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One flight could net me 2 Elite Statuses. What would you do?

a plane parked at an airport

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2 Mid-tier statuses or potentially more miles and one top tier status. My dilemma…

I was targeted for temporary Platinum Pro status a couple of weeks ago, with the opportunity to keep it until the end of January, 2020 if I hit $2400 EQD and 20k EQM by September 7th, 2018. I have a potential flight option that I’m considering taking that would satisfy both of these requirements. However, if I do credit the flights to AA, I wouldn’t be crediting them to Alaska, and this not only means missing out on quite a few points, but more than likely, I won’t hit Alaska’s top tier MVPG75 for next year. I’ll still hit MVP Gold, which is still great, but getting those bonus 50k points upon re-qualification is great. So here’s my dilemma: Do I want AA Plat Pro and AS MVPG, or do I just want to go for AS MVPG75? Here’s how I’m working through it.

My flight will be in business…

a stuffed animal on a window sill

Quick refresher for those who aren’t fluent in lingo:

  • EQM – Elite Qualifying Miles
    • These are calculated based on the airline flown, and only count towards your elite status
  • RDM – Redeemable Miles
    • How many miles you earn off your flight that can be used for redemption on future award flights
  • EQD – Elite Qualifying Dollars
    • Calculated off the base fare and used to qualify for Elite status

While my flight is soon – I don’t need to credit the flight when I fly it so I have some time to decide.

I can fly and then figure out where I want to credit by requesting the credit…

Additionally, I haven’t booked the flight and am considering variations including options that solely fly BA which would change the calculus as those flights would earn at different rates in both AA and AS. But for the time being, I’m looking at flights that would fly AMS-DFW-LAX-DFW-AMS all on AA metal, so this is what I’m going to work through for this post’s purposes.

If I credit the flight to AA, here’s what I’ll earn.

Since they’ve granted me the status I’ll earn 9x miles on roughly $2200 base fare and fly 12,310 butt in seat miles. In AA’s program that will earn me…

  • 19,800 RDM
  • 24,620 EQM
  • 2200 EQD

I need $2400 EQD, but already have another flight crediting to AA domestically, so I’ll hit the minimum requirement for the promotion. In addition to the RDM above I’d also get Platinum Pro status of which I’d value the following benefits the most:

  • Platinum Pro status until the end of January, 2020
    • Business Class lounge access internationally
    • Access to Main Cabin Extra, Priority Seating free of charge
    • Same Day change free of charge
    • Sapphire check-in, boarding, etc

a white background with black text

Here’s what I would make if I credited it to Alaska’s program.

Only certain flights now credit to Alaska when flown on AA metal, primarily those marketed by Alaska, and those that are international routes. For this trip the only flights that would credit are the AMS to DFW legs, not the DFW to LAX. This is why I’m looking at routes that would incorporate more BA metal as the earn rates would be substantially higher in RDM and EQM. But here’s the data:

AMS to DFW is 4920 butt in seat miles. MVG75 get 125% bonus and class of service bonus is 50%.

  • Base RDM: 4920
  • G75 RDM: 6150
  • Class RDM : 2460
  • EQM: 7380
  • Total
    • 14760 EQM
    • 27,060 RDM

Now I could also attribute part of the 50k point bonus that I would achieve when I re-qualify for MVPG75. Since I need 90k EQM to requal, I’d be making 14760/90k on this flight alone. That’s 16.4% or 8200 of the 50k bonus. That would mean this itin would be earning 35,260 RDM. Nearly double the amount of AA miles earned.

I primarily enjoy Alaska miles to fly like this:

a man lying in a bed with headphones and a blanket
Japan Airlines First Class got me like….

I’m also taking into consideration another variable. The Alaska fast track offers we saw early this year. From other posts – these people received the 50k bonus miles.

Many people who failed to requalify for status last year were targeted in January for Fast Track offers. Not that I could count on this going forward, but it’s at least worth taking into consideration.

This is especially attractive considering reports that MVPG75 targets got the 50k bonus miles after flying 20k miles in 3 month. While this is hefty travel, it’s not crazy.

So is it better to hold AA Platinum Pro and Alaska MVP Gold, or earn more miles on Alaska and potentially get MVP Gold 75k?

Is there a big difference between MVPG and MVPG75? Both of them allow me cancel without a fee, I get the MVPG upgrade certs, and complimentary upgrades. Is there a HUGE value in having top tier vs Gold when it comes to Alaska. I’m not really sure as I’ve only ever held MVPG75, and would that difference outweigh holding both an American status and an Alaska status? I kinda doubt it…

I tend to think having two is better than one especially when I think about Alaska more than likely trying to attract me back to MVGP75k with a targeted fast track offer.

What would you do?

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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4 Comments

  • Cj June 23, 2018

    I’m like you …I’ve had top status for 15 years and last year I desired not to chase EP with AA and then the golden ticket came out ….remember 672.00 RT sgn to Mia with 4600 EQD for each flight so I took 2 and bingo ….I took another year of top status …..it’s harder to stop as I’ve been upgraded 41 of 41 with AA
    Then back in April I status matched to Alaska and they have treated me well 7 of 7 on the upgrades with 4 on a hawaii trip den to sfo to hnl RT

    Like reader VK says ……I’m thinking of giving up elite status as I have over 3 million miles build up because I always have to pay for flights so I can hit status …….When I earn enough miles to BE MY OWN ELITE …and fly anytime using miles in 1 st class

    I’m in asia 5/6 months a year …..USA 4 months a year ….2 months in Europe and I’ve traveled full time in hotels for the last 7 years …..it’s a amazing life but I find myself taking flights just to get that top status …..when I could be just chillin and enjoying wherever I am at the time …..I must say it’s very addicting being upgraded all the time ……..will I chill ? Will I chase status ? Those 50,000 miles for hitting MVP75 is a nice bone …that I’ll probably chase

    One wY or another I think I’ll be traveling slower and not chaseing status….either way starting next year …….I’m a old dog and been traveling 32 years of 6 months or more with 20 years of full time traveling ……I write but only a little on Facebook it’s called 12 step nomad …..you probaly will not learn anything but may love to watch me travel full time

    KEPT ON KEPTIN ON

  • mojo June 23, 2018

    3 points to consider:

    *Alaska MVP 75k lets you nominate someone else for MVP.

    *Alaska MVP 75k gets you 25% more bonus RDM’s

    *AA Plat Pro will match you to Alaska MVP 75k, but only *once in a lifetime*

    How much paid premium cabins will you be flying next year to exploit those extra RDM’s that would be awarded as an Alaska MVP 75k vs MVP Gold?

    • Miles June 23, 2018

      All great points, and reminds me I never nominated someone for MVP this year. Maybe i should have a giveaway!!!

  • VK June 23, 2018

    I stopped chasing miles and status. I just credit to where I get most return. Then if I get status, great. If not, then I just top up from cc points and redeem.

    This is because I pay for my business class flights from my own pocket so I need to have guaranteed comfort.

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