As I’ve written about in the past, US Airways has historically had one of the most generous programs when it comes to outright buying status.
US Airways used to offer a buy up to Preferred program, whereby you could outright buy top tier status without having flown a mile. They discontinued that program a couple of months ago, however, as part of their integration with American.
Buy up to Preferred status for 2015
For the past couple of years American AAdvantage has let you buy up to status at the end of the year if you’re not too far from qualifying. AAdvantage published the cost and rules for this year’s offering earlier in the month, though said it would be a couple of weeks until the US Airways version of the offer would be published.
Well, US Airways Dividend Miles has now published their version of the offer. They’re even using the same stock photo as American. 😉
Cost to buy up to Preferred 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.
Buy up to Silver Preferred
- 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 Gold Preferred
- 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 Chairman’s Preferred
- 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 Chairman’s Preferred 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, so in that case it might make sense to boost your way to Chairman’s Preferred.
Do keep in mind that:
- If you have some elite qualifying activity with American Airlines as well, those totals will be combined in the second quarter of 2015 to eventually determine your status
- You don’t want to buy up until you’re certain you won’t be flying enough. If you purchase the status boost and qualify on your own, you won’t receive a refund
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 it’s on par with what American is offering, though at the same time this isn’t cheap!