American Offering AAdvantage Members Opportunity to Buy-back Elite Status

by on January 2, 2013 · 6 comments

in American, 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

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • G Force

    I have seen this offered before. Has Alaska Airlines (or any other carrier) ever done this?

  • BenH

    Maybe do a writeup of how this compares to taking their “challenge”.

    I think that it is less expensive to take the challenge, but obviously you need to qualify during – which means butt in seat. However if you are planning trips and can do without the status for the first few trips, the challenge may be a better alternative?

  • Poley King

    Alaska challenge has always been fly X segments in a specific time frame

  • Schmege

    Wow, AA must have a short memory. Their “apology” double EQM offer (joke–should have been retroactive or just gifted miles), and now this “offer” to their loyal elites.

  • JMM

    I am so disgusted with this Airline! Between the change in the Million Miler and what they have done in general with their mileage program. I am a Million Miler and fly about 130K a year. Last year I opted to hit up a few other airlines and have found that they are in much better shape both equipment wise as well as customer satisfaction. You would think that AA would be trying to retain their loyal customers but they are not. Just because they doubled elite for a few months at the very end does not make up for 2 years of disappointment. There needs to be some top down change from that organization. Stop dinging your frequents for being loyal. They should have just maintain everyone where they were and an apology. I thing that would have been the best for of compensation.

    Anyone else have this problem? Not to be a snob but are they just not conscious of the order to of how they seat a plane. They lump 1st with PE, Plat and Gold and sometimes Priority. They do not check tickets nor tell group 3 not to board at that time… they just let a free for all happen. Very frustrating. I was going to write a letter, but I am sure it would just get lost in the Million that are lost in a pile!

  • D Daniel

    My husband ended up 3K short of platinum due to some last minute engagement shuffling by his company. For him the buy back is worth it. I ended up not making gold by about 2K. It is better for me to do a platinum challenge because we’ll be flying about 2x as much this year as last and I’ll have no trouble hitting the challenge. It all depends on your situation.

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