Extended: Buy American Miles For ~1.74 Cents Each

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Last week I wrote about how American was offering a Black Friday bonus on purchased miles, which was basically an improvement over the previous promotion they offered on the purchase of miles. Well, the good news is that American has extended their improved promotion on the purchase of miles through January 3, 2017.

This promotion is offering a tiered bonus on the purchase of miles, as follows:

  • 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

If you max out the promotion you can purchase a total of 270,000 miles (150,000 base miles plus a 120,000 mile bonus) for $4,786.88. That’s a cost of ~1.74 cents per mile.


This is one of the better promotions on purchased miles that we’ve seen from American this year, though there is a big cash outlay required to maximize this offer.

Is it a good deal?

With American’s devaluation earlier this year, my valuation of AAdvantage miles has decreased from ~1.8 cents to ~1.5 cents each. It’s international first class award redemptions that went up most in price, 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 US under the new program:

Contiguous 48 U.S. To:Business ClassFirst Class
Contiguous 48 U.S. States 25,00050,000
Canada & Alaska30,00055,000
Central America27,50052,500
South America Zone 130,00055,000
South America Zone 257,50085,000
Middle East / India70,000115,000
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 ~1.74 cents each with an immediate use in mind. Everyone has to crunch the numbers for themselves.

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:

CardPoints earned on airfare spend
The Platinum Card® from American Express5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
American Express® Gold Card3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve®3x Ultimate Rewards 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

Japan-Airlines-Business-Class-777 - 1
Redeem American miles for JAL business class

Bottom line

While I wouldn’t speculatively buy miles at this price, this could represent a great value for those with a short term premium cabin redemption on a oneworld partner in mind. ~1.74 cents per mile is among the lowest cost we’ve seen on the purchase of AAdvantage miles.

While this promotion was initially only available for a limited amount of time, you now have more than another month to take advantage of this offer.

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?

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. With the airfare spend category at 5x and 2c per point redemption on AX, this gives a 10% cash back on the price effectively making it under 1.6C per mile.

  2. @Ben could you put up the price per mile of the last 5-10 American Airlines mileage sales? That is a great way to get a feeling for the value of the discount! Thanks in advance!!

  3. If you do, please please PLEASE find all of your seats first and then buy the miles needed. I just got an email from a friend that thought the seats she wanted were available so she couldn’t understand why after purchasing the miles, the seats were no longer there. Her mistake: only searching for one seat but needing three!

  4. I can’t stress enough as to how much of a bad idea it is to purchase AA miles right now. It is obvious that AA is planning another devaluation. If you don’t believe me, just do an award search. Even AAnytime awards are nearly non-existent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *