Buying elite status

Part of the fun in the ridiculous trips I plan is the hunt for elite status with the various programs I participate in.  So when the programs offer to just sell the status outright it seems to take away some of the fun.  But what I really cannot figure out is how I got the two offers that I did in the past month.

The first offer is from Hertz.  The email talks about my “President’s Circle Upgrade” as if it is something that I was supposed to already know about and be a part of.  It highlights some of the benefits and then, at the very end, reminds me that the offer is about to expire and that I need to pay the $450 now to claim it.  $450.  Are you kidding me?  For a guaranteed one-car upgrade (which I rarely want) and a 25% points bonus on rentals.  I have only used Hertz for a car rental once in the past year, so I cannot figure out why they think I’d pay for this, but I keep getting “reminder” emails about it.

The second offer I received is from US Air.  This offer is for a 90-day US Air Club membership and either Silver, Gold or Platinum status for 90 days.  Apparently I can actually buy the Club member ship ($120 for 90 days) or the status ($215/$430/$645 for 90 days, depending on the level) separately, even though the email doesn’t mention that.  Of course, I have no idea why anyone would willingly fly US Air, certainly not enough to be elite with them. 

Suffice it to say that I am not going to pursue either of these offers.  That being said, it is interesting to see the various companies trying to raise money through offers such as this.  I wonder if they are actually successful.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. $645 for 90 days of top-tier status is a deal. AA wants you to purchase $25K of prepaid travel to “buy” top-tier status.

  2. It isn’t top-tier; US has a Chairman’s Preferred level above their Platinum. And it is only for 90 days while AA gets you status for longer. AA also has their 5/10K point challenges that one can do to make status there.

    I cannot figure out why you would pay the $645 (or even the $215 for silver) unless you are going to be flying on US a LOT and plan on qualifying for the status on a full year basis. I guess it isn’t a terrible deal to jump-start you if you’re actually going to do that, but I pity anyone who has to fly US that much. It is a pretty miserable experience at many levels.

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