Buy Up To American Airlines Elite Status For 2020

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage

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.

Bottom Line

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?

  1. I always wonder how much incremental revenue DL/AA/others drive in last minute up-sells from people who don’t fly often enough to benefit.

  2. The primary thing I get out of my (lowly) Premier Silver status on UA is that I’m nearly always able to upgrade to economy plus during business trips. At 6’5″ that makes a huge difference to me. Prior to having status, my relative level of comfort (or misery) depended on the equipment and how it was configured. So, status has been good for me as far as that goes. I don’t see much else of value from being silver, however. If I were at a higher tier, I’m sure i’d feel differently.

  3. As a point of reference I’m currently gold and have already earned gold for 2020 with 27000+ miles and $5500 eqd. When I log in to the site it tells me no offers are available for me.

  4. Buying status surely is not worth what it once was. I was legacy US Airways and was Chairman and bought up once or twice. It came with amost 100% upgrades and 4 SWUs we’d use each year to Europe, which were easy to score.

    Since the merger, I’ve been Platinum Pro and upgrades on short flight in the east are maybe 50-50 and transcontinental never. This year I qualify as Gold but have that for being a million miler anyway. My offer was $1675 or 167,500 miles for Platinum, which is expensive. The 500 mile upgrades are a nuisance and I have zero, since you don’t earn any as PP or EXP.

    I have Business Extra points I can burn or just buy F with the money saved. Of fly somebody else.

  5. Funny, I think there is a universal advice.

    It’s only worth it to buy for the highest tier (DM,EXP,1K) if you meet the following criteria.
    1. You know for a fact that you can use upgrade certificate and it cost less to buy status than buy the upgrade.
    2. You know for a fact you will fly a lot next year.

    Anyone besides that should not buy status. Chances are you are not flying enough to benefit them anyway.

  6. I’m current EP and have 83,000 EQM and 13,000 EQDs. Have flights booked through end of year that will bring EQMs to about 97,000 and EQD well over 15K. I got “no offers available at this time.”

  7. Currently Plat will likely only qualify for Gold in 2020…I had two offers:

    Gold for $695 or Platinum for $1,345…

    HAHAHA I needed a good laugh today…

  8. I’ve flown 0 miles on AA (or BA) this year and spent $0 (but do have 1 one-way trip later this month). Offer to maintain Platinum status is approx. $1500. Actually seems like a reasonable deal if I think my flying pattern will revert to AA next year.

  9. Plat Pro this year. 126,000 EQM and $12,050 EQD. My offer is $3,195 or 315K miles for Exec Plat. I’ll fly one mileage run to SGN using Cathay in Premium Economy and that will fix it.

  10. currently Gold but it seems that I will lost after 31.1.2020 because of using Star Alliance much more… Gold offer for me $699 or 70K miles

  11. Another comparison point. Currently Gold through Jan 2020, over $1,000 EQD and 10,000 EQM short so far of re-qualifying, got offered $675 or 67.5k miles to re-attain Gold through Jan 2021. Would have made it again easily if I hadn’t status matched to Delta (Silver Medallion which is kind of limited in benefits I have now come to find). Love getting free priority seats at purchase with AA and have had great luck with MCE at check in. Can get free bags and priority boarding through a credit card signup if I want to keep that part. Good luck getting upgrades as a Gold. $675 buys a lot of seat selections though, or an Admiral’s club membership with the World Elite card, and $225 left to buy up seats for the year. All told spending $675 to extend status vs coming up with over $1,000 in EQD isn’t a horrible deal since I don’t have any paid flying on AA scheduled for the rest of the year.

  12. Currently an Executive Platinum and qualifying for Platinum Pro as of now. I’m about 11,000 EQM’s and $1,500 EQD’s short and I was quoted $2,800 to maintain my status.

    Good thing I have a ticket booked from MIA to KUL through LHR and DOH around the holidays for which I paid $1550 round trip on Oneworld where the MIA-LHF already confirmed my systemwide upgrade. That should get me all the way to emerald status.

  13. Currently Pro with 56.4k EQM, 72 EQS, $14500 EQD. Offer is $1795 to renew Pro. By the end of next week I’ll be at about 59k/77/$15k so we’ll see if the offer changes. Hopefully I can just hit 90 EQS and not have to worry about anything.

  14. I’m currently Platinum. I just checked my offer: $1,165 to buy up to Platinum status. I’ve already passed the mileage requirement of 50k EQM’s and I’m $522 EQD’s away from Platinum. I’ll just do a mileage run.

  15. I currently have enough eqm but am short $1256 was for platinum. My offer is I can pay $1474 for platinum…

    Umm, how is that a special offer? I can already make status for less.

  16. I’m currently EP but have only flown around 35,000 miles this year mainly because I retired in March. The only reason I have this many miles is a couple of overseas trips (including business class to Argentina) as well as a couple of west coast flights. I’m Platinum for life with around 3 million miles so locked in at that level.

    I checked and I don’t have any offer to buy up. Not sure if that is because I am lifetime Platinum or because my miles so far only qualify me for Gold and I’m already locked in to Platinum next year due to my lifetime status so they won’t offer me an upgrade.

    For what it is worth, I wouldn’t spend ANYTHING to upgrade to Platinum Pro and very little even if I was offered a 2 level jump from my lifetime status to EP. Even as EP my success on long haul flights (I live in CLT) is less than 50%. Status sure isn’t what it once was with airlines maxing revenue by selling more first class seats and I can already lock in a seat at no cost and preboard. Same with Delta as I’m lifetime Gold there (about 3 million on them also). Frankly I’m happy just living off my lifetime status and then flying whomever I want based on route, cost or other factors.

  17. Currently Platinum Pro with 61.7k EQM, $10,200 EQD. Offer is $1,795 or 147,500 miles to renew. Should hit 75k EQM by year-end, so it will be moot. $1,800 for a handful of non-hub upgrades and the occasional same day flight change, seems pretty stiff when still within striking distance of renewing status.

    My wife’s offer was even worse. Currently Gold status with 37k EQM and $4,100 EQD and AA is asking $2,099 to move up to Platinum or 210,000 miles. I would be fascinated to know for whom that is a good value? Perhaps if it gave her the ability to actually use her dozens of 500-mile upgrades on good flights….but good luck with that.

  18. I’m currently gold with 24 segments, 17,000ish miles, and $4k in spend. My offer is $395 or 39.5k miles. This definitely takes into account my upcoming travel (4 upcoming segments).

  19. Not a good deal. I have the miles for Plat Pro but short $1250 spend. But I have purchased tickets over the next month that puts me over the Plat Pro requirement.

    Current off is $1515 to Plat Pro — but that is more than the cost of tickets to get there — which I already have.

  20. Lucky and Fellow Travelers, A point almost too easy to consider is that if someone is rather close on Qualifying Miles, but short on Qualifying Dollars, doesn’t it just make a lot more sense to simply book a great trip (pre end-of-year obviously) for around the same amount as the cash buy-up (and related EQD needs), and enjoy going there? It sure sounds better than just putting the same amount of totally lost cash into DP’s coffers! Alternatively, the Barclays AA Business Card is absolutely helping me with my shortfall for EQD’s for this year… and this is not a CrCd plug – but just a reality.

    Off to EU tomorrow at midday from MIA, for the final EXP EQM’s journey needed for the year.

  21. For the sake of god, say NO to all the flyer programs. They have just gone off the deep end and no longer worth playing.
    Get the tkt you want for the price you want at the time you want, and forget about any “loyalty” to the airline.
    They certainly have.

  22. Currently Executive Platinum with 80,053 EQMs and $21,806 EQDs. Offer is $3,675 or 367.5K miles to renew. Laughable.

  23. $9000 EQD spent (PP level) and only two EQS short of re-qualifying for Platinum. Offer is $1055 or 105.5K miles. Oh, and I already have the flight booked that will give me the two segments. What an F’ing joke. Is anyone even home!? I think I’ll status match for Delta early next year and switch providers. They can’t be any less in touch with their customers, right?

  24. Currently Platinum Pro, will soon re-qualify and will be close to EXP by end of the year, but I don’t see any offers. Where do they appear?

  25. I’m just short on dollars spent but like 4K miles short for actual flying, and got the $395 offer to be gold. I’m actually considering it mostly because I don’t think I can find a flight for $400 that’s also going to get me the miles I need…

  26. There is zero chance Lucky and Ford will not buy up. The “I live in Miami which is a fortress AA hub” whine will be the rationale instead of owning up to status addiction.

  27. Currently Platnium but haven’t re-qualified yet. I don’t have any trips booked yet but I am planning two which will still put me short by 1700 EQM only. My offer was $995 or 99.5K. If this works out better than a status/mileage run (which I was strongly considering), then I may take it because my patience for runs has gone way down. I do get good value for Platnium status so it is worth it to me.

  28. I’m an AA “member” and have never been Gold. AA has offered to buy up before. I have enough Dollars (EQDs) but only 14,561/25,000 miles and only 19/30 segments. My offer is $495 or 49,500 miles.

  29. I too am an AA “member” and have never been Gold. I have enough Dollars (EQDs) but only 10,814/25,000 miles and only 13/30 segments. My offer is $595 or 59,500 miles.

  30. There seems to be no logic in the “pricing” of this promotion. I am platinum. I’ve spent $18,075 YTD (2x the spend for Platinum Pro). I have 65.5 segments and 41,590 miles. My “offer”….$2,315 or 231,500 miles! Outrageous and no where in line with anyone else’s I’ve seen posted.

  31. I am currently Plat Pro and at $6,984 EQD / 72,541 EQM / 28 EQS. My offer for keeping Plat Pro is $1,895 / 189,500 miles.

    I have upcoming travel this year that will bring me approximately to $12k EQD / 95k EQM. Any idea if I will receive an updated offer for EXP?

  32. @jarrod – my offer last year changed every time I took a flight before the end of the year. It went from $3595 down to $2295 for EP

  33. Just got my offer today a week after completing a long transcon trip which left me $939 EQDs and 4878 EQMs away from Platinum Pro. Offer was for $1319 or 132K miles (or some combo).

    I doubt I will make Pro by the end of the year. The unlimited upgrades and being more likely to get upgraded is certainly tempting. I’ve been an EP for several years (pre-merger) and am a lifetime Platinum. An AAdvantage member for 30 years.

    Elite status has certainly been devalued, at least from a Platinum’s perspective. And not just because the slotted the Pro level in. I get, as a business, the need to maximize revenue. But the whole dollars + miles elite formula plus the decline in overall customer service makes me feel like I’m viewed as walking currency and not a customer.

    I think maybe I’ll just call up and say “Hey, I’ve supported your airline for over 30 years flying millions of miles, how about throwing me the perk of Pro since I’m so close for free?” (but said nicer).

    I’m betting the rules don’t allow that…

  34. American Airlines is just terrible. I’m Executive Platinum for 2019 and won’t make it for 2020. I currently reached Platinum Pro, but AA isn’t offering a buy up, at least not yet. What advantages did I get this year……not much. If you are flying into DFW or PHX, you can forget about an upgrade. They’ve reduced the pricing for domestic First Class and most people are buying it outright. System Wide upgrades are a joke and good luck finding availability……sure if you want to go to Akron or Indianapolis. Food is terrible and they use the cheapest wines possible in First Class. While in First on my way to LAX two weeks ago, the flight attendant chewed my ear off on how bad things have become. There’s no customer service with them anymore and it’s like flying on Spirit, according to her. The ONLY benefit is getting a seat in MCE and even with that, they are making the seat pitch smaller and smaller. I live in Chicago and wish Delta were a viable option. Forget about United; they are just as bad. Don’t get me started on the slop they are serving in the Admirals Club. Their only focus is on the Flagship Lounge.

  35. I will be literally 20 miles/EQM’s short of Gold this year. Not sure I care too much about getting it, and definitely won’t take the $395 offer to do it, but do you think AA would round me up those few miles since I’m so close?

  36. Will be 125 EQMs short of re-qualifying Gold after my last scheduled trip of the year. I’d love to hope AA might round up for me…but I guessing it doesn’t work like that. Anyone have any experience being that close before? Trying to decide between doing a mileage run to re-qualify or waiting for it to expire and doing a status challenge early next year. Any thoughts or experience? My current buy back offer is $495…how low will that go down to if I get closer on miles after my last trips?

  37. Sorry, but American Airlines GIVES NOTHING AWAY FOR FREE! Maybe you can find an ultra cheap fare round trip this late in the year, but I doubt it. They know people like us are all trying to do the same thing. I luckily found a $250 fare round trip ORD to LAX and that pushed me into Platinum Pro. I found no real benefit being EP this year.

  38. They are not offering EP upgrades for many people this year. Have any other people had the same problem?

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