American’s November 2017 Bonus On Purchased Miles

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American has just announced their latest promotion on purchased miles, which comes just a few days after their previous bonus on purchased miles ended. Through November 27, 2017, American is offering up to 100,000 bonus miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles.

With this promotion the number of bonus miles you earn is tiered, and based on how many you buy, as follows:

  • Buy 10,000-24,000 miles, get 2,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 25,000-49,000 miles, get 7,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 50,000-74,000 miles, get 22,500 bonus miles
  • Buy 75,000-99,000 miles, get 40,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 100,000-149,000 miles, get 60,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 150,000 miles, get 100,000 bonus miles

To maximize this promotion you’ll want to buy exactly 150,000 miles (pre-bonus). If you do that, you’d receive a total of 250,000 AAdvantage miles at a cost of $4,786.88, which is a cost of ~1.91 cents per mile.

As usual, AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old aren’t eligible to purchase miles. Furthermore, there’s a cap of purchasing 150,000 AAdvantage miles per account per calendar year (pre-bonus).

As far as American’s bonuses on purchased miles go, this one is pretty average. It’s better than the promotion American had last month, where the lowest possible cost was ~2.1 cents per mile. However, it’s not as good as the promotion they had in July, where the lowest possible cost was ~1.7 cents per mile.

Is buying American miles a good deal?

When American devalued their award chart early last year, my valuation of AAdvantage miles decreased from ~1.8 cents to ~1.5 cents each. My valuation of American miles has further dropped from ~1.5 cents to ~1.3 cents in the past few months. With American’s big devaluation it’s international first class award redemptions that went up in price most, 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 U.S. under the new program:

Contiguous 48 U.S. To:Business ClassFirst Class
Contiguous 48 U.S. States 25,00050,000
Canada & Alaska30,00055,000
Hawaii40,00065,000
Caribbean27,50052,500
Mexico27,50052,500
Central America27,50052,500
South America Zone 130,00055,000
South America Zone 257,50085,000
Europe57,50085,000
Middle East / India70,000115,000
Africa75,000120,000
Asia Zone 160,00080,000
Asia Zone 270,000110,000
South Pacific80,000110,000


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 just under two cents each with a short term use in mind, though I wouldn’t load up at this price. I suspect we’ll see American offer a marginally lower price on purchased miles again sometime soon.

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:


Redeem American miles for JAL business class

Bottom line

While American miles were more valuable early last year, there are still circumstances under which it can make sense to buy miles. With a short term use in mind I wouldn’t hesitate to buy miles through this promotion, though it’s also not the best price we’ve seen.

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?

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Comments

  1. @lucky Just wanted to point out there is also a sale on transfer of miles. I think for my purposes transferring 16,000 miles only costs $160. I believe the sale is 35% off that too.

  2. @Lucky. The main picture of this post is of Finnair’s business class, which reminded me that AA still has only phantom Finnair award spaces. I have been checking it for weeks and plenty of phantom spaces. Called AA, they have no idea about why it is. I know that Tiffany wrote an article about it, but do you know whether it is going to change, or whether AA even knows about it? It is very frustrating. Thank you.

  3. I’m sitting this one out for the following reasons:

    1- Complete devastation of award redemption value. I remember not long ago when RT US to Asia was 135K in First Class (JL and CX).
    2- No or partial availability of premium award seats for this family of 4.

    UA is having the same issues of late and increased connections premium award seats US to SEA. Our options are decreasing by the day.

  4. Surprised you don’t have a qualifying statement about the lAAck of availability of award saaver redemptions. For example, impossible to find AA flights to Europe for 57500 miles on AA metal. Only flights are on BA with exorbitant fees.

  5. @gk One of the biggest problems (at least for me) is that flying out of the NY area, AA only flies a handful of places nonstop and so you are stuck with a connection in London. I believe the only year round nonstops on AA from NY are London, Paris, Madrid, and Milan. They do fly to Rome as well but that is a seasonal flight between May and October.

    I have an itinerary on hold where I was able to fly business class home from Europe on AA with taxes ending up at ~$82 a person. I am flying from Bologna with a 24 hour layover in London and then a flight from LHR to JFK on AA. It seems as AA views it as a connecting flight since its less than 24 hours between departures. Good deal for 57500 plus $82.

  6. there was a ton of availability on AA metal for LON-DFW a couple weeks ago for travel near the end of the schedule including around labor day 2018. i grabbed 2 seats GLA-LHR-DFW-MCI for 57.5k and $284 each. i’m assuming those taxes are high just because of stupid LHR and the BA flight from GLA-LHR.

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