There is going to be a large population of US-based Aegean Gold members that will see their status disappear in January (the requalification period ends November 23). For many, they may not care. But, Aegean had actually restructured their program in a way that makes it easy to retain Star Alliance Gold status, but harder to earn for the first time.
Quick Guide To Retaining Gold Status
To retain Gold status, you only need to fly 24,000 miles in a year or 12,000 miles and 4 Aegean flights in a year. So, it is much easier to keep Gold status than to earn Gold status. If you like Star Gold benefits (like Priority check-in, Priority boarding, Priority security, lounge access), it may be worthwhile to simply credit 12,000 miles to Aegean and fly on 4 Aegean segments. Just be sure to check the fare earning chart as not all fares on partner airlines earn 100% when credited to Aegean.
Buying Elite Miles For Aegean Status
But, with November 23 quickly approaching, many Aegean elite members may find themselves coming up short. Fortunately, Aegean just released their long-awaited benefit of allowing their elite members to purchase elite miles! Here are the details:
- Only current Silver and Gold members can purchase elite miles
- Silver members can buy up to 1,000 elite miles
- Gold members can buy up to 2,000 elite miles
- Miles are sold in 500 mile blocks
- Miles cost €25 per 500 mile block
- Miles are credited immediately (note: that is what the website says but my miles have not posted yet)
If you have 10,000 miles and 4 Aegean segments already credited, you can now buy 2,000 additional miles to retain Gold status for another year! You will have to consider if that is worth it to you, but at today’s exchange rate, that is just about $110 for the 2,000 miles. If you can buy a flight on United that would give you the 2,000 miles (which would actually require 4,000 flown miles on cheaper fares) for less than $110, that would be a good deal (probably not going to happen!). But, now you don’t have to leave home!
How To Buy Elite Miles
To purchase these elite miles, head over to this link. You will need to login to your elite Aegean Miles+Bonus account when you get there. Make sure you use a credit card that does not have a foreign transaction fee as it will be charged in Euros!
Once there, select whether you want Award miles or Tier miles (the tier miles are elite miles). I will write another post later covering the award mile purchase option, but, for now, if you want to purchase elite miles, select Tier Miles.
Once you do that, select the amount you want – remember, Silver members can buy up to 1,000 and Gold members can buy up to 2,000 miles. That limit is for within a membership year.
That’s it! The elite/tier miles post instantly and reduce the amount of miles you need for requalification.
Granted, there are other ways you can achieve access to Star Alliance lounges around the world – getting the United Club card (which will cost many $350 for the first year) or matching another status to a Star Alliance carrier. But, if you are looking for a way to keep your Aegean Gold status (Star Alliance Gold) for another year to take advantage of things like
- Pooling miles from other members (an easy way to get at least 5,000 award miles)
- 4 business class upgrade certificates
- 2 buy-one-get-one domestic certificates
- Free parking certificates
- Increased award earnings on Aegean/Olympic flights
- Star Alliance lounge access worldwide
- Priority boarding/check-in/security on Star Alliance flights
- Free baggage
I am actually going to be buying a few because my final trip of the qualifying year (a short European hop) had to be put on hold because of my diversion to chase AA Executive Platinum status at the last minute. 🙂 Rather than finding another way to get the few extra miles I needed, I can buy them at a cheap rate and be done with it. Not only that, my calendar really couldn’t spare me to squeeze the needed trip in to claim those elite miles.