Up for Sale: Elite Status on US Airways

How much is 90 days' worth of US Airways elite status worth?

If it were for sale—and it is—it would depend on the tier, naturally.

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Silver status will set you back $200. Gold costs $400. And Platinum is $600.

Not cheap. But paying to participate in US Airways' Trial Preferred program gets you more than 90 days of perks. You also get access to US Airways' fast-track to elite status for 2014, which actually remains in place through February 28, 2015.

The paid status can be extended by reaching the following thresholds during the 90-day trial:

  • Silver status after 7,500 miles or 10 segments
  • Gold status after 15,000 miles or 20 segments
  • Platinum status after 22,500 miles or 30 segments
  • Chairmans status after 30,000 miles or 40 segments

Deal or No Deal

Unfortunately, the worthiness of this offer largely depends on variables whose values are currently unknown: whether the American-US Airways merger is approved and enacted. If the tie-up proceeds, your 2014 elite status will be in the world's largest airline, the "new" American. That means more flights, more routes, more opportunities to earn and redeem miles. However, there's no telling whether the merged airlines' elite program will be more or less generous than the current US Airways program.

The long-term outlook for US Airways elite status is a crap shoot, in other words.

In the short term, there's no such uncertainty. So is it worth buying status just for the next 90 days, during which nothing is likely to change? It might be, if you anticipate flying enough to get solid value from the purchase. For most travelers, the key question is a straightforward one: Are you likely to be upgraded enough times to justify the expense?

Reader Reality Check

Buy elite status, or pass?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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