There may be many travellers that might often wonder whether the bottom levels of airline elite status are worth the purchase. Guide On American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status Program. While it is true that there are limitations to such bottom elite status levels when it comes to things like upgrades, there are still a few valuable benefits which you can take advantage of.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will provide an insight on everything you need to know about the American Airlines AAdvantage Gold status program.
American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status Overview
American Airlines offers a program to its customers called the AAdvantage Gold elite status. In short, it is the bottom-most level of their elite status. The program also offers various benefits to the members, especially those who fly frequently with American Airlines and, of course, their partner airlines.
However, before you can enjoy the program’s benefits, there are certain criteria or requirements that must be fulfilled by you. We shall take a look at these requirements and their benefits as well, in the following sections.
Eligibility for American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status
In order to qualify for the American Airlines AAdvantage Gold status program, there are a few things you need to consider.
(a) Earn Gold status by flying
There are two different methods for earning the AAdvantage Gold elite status with American Airlines via flying.
(i) Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) + Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)
(ii) Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) + Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)
You can earn the elite status by flying a certain amount of qualifying miles or a certain number of qualifying segments. But, whichever method you find convenient, you will have to spend a certain amount of elite qualifying dollars.
The standard qualifications for obtaining the AAdvantage Gold elite status are as follows:
- 25,000 EQMs
- 30 EQSs
- $3000 EQDs
Changes in AAdvantage Elite Status Program
Recently, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, American Airlines manage booking has made some exceptions to qualifying, due to the decreased demand in travel from the pandemic. Thus, as per their new changes, in order to reach the AAdvantage Gold elite status, you can fly 10,000 fewer miles or only 50% of the normal segments needed. Also, the spend requirement has been reduced in half.
American Airlines will count all elite status qualifying flight activity flown in the fourth quarter of 2020 toward a member’s 2021 qualifications.
- $2,000 EQD
- 20 EQS
- 20,000 EQM
- $4,500 EQD
- 45 EQS
- 40,000 EQM
- $7,000 EQD
- 70 EQS
- 60,000 EQM
- $12,000 EQD
- 95 EQS
- 80,000 EQM
Furthermore, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, American Airlines has extended the validity of their elite status program for many customers. Thus, for any status that is valid through January 31, 2021, that status is now extended through January 31, 2022. Also, elite status achieved in the year 2021 is made valid through Jan 31, 2023.
American Airlines will also waive the elite status qualifying dollar requirement for Gold, Platinum and Platinum Pro programs for the year 2021, if members spend $30,000 on purchases with their eligible AAdvantage credit cards. Gold members can also look for a $300 credit for an American Airlines Vacation package.
Which Travel Credit Cards to Use
Amex Gold Card: Amex Gold Card offers 60,000 points, after spending $4,000 within the first 6 months. Additionally, you can also earn bonus points on categories, like 4x points at Restaurants and 4x points at various U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in spend per calendar year).
Platinum Card: Platinum Card offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles, after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months. This credit card is also loaded with many benefits, which include lounge access, elite status, a $200 annual Uber credit, and 5x on airfare purchase.
How to Get American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status
Sometimes, you may receive an offer to purchase the AAdvantage Gold status. For example, you might receive an e-mail inviting you to purchase it for, say, $500 to $1,000.
Now, given that how some of the meaningful benefits can be obtained via credit cards, this could often be a poor deal for the vast majority of people. Therefore, you may want to consider a few things before going for it.
If you hold Hyatt elite status, like Globalist or Explorist status, often you might be able to fast track your way to the Gold status. Explorist members would obtain Gold status by meeting the 7,000 EQMs or 8 EQSs + $1,000 EQDs requirements and Globalists would get it with 7,000 EQMs or 8 EQSs + $1,000 EQDs in a matter of three months.
Benefits of American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status
One of the best things about earning the AAdvantage Gold elite status with American Airlines is that your airport experience also becomes more convenient and cheaper as well.
Below are the benefits that you get as an AA Gold member at airports in the United States.
From the moment you step foot in the airport, you should be able to access the priority check-in area, which should have a much shorter line than the standard check-in lines. As a Gold member, you will be able to use any business class lane and if there is not a business class check-in lane available, you can use the first class check-in.
You will also be able to quickly pass through a priority security line. Although if you have TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR, you might want to go with them instead.
You will also get priority boarding and be allowed to board with Group 4 passengers. The airline’s Group 4 category is the last of the priority groups. This means you will be boarding right before Economy. Although it does not sound very high up on the category, you will still be able to board on time to ensure you have storage space in the overhead bin.
Also, if you happen to arrive late at the gate and boarding is already going on, you can bypass the general boarding lines by showing your boarding pass.
Checked Baggage Fee Waived
As an AAdvantage Gold elite status member, you will not have to pay the AA checked baggage fee for your first checked bag. This applies to yourself and any guests travelling on the same reservation, but this does not include group reservations. Thus, with a potential saving of $30 per bag, those savings could also add up quickly. You can also get free checked baggage on domestic flights with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite. As you upgrade through the elite status levels, you will get two free checked bags and eventually, three as an Executive Platinum member.
However, you will not get priority baggage delivery as a Gold member. This means that your bags will not be among the first to be unloaded unless you just get lucky.
Complimentary Same Day Standby
American Airlines allows you to take advantage of a complimentary same-day standby flight. There is no charge to standby for a different flight on the same day of travel when flying to/from United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Caribbean (select destinations).
Admirals Club Membership Discount
You can get a discount on the American Airlines lounge access membership. If you purchase an individual membership, you can save $25, so the total will be $625 versus $650. You can also get a discount when using your AAdvantage miles to purchase a membership. Thus, instead of 65,000 miles, your price will be 62,500 miles.
You can use the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard for this membership.
When you become an AAdvantage Gold status member, you can earn more miles i.e., 40%, every time you fly. This will amount to 7 miles per $1 spent. Other elite level status will earn bonus rates as follows:
- 60% bonus earning rate for Platinum status
- 80% bonus earning rate for Platinum Pro status
- 120% bonus earning rate for Executive Platinum status
You will not just earn bonus miles on American Airlines and American Eagle flights, you can also earn additional bonus miles when flying with other airlines, which include:
- British Airways
- Cathay Dragon
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- LATAM Airlines Group
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Air Maroc
- Royal Jordanian
Additionally, you will get a base of 500 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on American and Oneworld partners. However, keep in mind that you will get 250 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on Basic Economy fares.
Complimentary Preferred Seats
As a Gold status member, you can get complimentary preferred seats. Basically, preferred seats are economy seats with the same amount of legroom, but just more favorably located throughout the cabin. You will not be stuck in the back of the plane.
The good thing about this benefit is that it also applies to up to eight passengers travelling with you on the same itinerary.
Complimentary Main Cabin Extra Seats
The Main Cabin Extra is the upgraded version of economy with much more legroom and even complimentary alcoholic beverages. It is, in fact, a great experience and you can get your upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of departure.
This benefit also applies to up to eight passengers travelling in the same reservation with you.
As a Gold status member, you are entitled to request a complimentary upgrade for yourself and for one eligible companion on American Airlines flights 500 miles or less. Upgrades are valid from the Main Cabin to the next class of service, but upgrades are not allowed on Basic Economy fares.
If there is availability for an upgrade 24 hours prior to your departure, your upgrade will be automatically processed. These upgrades are valid for travel within and between all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and between the U.S. and Central America.
However, keep in mind that clearing upgrades to Business Class or First Class on a complimentary basis as a Gold member is not going to be easy. These upgrades will be awarded based on elite levels and you are at the bottom. ConciergeKey members are first, followed by Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum and then Gold members.
American Airlines will reward you with more upgrade potential as you do more flying. You will be credited for 500 miles electronic upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying base miles you earn when you purchase a ticket on eligible American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection and their airline participant flights during your membership year. The airline participants include Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines / Horizon Air, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile/LanPeru and Qantas Airways.
You can use earned or purchased 500-mile upgrades for flights 500 miles or more. One 500-mile upgrade is required for every 500 miles of travel. This means you will need to know the distance of your travel.
American Airlines will round up your travel miles. For example, if your flight is 1,750 miles, you would need to cover 2,000 miles by using four 500-mile upgrades. Thus, with these upgrades, you will be able to upgrade from any eligible purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin (excluding Basic Economy fares) or Premium Economy to the next class of service (Business or domestic First) for travel within North America.
American Airlines will allow you to purchase more 500 mile electronic upgrades if you need them. These will cost you $40 per upgrade or if you want to use miles, you can purchase eight upgrades for 40,000 miles. You can call in to the American Gold hotline service number to purchase them or you may also purchase them at an Admirals Club. You may also purchase 500-mile upgrades on American Airlines website https://www.aa.com or even through the AAdvantage dial-in system.
You will also be able to upgrade one companion travelling with you on the same flight with your 500 mile upgrade. Just be sure to link American Airlines reservations if they were made separately. Each upgrade is valid for up to 500 miles of travel on eligible American Airlines flights and each flight segment requires at least one upgrade.
Award Ticket Upgrades
As an American Airlines Gold status member, you will not get complimentary upgrades on award tickets. These type of upgrades are reserved for Executive Platinum members only.
As a Gold member, you will not be awarded system-wide upgrades as those are reserved for Executive Platinum status members only.
No Benefits for Oneworld and Award Travel
There isn’t a lot of award travel benefits for a Gold status member as they are mostly reserved for Executive Platinum members. For example, you do not get expanded award seat availability or award change fees waived. However, you can get special discounts on hotel and car awards.
You do not get a lot of alliance benefits as a Gold status member. But, you can get priority check-in and standby by having Gold Ruby status.
Hotline Service for AAdvantage Gold Status Members
American Airlines offers its AAdvantage Gold elite status members a special hotline assistance service. So, if you are a Gold member, you can use their hotline service for reservations, upgrades, seating preferences, or even to order special meals. You can also use it to claim awards and purchase 500-mile electronic upgrades. The Gold Hotline service phone number is 1 800 848 4653. You will also get access to the exclusive service desk.
However, keep in mind that if you are outside of the continental U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan or the U.S. Virgin Islands, you may need to contact your local American Airlines reservations office instead.
check out these policies related to American Airlines:
- How To Cancel American Airlines Flight Reservation
- Best & Low-Cost Airlines in the USA to Book Cheap Flight Ticket.
American Airlines AAdvantage Gold elite status is the bottom-most level of their elite status program offered to their customers. So, you can’t expect too much with this elite status level. However, it does offer you really great benefits, like the priority check-in and boarding, and it also offers some upgrade potential.
You may not want to pay hundreds of dollars for it, but you would happily accept this Gold status, if your flying habits persuade you to getting it.