How to get an American Airlines status without flying?

An American Airlines plane flying over San Juan, Puerto Rico.

American Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the world, and it flies to more than 235 destinations on six continents, including Europe, Asia, and South America. This airline is also top-rated in North America to get to the Caribbean or the Pacific destinations.

Like all airlines, American Airlines has a frequent flyer program. The American Airlines Frequent Flyer Program is called “AAdvantage,” and it is the most popular frequent flyer program in the US! It is important to mention that It is linked to the Oneworld Alliance loyalty program.

In 2022, American Airlines completely revamped the method of qualifying for an AAdvantage status. Before the update, you were required to keep track of three status metrics: EQM (Elite Qualifying Miles), EQS (Elite Qualifying Segments), and EQD (Elite Qualifying Dollars).

In the update, the carrier has changed how its status is calculated. And now, instead of the three status metrics, it uses one: Loyalty Points.

This update made earning an AAdvantage status much easier for people who aren’t frequent fliers. So, let’s dive into a few methods that can help you fast-track your status with American Airlines and get an American Airlines status without flying.

The Basics

Whenever you earn 1 eligible AAdvantage mile, you earn 1 Loyalty Point; it’s that simple. With the AAdvantage frequent-flyer program, you earn AAdvantage miles (and Loyalty Points) when you:

  • Fly on eligible flights with American Airlines or a partner airline
  • Use an AAdvantage credit card for purchases
  • Earn miles with AAdvantage partners

💡 Good To Know

Note that not every earned AAdvantage mile is eligible to earn Loyalty Points. A few notable exceptions that do not earn Loyalty Points are:

• AAdvantage miles earned with Bask Bank Mileage Savings account
• Credit card signup bonuses (both Citi and Barclays AAdvantage cards)
• Transfers to AAdvantage from other mileage or points programs such as Marriott Bonvoy
• Purchasing American Airlines miles also doesn’t earn Loyalty Points

How many Loyalty Points do you need to earn American Airlines status?

There are four different levels of AAdvantage status, each with its own requirements. For example, the AAdvantage Gold level requires 30,000 Loyalty Points, while the AAdvantage Executive Platinum level requires 200,000 qualifying points.

💡 Good to Know

AAdvantage status is valid for the year in which it is earned, plus the entire calendar year following.

Each level has benefits, including free checked bags, complimentary upgrades, and a waiver of certain fees. And the benefits vary depending on their status level. For example, AAdvantage Gold members are eligible for priority boarding and free checked bags, while AAdvantage Executive Platinum members are eligible for complimentary upgrades to first class.

The table below shows how many Loyalty Points you need to qualify for each of the American Airlines AAdvantage statuses:


Loyalty Points

Loyalty Points
Platinum Pro

Loyalty Points
Executive Platinum

Loyalty Points

Best way to earn Loyalty Points without flying

1. Credit card spend

If you have a co-branded Citi AAdvantage or a Barclays AAdvantage Aviator card, each qualifying mile that you earn on your purchases using your card will earn you 1 Loyalty Point.

It’s worth noting that even though some purchases in bonus categories can earn more than one mile per dollar spent (for example, 2x on Restaurants on a Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card), you still earn 1 Loyalty Point.

AAdvantage credit card sign-up bonuses, unfortunately (and understandably), also don’t qualify to earn Loyalty Points.

2. Shopping through the American Airlines AAdvantage Shopping portal

The AAdvantage eShopping portal offers a variety of retailers that allow you to earn extra points on your everyday purchases.

A screenshot of the AAdvantage eShopping portal.

The number of points you earn for each purchase depends on the retailer. You can view a list of retailers and the number of points you can earn per dollar spent on the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping portal website. The AAdvantage eShopping portal website also has a search function that lets you search for specific retailers. Once you’ve found a retailer you’d like to shop with, you can click on the retailer’s name to be redirected to their website. Once you’re on the retailer’s website, you can start shopping as usual.

The AAdvantage eShopping portal will track your purchase and award you bonus AAdvantage miles based on the number of miles you’ve earned per dollar spent.

The most important fact, though, is that all miles earned with the AAdvantage shopping portal also earn Loyalty Points, making it one of the easiest ways to earn lots of Loyalty Points quickly.

3. SimplyMiles

SimplyMiles is another easy way to earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points by shopping. In contrast to the AAdvantage eShopping portal, you don’t need to start your shopping there, and it also works at brick-and-mortar stores.

A screenshot of the SimplyMiles web portal.

All you need to do is sign up for an account and associate your Mastercard card number with your profile. You’re technically supposed to link your Citi AAdvantage or Barclays Aviator card with it, but in our experience, any U.S.-issued Mastercard card would work.

Once you’ve done that, you need to add offers to your card by clicking the “Add to Card” button and then shop as you normally would. Sometimes you can spot some amazing deals (usually around holidays) where some stores would offer thousands of miles for just hundreds of dollars of spend, making it one of the easiest ways to earn Loyalty Points without flying.

4. Book a hotel stay through RocketMiles or BookAAHotels

American Airlines partnered with RocketTravel to offer the portal and to offer the BookAAHotels portal.

The portals allow customers to earn bonus miles for hotel bookings. The AAdvantage miles (and Loyalty Points!) can be earned on top of the credit card points earned when staying at a hotel. The amount of miles earned will depend on the brand of hotel booked.

To book a hotel with RocketMiles, type in your desired destination, select AAdvantage as your loyalty program of choice, enter check-in/check-out dates and the number of guests, and then click “Search”.

A screenshot of the RocketMiles website front page.

On the next page, you’ll see how many AAdvantage miles you’ll earn on this stay.

A screenshot of the RocketMiles results page that shows the number of miles you can earn by staying at one of the properties.

Very similarly, to book a hotel with BookAAHotels, enter your details on the main page, and on the next page, you’ll see the list of properties that are offering AAdvantage miles for a stay:

A screenshot of the BookAAHotels results page that shows the number of miles you can earn by staying at one of the properties.

Booking hotels through RocketMiles and BookAAHotels can be an easy way to earn lots of Loyalty Points towards an AAdvantage status without ever stepping foot on an American Airlines plane!

5. Dine with American Airlines AAdvantage Dining (Rewards Network)

In contrast to eShopping, dining with the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining program actually requires you to eat out rather than simply click a few links and be done.

But if you’re already out and about, you may as well get some extra AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points for doing so. And if you’re a fan of dining at restaurants, you’ll be glad to know that the American Airlines AAdvantage dining network offers a wide variety of participating restaurants.

So whether you’re eating at a high-end establishment or a fast-food chain, you’ll earn miles just the same – usually 3 miles (and 3 Loyalty Points) per $1 spent.

A screenshot of the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining portal.

To sign up for the program, go to the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining website and register with your AAdvantage number, then provide the credit card number that you’ll be using at the restaurants.

Once you sign up for a dining network and connect your credit card, you can start earning Loyalty Points towards an American Airlines elite status by dining at participating restaurants. When you dine out, just use the credit card that you’ve linked to the dining network and pay as you normally would. The dining network will then track your purchase and give you a certain number of miles based on how much you spend.

6. Take a survey on the Miles for Opinions portal

Miles for Opinions is a survey website where you can earn rewards for your feedback. That’s not the fastest option to earn Loyalty Points, as the surveys usually require you to spend a lot of time taking them. So, we wouldn’t recommend this method unless you’re short 100-200 Loyalty Points to reach the next status tier with American Airlines.

7. Link your AAdvantage account with World of Hyatt

If you already have elite status with both American Airlines and Hyatt, you’re in luck! Due to the American Airlines and Hyatt membership, you can earn Loyalty Points by simply staying at Hyatt hotels and charging incidentals to your room.

The best part is that you don’t have to choose between the two programs. You can simply link your accounts and start earning points from both programs.

To learn more about this partnership, check out the American Airlines and Hyatt partnership page.

8. Fill up gas at Shell gas stations

You can link your American Airlines AAdvantage number with your Shell ClubSmart account and start earning AAdvantage miles and Loyalty points when filling up at a Shell gas station.

Check out the website where you can link your American Airlines and Shell accounts.

Bottom line

There are multiple ways of earning an American Airlines elite status without stepping foot on an airplane. Some of them are better than others, but all of them can be useful in the right situation.

Of course, putting your spend on an American Airlines co-branded credit card is one of the no-brainer ways to earn elite status without flying. Still, the trade-off is that you’ll be giving up the flexibility of having a transferable points currency and the time-cost opportunity of not using a card that can earn you more valuable points.

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