Buy American Airlines Miles With Bonus & Discount

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage
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American AAdvantage constantly has promotions on purchased miles. The airline has just published their latest promotion, which follows one of their most lucrative promos in quite a while — last week the airline was selling miles for as little as 1.78 cents each.

American’s Promo On Purchased Miles

Before I talk about this promotion specifically, it’s interesting to note that as of a few months ago American changed the structure of their buy miles promotions. The interface now looks different, and you have to log into your account to see the offer available to you.

Initially the promotions worked the same way they used to, which is to say that promotions on purchased miles still had published end dates. That’s not consistently the case anymore, as most promotions no longer list an end date for these offers.

With the latest promo, American is offering the following tiered bonuses and discount on purchased miles through February 16, 2020:

  • Buy 15,000-69,000 miles, get a 30% bonus plus 10% off
  • Buy 70,000-149,000 miles, get a 50% bonus plus 10% off
  • Buy 150,000 miles, get a 55% bonus plus 10% off

In order to achieve the lowest cost per mile you’d want to purchase exactly 150,000 miles. If you did that, you’d receive a total of 232,500 miles at a cost of $4,315.05, which is ~1.86 cents per AAdvantage 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.

As far as American’s bonuses and discounts on purchased miles go, generally they charge ~1.8-2.15 cents per mile.

This isn’t the best promotion they’ve offered, but it is on the lower end of their pricing spectrum.

Is Buying American Miles A Good Deal?

Personally I value American AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents each. While American significantly devalued their award chart a few years back, there are still some excellent uses of their miles, especially for travel in business class on partner airlines.

As a reminder, here’s the cost of first and business class awards originating in the US under the current 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 instances where it could make sense to pick up miles during a promotion with a short term use in mind.

For example, last year I redeemed 75,000 AAdvantage miles for a one-way Qatar Airways business class ticket from Cape Town to the US, which I consider to be a spectacular value.

Which Credit Card Should You Buy Miles With?

American processes mileage purchases directly, which means the purchase of miles does qualify as airfare spending. Therefore you’ll want to consider using one of the following cards for your purchase, since they offer the following bonus miles for airfare:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou points per dollar spent
American Express® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Premier℠ Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive 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
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases


Redeem American miles for JAL business class

For example, I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so I view that as an 8.5% return on this spend if you use The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Other Great Ways To Earn American Miles

There are lots of great ways to earn American miles aside from outright buying them. At the moment there are excellent welcome bonuses on co-branded American Airlines AAdvantage Cards, as follows:

Current American AAdvantage Offers

Buy American Miles Summary

American’s latest promotion on purchased miles isn’t the best promotion on purchased miles that we’ve seen from them, though it is among the better deals.

Generally speaking I wouldn’t recommend speculatively buying American miles without a use in mind. However, there are plenty of cases where acquiring miles at this cost makes sense (especially for redemptions on Etihad and Qatar).

Do you plan on buying American miles with this promotion?

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Comments
  1. @ Lucky….The cost works out to be just under $1,500 for a one way business class to Asia Zone 2. How would that compare to directly buying tgat segment directly thru the carrier? My use would be either JFK-SIN or JFK to Tokyo.

  2. I bought 100,000 miles 2 days ago for 1.88 cents/mile. 70% bonus, which I was happy with. That’s it for me with AAdvantage spend for 2020; totalled out at 150K. And yes, I have an upcoming need for some of those miles; waiting for QR schedule to open up for later this year, then pounce.

  3. AA is totally out of control – yesterday’s joke was the $150pp charge for Flagship dining

    Today it is ANOTHER mileage fire sale

    Last week, i bought 170K miles for about $3200 – at my EXP level, i would have had to spend over $15K in air fare -Am i missing something?

    2 years ago, i topped out at 247K EQM and got nothing in return.

    I need Emerald Status because of my Asian travel but this year it’s going to be 100K and out

    i don’t need this BS anymore when Delta is on the rise domestically

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