Pay to Move Up from American AAdvantage Platinum to Platinum Pro

Jan 10, 2017

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Update 1/11/17 4:00pm: Some AA documentation listed free confirmed same-day changes as a Platinum Pro benefit, however this no longer appears to be included.

January 1 was a big day for American AAdvantage — the first of the year marked the launch of AA’s new revenue requirement for elite status, along with a new elite tier: Platinum Pro. The new status level falls right in between Platinum and Executive Platinum, requiring 75,000 elite-qualifying miles or 90 segments, plus $9,000 in elite-qualifying dollar spend. If you meet those requirements but fall short of Executive Platinum in 2017, you’ll end up with Pro.

Since this status level just launched a few days ago, there are likely very few AA elites currently in this tier — while it’s technically possible that some very frequent flyers have met the requirements for Pro as of today, it’s likely that they’re already Executive Platinum or Concierge Key members based on elite credits earned in 2016. So if being “first” is a priority for you, this latest offer from American might be of interest.

AA has been sending out emails to current Platinum members offering a buy up to Platinum Pro — if you didn’t receive an email, you can check your eligibility here. One TPG team member received an offer to buy up for $1,449, while a friend of the site got the same offer for $999. The buy-up price is apparently tied to the number of elite credits earned in 2016 — according to AA, “The offer provided in this email reflects your 2016 Elite Qualifying Miles/Segments account balance as of 01/05/17 and your corresponding 2017 elite status level valid through February 28, 2017.” Purchased status will be applied within five days and will be valid through January 2018.

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In our annual status valuations, we pegged AAdvantage Platinum Pro at $3,435 — it’s valued roughly $1,000 more than regular Platinum. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need to travel a fair amount to get that much value from the status, and depending on what you have planned for 2017 it may be worth more or less. The biggest incremental benefit is unlimited complimentary upgrades on flights over 500 miles — while you’ll no longer need to apply 500-mile upgrades, you’ll be prioritized behind Executive Platinum members. Additionally, you’ll earn 20% more redeemable miles and upgrades will be confirmed as far in advance as 72 hours before departure, rather than a maximum of 48 hours.

Ultimately, it might be worth paying a few hundred dollars for the buy-up, but $1,449 is a bit much. Rather than buy that status bump outright, you might be better off putting that money toward meeting the regular requirements in 2017.

How much would you pay to upgrade from Platinum to Platinum Pro?

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