Best Credit Cards to Help You Earn Airline Elite Status

If your travel style mirrors my own, you know how valuable it is to have airline elite status. I spend way more of my life than I probably should trying to figure out every which way to earn top tier elite benefits. As you can imagine, shortcuts to status are always welcome. There are several co-branded credit cards that offer shortcuts like mileage boosts and spending waivers to help lessen the burden of meeting airline status qualification requirements. In this post I detail which credit cards help you earn status and how they help.

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Airlines Covered include:

  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Lufthansa
  • Swiss
  • Jetblue
  • Southwest

Also Read: Easily Calculate How Many Miles You’ll Earn for a Flight

Best Airline Status Credit Cards

American Airlines

AAdvantage Status Requirements

Credit Cards

  • Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
    • Earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard
    • Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars after spending $25,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard
    • Earn up to 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) each calendar year.
      • Earn 5,000 EQMs after spending $20,000 on purchases and another 5,000 EQMs after spending an additional $20,000 on purchases
      • Earn $3,000 EQDs after spending $50,000 on purchases each calendar year.

Founderscard AAdvantage Status Challenge


airline status credit cards

Earning Premier qualifying credit with eligible United MileagePlus Chase cards

MileagePlus Status Requirements members are eligible to earn PQP based on their annual credit card spend.

  • United Explorer Card
  • United Club Card,
  • United Explorer Business Card,
  • United Club Business Card,
  • United MileagePlus Awards Card,
  • United MileagePlus Card, and
  • United MileagePlus Business Card
    • Earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 1,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to Platinum.
  • The United MileagePlus Select Card 
  • United MileagePlus Platinum Class Visa Card
    • Earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 3,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to 1K.
  • The Unite Presidential Plus Card
  • United Presidential Plus Business Card
    • earn 500 PQP for every $12,000 in card spend, up to 10,000 PQP in a calendar year, that can be applied up to 1K.
    • Flex PQP with the United Presidential Plus Card- United Presidential Plus Cardmembers can use their card to accelerate their progress toward Premier status. Cardmembers can convert their Flexible Premier qualifying points (Flex PQP) into Premier qualifying points that count toward Premier status. Flex PQP can only be used toward qualification for levels through Premier Platinum.
      • More Fine Print: Flex PQP cannot be combined with Premier qualifying flights (PQF) to earn additional Premier upgrades or to obtain Premier 1K status. You must fly 54 PQF and earn 18,000 PQP or earn 24,000 PQP, exclusive of Flex PQP in order to qualify for Premier 1K status. The United Presidential Plus Card is no longer available to new applicants.

Related: Am I the Only Person Happy About the AAdvantage Elite Status Offer?

Air France, KLM, Aircalin, Kenya Airways, Transavia and TAROM

Flying Blue Status Requirements

Silver 100 XP

Gold 180 XP

Platinum 300 XP

Credit Cards

  • Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard
    • Receive 20 XP every year on your account anniversary.
    • Earn an additional 40 XP (totaling 60 XP) on the account anniversary when you have a minimum total spend of $15K in Net Purchases within the anniversary year Delta

Virgin Atlantic

Flying Club Status Requirementsairline status credit cards

Credit Cards

  • Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard
    • 25 tier points per $2,500 in purchases (maximum 50 per month) to elevate your Flying Club status

airline status credit cards


TrueBlue Status Requirements

Credit Cards

  • JetBlue Business Card or Jetblue Plus Card
    • Spend 50k in calendar year and get Mosaic Status

Also Read: Flight Review: Jetblue Mint NYC to Vegas


SkyMiles Medallion Status Requirements

airline status credit cards

Credit Cards

  • Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express and Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express 
    • Earn 10,000 MQMs after $25,000 in eligible purchases on the Card, up to 2x per calendar year.
  • Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express and Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express 
    • Earn 15,000 MQMs after $30,000 in eligible purchases on the Card, up to 4X per calendar year.
  • MQD WAIVER: The MQDs requirement for the qualification year will be waived for Silver, Gold and Platinum if you make $25,000 or more in eligible purchases during the calendar year and waived for Diamond if you make $250,000 with your eligible Delta SkyMiles American Express Card

Southwest (You’ll have to ask someone else)


Miles & More Status Requirements

airline status credit cards

Credit Cards

  • Miles & More World Elite Mastercard
    • Convert award miles earned on purchases into status miles. Once each calendar year, you can convert 5,000 to 25,000 award miles at a 5 to 1 ratio. For example, 5,000 award miles convert to 1,000 status miles.




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