Up To 60% Bonus On Purchased American AAdvantage Miles

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Update: This offer for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Only days after the AAdvantage & Dividend Miles programs merged, American is back with a great bonus on buying miles.

Up to a 60% bonus when you buy miles

Through April 30, 2015, American AAdvantage is offering up to 60,000 AAdvantage bonus miles when you buy miles.

AAdvantage-Bonus

The size of your mileage bonus varies based on how many miles you buy, and maxes out at 60%. The tiers are as follows:

  • Buy 6,000-9,000 miles, get 1,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 10,000-19,000 miles, get 3,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 20,000-29,000 miles, get 7,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 30,000-39,000 miles, get 15,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 40,000-54,000 miles, get 22,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 55,000-69,000 miles, get 30,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 70,000-84,000 miles, get 40,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 85,000-99,000 miles, get 50,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 100,000 miles, get 60,000 bonus miles

If you max out this promotion and purchase 100,000 miles then you’d earn a total of 160,000 AAdvantage miles at a cost of $3,201.25. That’s a cost of 2.0 cents per AAdvantage mile.

AAdvantage-Bonus-1

You can purchase a maximum of 100,000 AAdvantage bonus miles per account per calendar year, before factoring in any bonuses. Furthermore, AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old aren’t eligible for this promotion.

Is it a good deal?

Admittedly it’s not as good of a deal as back in the day when US Airways used to offer a promotion on purchasing or sharing miles nearly every month. Rates ranged from ~1.2 to ~1.88 cents per mile, so it was a no brainer.

But that was then and this is now. As far as promotions on the purchase of AAdvantage miles go, this is just about as good of a promotion as we’ve seen.

To compare this promotion to recent ones that AAdvantage offered:

Two cents per mile isn’t a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase American AAdvantage miles. That being said, with a specific use in mind, it certainly could be worthwhile.

For example, 67,500 miles is enough for a one-way ticket in Cathay Pacific first class between the US and Asia, so for ~$1,350 out of pocket that’s not half bad.

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777-31
Cathay Pacific 777 First Class

40,000 miles will get you an award in an Etihad A380 First Class Apartment between Abu Dhabi and London, so for just $800 out of pocket, that’s a steal.

Etihad-A380-First-Apartment-01
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments

Which credit card should you buy miles with?

As of a few months ago American processes mileage purchases directly (rather than through points.com), which means the purchase of miles does qualify as airfare spend. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare spend:

Bottom line

With a specific use in mind, this can be a great value. I wouldn’t speculatively buy AAdvantage miles for two cents each just for giggles, but if you have a specific premium cabin redemption on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Etihad, Qatar, etc., in mind, it’s tough to go wrong.

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Comments

  1. Not half bad for non-status seeker… If I am spending $3000 on a flight there better be serious EQM/EQP gain.

  2. @Lucky

    You should add the Barclays Aviator Silver to that list as you would earn 3 points/$1 for spend on AA/US purchases.

  3. Hey Lucky are you able to “max out the promotion” by buying 100k points?

    I noticed this clause on their buy miles page:

    Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than one hundred thousand (100,000) AAdvantage miles. Miles purchased through the Buy Miles program or received as a gift through the Gift Miles program count against this total.

  4. Would this make some sense if I need to purchase a 1 way ticket back from ORD or JFK to LHR in August and economy is well over $1,000 as is?

  5. I’m glad I have time to ponder this deal, but right now I’m quite sure I’ll go for it and max out with 100k + 60k. For me, the number of miles is #1, cpm is a close #2. 2 cpm is good enough. Has there ever been a 60k bonus before?

  6. Hey Blake, you could spend $1032.50 for 50k miles (35k + 15k bonus) and fly business class, IF you can find award space at the time you need to fly. Not saying this is the best purchase plan, but IMHO it’s compelling.

  7. @ tara — They always market these deals differently, so the best way to compare them is using the CPM. 2.0 cents per mile is pretty darn good for AAdvantage, and among the best offers we’ve seen.

  8. @ Blake — It certainly could, as tara points out. Just try to stay away from British Airways, as they impose hefty fuel surcharges.

  9. @Tara — thanks! Seems to be space in Biz and 1st saver, which would be 62.5 so I have options.

    @Lucky thanks!

  10. I would add the Barclays AA Aviator Red/Blue cards as options for buying the miles. I believe with the current promotion that is running through the end of June that we can get 3x on AA and US Airways purchases and 1.5x on everything else. I just reinstated some old expired AA miles using my AA Aviator (old US Air) card.

  11. Friends miles almost expiring. To best maximize his 115,000 miles, it’s best to book from his account rather than pay transfer fees correct? 117,500 would get one way First and return biz on Cathay to HKG?

  12. @Lucky, apologies, I’m confused, I’m new to this buying miles caper. So if I buy 100k does that mean I will receive the full 160k including the bonus, or am I limited to receiving 100k and will have to gift the other 60k?

  13. Lucky, thank you for your expert opinion!

    Matt S, thanks for your info about 3x. Barclay created my new Aviator account but I don’t have the physical card yet. I’m a lowly red. I see that silver always earns 3x, I think I’m stuck at 2x but I will definitely investigate.

  14. I should just call and see if they’ll upgrade me to silver. DHTA (doesn’t hurt to ask!). I’d certainly be willing to pay $195.

  15. @tara It works for red too. I don’t have the physical card yet either, but when I get the card, it will be red. You have to go to the Barclaycard website and sign up for the promotion that gives you 50% more mileage earning power through (I think) June 30th. So all general spend would be 1.5x and all AA and US Air purchases would be 3x. Good luck!

  16. Where, Oh Where, have all Cathay First award seats gone?

    It would be nice to use these AA miles to book CX First but so difficult lately to find award seats!

  17. Matt, you’re right! I logged on to my Barclaycard account and sure enough there was link for the 50% promo. It was probably there yesterday and I didn’t even notice. I should pay more attention. 🙂 I presume I can still use my US Airways card until my new Aviator card is activated, the promo is stated to be applicable to either card. I’ll be very happy to earn extra miles for my purchase. Thank you so much for posting that info!

  18. Thanks for posting this Lucky – I think this is a great deal if you know you’re flying sometime this year/ beginning of 2016

  19. Lucky – do you know how many segments AA limits each one way ticket to? Thanks

    ex. is ORIGIN (SE Asia) – TRANSIT (HKG) -TRANSIT (HND) -TRANSIT (SFO) – TRANSIT (a US Hub) – Final Destination allowed?

    TIA

  20. Hi, to redeem Cathay award flight, do you recommend buying AA miles with this promo? or the Alaska promo you posted a few days ago?

  21. @Jenny – on my SE Asia flight – it was cheaper for me to book it via AA.

    ex. 70K on Alaska… 67.5K on AA.com

    I also own the Citi AAdvantage card… so i get another 10% off the 67.5K miles.

    last but not least, the AA deal = 2.0 cents/mile vs 2.4 cents/mile on Alaska

  22. LOL@ Rick

    I’d rather be in Cathay 1st earning no status than back of the American bus earning status.

    Remember, if you’re always in first or business, status doesn’t really matter.

  23. @lucky I have never come across $2700 F fare on CX. Even ex-CMB or ex-dEL. But that’s a lot of earning to forego where I spent $2k on miles.

    @James buying miles is better than earning them by flying but I value status on donestic AA bus. Otherwise you are treated as self loading cargo, not a human.

  24. Hi Lucky,

    Very new to the AA program. Wonder if they will be wiling to ticket HKG-LAX-JFK as a 67,500 one way? Thanks

  25. And if availability opens up close to departure, will I be able to change that to HKG-JFK direct flight without fee?

  26. @ Norman — Yep, that’s allowed for 67,500 miles, and you can indeed change the routing for free, as long as the origin and destination remain the same.

  27. @ Danny — They still usually make one seat available when the schedule opens, and more as the departure date approaches.

  28. Hey lucky,
    Found this in t&c for citi advantage platinum select mc and the business card also.
    It sounds like 2x the miles is not eligible.
    “Double Miles on American Airlines and US Airways Purchases
    Eligible American Airlines and US Airways purchases are items billed by American Airlines or US Airways as merchant of record booked through American Airlines or US Airways channels (aa.com, usairways.com, American Airlines and US Airways reservations, US Airways Vacations® and American Airlines and US Airways airport and city ticket counters). Products or services that do not qualify are car rentals, hotel reservations, American Airlines Vacations packages, purchases of American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, purchases of US Airways Dividend Miles®, duty free purchases and AA CargoSM products and services. Miles earned will be posted to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account in 8-10 weeks.”
    Is this current offer an exception?

  29. For cards, should also add that this would probably count as the Amex Plat Airline fee reimbursement.

  30. Hi Lucky,

    I have booked an itinerary HKG-JFK on CX and JL, but since I called to ticket about 15 hours ago, the status has been displayed as “on request”. Is this normal?

  31. Hey Ben, do you know whether receiving “Shared miles” counts towards the 100k annual cap? (I know Gifting and Buying both do.)

  32. @Josh – The T&C says it does count against the cap – Note the use of “OR”

    Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than one hundred thousand (100,000) AAdvantage miles. Miles purchased through the Buy Miles program or received as a gift through the Gift Miles program count against this total.

  33. Hi Lucky,
    Finding it very annoying that AA requires the account holder to personally confirm the ticket and to ticket with a card under the name of the accounts holder, how do you usually deal with that, if at all?

  34. @ Norman — As long as the credit card has the same billing address as the account, most agents will let you ticket. I’d probably hang up and call again.

  35. Hi Ben,

    I’m new to the whole miles game and I had a question. My fiancé and I are flying from the west coast to LON, and returning from CDG in November. We are hoping to fly business both ways or maybe first class one way/business the other. We both have the Citi AA card, and will receive 50,000 miles each in the next few months. Would it be worthwhile to purchase miles during this promo or both get the Citi AA Executive card to receive the additional 50,000 miles?

    Thanks!

  36. @ Kate — Assuming you can find award space it absolutely could. That being said, I’d maybe consider each applying for another card which will earn you enough miles for flying in the other direction. That would be an even better value.

  37. @ Terry — They seem to offer them pretty often, so I’d expect another one in the next month or so, at most.

  38. AA is now offering 100000 miles for $2092 approx 2.09cents/mile. @Lucky not sure if you have flown Business Class in BA’s 787 Dreamliner.

  39. Thinking of redeeming for BA’s Business Class MAA to LHR roundtrip on their 787 dreamliner for 60K Miles via AA.

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