Up To 35% Discount On Purchased American AAdvantage Miles

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American just wrapped up their April promotion on the purchase of AAdvantage miles, whereby they offered up to a 60% bonus on purchased miles.

Now American is back with what they call a “flash sale,” whereby they’re offering up to a 35% discount on purchased AAdvantage miles through May 11, 2015.


American AAdvantage is offering tiered discounts, whereby the percentage discount you get on the purchase of points is dependent upon how many you purchase, as follows:

  • Buy 6,000-14,000 miles, get a 15% discount
  • Buy 15,000-39,000 miles, get a 20% discount
  • Buy 40,000-64,000 miles, get a 25% discount
  • Buy 65,000-99,000 miles, get a 30% discount
  • Buy 100,000 miles, get a 35% discount

If you max out the promotion and purchase a total of 100,000 AAdvantage miles, you’d pay a total of $2,091.31 including all taxes/fees. That’s a cost of 2.09 cents per mile.


This is a bit more expensive than the rate at which American was selling AAdvantage miles last month, which was ~2.0 cents per mile.

To compare this promotion to recent ones that AAdvantage offered:

As you can see, despite it being marketed as a “flash sale,” this is a pretty average bonus for the purchase of miles. 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 (which potentially makes it more lucrative to purchase miles when there’s a bonus rather than a discount, since bonus miles don’t count towards that cap).

Is it a good deal?

~2.09 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 ~$1,400 out of pocket that’s not half bad.

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 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:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases

Bottom line

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

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such a bonus and it certainly won’t be the last, so I’d ultimately purchase miles around the same time you need them, especially since American allows five day award holds (meaning you can hold an award ticket, purchase miles, and then ticket the reservation).

Do you plan on purchasing AAdvantage miles for ~2.09 cents each?

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  1. I just took a quick glance at your link to the 60% bonus sale, and the prices are comparable. I haven’t done any analysis, but that seems a bit strange.

  2. @ Christian — Keep in mind the previous promotion was for a 60% bonus rather than a 35% discount. Those are two different ways of calculating. The prices were slightly lower during the last promotion.

  3. Lucky, So could I fly something like LHR>AUH>DOH , in Ethiad first and then regional or Qatar regional for 40k? Thanks

  4. Thanks, didn’t mean for it to sound so blunt and rude!

    Just I absolutely love your trip reports, and it ends my night perfectly, reading a review of flight, lounge or hotel.

    Look forward to the next one! Thanks

  5. I miss US Airways’s sharing miles promo! I was hoping AAdvantage would adopt that policy after the merger. 😉

  6. Hi Ben,

    I have hundreds of dollars of AA gift card… Can I pay part of transaction using gift card? I only see the credit card information is required upon checking out.


  7. @ yang — Unfortunately you can’t redeem American gift cards towards the purchase of American miles.

  8. Lucky,

    How often does AA do the bonus on purchased miles? Would it be something like once every 3-4 months?

  9. That’s… useful. My AAdvantage account is too new for this promo, but I’ll be keeping an eye out on the next one. I have a trip planned where this could be useful…

    Would you describe award availability in First from/to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific to the West Coast of the US as good or bad? I have a fairly specific schedule in mind, and I’m wondering if availability could be a problem.

  10. I forgot to mention: this trip is a long time (i.e., months) in advance, so I would be trying to book the rewards a fairly long time in advance of flying them.

  11. Hi lucky! Took adVantage of the 60 % bonus, and wanted to know what’s a good route US to BKK to maximize my miles in F? I have 145,000 miles. Can I route via Middle East? Or fly LAX to say JFK or ORD on?

  12. @ Arthur — Your best value would be Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific first class. You can’t route via the Middle East on a single award.

  13. @ arthur — Depending on your exact destination you could potentially route via Chicago and/or New York depending on the MPM.

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