On Sunday morning I wrote about how it looked like American would be bringing back an elite renewal offer this year.
Last year American AAdvantage offered the Elite Boost offer, whereby if you were within 10,000 elite qualifying miles of a status level, you could purchase the remaining needed elite qualifying miles needed for status.
Buy up to AAdvantage status for 2015
American has now published a similar promotion for this year, though they’ve changed a couple of things about it.
First of all, previously you could only buy up to the next status level if you were within 10,000 elite qualifying miles of your desired status level. This year you can buy up if you’re within 15,000 elite qualifying miles of your desired status level.
Next, last year when they rolled out the offer they didn’t actually let you buy up to status right away. The offer was published in November, though you could only actually buy up to status in January. This time around they’re letting you take advantage of the offer right away, so you can get your status updated within five business days. That’s good news since you can start enjoying the benefits of the higher elite tier right away, though I’d add a few words of caution:
- It’s good news because you don’t have to wait to have your status updated — if you want to buy up to Executive Platinum, you can have your status upgraded right now
- That being said, 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 EQMs.
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 miles away you are from achieving status, with 5,000 mile increments. The price to buy up to status if you’re within 10,000 miles of qualifying is actually identical to last year, though then they’ve added the tier for those 10,000-15,000 miles away from qualifying for status.
Buy up to AAdvantage Gold
- If you end the year with 20,000-24,000 miles or 25-29 segments you can pay $399 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 15,000-19,999 miles or 20-24 segments you can pay $499 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 10,000-14,999 miles or 15-19 segments you can pay $649 to boost your status
Buy up to AAdvantage Platinum
- If you end the year with 45,000-49,999 miles or 55-59 segments you can pay $699 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 40,000-44,999 miles or 50-54 segments you can pay $899 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 35,000-39,999 miles or 45-49 segments you can pay $1,199 to boost your status
Buy up to AAdvantage Executive Platinum
- If you end the year with 95,000-99,999 miles or 95-99 segments you can pay $1,199 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 90,000-94,999 miles or 90-94 segments you can pay $1,799 to boost your status
- If you end the year with 85,000-89,999 miles or 85-89 segments you can pay $2,499 to boost your status
Should you buy up to status?
I’d look at this offer as an absolute “last resort.” These rates are really high. For example, paying over 20 cents per mile for the last 5,000 elite qualifying miles towards Executive Platinum status is painful. That being said, if you absolutely can’t squeeze in another trip and it’s the only way you can achieve the next status level, it could very well be worth it.
For example, I definitely value Executive Platinum status at more than $1,199, assuming you have any travel planned for the following year.
Do keep in mind that:
- If you have some elite qualifying activity with US Airways as well, those totals will be combined in the second quarter of 2015 to eventually determine your status
- If you’re far off from achieving status, you’re best off doing a US Airways Challenge, which can get you Chairman’s Preferred for as little as 30,000 flown miles (which will eventually be converted into Executive Platinum in the second quarter of next year, including eight systemwide upgrades)
This isn’t an offer I’d recommend taking advantage of unless you’re really in a bind. It’s nice that they offer it, it’s nice that they didn’t raise the price further, though at the same time this isn’t cheap!
For what it’s worth, US Airways will soon be offering a similar elite boost, though it won’t go live for a couple more weeks.