Buying miles & points strategically can be a good value, especially for first & business class travel. American AAdvantage constantly has promotions on purchased miles. The program has just launched its first promotion on purchased miles for 2022, and unfortunately it’s not particularly lucrative.
Promotion on purchased American AAdvantage miles
Through Wednesday, January 19, 2022, American AAdvantage is offering up to a 35% discount on purchased miles. The offer is tiered, and you get a bigger percentage discount the more miles you buy, as follows:
- Buy 15,000-49,000 miles, receive a 15% discount
- Buy 50,000-99,000 miles, receive a 25% discount
- Buy 100,000-150,000 miles, receive a 35% discount
How much does it cost to purchase American AAdvantage miles?
Ordinarily American sells AAdvantage miles for 2.95 cents each (pre-tax) before factoring in any discounts or bonuses. If you maxed out this promotion and purchased 150,000 AAdvantage miles, you’d receive a total of 150,000 miles at a cost of $3,144.38, which is a rate of 2.1 cents per AAdvantage mile.
As far as American’s bonuses and discounts on purchased miles go, the program usually charges ~1.7-2.3 cents per mile during a promotion. This isn’t among the best promotions we’ve seen.
How many American AAdvantage miles can you purchase?
The American AAdvantage program allows members to purchase at most 150,000 miles per account per calendar year, before factoring in any bonuses. Furthermore, note that AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old aren’t eligible to purchase miles.
Which credit card should you buy American AAdvantage miles with?
American AAdvantage 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 you’d earn bonus points for airfare purchases:
Is buying American AAdvantage miles worth it?
Unlike Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus, American AAdvantage continues to publish award charts for travel on partner airlines, and redemption rates are largely quite good, especially for travel in premium cabins on partner airlines. Among the “big three” carriers in the US, I tend to think AAdvantage has the best redemption opportunities.
As a reminder, here are the one-way costs of first and business class AAdvantage awards originating in the United States:
Contiguous 48 U.S. To:
Contiguous 48 U.S. States
Canada & Alaska
South America Zone 1
South America Zone 2
Middle East / India
Asia Zone 1
Asia Zone 2
I find the cost of business class redemptions to be excellent in many cases. There are instances where it could make sense to pick up miles during a promotion with a short term use in mind. Just to give a few examples of some of my favorite uses of AAdvantage miles (all redemption rates are one-way):
- For 57,500 miles you can fly from the United States to Morocco in Royal Air Maroc business class
- For 60,000 miles you could fly from the United States to Japan in Japan Airlines business class
- For 70,000 miles you could fly from the United States to most of Asia in Cathay Pacific business class
- For 70,000 miles you can fly from the United States to India in Etihad business class
- For 75,000 miles you can fly from the United States to South Africa in Qatar Airways business class
On what airlines can you redeem American AAdvantage miles?
American Airlines belongs to the oneworld alliance, so you can redeem AAdvantage miles on all oneworld airlines.
On top of that, you can redeem miles on some of American’s other partner airlines, including Air Tahiti Nui, China Southern, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, and JetBlue Airways. Soon it should also be possible to redeem miles on GOL Airlines.
How much are American AAdvantage miles worth?
Everyone will value mileage currencies differently, but personally I value American AAdvantage miles at ~1.5 cents each. However, I tend to value points pretty conservatively, and there are many ways to get way more value from AAdvantage miles than that.
Do American AAdvantage miles expire?
American AAdvantage miles don’t expire as long as you have at least some account activity once every 18 months. Eligible activity includes earning or redeeming AAdvantage miles in any quantity.
What other ways can you earn American AAdvantage miles?
There are lots of great ways to earn American miles aside from outright buying them:
- There are excellent welcome bonuses on co-branded American AAdvantage credit cards
- You can earn AAdvantage miles with a Bask Savings Account
- You can earn AAdvantage miles for everyday purchases with programs like AAdvantage Dining and SimplyMiles
American AAdvantage has just launched its latest promotion on purchased miles, valid through January 19. The program is offering up to a 35% discount on purchased miles, which is an opportunity to buy miles for 2.1 cents each. This is one of the worse promotions we’ve seen from the program, so I’d only buy miles with a short term use in mind.
Do you plan on buying American miles with this promotion?