Manufactured Spending: Earning Top Tier American Airlines Elite Status

*** This Post has been of the back burner for sometime as I actually qualified during the first week of 2023***

2022 was a very impressive year for manufactured spending and it is safe to say that it was a great success. With the launch of American Airlines Loyalty Points, I made a fun goal to see if I could manufacture spend my way to top tier elite status. Well fast forward to this week, and I was able to earn American Airlines Executive Platinum status for 2023. I 100% will not take full advantage of the status, but it was a fun experiment. Here’s the complete summary!

an airplane with american text
Photo by Alfred GF on

Table of Contents

Why did I try this Experiment?

American Airline miles are more valuable than United Miles or Delta Skymiles. I am still able to consistently find saver fares on American Airlines especially for long haul international flights. I wanted to build a small fortune of American Airlines miles for 2023/2024 travel so this experiment coincided with my M.S. plans.

How I earned over 200,000 Loyalty Points

Aircraft, Aircrafts, American Airlines, plane, planes, Livery, Exterior

There are 3 ways in which I earned loyalty points: credit cards spend, Simply Miles, and AA Shopping portal. I earned a meager ~6,800 loyalty points from Simply Miles, about 108,000 from AA Shopping Portal, and about another 100,000 from credit card spend(includes major M.S.) Shopping Portal and Simply Miles earnings each count 1:1 for loyalty points!

Inside the Numbers

Most of my M.S. was done with a combination of the AA Shopping portal and the Citi American Airlines Business Card. The Citi AA Business Card earns a meager 1 miles per dollar so I could have moved spend to at least the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Ink Unlimited cards which earn 1.5x and came out with even more points. Here’s the fine details on the opportunity cost of manufacturing American Airlines Executive Platinum status:

100,000 was spent on the Credit card meaning I earned 100,000 AA miles. If I had used a card that earns 1.5x, I would have earned an extra 50,000 points. In addition, M.S. isn’t free and there are visa gift card fees and other fees to account for. The best way to counter fees is to purchase fee-free Visa or Mastercard gift cards during a promo or in my case, order virtual visa gift cards from when they’re running a 5% off sale(includes the activation fee). 5% discount have a cap of $75 meaning you can order $1500 of Virtual Visas for about $1473.

In addition to missing out on 50,000 points by putting spend on the AA card, I also spend a few hundred on Homechef, Blue Apron, and other subscription offers as the AA Shopping portal was offering a nice bonus. I typically double dipped these offers by taking advantage of a Chase or Amex offer.

Overall Opportunity Cost:

50,000 or more points, $300

My Thoughts

Not only was I able to re-qualify for Hyatt Globalist by the end of Summer 2022, I also manufactured my way to Top Tier American Airlines Elite Status! This challenging journey really put my M.S. game into perspective! I thought this was going be a very fun and interesting exercise and I was mostly right. With the introduction of loyalty points by American Airlines, earning elite status has never been easier(if you can M.S.), yet with the influx of new elite members, the value of top tier elite status has certainly dropped. This was a one time experiment by me, but I see little motivation to retry in 2023. I don’t fly American ever and will actually be flying American for the first time in years this Spring to New York.

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