AAdvantage Elite Status Offer
I may actually take AA up on their new offer to lock up elite status for 2020. At first glance I (had the same reaction you probably had- “are they for real?”). The value was actually pretty terrible as I’ll explain later. Also, I made the decision to move over to Delta next year so I haven’t been too worried about re-qualifying for AAdvantage status. I do have a few flights left this year and I’ll organically earn Gold Status with my flight to Vegas this weekend for the MtM Reader Appreciation Event. Gold Status is minimally valuable but it does allow me access to limited upgrades and free Main Cabin Extra seats at check-in (not that I ever fly MCE 😉 kind of joking). You can check to see if you were targeted for an offer here. Note that all of the offers seem to include the option to pay with miles (at one cent each), cash or any combination of the two.
My 2020 AAdvantage Elite Status Offer Details
To lock up Gold Status until 2021, I need exactly $233 more EQDs by the end of the year. It’s pretty insane that AA wants me to pay $395 for something that I can get with less than $300, so why am I even thinking about doing it? This is where things get interesting for me. I have a few British Airways flights planned for the end of the year that would be way more lucrative if I credited them to Alaska Mileage Plan than AA, like I had originally intended to ensure I earned status. Alaska earns 450% of miles flown in redeemable miles on British Airways flights Class A, while AA only earns 125%. My flight is 9000 miles flown, so if I credit it to Alaska I will earn an extra 29,250 miles. If i consider Alaska and American Miles to be roughly equivalent in value (which I do) I could redeem the 40k miles for AA status and subtract the additional Alaska miles from the total and effectively lock up AAdvantage Gold Status for only net 10,000 miles. I’ve racked up a ton of cheap AA miles this year by taking advantage of promos and using Amex Airline incidental credits.
The other cool thing about this is that the same flight would give me 22,500 elite qualifying miles towards Alaska’s Mileage Plan MVP Gold Status. So with only another 2,500 Qualifying miles I’d have Alaska status for all of 2020. Here’s a post I wrote earlier this year describing how to use Alaska’s partners to get elite status with only one flight. If you’re considering anything similar I would wait to see where you stand by the end of the year since the offer seems to indicate it will be available through January.