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
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?
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