American Offering AAdvantage Members Opportunity to Buy-back Elite Status

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For those AAdvantage members who didn’t re-qualify for elite status for 2013, American Airlines is offering the opportunity to buy-back your elite status. This is only for those members who held AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold status in 2012, so if you were hoping to buy-back Executive Platinum status, you wouldn’t be able to.

If you are currently an AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member, and you have flown at least two elite qualifying segments during 2012, and did not participate in this offer last year, then you are eligible to renew your status. American will reach out to eligible members on January 30 and share how they can extend their elite status benefits another year. Members will have until May 15, 2013 to renew status through this offer. If you are eligible to renew your elite status, you may also revisit this page after January 30 and click on the ‘Renew Now’ button and follow instructions that will guide you through the process. To check your current progress toward reaching elite status, log-in to the My Account section on AA.com

American is letting some flyers buy-back their elite status.
American is letting some flyers buy-back their elite status.

The prices to buy-back status depend on how much you flew in 2012.

For those with Gold status who flew more than 20,000 miles or 24 segments, the price is $409; for those Gold members who flew less than 20,000 miles or 24 segments, the price is $559.

Platinum members who flew more than 40,000 miles or 48 segments, the price is $619, otherwise it would be $769.

By renewing your AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold membership, you’ll continue to receive the many benefits which make your travel experience easier and more rewarding, including:

  • Flight bonuses
  • 500-minimum mileage guarantee on most flights
  • PriorityAAccess privileges at check-in counters, security screening areas and boarding gates
  • Upgrade privileges, including earned upgrades and complimentary upgrades
  • Waived checked baggage charges
  • Waived AAdvantage Award processing charges

Paying $409 (or $559!) for Gold status doesn’t seem worth it to me – you’d have to check 16 bags or make at least 5 award reservations to make up the cost of it – though (slightly) advanced seat selection and a shot at using those 500-mile upgrades is nice. Still, now that American has created a set of new fare options that include waived checked baggage fees, priority (Group 1) boarding and no change fees, you might be better off just purchasing one of those instead on a case-by-case basis.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Credit Rating
N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195 See Terms Excellent Credit