It should come as no surprise that American Airlines targets people to buy into new elite status or offers existing elites a way to the next level. For at least the past 5 years, American has had these offers around. These offers are a double edged sword because on one hand they allow the company to re-engage with lost members which is a good thing, but on the other side they alienate existing members who actually put in the “hard work” to truly earn their status.
2019 Targeted Status Details
A friend recently sent me an offer he was targeted for this time it came with a twist as it gave him an option to buy up to status using his miles. As a bit of background, he held status last year and failed to re-qualify for status this year. After taking a transcontinental flight one way he was sent this offer via a targeted link in an email.
Is it worth it to use miles for Status?
Definitely not in the example above, mostly due to the level of status they offered him, but more on that below. If you were offered Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status it’s probably not worth it either as American Airlines is valuing their miles at ~1¢ per mile which is terribly low. I value American Airlines miles at a minimum of 1.7¢ per mile but you can very easily redeem for 2 – 4¢ per mile when redeeming miles for sAAver level premium cabin awards.
2019 Status Buy Up Details (Not Targeted)
Outside of targeted offers, American Airlines has had a buy-up status offer available for 2019. It’s been out for the past few months. Typically these offers roll around starting in November the year before. Any existing elite can view your 2019 buy up offer (if eligible) via this link. You will need to log in to your account with your AAdvantage number and password. Any status purchased would be valid through January 31, 2020. Check out the FAQs regarding the buy up offer here.
The buy ups can be purchased through July 31, 2019. I would highly discourage anyone from purchasing status past March as after that point over 1/4 of your elite year will be up.
Is it worth it to buy up to AAdvantage status?
If you have an offer, the answer is maybe. The benefits to go from Platinum to Platinum Pro are significant, with Platinum Pro you earn unlimited domestic upgrades vs needing 500-mile certificates. For any offers below Platinum Pro, I do not think that they are generally worth the cost. That being said, if your flying the super premium frequent flyer routes, odds are even as a Platinum Pro you wont get an upgrade either. The other factor to consider before buying up, is the cost. Costs for buying up status varies based on which elite tier you’re going for, and also based on how many elite qualifying miles or elite qualifying dollars away you are from achieving the next level.
Back in 2016 this was the buy-up I was offered:
For 2019 I was targeted for a $1500 Platinum Pro offer, which I didn’t need as I was always going to hit that level anyways. Always be sure to consider what you might already achieve before buying into one of these offers as the current American Airlines system isn’t smart enough to account for that.
It is important to consider how much flying you plan on doing before you even think about any of these status offers. If you could take the money or miles that you would spend for the buy-up to alternatively take a trip that would allow you to hit the next status level, than do that instead. If you could upgrade you flying over the next year from economy to first/business class, do that instead. These deals really aren’t deals and you’re better off saving you money/miles for your next great adventure.
Have you been targeted for an offer to get status using your miles? What was your offer?