Considering an American Elite Boost? Your Offer May Have Changed

Dec 14, 2016

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In this week’s review of last-minute American elite status strategies, one of the options for making status was to purchase an elite boost. While buying status is almost always the most expensive choice — doing a mileage run is much cheaper — it may appeal to those who don’t have any other travel scheduled for the year, or for whom randomly flying around on a plane during the holidays for no real reason doesn’t sound terribly appealing.

When American began sending offers to customers back in November offering a chance to “extend” or “boost” their elite status for 2017 if they were short of an elite threshold, it was clear that, unlike in past years, the airline wasn’t going to have a set “chart” for buy-ups. Instead, AA was sending targeted offers with a different dollar amount for each customer.

We’ve speculated that since these offers are targeted, additional flight activity might result in changes to your offer. We can now report that this does appear to be the case. If you received an offer in November but have since flown on American, you may be eligible for a new, lower price to boost your status.

Here’s an example from my own inbox. Back in November when offers first went out, I was roughly 11,000 miles short of re-qualifying for Executive Platinum status in 2017, and my offer from American to purchase status instead of flying those last miles was a whopping $2,799.


But after flying to Europe last week and coming several thousand miles closer to the 100,000-mile threshold, I received a new offer, lowering the price to $2,099.


Now, this price is still too rich for my blood, but it is $700 cheaper than before — making it more appealing for those who were already considering ponying up the cash to ensure they lock in their status.

If you’ve had additional flight activity on American but didn’t receive an updated offer by email, you can still check to see if your offer has changed by logging in to American’s elite renewal page. Even if you didn’t receive an offer before or don’t currently have elite status with American, it’s definitely worth checking to see if a new offer has appeared. Keep in mind that these offers are good until July 31, 2017, so there’s no need to rush to purchase one.

Since we now know these offers can change, it’s also theoretically possible to consider doing a mileage run for just a portion of the miles and then paying a lower price for the rest of the boost. But that play comes with a decent amount of risk, since there’s no guarantee you’ll receive a better offer and we don’t know exactly what thresholds American is using to produce these offers.

In any case, if you’re considering purchasing an elite boost and you’ve recently flown American, it’s still an expensive option. But it might be just a bit less expensive than before.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.

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