Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.
Concierge Key is American Airlines’ invite-only status which is typically extended to top-spending customers, corporate decision-makers, and industry influencers. It’s the highest tier in the AAdvantage program so it comes with premium perks that are not available to regular elite members.
The benefits may include priority upgrades, airport transfers, and lounge access but since Concierge Key isn’t publicly published on American Airlines’ channels, there’s little information on what the actual status requirements and benefits are.
So, if you want to know more about this super-secret status, you’re in luck as we will discuss it in this article.
What Is American Airlines Concierge Key?
There are four published tiers in the American Airlines loyalty program and in order to reach each tier, you need to earn a certain amount of “loyalty points.”
- Gold – 30,000 loyalty points
- Platinum – 75,000 loyalty points
- Platinum Pro – 125,000 loyalty points
- Executive Platinum – 200,000 loyalty points
The AA Concierge Key status is the highest among the four AA elite status tiers but it doesn’t have any published requirements or benefits on the American Airlines website or social channels. Additionally, you need to be invited every year in order to maintain your status.
Fun Fact: Concierge Key stepped into the spotlight back in 2009, when it was mentioned in the movie “Up In The Air,” starring George Clooney and Anna Kendrick.
Who Can Get Concierge Key Status?
Concierge Key is available to everybody but if you want to increase your chances of getting invited, you need to do any or all of these things below.
Spend A Lot Of Money On American Airlines
You need to be religiously loyal to American Airlines if you want to have AA Top Tier Elite Status, and what better way of proving your loyalty than spending cash on their company – lots and lots of cash. Generally, you have a shot at getting invited if you spend at least $50,000 a year, fly at least 200,000 miles, or fly on premium cabin products on AA (not airline partners) as a solo traveler.
50k is a lot of money so if you’re determined to spend that much, purchasing a $30,000 AA Airpass package would be the best option to get the most value from your money. That way, you only need to spend $20,000 more to possibly get an invite to be a Concierge Key member.
Some of the major benefits of Airpass are fixed pricing, waived change/cancellation fees, and exclusive access to VIP amenities.
Take note that spending 50k or flying 200k miles doesn’t guarantee a Concierge Key status. What it means is that if you spend or fly less than these figures, don’t expect an invite from AA.
Have Huge Influence In The Travel/Flying Industry
Celebrities, bloggers, and other industry influencers who have a massive following have a bigger chance of getting an invite. For example, the Youtuber CaseyNeistat, who has 12.4M subscribers, was given a Concierge Key status several years ago before it was taken away due to lack of spending.
While this method may seem like the easy path towards Concierge key status, the chances of getting invited are slim because American Airlines looks at how big of an influencer you are, and of course, “influence” is hard to measure.
Be A Primary Decision Maker In A Large Company
If you’re a key decision-maker who can influence your company to establish corporate agreements with American Airlines, then you’ll probably be considered for a Concierge Key status. A perfect example would be a travel manager from an international company like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, EY, etc.
If you look at the options mentioned above, the common denominator is money. American Airlines looks at your capability to spend money or your ability to convince others to spend money on American Airlines.
Also, be reminded that these aren’t sure-fire ways to get Concierge Key status so if you don’t have millions of cash at your disposal, we won’t recommend pouring all your money to AA. These options are purely based on observations from people who have had Concierge Key status.
AA Concierge Key Benefits
Some Concierge Key benefits have been published in the past so we’ve rounded up a few of them, along with some well-known but unpublished benefits.
- Get Executive Platinum and OneWorld Emerald status benefits
- Complimentary food and beverage items when flying Main Cabin
- Get priority boarding over all other AAdvantage elite members
- Assistance during irregular operations, plus a dedicated hotline and email address with 24/7 customer support
- Get priority upgrades over all other AAdvantage elite members
- Free access to Admirals Club access and Flagship lounges
- Flagship First dining passes (unpublished benefit)
- Flagship First check-in
- Co-pays waived on all upgrades
- Airport transfers
- Two additional systemwide upgrades
These are very solid benefits that are rarely offered by airlines, but I think that the major benefit of being an AA Concierge Key member is the “extra special treatment” you get from employees.
How Many Concierge Key Members Are There?
No one knows the exact number but it’s been common knowledge amongst the travel industry that there are about 10,000 to 15,000 AA Concierge Key members around the world.
These figures are backed up by a now-deleted Instagram post from @jmauboin, an owner of a chocolate company with whom American Airlines partnered to prepare “11,300” boxes of chocolate.
It may sound like a coincidence but American Airlines regularly sends gifts to its Concierge Key members. Also, the Instagram post ended with “A big thank you to @americanair #conciergekey for trusting us.”
The post was made in 2019 so the numbers have probably gone up or gone down but it’s safe to say that it’s within the 10k-15k range.
Concierge Key VS United Global Services Vs Delta 360
The “Big 3” carriers all have their own invite-only status. United Airlines has the United Global Services while Delta Airlines has the Delta 360. Here’s an overview of the major benefits of each status:
- Priority Upgrades
- Special Upgrade Certificates
- Companion Saver Award
- Mercedez-Benz Transfers
- Exclusive Global Services Customer Service
- Priority Check-in & Boarding
- United Club Access
Additionally, United Global Services is the only invite-only status that has a published method on how to earn it, and that is to fly 4 million Lifetime miles on United or United Express aircraft.
- Tarmac transfers in major hubs (ex. Atlanta, Detroit, LA)
- A dedicated customer service hoteline
- Surprise gifts (ex. jewlery, champagne, chocolates)
In terms of benefits, United Global Services ranks first among all the invite-only status tiers, with Concierge Key coming in at 2nd, and Delta 360 at 3rd.
Bottomline: Is The Concierge Key Worth It?
Concierge Key does offer premium benefits that will make your travels worthwhile but it’s really hard to get an invite from AA. So the question now is, would you be willing to spend at least $50,000 and be loyal to one airline for decades?
Instead of spending 50k and hoping to get an invite from AA, here’s a better option: get a travel credit card, spend your money to earn points, and redeem your points towards award travel.
For example, the American Express Platinum Card comes with a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 within 6 months of getting the card. You also earn points on rewards categories, such as the 5x points per dollar you’ll earn when you book directly with an Airline.
With the Amex points, you’ll earn, you can then transfer them to other loyalty programs to book award flights (including American Airlines) or stays, giving you more value for your money.
So, is Concierge Key status worth trying for? You decide.