American Offers Golds and Platinums Who Didn’t Requalify a Chance to Buy Back Status

American is offering Gold and Platinum members who didn’t re-qualify for that level the option to buy back their status.

  • You have to have flown at least two elite qualifying segments in 2012
  • If you did this last year you cannot do it again for 2013
  • Offer is available through May 15
  • Status is of course valid through February 28, 2014

Pricing varies based on your 2012 qualifying activity level.

  • Platinums who flew at least 40,000 miles or 48 segments can buy back their status for $619. Platinums who flew less than that buy back status for $769.

  • Golds who flew at least 20,000 miles or 24 segments can buy back their status for $409. Golds who flew less than that buy back status for $559.

Is it worth it?

This pricing may be cheaper than what it would have cost to mileage run for status, or at least not more expensive and you saved the time flying back and forth around the country and got to spend time with family or doing something productive over the holidays and your year end weekends.

Whether the price makes sense probably depends on what your travel plans are for 2013. If you’re going to be flying more in 2013 than in 2012, it can make good sense — especially in my view for Platinum where that allows you to earn double miles on your flying (fly 50,000 miles, earn 50,000 bonus miles which I believe are worth more than the price to buy back the status) and also gets you higher up on various waitlists. Elite status also waives close-in award booking fees, and lets you select ‘premium’ coach seats.

As an alternative, elite status challenges are cheaper — $120 to sign up for a Gold challenge, $240 to sign up for a Platinum challenge at last report I’m aware of. You do not get the status during the challenge but rather earn status on an expedited basis based on lower flying requirements during the 90 days of your challenge.

If you want to take advantage of the buyback you’ll have to wait until January 30 and then visit the buyback page to sign up.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. […] View From the Wing has an early scoop on purchasing status from American Airlines if you fell short ….  American is my preferred airline, and I found Platinum status to be fairly rewarding when I was at that level a number of years ago, mostly because not every elite receives unlimited complimentary upgrades, so my upgrade percentage was quite high.  The price for Platinum is between $619 and $769 depending on how many miles you flew with AA last year.  If you plan any sort of meaningful flying on AA this year I’ve got to think it’s worth it as you’d spend much more on mileage runs.  Platinum earns a 100% bonus on miles flown, so that alone takes care of some of the cost of the buy-back.  The only downside is you’re buying the status, not the EQMs to achieve the status, so you’ll still need to fly the appropriate number of miles or segments in 2013 to maintain status.  As Gary points out, AA won’t let you take AAdvantage of this offer if you took advantage of the same offer last year. […]


  1. You can receive Gold status during the Platinum challenge. Just ask. If once the challenge is over and you don’t attain Platinum, you will return to non-elite status.

  2. You forgot to mention it, but AA has always had an unpublished soft landing policy, where if you lose PLT, you drop only to GLD the next year. That may affect the decision for some PLTs, since GLD has most of the same soft benefits as PLT (same waived fees, preferred seating, priority access for check in, TSA, and boarding). The actual bonus mile differential is 37.5K (100% for PLT, 25% for GLD, up to 50K BIS when the GLD gets PLT status). PLTs do get lounge access internationally, MCE in 2014 and beyond, and are higher on the waitlists.

  3. That’s cheaper than Lufthansa…a few years ago I was short by 1 trip from requalifying for Senator status. They sent me a nice little letter talking about how since I was such a valuable customer, they would be willing to extend my Senator status for a fee of “ONLY” (my emphasis) 2000 euro. Even though their status lasts for 2 years, I thought it was too pricy, so I did not take them up on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.