Earn American AAdvantage Bonus Miles For Booking Travel Now

Filed Under: American, Flight Deals

Travel brands finally seem to be getting creative when it comes to generating revenue now for travel later. Earlier I wrote about how Marriott is selling discounted gift cards, and now American has a promotion as well, though it’s not quite as lucrative, in my opinion.

American offering 500 miles for every flight booking

American Airlines is offering 500 bonus AAdvantage miles for every flight you take when you book now. There are some terms to be aware of, though:

  • You need to book between May 11 and May 18, 2020
  • You need to register prior to booking a ticket
  • You need to travel between July 1 and December 31, 2020
  • You earn 500 bonus miles for each flight, and a total of up to 5,000 bonus AAdvantage miles with the promotion
  • Your flight must be paid with cash (so award tickets aren’t eligible), and the flights need to be marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle
  • If you change your flight after May 18 then you’ll no longer be eligible for the bonus miles

Is this AAdvantage promotion worth it?

Personally I value AAdvantage miles at ~1.5 cents each, so to me you’re earning an incremental $7.50 in value per flight. So a roundtrip nonstop would get you $15 in value, while a roundtrip with a connection in each direction would earn you $30 in value.

Keep in mind that American currently has no change fees if you book a flight by May 31, 2020, even if you travel on a subsequent date. This means you could book a trip now speculatively in hopes of earning the bonus miles, and you can always cancel it later.

However do keep in mind that:

  • If you cancel your flight you won’t get a refund, but rather you’ll get a credit towards a future flight
  • There’s obviously a cost to “keeping” money with an airline, and even potentially some risk
  • There’s still so much uncertainty, as we really don’t know when it will be practical and responsible to travel again

Bottom line

In general I’m a fan of promotions like this. American is incentivizing people to book now for travel later. Airlines are already offering peace of mind when booking in terms of the lack of change fees, though this is an extra incentive.

Personally this isn’t quite enough to move the needle for me, since I don’t have immediate plans to book any travel, and in general I don’t like the hassle of having to call in the event that I need to change flights. I wish they had waited a bit longer to offer this promotion, until we had a better sense of how things would evolve.

Still, I’m sure this will encourage some incremental bookings.

Do you plan on taking advantage of American’s promo for newly booked flights?

Comments
  1. I’m holding off on booking any air travel until at least June or July. Unless an absolute screaming deal pops up.

  2. Oh yay, 500 miles that I can use with a 1000 surcharge on BA or never find availability on AA… seriously, they gutted their FF program and now they want to try and use it by offering a pittance of miles to get me to fly? F-Them

  3. If I desperately need 5,000 miles – I can spend $127.46 to buy miles on AA. I would rather to spend under $130 than $$$$$ to earn up to 5,000. What a such a silly offer from AA team!

  4. @Scott @FlyAA …sincere question, what FF program to you consider to be outstanding and why? Would this AA offer be considered good if they offered double miles perhaps? I’m just trying to get a baseline of what is stellar vs pathetic attempts by airlines. Thanks.

  5. If one registers with this program but books a new flight using credit from a cancelled flight OR by changing an existing flight, would they still receive the bonus miles?

  6. Isn’s the May 31 time line to book and cancel only for flights through September 30, 2020? I used a credit voucher that was expiring for a flight in October and if it is cancels let that would be great but I think not

  7. 500 miles is certainly not worth the bother.

    I recall in the early 00’s when I was living in Tucson America West gave 3000 mile bonuses for every ticket book on their website. It lasted a long while.

    Maybe if they were doubling EQM or EQD it might be worthwhile.

  8. @Tim right now only Alaska has a decent program and it seems AC might want to have one.

    The issue really is, when you piss on your customers (was an execplat for 7 years hitting the spend every year with J tickets) don’t expect them to come back for 500 miles. To even get me to consider it would be 2,500 per flight and fly 10 get an additional 50,000. While that number may sound ridiculous, many of my colleagues don’t trust airlines anymore and if they want my money when they are down and out, they better be giving me an outsized offer to get it.

    Ie loyalty is dead unless you’re a road warrior, if you can afford your own tickets in J/F, while it’s hard to give up status at first, holy crap it’s so much cheaper to choose any airline!

  9. I’m not feeling well disposed towards AA at the moment having had to wait over a month for a refund to be looked at. Yet to have it back on my credit card though.

    Yet the website still says 7 days. Staff say the same despite knowing full well that is basically a lie. Why persist in giving this unrealistic date?

    Yes I do know they are busy but not to update the website to give a more accurate timescale is really unacceptable.

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