American Airlines’ AAdvantage program has just rolled out some status buy up offers based on 2021 elite activity. It’s pretty normal for airlines to offer promotions for buying the next elite tier, though admittedly the past couple of years have been a bit unusual when it comes to airline loyalty.
Buy up to AAdvantage elite status for 2022
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 qualification year, which would be valid through March 31, 2023 (the different expiration is due to the changes coming to the American AAdvantage program this year — status will no longer follow the typical calendar year).
You can find the offer FAQs here.
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 toward your Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) total, though won’t count toward your Loyalty Points total (which is the new metric by which status is earned as of this year)
- This purchase is non-refundable
If you were to take advantage of this, it could make sense to wait a bit longer. American is counting all flight activity through the end of February 2022 for the purposes of 2021 status. I’d only recommend taking advantage of this if you’re sure you won’t be able to earn the status you’re hoping for otherwise.
What’s the cost to buy AAdvantage elite status?
With American’s elite tier offer you’re buying up to a certain status level, and there are no corresponding Elite Qualifying Miles or Elite Qualifying Segments (though you do earn Elite Qualifying Dollars for the amount you spend).
People are likely to see vastly different offers, which are based on how far you are toward qualifying for status, and also what status you’re going for. I’m not eligible based on my Executive Platinum status, through Ford is a Platinum Pro, and sees an offer to buy up to Executive Platinum. For context, below is his status qualification progress:
He’s being offered Executive Platinum status for $2,935 or 293,500 AAdvantage miles.
Should you buy up to status?
This is something everyone has to decide for themselves, as there’s no universal right answer:
- Whether or not this makes sense depends on your anticipated travel plans over the course of the next year
- If you’re not absolutely sure it makes sense, I’d recommend not making a purchase; money in your pocket is usually worth more than constantly devalued airline status
- I actually think American’s new AAdvantage elite program that uses Loyalty Points as the status metric makes it easier to earn status, so I might just put my effort into qualifying in the next year
American AAdvantage has launched its typical promotion that allows members to buy up to a higher status tier than they qualified for. This promotion is coming around a bit later than usual this year, given that American is giving members two extra months to earn 2021 status.
I’d only use this feature as a last resort, as the cost is typically excessively high. I’d only take advantage of this if you’re absolutely certain it’ll be worth it based on your upcoming travel patterns.
Are you eligible for an American AAdvantage elite buy up offer? If so, how much is American asking for, and how close are you to earning the status you’re being offered?
(Tip of the hat to Janeway)