American selling miles for less than two cents each

Through 12PM CDT on Thursday, April 5, American is offering both a 30% bonus AND 15% discount on the purchase of miles. For those of us not good at math, that translates to…. well, a hot mess.

Through this promotion the cost to purchase 40,000 miles is $935 plus the processing fee and taxes, for a grand total of $1,035.13.

Those 40,000 miles don’t include the 30% mileage bonus (12,000 bonus miles), which will post 6-8 weeks after the end of the promotion (though in practice it may be sooner). That nets you a total of 52,000 American miles for $1,035.13, which is ~1.99 cents per mile.

That’s about as cheap as I’ve ever seen them sell miles. Is it worth topping off an account at this rate? Absolutely, if it will get you towards a redemption threshold. Is it worth buying miles without a specific use in mind? I’d say probably not, since they’re always subject to being devalued.

Two cents is slightly higher than I value American miles, though not much…


  1. I calc’d this at 1045, I think it might be worthwhile. And with the new AA credit card bonus, it could be pretty handy.

  2. Unfortunately, the new double miles promotion on AA credit cards does not count on mile purchases.

  3. Seb,

    You can also transfer purchased SPG points and get a 5,000 bonus on a 20,000 transfer (works out to ~ 2.8 cents / mile).

    Not sure if there is a maximum for the purchase of SPG points in a year? You could always set up more accounts.

  4. I forgot to ask something: does the cap max of 40,000 purchased AA miles include the bonus? I’m thinking it does not?

  5. Does this points purchase count as “travel” for 2X points using the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

  6. Lucky – isn’t the math
    ($1035.13 / 60000 miles)*100 = 1.725 cents/mile (1.99 converts at 40k miles but we’re actually getting a credit for 60k).

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