This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

TPG reader Al sent me a message on Facebook asking:

“US Airways just quietly posted their revised buy-up to elite program, which is pretty close if not identical to American’s boost program. Do you think it’s worth it to buy up for higher elite status?”

It’s December, which means it’s crunch time for elite status. Deciding whether to buy up to elite status really depends on your needs. It’s definitely not cheap; buying up to Executive Platinum status on American costs almost $2,500, and that’s if you’re just 15,000 miles Elite Qualifying Miles short. That’s a substantial expense.

However, I think Executive Platinum status is the most valuable elite status on there. You get eight systemwide upgrades on any fare class with no specific surcharges. I find Executive Platinum to be worth at least $4,000, so in a worst case scenario, I think buying up to Executive Platinum is worthwhile. The difference between Executive at 50,000 miles and Executive Platinum is huge, especially since AA confirmed that going forward, the program will only have three levels of status.

The elite status hamster wheel...but is the status always worth the chasing (and the $$)? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
The elite status hamster wheel: is it worth the chase? Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

That being said, it’s much cheaper to mileage run. These rates are almost 20 cents per mile, so if you can, try to take a mileage run–go to London for a weekend, or even Asia (and use any of those systemwide upgrades that you have). After all, it’s crunch time and you gotta do what you gotta do!

In conclusion, I wouldn’t recommend shelling out cash for the other elite tiers, but for Executive Platinum it could be justifiable if you’ll maximize the upgrades and travel enough to get value of the great customer service AA gives to its Executive Platinum members. Try to do it the cheaper (and harder) way by mileage running first, and if you don’t have the time or prices are just as high, then it may make sense to buy up.

For more info, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Earn 50,000 miles after $2,500 spent within the first 3 months. The sign-up offer alone is worth up to $700. If you're a frequent American flyer but don't have status, additional perks that come with this card like first free checked bag on domestic AA itineraries, preferred boarding on American flights can be extremely valuable.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • New: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • New: Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • New: Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.