American’s Black Friday Promo On Purchased Miles (Extended)

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage
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American AAdvantage constantly has promotions on purchased miles. About a week ago they rolled out their “Black Friday” promo on purchased miles. It was due to expire yesterday, but has been extended through December 8, 2019.

American’s Promo On Purchased Miles

Through Sunday, December 8, 2019, American is offering a bonus on purchased miles as long as you buy at least 10,000 miles in one transaction.

It’s interesting to note that as of a few months ago American has changed the structure of their buy miles promotion. The interface now looks different, and you have to log into your account to buy miles.

Presumably this means that we could eventually see targeted offers on purchased miles.

The promo page says “Black Friday special just for you,” though all the accounts I manage show the same offer, so I would guess there’s just a single promotion and they’re trying to make us feel special. šŸ˜‰

With this promo, American is offering the following tiered bonus on purchased miles:

  • Buy 10,000-24,000 miles, get 3,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 25,000-49,000 miles, get 9,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 50,000-74,000 miles, get 27,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 75,000-99,000 miles, get 48,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 100,000-149,000 miles, get 72,000 bonus miles
  • Buy 150,000 miles, get 120,000 bonus miles

In order to achieve the lowest cost per mile you’d want to purchase exactly 150,000 miles. If you purchased 150,000 miles you’d receive a total of 270,000 miles at a cost of $4,794.50, which is ~1.78 cents per AAdvantage mile.

As usual,Ā AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old arenā€™t eligible to purchase miles. Furthermore, thereā€™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, this is among the lowest costs we’ve seen this year. So far this year American has sold miles for anywhere between ~1.8 and ~2.15 cents per mile, so paying ~1.78 cents per mile is right on the low end of that.

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, hereā€™s the cost of first and business class awards originating in the U.S. 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 classĀ 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, recently 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 meansĀ the purchase of miles does qualify as airfare spend. Therefore youā€™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 CardĀ® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Prestige Card5x ThankYou points per dollar spent
American ExpressĀ® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire ReserveĀ®3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
Citi Premierā„  Card3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire PreferredĀ® Card2x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent
CitiĀ® / AAdvantageĀ® Executive World Eliteā„¢ MastercardĀ®2 AAdvantageĀ® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
CitiBusinessĀ® / AAdvantageĀ® Platinum SelectĀ® World MastercardĀ®2 AAdvantageĀ® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
CitiĀ® / AAdvantageĀ® Platinum SelectĀ® World Eliteā„¢ MastercardĀ®2 AAdvantageĀ® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUpā„  Card2 AAdvantageĀ® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases


Redeem American miles forĀ 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 useĀ The Platinum CardĀ® 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

Personally I think the best credit card right now for earning American miles as part of the welcome bonus is theĀ CitiBusinessĀ® / AAdvantageĀ® Platinum SelectĀ® World MastercardĀ®. The card is offering a welcome bonus of 70,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 within four months. The cardā€™s annual fee is even waived the first year. You can learn more about that card here.

Buy American Miles Summary

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of American’s promo on purchased miles but are interested, you now have a few more days to do so, thanks to this promo being extended. This offers the lowest cost on purchased American miles of the year.

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).

If you’re going to pick up American miles, you might as well do it at the lowest cost.

Do you plan on buying American miles with this promotion?

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Comments
  1. I found some award availability for 4 in Business on Qatar over New Years from NYC to the Indian Subcontinent but I didn’t have enough miles for it. Now I only have to pay a little less than 5,000 total for our outbound for all of our tickets which is an amazing value for 4 people over the Holidays. I also locked in a paid in cash return on Etihad’s 787 and A380 business and Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 for about $1,000 per person.

  2. Got very excited about this deal. Was about to buy the full offer with a view to travel on Qatar MIA to CPT. Checked availability thru aa.com. Only about 4 biz seats available in the Jan-March timeframe and dates don’t work for me.
    Can one redeem AA miles direct on QR site? I could not find a way to do it.

  3. Why does the first and business class award chart appear to be so deceptive? When it states business class to Europe costs 57,500 or South Pacific costs 80,000 miles, for examples, yet there are NO SUCH AWARDS available (except a few dates), their charts appear to be a scam.

    So, who would feel comfortable buying AA miles?

    There are no disclaimers on their charts, so they ought to stand behind the data they post on their award charts IMO.

  4. Need help. I have enough miles/segments for exec plat but not enough. EQD. What is the best way to achieve by the end of the year? I was reading about the travel on partner airlines would cost less and percentage of flight counts for EQD.

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