus, economy comfort, etc.

The traveler is upgraded once every 2,500 miles, discounting those times they are upgraded to first class. We estimate the value of these upgrades at $50 apiece.

First-class upgrades

Complimentary upgrades to first and business class.

We assume that higher elite tiers within a given program are more likely to be upgraded, with a maximum upgrade rate of 75% across all programs.

We estimate the value of these upgrades at $200 apiece.

Upgrade certificates

Complimentary upgrade certificates, such as American Airlines systemwide upgrades.

Since members can pick which flights receive upgrades for these, we peg them at a slightly higher value of $300 apiece.

Fee waivers

The value of change/cancel fees that are offset from holding the status.

Travelers change or cancel one flight per 5,000 miles flown (i.e., 10 times for 50,000 miles flown).

Other perks with clear value

Includes lounge membership, mile bonuses, etc.

(Featured image courtesy of American Airlines)

The information related to the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for American Airlines from our Partners
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card

on Citibank's application

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
4.6
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x

Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.

Miles

Intro offer

70,000

Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Miles
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Points
See more cards
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