Should I buy back my American Airlines elite status or fly more?My big travel dilemma at the moment is whether I should pay to keep my American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum status or just buy a ticket and fly somewhere.

As you can see from the screenshot above, I’ve flown over 110,000 miles so I met the 100,000-mile qualification. But I haven’t met the dollar spend, which is new this year. Passengers need to spend a total of $12,000 in a calendar year to keep the status and I’m going to be $817 short. Right now, I’m $1,846 short but I have a few flights left before the end of the year.

Currently, American Airlines is offering for me to buy Executive Status for $2,025 (see screenshot above) but I know the price will go down after I complete the three flights I have booked before 2018. I’m just not sure how much it will go down. If it’s a few hundred dollars, I will do it but if it’s a lot more, I don’t think I will. That’s why I need your help.

If you are an American Airlines frequent flier, please log into your account on this page ( and let me know in the comments section below what your offer is. I’m curious to see what all the offers are but I’m really interested in travelers who are in the same boat (or plane, as it were) as me.

Earlier in the month, when they sent me the offer, I was at $8,434 spent and 99,160 miles flown (see screenshot above) and they offered me a ridiculous amount to buy up.

As you can see from the screenshot above, they wanted $765 for Platinum Pro (their new 75,000) or $3,699 for Executive Platinum. Ha!

Of course, I want to keep my Executive Platinum status, which expires on January 31, 2018 but I’m not all that happy with American’s operation at LAX, which is my home airport. I’m sick of circling around LAX’s tarmac looking for a gate and then waiting an hour or more for my bag to come out. And on top of that, in my recent experience, most of their flight attendants don’t even greet you when you board and aren’t that friendly (unless you are super friendly to them and sometimes that doesn’t even matter.)

I’m thinking about switching back to Delta or United and would have already done so if either of them flew LA to Toronto nonstop. I know this is a good and not very important problem to have in the grand scheme of things, so I’m not that worried but would love your feedback!



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24 Comments On "Should I Buy Back My American Airlines Elite Status or Fly More?"
  1. Clay|

    Mine started at that and got reduced to $1795. I am 7500 miles short but have already qualified on PQD. I am thinking similarly of finding a a mileage run ticket for less money that would allow me to still qualify for EXP.

  2. Angie Away|

    I’m also switching back to Delta or even (gasp) United. I bought up this year with American and was NEVER upgraded. I rarely experienced all those benefits I was supposed to get. Apparently most of them don’t apply to international flights or with flying companions, which is when I’d most like to use them. So if I’m flying from Jacksonville to Atlanta, alone, I might be able to get an upgrade… big deal.

    Next year they offered to maintain status for another $750 or so. When I got done laughing, I deleted the email. Planning to use up the rest of my AA miles in 2018, cancel my AA credit card and switch all my loyalty elsewhere.

  3. Louise|

    Already exceeded my EQD’s for EXP renewal, and 309 EQM’s away from 100,000 EQM- my offer to retain EXP is $1395.

  4. JessR|

    Fly brother, fly!! I hear you on the LAX hassles but think it’s still worth closing the gap with a flight vs. buy back. There’s a detailed post (including one from me) on FT

    Would be interesting to collect all the quotes, throw into a spreadsheet and do some analytics!

  5. Peggy Kasallis|

    “Of course, I want to keep my Executive Platinum status, which expires on January 31, 2018 but I’m not all that happy with American’s operation at LAX, which is my home airport. I’m sick of circling around LAX’s tarmac looking for a gate and then waiting an hour or more for my bag to come out. And on top of that, in my recent experience, most of their flight attendants don’t even greet you when you board and aren’t that friendly (unless you are super friendly to them and sometimes that doesn’t even matter.)”….Doesn’t that answer your question?? Not only no but hell no. Customer service means everything!!

  6. LAXer|

    $699 for gold
    $1299 for platinum
    I maybe flew 1 revenue domestic flight all year. Instead I burned 450k miles because I’m also thinking about switching to Delta for all the same reasons you are and more.

  7. Jeffery Clark|

    Mine said:
    AAdvantage Gold

    Total Cost….$1,915.00
    But I’ve definitely NOT flown as much as you. We flew to England twice on American Airlines, and I can’t think of any other qualifying flights that would give me this number. And we flew to Houston too. But otherwise nothing…Hmmm…..

  8. Sam What Am|

    Not playing the mileage game any more. Dumbing down the system. Parker will have you sitting in the toilet for .10c more. Rather have 2% cash and I fly with any carrier. Suckers. Already Lifetime Plat. Got it the old way. Give me the money. Extortion.

  9. Linda zimring|

    I am at Platinum and they offered me to go to Platinum pro for $1965.
    There isn’t that much difference between this and platinum except for being higher on the upgrade list so I declined.

  10. Linda zimring|

    I changed my allegiance from United to American. Is Delta better? I paid for a business class KLM flight (for five of us!) to Africa next summer. That would probably put me in good stead for Delta. I would love feedback on this…
    My home base is Los Angeles.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Linda,

      Delta is a better run airline so depending on where you fly you might want to switch. Delta will match your AA elite status.

      1. Anne|

        Hi Johnny – can you expand on this? I’d LOVE to switch to Delta…but don’t want to lose my status I have on American. What do you mean by Delta matching my AA status? Thank you!

        1. Johnny Jet|

          Hi Anne,

          I need to write a post on this subject but for now see

  11. Julie B|

    To keep my Gold status, I would need another $230 in airfares plus another 8K miles. Their offer to ‘buy’ my renewal was $635, which is about $125 more than it was last year. I am not ‘buying’ my renewal status, and I’m using my miles here and there for flights that save me $400-600. Between the perks that come with some credit cards (free baggage) and their lack of upgrades ever being available, I’m not interested in giving them my $ in order to gamble to see if I get some payoff on future trips.

  12. Jim M|

    I am not eligible for an offer at this time. (I have lifetime Gold status and am nowhere near qualifying for whatever the next level is.

  13. Tom|

    Here’s my status:
    Dollars spent–$1734 ($3000 req’d for Gold)
    Miles–11,476 (25,000 req’d for Gold)
    Segments– 4 (30 req’d for Gold)
    AA offer: $1,415 to upgrade to Gold.

  14. Anne|

    $699 to keep my GOLD status. Not sure if I should keep it since my AAdvantage credit card gives me access to the lounge which is what I use the most. I also have TSA precheck so I don’t really need the priority line and I agree with the other commenters – I never get upgraded.

  15. DDK|

    To get gold I need to pay $749. For Platinum I need to pay $1479. Currently I’m Platinum but used miles for some travels this year. Still have 200,000 in my account. I’m 77 y/o so I think AA wants my miles to expire.

  16. Martin|

    Mine was $699 for Gold, I didn’t make $ or miles but I’m not spending that kind of money because I live in an AA hub and never get upgraded because of all the Top Tier Frequent Flyers who fly out of here, and I don’t check my bag. I like having so called Priority Boarding but it is really like 17th after all the higher status customers, military in uniform, F class, families with small children etc. etc. So I’m back to peon status.

  17. P. Sorrels|

    To retain my Gold status I would need to pay $749. I have been an AAdvantage member since 1996. Since you now have to $3,000 EQD and 25,000 EQM to retain Gold status, I have paid to extend my status. I am only 100,000 miles from reaching Lifetime Gold Status. The closer I get to qualifying, they move the finish line. Since I grew up in Atlanta, I always flew Delta, however, since moving to Dallas, I started flying American. I am going to look in to Delta’s mileage matching.

  18. Glenn Mauney|

    My offer is $395 for Gold. What do you think?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      If you took advantage of upgrades, good coach seats, checked bags… then possibly.

  19. Marcia Frost|

    Due to an illness that kept me from traveling for a few years and the new $$ requirements, I am not going to even make gold renewal this year. I have been gold or platinum for about 15 years now. I can’t afford the $600 they want me to pay so it’s not a question. I am curious, though, if they will lower the amount after my holiday flights next week bring me closer.

    I’m in an unusual position that only American has flown out of here (CMI), but United just came in so I’ll have a choice in the future if I have to start over with status.

  20. Caroline Z. Meyers|

    $699 to renew Gold. Don’t fly American much so not worth it. Never got upgraded and find it harder and harder to obtain mileage flights. I get free bag with Barclay’s Credit Card and would rather keep working to keep my United/Star Alliance Gold status for 2019 as I find it a much more user-friendly program – both in terms of instant upgrade to Economy Plus and being able to obtain mileage awards.

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