Last Chance: Buy American Miles For ~2 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. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

As I first wrote about last Monday, American is offering a discount and bonus on the purchase of AAdvantage miles through today (11:59PM CT on Monday, July 13, 2015). The sale is marketed as offering 15% off and up to 27,500 bonus miles.

AAdvantage-Buy-Bonus

American offers a bonus on the purchase of miles quite frequently, so in and of itself that’s not that special. However, this is the best rate we’ve seen on the purchase of miles in quite a while, given that they’re selling AAdvantage miles for as little as two cents each.

As a reminder, this time around you get a 15% discount no matter how many miles you purchase, but then the number of bonus miles you earn is tiered. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Buy 1,000-15,000 miles, get 0 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 16,000-30,000 miles, get 5,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 31,000-45,000 miles, get 10,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 46,000-60,000 miles, get 15,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 61,000-75,000 miles, get 20,000 bonus miles and 15% off
  • Buy 76,000-100,000 miles, get 27,500 bonus miles and 15% off

The absolute best cent per mile ratio you’ll achieve is if you purchase exactly 76,000 AAdvantage miles. That’s because you’d be eligible for both the 15% discount and 27,500 mile bonus. If you purchase 76,000 miles then you’d earn a total of 103,500 AAdvantage miles at a cost of $2,078.63 including all taxes and processing charges. That’s a rate of ~2.0 cents per mile.

AAdvantage-Buy-Bonus-1

 

Given that American processes mileage purchases directly, you’ll want to use a card that maximizes purchases on airfare, such as:

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

See my previous post for details on when I think it makes sense to speculatively purchase American AAdvantage miles. I consider American miles to be among the most valuable points currencies out there, as they can be used for travel on Cathay Pacific, Japan AirlinesEtihad, Qatar, etc..

Qatar-Airways-A350-Business-Class-30

If you’ve been eying purchasing AAdvantage miles under the current promotion, you have less than 12 hours remaining!

Have you purchased (or you plan on purchasing) AAdvantage miles using 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.

Comments

  1. It’s annoying that you have to drop ~2k to maximize the return, leaving you with 103,500 miles, a number that almost guarantees breakage of having extra miles more than what you’d be redeeming for.

    But of course they designed it that way…

  2. @Martin – you can but AA charges fees to do so which makes it not worth it with some exceptions (if you just need a few more miles to have enough for an award)

  3. Is it a good enough deal that you think we should consider purchasing speculatively, or only with a specific redemption in mind?

  4. Lucky, I have a few miles sitting in an AA account, they are about to expire, so may go ahead and purchase some under this promotion. What are the odds of finding CX inventory for 1 F seat in August to and from LA to HK (and on to BKK) ? If I am using Award Nexus to find inventory is it ok to assume AA gets same inventory that shows up there…think it uses JL for search. Thanks

  5. @ august — Assuming you’re willing to wait until the last minute to book, then I’d go for it, as space does tend to open up pretty last minute. Award Nexus searching through BA should return pretty accurate results. Sometimes there will be minor discrepancies, but for the most part it should be pretty representative.

  6. @ Andrew B — Probably wouldn’t unless you thought you could redeem them before the end of the year.

Leave a Reply

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