If you booked the DC – Beijing Mistake Fare, you can get AA Platinum Status for $180-$200.
I typically redeem miles to fly in business or first class, so the concept of relying on status to get upgraded is a bit unfamiliar to me. Since most of my flights are award flights, I earn close to zero EQMs or EQPs in any given year. Well, this year is a bit different. I scored one of the Beijing mistake airfares (TY Lucky) and that got me thinking about AA status.
Also, I think the Citi Prestige card will cover the cost (using the $250 annual travel credit). More on that below.
EARN EQP (ELITE QUALIFYING POINTS) WITH MISTAKE FARES?
As Lucky notes here, despite the promo stating mistake fares would not earn bonus EQPs, multiple data points state the Beijing mistake airfare qualified for EQPs. When it comes to earning status — the faster the better.
AA ELITE STATUS CHALLENGE
Many have been blogging about AA elite status challenges for quite some time, so I am not going to rehash what’s out there.
- Go to Flyer Guide if you want an extensive post.
- Go to Forward Cabin if you want the most recent and relevant post.
HOW IT WORKS
The short version is:
- Call AAdvantage customer service at (800)-882-8880 and sign up for the AA Platinum challenge.
- The fee is $180-$200 and you will qualify solely with the Beijing mistake airfare. Despite many posts saying the challenge fee was $200, I was quoted and charged $180 (screen print below).
- It requires a mere 10,000 EQPs in a 90 day period to qualify for Platinum.
- If you booked DCA-ORD-PEK, you will earn 28,764 EQPs. If you booked DCA-DFW-PEK, you will earn 32,652 EQPs.
- Both routes easily surpass the 10,000 EQPs required for the Platinum Challenge and both routes would yield AA Gold status until Feb 2017.
WHEN DOES THE STATUS EXPIRE?
The downside is that the Platinum status lasts only until February 2016. If you apply for the challenge in June, your Platinum status lasts until February 2017. Unfortunately, the Beijing mistake airfare went only as far out as May 2015. If you have already completed your Beijing trip, it appears you can still request for the challenge and backdate the start date.
WILL CITI PRESTIGE PAY FOR THE CHALLENGE FEE?
A potential further upside – if signed up for the Citi Prestige card, there is a good chance that this $180-$200 challenge fee will be counted as part of the $250 annual travel credit. Per the Citi Prestige pamphlet, the $250 annual travel credit will be automatically applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, upgrades and more. I will keep everyone posted whether this counts once my statement ends.
Don’t have the Citi Prestige card yet? Read my post: Get $1350 AA Credit From Citi Prestige [50,000 Sign-Up Bonus]
CITI PRESTIGE LINKS TO SIGN UP
- Direct Link (non affiliate)
- Affiliate Link – (click “Points Rewards Credit Cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom, click Citi Prestige Card) – it’s an extra step, thank you if you use this link!
Will you do the status challenge too?
- Onemileatatime: AMAZING DEAL: $450 Business Class Tickets Between Washington And Beijing
- TravelCodex: Mistake Fare: Business Class From DC to Beijing for ~$450 RT
- Viewfromthewing: American Will Honor $450 Business Class Tickets to China!
- Millionmilesecrets: American Airlines Will Honor Mistake Fares to Beijing!
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