American Is Letting You Pay To Secure Elite Status For 2019

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.

For as long as I can remember, American has offered an elite buy up offer, where you can buy up to a higher status level if you are within a certain range of achieving a tier. For full context, here are the details of the Elite Boost Offers in 2013201420152016, and 2017.

Well, American is back this year with another buy up offer. Here’s what we know about it so far:

Buy up to AAdvantage status for 2019

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 early 2020. Here are the FAQs regarding the buy up offer.

If you take advantage of one of these buy ups, your status should be updated within a few days. That’s good news since you can start enjoying the benefits of the higher elite tier right away, though be careful that you don’t buy up to status now when you might otherwise have last minute travel that gets you over the edge anyway.

So 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. While the buy ups can be purchased through July 31, 2019, at that point over half of your elite year will be up.

Cost to buy up to AAdvantage status

The cost to buy up to status varies based on which elite tier you’re going for, and also based on how many elite qualifying miles away you are from achieving status. At least that has been the case historically.

Then last year American added a revenue requirement in order to earn status, so that likely now also factors into the cost to buy-up to status. Anything you spend on a buy-up to the next status level will also be added to your EQD total.

Prior to 2016, American published the exact costs required to buy-up to status, though for the past couple of years they haven’t been sharing that.

For a bit of context, here are the buy up offer costs from a couple of years ago (again, these are not the costs for this year, as those aren’t published, and we don’t know what role the elite qualifying dollar requirement plays in these buy-up offers):




The above screenshots are from a couple of years ago, when American raised the elite qualifying segments required for Executive Platinum from 100 to 120. That’s why the segments in the above screenshot aren’t correct. Furthermore, American didn’t have Platinum Pro status at the time.

The buy-up offers I’m seeing

I’ve been flying American less this year than before (and that general downward trend has been happening for a couple of years now.

I actually just requalified for Platinum Pro based on a flight last night. However, I’m guessing the system doesn’t update that fast, and that it still assumes I have ~74,500 elite qualifying miles.

So to earn those extra 500 elite miles, American wants to charge me $1,095. How generous…

Ford is at about 60,000 elite qualifying mile for the year.

They’ll sell him Platinum Pro for $1,745.

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. Last year I wrote a post about 14 ways in which Executive Platinum status is less valuable than before, and that trend is continuing.

Bottom line

It’s once again possible to pay to buy up to the next status level, though prices vary. With prices to buy up to status 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/EQDs are you from qualifying, and how much did they ask for?

Hopefully we can get some data points.

(Tip of the hat to Janeway)


  1. When someone gives away cheaply what they prized highly before, be wary.

    Advice works for stocks, goods, blogger advice, airline elite status and relationship with women.

  2. I wish they had a program where I could sell them back my status. I’d take AAdvantage of that pretty quick!

  3. AA is charging me $595 for getting gold. I already met the $3,000 EQD requirement and I have 18,000 EQM’s. Only 5 segments though lol.

  4. 70,000 EQM and $12,500 EQD. My offer to buy up to Platinum Pro is $1195, LMAO.

    I’ll be flying a roundtrip to Beijing in November/December that will get me to Executive Platinum, so I’m certainly not taking this offer (and even if I weren’t, I’d find a cheap mileage run to get me to Platinum Pro otherwise).

  5. Cost for me to upgrade to Platinum Pro is $1,995. Already qualified for EQD’s and have 57K EQM’s. So $1,995 buys me 18,000 EQM’s. Not worth it by a long shot. Only real advantage of Pro vs regular Platinum is automatic upgrades.

  6. My question is what is the advantage for elite status with AAdvantage? Possible upgrade on the 737 MAX? This program is dead to me.

  7. I have 5,687 EQD’s and 69,580 EQM’s (so almost Platinum with EQD’s and just under Platinum Pro with EQM’s!)

    AA are offering me 2 upgrade offers:

    Platinum for $515

    Platinum Pro for $3449 (WOW!)

  8. Hmmm… no offer. At ~ $12,500 EQDs and ~78k EQMs. I can only assume I have no offer as I have ticketed trips that will get me over 100k (literally by 50 miles)?

  9. @lucky

    You wrote : “This allows you to buy up to the next status level for this coming year, which would be valid through early 2019.”

    This would be a terrible deal.

    In fact the new purchased elite status will be valid through January 31, 2020; a much more reasonable period. Which follows the normal Elite status period for most earned airline statuses.

  10. I don’t understand why everyone hates these promotions so much. Let’s take Ford’s example: He is ~15,000 EQM away from PlatPro and AA is charging ~$1700.

    Please someone find a way to get that many miles for that price…

    I definitely don’t think this promo is for everyone, but for some people in certain situations I just don’t see how it’s so outrageous. #math

  11. Mine was $575 for gold. I have 24,268 EQM and $2,590 EQD. Luckily I have a trip scheduled that will take me over both thresholds next month.

  12. @Justin – here’s a random example, $603 mileage run for ~16360 EQM: h

    So about 1/3 the cost, and includes a few nights in Beijing.

    But of course there’s how you value your time , and whether you’re able to randomly go on a trip like this for a few days.

  13. 18k EQD and 99,588 EQM, wanted $895 for EXP. Still got 18k economy miles to fly this year so I don’t think I’ll be taking them up on their most generous offer

  14. $1889 to upgrade to gold. I currently have 1250 EQD/3000 required to get gold on my own and 15K/25K EQM.

    These people must be smoking crack.

  15. Currently a AA Platinum, with 0 EQM/EQD as I switched over to BA Silver. I got $839 for Gold and $1429 to retain Platinum.

  16. I’m AA Platinum, about 3,000 EQMs and $200 short of requalifying. My offer is $895 (lol).

    I found a Friday – Sunday mileage run from NYC to Curacao in mid-December for $380 round trip. Looks like there’s a nice Marriott property with points availability for that weekend. Looks like I’ll be spending a weekend in the Caribbean right before the holidays!

  17. As an EXP from last year, only have about 3000 EQM this year – offer to buy up to Platinum for $1299…. lol
    I guess thats not too bad considering it is 47000 EQM!

  18. Current PLT to main PLT.
    EQDs: $7,802
    EQMS: 49,715/50,000
    Cost: $855.
    This makes no sense. I can go RT from DCA–> MCO on a random Saturday in Dec for less than $150.

  19. Anyone have any experience with United offering a similar deal last year? I’m not going to re-qualify at my current level and would like to keep it for 2019. (Unfortunately, I can’t fit in a status run either.)

  20. I understand that AA wants cash, but why in the world are they selling upgraded status – I thought they were trying to thin the ranks.

    I qualified for EXP in June, for 2019. But I question whether to continue after 2019.

    If AA is selling status then why is Barclay decreasing EQD benefits – max $3K EQD.

    The aircraft reconfigurations to reduced pitch – makes AA less desirable.

  21. Flying 50,000 miles on AA annually is a real torture. I have no loyalty to AA anymore. Rather take Delta domestically or Lufthansa to Europe.

  22. I’m Gold and my offer is to buy up to Platinum for $2159. Which 1) seems higher than other commenters and 2) is just silly because I could spend less to hit Platinum buy buying tickets.

  23. As someone who already earned EXP for next year, I really don’t like that they are letting people buy up to that level. I think EXP should be off limits to anyone who doesn’t earn it the old fashioned way.

  24. Current Gold, but (way) short of re-qualifying:
    1) 1,754/3,000 EQDs
    2) 19,226/25,000 EQMs
    3) 9/30 EQSs
    No more planned travel on AA this year (except one award segment).
    Offer to retain Gold = $799. Based on other DPs here, not as bad an offer as I would have thought.
    Might do it. AA is the only airline with which I have elite status (except a temp MVP match with Alaska).
    I take one RT to Shanghai a year on my employer’s dime (economy only). I use AA Gold status for ($350+ 25k miles) upgrades to J (DFW-PVG segment, but never clear for the upgrade coming back) . . . but will hunt around for better alternatives. Fly out of CHS – leave in March, return in May. Any suggestions?

  25. My offer:

    Current at Platinum for 2018
    EQDs – $11,649/$6,000
    EQMs – 41,372/50,000
    EQSs – 37/60
    Maintain Platinum = $995

    I should have an additional 6,000 EQMs before November is out, so I’ll be just 1.5 trips short of re-qualifying for Platinum by mid-December…

  26. I’m at 69720 miles and qualifies on EQDs and my offer was for $1495. And I’m sufficiently booked to earn platinum pro by flying before year end.

  27. They’re asking me for $775 to upgrade to Gold status. I’ve got $2,371 of $3,000 EQD and 23,575 of 25,000 EQM so far. I have a flight booked from DC to Dallas at the end of the year, but I don’t see how I can earn the extra dollars or miles organically by the end of the year. Thoughts on if I should upgrade?

  28. I am a Platinum Millon Miler (so gold by default) just made 57000 miles, and $4500 EQD. to keep platinum for 2019 AA request $1800….

  29. Platinum going for EXP

    EQDs: $8,230
    EQMs: 107k (Check EXP)
    Cost: $995 PPro/ $3860 EXP
    I have been checking my offer after each flight and it has basically followed the EQDs needed +-$200.

    I have one more round trip from Brazil to ORD this year. I will probably buy business to get me next to the EQDs.

    Since the majority of my trips are long international trips and I fly from Brazil to the US once or twice a month EXP status is worth the cost to me. Last year I was pissed at AA and let my EXP status drop and ended up having to purchase PLT this year. One thing I have honestly noticed is that as an EXP I almost feel like my business matters to AA. There is a huge difference in the way you are treated and the perks are worth it for the amount of travel I do.

    But I have been battling with the idea of switching to UAL since they waive the $ EQDs for international residents.

  30. $2655 EQD / 10,272 EQM / 15 segments. Not currently any status since I used to fly by schedule instead of carrier. Offered $645 for Gold next year. Very tempting since I plan on flying AA for all work trips going forward (due to proximity to CLT).

  31. I am 96 (!) miles short of EXP. AA will do me the honors for a low, low rate of $595

    The sad fact is that a company that values you and your business will not charge someone $600 to make the status when I’ve already spent $22,945 dollars and flown 111.5 segments. Yet here I am, a mere 5 days until a new year, trying to figure how to give them MORE business and money so they will treat me only marginally better.

    Kinda sad…

  32. Completely agree with you. I am over miles at 123K but short on dollars. I decided to go back and audit the dollars spent vs the screen shots I have taken of each flight purchase. Turns out they didn’t award correct EQDs – small amounts – $65 here and $112 there – but over a 56 flights these start to add up. I am quoting the $$ based on the receipt email and final checkout page that shows the fare before taxes (EQDs). It has been weeks fighting getting them to acknowledge their mistakes – and they have sent this to multiple departments, none of which you can contact by phone, so after two or three canned emails they finally start to realize my point. I know this is the game – work me to death until I give up. It’s sad that a company that works so hard to cram their loyalty program down your throat work so hard to deny you what you have paid for!

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