Players who make a purchase will receive Elite status. This is awarded in terms of "days" which expire at server midnight. While active, the ad banner is replaced with the Elite status bar which shows the days remaining and offers the player an extra daily refill bonus of supplies and energy (much like a completed task or quest).
Players with Elite status active may donate an item to their squad every 10 hours rather than 23. They can also invite up to 40 allies per day instead of 20.
For each dollar spent on the game, 2 full Elite days (rounded up) are awarded. If a player accumulates a year of days, this converts to a lifetime, permanent Elite status. Note that this time does not have to be sequential and can have gaps (for example, if you have 2 months of Elite status, then let it lapse and later accumulate another 10 months you would have a lifetime Elite status).