Last Chance: Buy American Miles For ~2 Cents Each

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As I first wrote about last Monday, American is offering a discount and bonus on the purchase of AAdvantage miles through today (11:59PM CT on Monday, July 13, 2015). The sale is marketed as offering 15% off and up to 27,500 bonus miles.


American offers a bonus on the purchase of miles quite frequently, so in and of itself that’s not that special. However, this is the best rate we’ve seen on the purchase of miles in quite a while, given that they’re selling AAdvantage miles for as little as two cents each.

As a reminder, this time around you get a 15% discount no matter how many miles you purchase, but then the number of bonus miles you earn is tiered. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Buy 1,000-15,000 miles, get 0 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 16,000-30,000 miles, get 5,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 31,000-45,000 miles, get 10,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 46,000-60,000 miles, get 15,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 61,000-75,000 miles, get 20,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 76,000-100,000 miles, get 27,500 bonus miles and 15% off

The absolute best cent per mile ratio you’ll achieve is if you purchase exactly 76,000 AAdvantage miles. That’s because you’d be eligible for both the 15% discount and 27,500 mile bonus. If you purchase 76,000 miles then you’d earn a total of 103,500 AAdvantage miles at a cost of $2,078.63 including all taxes and processing charges. That’s a rate of ~2.0 cents per mile.



Keep in mind that if you use the Citi Prestige® CardCiti ThankYou® Premier Card, or American Express Premier Rewards Gold, you’ll earn triple points per dollar spent on the purchase, given that American processes mileage purchases the same as airfare. I value those points at a return of ~5%, which further lowers the cost per purchased mile.

See my previous post for details on when I think it makes sense to speculatively purchase American AAdvantage miles. I consider American miles to be among the most valuable points currencies out there, as they can be used for travel on Cathay Pacific, Japan AirlinesEtihad, Qatar, etc..


If you’ve been eying purchasing AAdvantage miles under the current promotion, you have less than 12 hours remaining!

Have you purchased (or you plan on purchasing) AAdvantage miles using this promotion?

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  1. It’s annoying that you have to drop ~2k to maximize the return, leaving you with 103,500 miles, a number that almost guarantees breakage of having extra miles more than what you’d be redeeming for.

    But of course they designed it that way…

  2. @Martin – you can but AA charges fees to do so which makes it not worth it with some exceptions (if you just need a few more miles to have enough for an award)

  3. Is it a good enough deal that you think we should consider purchasing speculatively, or only with a specific redemption in mind?

  4. Lucky, I have a few miles sitting in an AA account, they are about to expire, so may go ahead and purchase some under this promotion. What are the odds of finding CX inventory for 1 F seat in August to and from LA to HK (and on to BKK) ? If I am using Award Nexus to find inventory is it ok to assume AA gets same inventory that shows up there…think it uses JL for search. Thanks

  5. @ august — Assuming you’re willing to wait until the last minute to book, then I’d go for it, as space does tend to open up pretty last minute. Award Nexus searching through BA should return pretty accurate results. Sometimes there will be minor discrepancies, but for the most part it should be pretty representative.

  6. @ Andrew B — Probably wouldn’t unless you thought you could redeem them before the end of the year.

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