American AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles are back with their latest promotion on the purchase of miles.
Both programs are offering:
- A 10% discount on the purchase of miles, through February 9, 2015
- Up to 30,000 bonus miles on the purchase of miles, through March 3, 2015
Here are the links for the promotion, depending on which program you prefer to buy miles with:
Bonus miles through March 3, 2015
In terms of bonus miles, the promotion is structured in such a way that they’re offering tiered bonuses based on how many miles you purchase, as follows:
20,000-39,000 miles = 7,000 more bonus miles
40,000-59,000 miles = 15,000 more bonus miles
60,000-74,000 miles = 23,000 more bonus miles
75,000-100,000 miles = 30,000 more bonus miles
Given that both AAdvantage and Dividend Miles charge the same amount per mile regardless of how many you purchase, the “sweet spot” here is purchasing 75,000 miles, since that will net you a 40% bonus.
10% discount on purchase through February 9, 2015
Both airlines ordinarily charge 2.95 cents per mile, plus 7.5% in taxes, plus a $30 processing fee. So factoring in the 10% discount for purchasing miles by February 9, 2015, you’d end up paying a total of $2,170.59 for 105,000 miles, which is a cost of ~2.07 cents per mile.
Is this a good deal?
To put this promotion in the context of recent promotions offered by AAdvantage and Dividend Miles:
- In January they sold miles for as little as ~2.14 cents each
- In November/December they sold miles for as little as ~2.06 cents each
Back in the day, 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, and it was a pretty reliable way to get discounted business class tickets to Asia. So while the prices have gone up, it seems that as part of the merger both airlines have adopted the frequency of mileage promotions.
As I’ve said many times in the past, ~2.07 cents per mile isn’t a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase miles. But with a specific use in mind, it certainly could be worthwhile. For example, through US Airways Dividend Miles, 120,000 miles is enough for Cathay Pacific first class roundtrip ticket between the US and Hong Kong, so for ~$2,600 out of pocket that’s still a heck of a deal.
Other things to keep in mind
If you’re going to take advantage of this promotion, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- To take advantage of this promotion, AAdvantage accounts must be at least 14 days old and Dividend Miles accounts must be at least 12 days old
- There’s no limit to the total number of miles you can purchase, though you’re limited to 50,000 bonus miles per program through this promotion
- Both American and US Airways let you hold award tickets even without enough miles in your account (for five and three days, respectively), so that can be a great way to lock in the award you want before having to pull the trigger on purchasing miles
- The AAdvantage and Dividend Miles programs should merge in the second quarter of this year, at which point mileage totals will be combined; in the meantime the programs continue to be run separately
- While both programs have already been aligned in many ways, they’re also very different, so be sure you study which program makes most sense for you
These promotions definitely aren’t as compelling as they were back in the day, though there are still plenty of circumstances under which it can make sense to purchase miles through this promotion. If you do purchase miles, I’d definitely recommend doing so in the first week of the promotion, so you get the 10% discount.
Do you plan on taking advantage of the AAdvantage or Dividend Miles promotion?