It’s approaching the end of the year, which means it’s a good time to start looking at your elite mileage balances, deciding which status levels you want to go for, and how you want to earn them.
It’s pretty normal for airlines to offer buy-up promotions for earning the next elite tier towards the end of the year. Earlier I wrote about how Delta SkyMiles launched their promotion, and now American AAdvantage has launched their promotion as well.
Buy Up To AAdvantage Elite Status For 2020
If you log-in on this website with your AAdvantage number and password you should be able to see what kind of a status buy-up offer is available to you, if any.
This allows you to buy up to the next status level for this coming year, which would be valid through January 31, 2021. Here are the FAQs regarding the buy up offer.
There are some basic things to be aware of:
- If you take advantage of one of these buy-ups, your status should be updated within three business days
- Whatever you spend on a status buy-up will count towards your Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) total for this year, and that will be updated within five business days
- This purchase is non-refundable
If you were to take advantage of this, I’d recommend waiting until after the year is over, so you really know where you stand on elite qualifying miles. However, I wouldn’t wait too long, because after all, you want to potentially take advantage of the extra perks.
Cost To Buy-Up To AAdvantage Status
With Delta’s promotion you’re buying a bundle with a certain number of elite miles, elite dollars, and elite segments. American’s offer is different — you’re buying up to a certain status level, and there are no corresponding elite miles or elite segments (though you do earn elite dollars for the amount you spend).
So people are likely to see vastly different offers.
The Buy-Up Offer I’m Eligible For
While I’m currently Executive Platinum, I’ve only qualified for Platinum so far for this year. I’m at 52,000+ elite qualifying miles, 9,000+ elite qualifying dollars, and 39 elite qualifying segments.
The next elite tier is Platinum Pro, which requires 75,000 elite miles. With my offer I can spend either $1,895 or 189,500 miles to earn Platinum Pro. That’s valuing AAdvantage miles at less than a penny each, which is less than I’d value them, so I do think cash is the better option here.
As a point of comparison, Ford is presently Platinum Pro, but so far has only qualified for Gold status. He’s at at 30,000+ elite qualifying miles, 5,000+ elite qualifying dollars, and 22 elite qualifying segments.
The next elite tier is Platinum, which requires 50,000 elite miles. With his offer he can spend either $1,345 or 134,500 miles to earn Platinum.
Should You Buy Up To Status?
This is something everyone has to decide for themselves, as there’s no universal advice. One thing is for sure — the trend is that elite status is becoming less valuable by the year.
If you’re not sure that it absolutely makes sense, then I’d highly recommend not making the purchase. Money in your pocket is usually worth more than constantly devalued airline status.
It’s once again possible to pay to buy-up to the next status level, though prices vary. With prices not published, and with the added wrinkle of there being a revenue requirement for status, it would be interesting to get some data points of what kind of offers people are getting.
I’d only use this feature as a last resort, as the cost per elite qualifying mile here is typically insane. You’re much better off taking an extra flight if you have the time. And if you don’t have the time, it might not be worth buying up to status, given that it’s less valuable than in the past before.
Were you offered a buy-up offer? If so, how many EQMs/EQs/EQDs are you at, and how much did they ask for?