Through June 13, 2014, American is offering tiered bonuses on the purchase of AAdvantage miles, up to 30%. The tiered bonuses are as follows:
While you can purchase a maximum of 80,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year (not including promotional bonus miles), the best value here is going to be purchasing exactly 60,000 miles. That’s because you get 18,000 bonus miles if you purchase 60,000-80,000 miles, so you’ll get the highest percent bonus with exactly 60,000 miles.
If you were to purchase 60,000 AAdvantage miles you’d get a total of 78,000 miles (including the 18,000 mile bonus) for a total of $1,808.75. That’s a cost of ~2.32 cents per AAdvantage miles.
While American doesn’t usually offer especially compelling promotions on purchased miles, this is one of the least lucrative I’ve seen in a while. For example, through the end of April they were offering up to a 40% bonus on purchased miles, which meant you could purchase them for as little as ~2.15 cents each. Still not an amazing deal, but certainly better than this promotion. And going as far back as February, they were selling miles for under two cents each.
With a specific use in mind it could still make sense to take advantage of this promotion, like if you can snag Cathay Pacific or Qantas first class award seats. Do keep in mind that American allows five day holds on AAdvantage award tickets, so you can always hold the award tickets, then purchase the miles, and then complete the purchase. Purchased AAdvantage miles don’t post instantly, so expect for it to take 2-3 days for purchased miles to post.
Also keep in mind that accounts have to be least 14 days old to take advantage of this promotion, and points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t qualify as airfare spend for the purposes of your credit card.
This definitely isn’t anything I’d be taking advantage of, and I think the three other promotions on purchased miles that are out there right now are much more generous:
- Alaska Mileage Plan up to 35% bonus on purchased miles
- Avianca LifeMiles 100% bonus on purchased miles
- US Airways Dividend Miles 100% bonus on purchased miles
But hey, maybe it’ll be useful to someone…