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For many, it may no longer be worth it to earn top-tier elite status on American, United, or Delta next year. Between recent changes to credit card earning structures and airlines constantly moving the goal posts for status qualification, it's just too hard for many to keep up.

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The other shoe finally dropped for American frequent flyers. Last week, American Airlines became the final legacy carrier to raise the elite status qualification criteria for earning its top-tier elite status. In 2019, travelers who want to earn Executive Platinum elite status for 2020 will need to fly 100,000 miles and spend $15,000 by the end of the year — up from $12,000.

American’s move comes just a month after a nearly identical move by United. Qualification for (published) top-tier elite status on American, Delta, and United will now all require $15,000 in spend. American and United will require 100,000 miles flown annually while Delta will require 125,000.

It’s no surprise that American followed United in matching elite criteria — after all, AAdvantage and MileagePlus are so similar that differences among qualification tiers could end up being a significant advantage for one carrier. What’s perhaps more telling, however, is that American wasn’t interested in highlighting that competitive advantage and vacuuming up a few defectors from United’s MileagePlus program. Elite travelers, indeed, may simply be too numerous for airlines to care about at this point.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.

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Tags: american airlines, gogo, loyalty, united airlines

Photo credit: American took delivery of its first Airbus A319 on July 23. American Airlines

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