Up To 35% Discount On Purchase Of American Miles

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American is offering up to a 35% discount on the purchase of AAdvantage miles through September 3, 2015.

Buy-Miles

The discounts are tiered, meaning the more miles you purchase, the greater the discount. This time around the breakdown is as follows:

  • Buy 6,000-14,000 miles, get 15% off
  • Buy 15,000-39,000 miles, get 20% off
  • Buy 40,000-64,000 miles, get 25% off
  • Buy 65,000-89,000 miles, get 30% off
  • Buy 90,000-100,000 miles, get 35% off

It goes without saying that if you want to get the best cent per mile ratio you’ll want to buy between 90,000 and 100,000 miles. Through this promotion you can buy 90,000 miles at a cost of $1,885.18 including all taxes and fees (factoring in the 35% discount). That’s a rate of 2.09 cents per mile.

American-Buy-Miles-1

To compare this promotion to recent ones that AAdvantage offered:

So this promotion is pretty average as far as AAdvantage promotions go for the purchase of miles. We’ve seen better prices and we’ve seen worse prices, though they’re all within a fairly narrow range. Personally I’d be deciding on which promotion to take advantage of based on when I had the need for the miles, rather than which promotion is marginally better.

As usual, AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old aren’t eligible to purchase miles, and you’re limited to purchasing 100,000 AAdvantage miles per account per calendar year. That limit doesn’t include any bonus miles (in this case there are no bonus miles but rather just discounts).

Is it a good deal?

~2.09 cents per mile isn’t a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase American AAdvantage miles (I value American miles at ~1.8 cents each). 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 ~$1,450 out of pocket that’s not half bad.

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777-54
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 ~$850 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 earlier this year, 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 ~2.09 cents each just for giggles, but if you have a premium cabin redemption on Cathay Pacific, Japan AirlinesEtihad, Qatar, etc., in mind, it’s tough to go wrong.

While we’ve seen slightly lower rates when purchasing miles, I’d make my decision based on when I needed the miles as opposed to marginal differences in their cost. In other words, I’d rather buy miles for ~2.09 cents each when I knew I had an immediate use for them, rather than for ~2.0 cents each speculatively.

Also keep in mind that American allows five day award holds (meaning you can hold an award ticket, purchase miles, and then ticket the reservation).

While buying miles isn’t as lucrative as it was in the US Airways days, it is nice to see that American is continuing to frequently offer discounts on the purchase of miles.

Do you plan on purchasing AAdvantage miles with a 35% discount?

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Comments

  1. Is the 100,000 mile limit seperate for purchased miles and gifted miles? Ie can you purchase and gift miles to the same account to exceed the 100,000 limit?

  2. What is the justification for charging same (exorbitant) amount for gifting miles as for buying miles? If I gift miles, it is like I paid for the same miles twice: Once when I bought a ticket and flew (or charged something to a card) to earn them, and once to gift (transfer) them. To me, it is not “fair” for an airline to charge more than let’s say 50% of the price of purchased miles for transferring the same number of miles.

    Like everything else with airlines these days, I suppose their justification seems to be “because we can”. Any other rationale for pricing gifted miles the same as purchased miles?

  3. As Mike says about Etihad A380 F is non-existent. SYD-AUH was pulled long ago leaving maybe 2-3 days over the course of 355 where you may find a seat on that route in the A380 in F.

  4. From UK. I was lucky to get 2 First AUH to LHR for next March on the Etihad 380 for 40,000 x 2.

    Wife and I are thinking of going to Australia in December 2016. I was thinking of a BA 241 to AUH or Dubai and the AUH-Sydney return. Is this an impossibility? (I will have the points).

  5. @Howard: You can book this route with BA (LHR-SYD) with one stop in Singapore. It costs 250,000 Avios RT per person on Business and 340,000 Avios on First class and slightly more with partner airlines.

  6. @Howard: Oh, btw I’ve recently discovered that I can collect up to 8 Avios / £ if I shop online through the Avios Estore. It’s an amazing value since you can earn an additional 1.5 Avios / £ with your Lloyds Avios Amex so it’s a total 9.5 / £ in many case. Of course the rate varies by store to store from 2 Avios / £ to 8 Avios / £ but this is something you can’t find in any other country. You can rack-up tens of thousands of Avios each month if you purchase your things online.

  7. Remember the good old days when we bought them during the share miles promotion from USDM for near a penny a mile?

    Actually that was April 2014.

  8. @jmd001: “Gifting” is AAs way of saying “Buying for someone else”. You are not transferring any of your miles. Transferring your miles would be “sharing” in AA speech.

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