American Airlines STILL trying to sell Elite Status

Elite status is awesome, plain and simple. Having access to the priority check in line, fast security, free bags, and the occasional upgrade is awesome. The number one question that we’re asked at events and in our personal circles is “How do you get elite status? I would love have it, but I don’t fly nearly enough.” If that’s you, then American Airlines may have the answer.

Buy Gold / Platinum

No, no, no… this isn’t some late night infomercial about how Gold and Platinum are the newest investment strategies. American Airlines just sent me an email (and maybe you as well) about how I can buy my way into Gold or Platinum status on AA, and as you might expect, they come with a steep price tag… one that might outweigh the benefits of those tiers. Let’s take look at the offers.

American Airlines Buy Status

High Level Comparison

Notice anything there? “Act Now and enjoy through January 2019…” so unlike actually EARNING your status, this one would only be good until January. If you were to fly enough to earn the miles, you would earn your status through January of 2020, so already this is a kick in the behind.

Want those Main Cabin Extra seats? Don’t choose Gold, as those will only allow you at check in.

One free checked bag is nice, but that’s really a savings of $25-$50 per flight. Nothing life changing but a nice perk nonetheless.

What’s the cost?

Here’s the real sticker shock:

American Airlines Buy Status


Gold Status is $699 (for 9 months) and Platinum is $1299 (also for 9 months). That’s a pretty hefty price tag, but if you’re going to be flying a lot and have some flights that you can credit, then maybe that’s a win. Otherwise it seems like it’s a bit excessive.

Qualifying Dollars

One bright point on this deal is that the $699 or $1299 counts towards your qualifying dollars for status for the next year. Hooray.

How bad do you want it?

So, it’s gonna be between $700-$1300 to buy your way into elite status with no guarantee of upgrades and really only a couple of bag waivers and 2-4 inches of extra legroom. Are you buying? Does this seem remotely interesting to you?

If you got an offer, was it better or the same?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. I would do it… for United

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    • Really?! For Silver?!

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  2. Just a clarification. I received this offer after dropping from ExecPlat last year to Gold this year. (I decided last year to credit my OneWorld flights to BA instead of AA as their top elite tier benefits were of more value to me than the significantly devalued ExecPlat benefits, so earned BAGold/OWEmerald.). My reading of the “credit” of the payment is not towards the EQD for 2019 status but just as a “spend” for the quarter that determines one’s upgrade priority among others holding the same elite tier. So I’d check out that clause in the offer.

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    • Interesting – no matter what, it still kinda sucks LOL

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  3. Also waives close-in award booking fees, but even then am not a buyer. Agree with your conclusions

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  4. My +1 got similar offer several weeks ago. We are not buying it.

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  5. Elite status on AA isn’t awesome, plain and simple. Take it from an Executive Platinum member. I never get an upgrade unless it’s a flight under 500 miles. And each year my eight systemwide upgrades go unused because there’s no opportunity to use them.

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  6. I keep getting the gold offer. With no comp upgrades – it’s not worth $699.

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  7. I think it depends how much you value legroom. I’m 6’5″ tall, so the extra legroom is worth a lot. I was United silver last year and never failed to get economy plus (Not sure how available AA main cabin extra seats are at check-in). They sell extra legroom for something like $60-$80 a flight, so if you fly enough it can be worth it.

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