Need status on American Airlines? January is your month!

A combination of promotions on American Airlines makes January a particularly fruitful month for members who want to join their elite ranks. Usually, passengers need to fly at least 25,000 miles to reach gold status on the airline, but a double miles promotion (until the end of January) has reduced that to only 12,500. In addition to that, residents of Illinois, Texas and California can earn an additional round of double miles for flying select routes through the end of March, effectively earning some passengers triple miles.

This means that instead of the normal 3490 elite miles that one would accrue between Chicago and Los Angeles (round trip) a total of 10470 miles can be stacked up — or 40% of the way to Gold Status. And once you reach gold status? A whole host of benefits are available.

For many, this elite status is what helps make traveling easier and justifies a full carriage of longer, more interesting travel in the years to come. Some even go out of their way to take a mileage run and accrue that status, though you should carefully consider your future travel plans (and balance sheet) before you make that commitment. For me, our Huffington Post offices and editors in California were worth making the trip to Los Angeles once or twice this month. And if it fits into the equation of your long term travels then it might be worth your time too.

Make sure you travel before the 31st of January for the global double miles promotion. You have until the end of March until the geographically based promotion runs out.