Elite Status Travel News

Buying Elite Status from American Airlines – When to Buy if You Want to

American Airlines tickets
Written by Charlie

American Airlines is giving the opportunity to buy elite status for 2017. Find out when may be the best time to purchase it if you plan to but remember, you must already have some status with them this year.

The end of the 2016 is rapidly approaching and that means that many people are scrambling to reach/retain their current elite levels – whether it is with airlines or hotels. American Airlines is trying to give people a way to buy elite status for next year, but is it a good deal?

How to Buy Elite Status from American Airlines

buy elite status

Link: Buy Elite Status from American Airlines

In case you are not familiar with elite status with American Airlines, there are about to be 4 elite tiers within the elite program. Here is how they work out and what is required to attain each (for the elite year beginning January 1, 2017). Remember, some of these points are new for the 2017 program and are not yet required if you qualify this year for next year. Also, make sure you read this AA page to become familiar with these qualifications (such as the spending that is required if you qualify on miles and what the spending involves).

But, if you have elite status and want to buy it back for next year (because you will not qualify this year), American Airlines is willing to sell you your status. Here are the offers I received as they offers are targeted, apparently based on the miles you have already flown and your current status:

  • Gold – $499
  • Platinum – $1,299

Personally, I do not think Gold is worth that at all. You can get some similar privileges, like the free bag and earlier boarding, just by having their credit card. Platinum is better but still not worth that to me. I will likely end the year just past the requirement for Gold, which will be better than nothing for me, but I will not be buying up to Platinum.

Executive Platinum was fun and I got some nice benefits with it (including my personal favorite), but given the changes to the Aadvantage program to the earning of miles and others, I did not make the effort to reach Executive Platinum again for next year.

When Should You Buy Elite Status with this Offer?

buy elite status

Ok, here are a few things to know. As I mentioned, these offers are targeted based on your mileage accrual. The offer expires July 31, 2017 so you do not need to be in a hurry about this!

As you accrue more miles before the end of the year, your offers will change as well. In addition to being able to buy up, you can also boost your status if you have already qualified for one level. Again, these changes will unfold as your up your mileage balance.

Finally, you will be able to boost up to Platinum Pro status in January, if that is an offer that would be extended to you. That would be of more interest to me than the Platinum so I will see how much that costs when it is launched.

Making the Cost to Buy Elite Status Cheaper

Now, if you are inclined to buy up, remember that there are a couple of ways to make it cheaper. I know that the elite challenges offered by AA were covered under the Amex Platinum incidental reimbursement and it could be that this is as well. If that is the case and you have AA as your carrier, that is a chance to take as much as $200 off that price.

Again, not sure if this is the case, but it should likely work the same as well if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and have not used all of your $300 travel credit for this year.

Unfortunately, AA gift cards are not an eligible form of payment or that could make it cheaper as well!

What was your offer to buy elite status with American Airlines or boosting up to the next level?

Featured image: Courtesy of Stefano Panzeri via Shutterstock

Some of the links on Running with Miles are affiliate links that pay a commission if a purchase is made. Running with Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

7 Comments

  • I’m currently Gold and sitting on about 21,000 EQMs and 26 segments. My offer was $499 which I think is really high. I’ll hit Gold again on segments. I think I’d pay a little to jump from Gold to Platinum but I wouldn’t pay much. I have gotten about 8 to 10 complimentary <500 mile upgrades I I live in KC and hub through DFW much of the time which is just short of 500 miles. Recently it seems that this route has changed from the MD-80s to the newer 737 or A319's so I wonder if I would get as much value in 2017.
    I'm also sitting on about 20 upgrade stickers so that helps. I have to be at least Gold to use them of course. I think I've gotten sticker upgrades twice in 2016 and I have another flight tomorrow that is looking promising for this.
    My goal is to try and hit 25,000 miles and 30+ segments. That would give me more stickers and secure Gold for 2017. Pair that with my AA Exec card for lounge access and I'm doing fairly well.
    I think a better value for the money could be the United Econ Plus subscription depending on your home airport. I value the ability to grab free MCE seats <24 hours on AA so I think this would be better on United since you get them further out.

  • Charlie, I sit at 41,300 EQMs and 54 segments as of right now. I am currently a Platinum, and AA offered me to buy Platinum for 2017 for $1,199. But I plan to take a few more trips before Dec end and accumulate mroe EQMs/EQSs. Since I get closer to the 50,000 miles goal for 2017 Platinum , will the price I need to pay come down? Please help 🙂

    • The price certainly should lower. From reading the terms and FAQs, it sounds like you should receive even a boost offer as well so give it a little time. Also, how close will you be to the 50K? If they do not lower the price before the end of the year and you only have a couple thousand to go, you could easily buy a ticket and fly it to hit the 50K for less than $1,199. But, if your schedule does not allow for it, you do have several months to see what they do. My guess is that the closer you get to the end of your qualification year that the price will come down since AA knows they need to retain their elites with the changes they have made.

  • I have 41864 EQMS and 14 EQS.. I was offered $899 for platinum. I was platinum for 3 straight years. I’m planning on flying 50k miles between Jan 1st and Feb 28th next year. So I will not be buying platinum as my current platinum is valid till Feb 28th

  • Eh….I’ve had executive platinum for years and travel a couple/few hundred thousand miles a year.

    The exec plat achievement level is hardly worth it anymore. As much as Southwest is bare bones at least there’s the companion pass.

    Platinum boards with executive platinum. IF the agents even call it vs saying ‘anyone with status board now. Which happens more often than not now.

    System wide upgrades waere the only real benefit and it’s been cut down plus actually using one when travelling overseas is now nearly impossible (have tried on a bunch of flights and haven’t gotten once). The upgrades are just not worth it unless you’re a needed of additional space. First now has all the charm of a grey hound with vending machine for food and the meals on the longer flights are not very good/overly unhealthy.

    Free bags are nice but as you mentioned there’s other ways to get that and it’s certainly not worth sticking to one airline for. Pets (cabin and otherwise) and other fees you’re still fully subject too and cannot address online.

    That doesn’t even cover the old dumpy USAir planes without oower and fair to poor internet service in the continental US.

    • Great points, Steve. I am going to end the year sitting on many of my systemwide upgrades simply because I ended up traveling more on miles than I had planned and the ones I did try to use never cleared.
      As far as the planes, Delta definitely has the edge in the power and internet area.

      • Charlie! Can you send me one of your systemwide upgrades? I have 2 international trips on AA metal left for the year! 🙂

BoardingArea