I’m A Fan Of American AAdvantage – But Its ‘Buy Up Status’ Offers No Longer Make Any Sense…

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Last month American AAdvantage was emailing elite status members with offers to “lock in your 2023 status”. This was essentially an offer to “buy up” an extra level of status.

In general, members are offered the opportunity to buy one additional level of status from the one they are currently on track to earn / retain.

For example, if you were currently on track to becoming a Gold member in 2023-2024, then you would be offered the chance to buy Platinum status…

It is worth highlighting that I am currently a Platinum Pro member. I have received an offer for Platinum status, which is actually a downgrade.  As a result, these offers are based on your expected status for next year, not to maintain or upgrade your current status.

Why These Offers Are Now Terrible

Everybody’s offer is slightly different and it changes over time. The cost typically decreases as you get closer to the number of Loyalty Points needed for the next level of elite status.

It is obvious, however, that your typical InsideFlyer reader is NOT the target market for these offers. It doesn’t really matter whether your target is $1,449 for Platinum status or $4,100 for Executive Platinum status – it’s a very expensive method of gaining elite status. In the past, there may have been an argument from convenience, given that you’d otherwise have to do some mileage runs, but not any more…

Since AAdvantage introduced Loyalty Points, all you have to do these days is follow the tips in this article about acquiring Loyalty Points cheaply.

Taking my personal offer, I need 42,000 Loyalty Points to reach Platinum status for next year. This would cost me just over $1,000 by booking no-show hotel stays via Rocketmiles.

AND, and this is a big AND…  I would also add 42,000 miles to my balance of redeemable miles by booking those no-show hotel stays. So, not only would I earn Platinum status more cheaply, but I would pick up enough miles for a free flight or two.

Bottom Line

If you receive an email from American Airlines offering you the chance to “lock in your status”, ignore it (or read it and enjoy a quick laugh). It isn’t for you… you can buy your preferred level status far more cost-efficiently.


  1. tangey says

    After your article about the pointshound/rocketmiles promo back in oct 2022, I did a cheapie £18 “stay” in Thailand.

    Even though done as prepay, the money was never taken and the points never posted.

    Until this morning, 5.5K aa miles posted, including 500 loyalty miles, but because the loyalty miles were for last year, my loyaly miles total is still zero.

    Strange that it took 5 months to post the points, but on the plus side, I never got charged.

  2. RTBones says

    Once upon a time, the buy-up offers occasionally made sense. Usually, it was if I had *just* missed the next tier, or needed one more flight (compare the cost of flight to the buy-up, take the most cost effective route). These days, though, its just a money game. Sometimes, AA dont even offer the chance to buy up.

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