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Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.
Update: Many details for The Platinum Card® from American Express have changed as of 3/30/17. The links below are expired, but you can learn more about the new offer and card benefits here!
Update: This offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.
Last week I wrote about how American was offering a Black Friday bonus on purchased miles, which was basically an improvement over the previous promotion they offered on the purchase of miles. Well, the good news is that American has extended their improved promotion on the purchase of miles through January 3, 2017.
This promotion is offering a tiered bonus on the purchase of miles, as follows:
- Buy 10,000-24,000 miles, get 3,000 bonus miles
- Buy 25,000-49,000 miles, get 9,000 bonus miles
- Buy 50,000-74,000 miles, get 27,000 bonus miles
- Buy 75,000-99,000 miles, get 48,000 bonus miles
- Buy 100,000-149,000 miles, get 72,000 bonus miles
- Buy 150,000 miles, get 120,000 bonus miles
If you max out the promotion you can purchase a total of 270,000 miles (150,000 base miles plus a 120,000 mile bonus) for $4,786.88. That’s a cost of ~1.74 cents per mile.
This is one of the better promotions on purchased miles that we’ve seen from American this year, though there is a big cash outlay required to maximize this offer.
Is it a good deal?
With American’s devaluation earlier this year, my valuation of AAdvantage miles has decreased from ~1.8 cents to ~1.5 cents each. It’s international first class award redemptions that went up most in price, with awards increasing in price by up to ~70% in some instances.
Meanwhile the cost of most business class awards increased as well, though not nearly as drastically. As a reminder, here’s the cost of first and business class awards originating in the US under the new program:
|Contiguous 48 U.S. To:||Business Class||First Class|
|Contiguous 48 U.S. States||25,000||50,000|
|Canada & Alaska||30,000||55,000|
|South America Zone 1||30,000||55,000|
|South America Zone 2||57,500||85,000|
|Middle East / India||70,000||115,000|
|Asia Zone 1||60,000||80,000|
|Asia Zone 2||70,000||110,000|
Qatar Airways business class continues to be a great use of American miles
I find the cost of business class redemptions to still be reasonable in most cases. There are certainly instances where it could make sense to pick up miles for ~1.74 cents each with an immediate use in mind. Everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves.
Which credit card should you buy miles with?
American processes mileage purchases directly, 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:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — 5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
- Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express — 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
- Citi Prestige® Card — 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
- Citi ThankYou® Premier Card — 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
- Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card — 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Redeem American miles for JAL business class
While I wouldn’t speculatively buy miles at this price, this could represent a great value for those with a short term premium cabin redemption on a oneworld partner in mind. ~1.74 cents per mile is among the lowest cost we’ve seen on the purchase of AAdvantage miles.
While this promotion was initially only available for a limited amount of time, you now have more than another month to take advantage of this offer.
If you are looking to buy miles, keep in mind that American allows five day award holds (meaning you can hold an award ticket, purchase miles, and then ticket the reservation).
Do you plan on buying American miles through this promotion?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.