American Airlines offers elite status challenges. You can earn status on an expedited basis, with a fairly complicated formula. It’s a way of getting their status quickly, rather than having to wait until you earn (say) 200,000 Loyalty Points in a year to become an Executive Platinum. The airline usually charges for this, but the charge can be appealed and they may waive it.
However American is also sending out marketing emails to members offering to let them straight up buy elite status. This isn’t the usual ‘buy back status you lost last year’ or even ‘buy a level of status higher than what you earned’ (which historically has generated over $30 million per year in revenue).
Instead, American is sending out offers to members who do not have status at all – members who may not have flown them in years – and offing to let them buy Gold or Platinum status through March 2024 directly.
This is a targeted offer so prices may vary, but I’ve seen them offer:
- Gold status: $749 or 75,000 miles
- Platinum status: $1,349 or 135,000 miles
It’s interesting that they’re offering payment in miles at one cent apiece, and this could be better for some people than jumping through he hoops of “Instant Status Pass.” It’s also another way that Gold members and one million miler status has become less valuable: someone with status can redeem 75,000 miles to be above them on upgrade and other wait lists for nearly a year without having earned status themselves.