See how much it’ll cost you to secure American elite status for 2020
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Nov. 5, 2019.
Although the pursuit of elite status can be illogical, having a particular level of status can be worthwhile and beneficial for some travelers. If you currently have American Airlines status but haven’t requalified for 2020 yet, AA might have an offer for you.
To see your offer, head to the Elite Renewal page on American’s site and enter your AAdvantage account information.
The offers are unique for each AAdvantage member based on the elite-qualifying progress they’ve made so far in 2019. The offer page lets you know how much you’ll have to pay in order to lock in status through Jan. 31, 2021. And this year, you can use points or cash.
I don’t have an offer this year since I’ve already requalified for Executive Platinum status organically — but here are a few of the offers other TPG staff and readers have received.
Director of Paid Media Josh Leibner wasn’t targeted for an offer despite reaching Gold for 2020 recently with American. But, his wife is eligible for the following offer — which values American Airlines miles at 1 cent each, compared to TPG’s valuation of 1.4 cents each — based on her current progress:
And, Leibner’s daughter is eligible for the following offer based on her current progress:
TPG Reporter Liz Hund has similar progress so far this year to Leibner’s daughter, but has a much more expensive offer — as well as a worse valuation of 0.84 cents each for her American Airlines miles:
And, TPG himself hasn’t quite requalified for top-tier Executive Platinum status yet. He received an offer of $1,995 or 199,500 miles. But, since he only needs 7,732 EQMs to requalify organically, he’ll be much better off flying to retain his Executive Platinum status.
TPG readers have also reported the following offers based on their current progress in the TPG Lounge Facebook group and by email:
- $799 or 94,500 miles for Gold: currently at 2,002 EQDs, 21,500 EQMs and 25 EQSs
- $1,545 or 154,500 miles for Platinum: currently at 4,500 EQDs, 35,000 EQMs and 34.5 EQSs
- $1,345 or 134,500 miles for Platinum: currently at 3,094 EQDs, 25,095 EQMs and 16 EQSs
- $1,699 or 170,000 miles for Platinum Pro: currently at 11,151 EQDs, 63,287 EQMs and 79 EQSs
If you’ve already requalified, or AA doesn’t want to provide you an offer, you’ll see the following:
Your individual offer is based on your current progress toward requalifying. So, if you have some upcoming travel planned before the end of the year, you’ll want to check your offer again once you’ve completed this travel and the miles have posted. You might find that you’re given a less expensive offer once you’re closer to to the requalification threshold.
Requalifying won’t be worth it for every traveler. Consider the benefits provided by the status and how much you’ll be flying with American and Oneworld partners in 2019. And then read Richard Kerr‘s Critical Points piece where he’ll call you illogical and help you think through whether it actually makes sense to requalify.
If you’re set on continuing your status through 2019, remember that it’s often cheaper to take a last-minute mileage run or two to requalify. If you’re considering a mileage run, the following content may be helpful:
- How and why you might want to book a mileage run
- Why airline mileage runs are a bad idea
- The mileage run isn’t dead, it’s moved to premium economy
- Why Bangkok is your secret weapon for scoring cheap elite status
- TPG challenged 3 people to fly as far as they could for $725 — here’s what happened
- Why I flew across the country to buy a loaf of bread
- What to wear and pack on a mileage run
But, if you simply can’t get away or you’ve been given a very reasonable offer, consider whether the valuation that the offer is placing on your miles. If you have more miles than you can use, you may choose to pay with miles — but generally, you’ll be able to get better value from your miles on award flights. Plus, if you pay money to requalify through this offer, it should count toward your rolling elite-qualifying dollars (EQD) requirement, a number that plays a role in your upgrade chances.
What offer did you get, and will you take it? Leave your data points in the comments section below.
Featured photo of business class on American Airlines’ 787-9 by JT Genter/The Points Guy.
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Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you. Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.