In addition to the discount, you will receive bonus miles when you purchase at least 11,000 American miles. The number of bonus miles awarded is determined by the number of miles you purchase.
To purchase miles (during a promo or otherwise) your account must be at least 30 days old. If you haven’t created an AAdvantage account already and want to be eligible the next time American runs a promo rate for buying miles, make sure you create an account today.
Details of the American Miles Promo
Assuming your account is at least 30 days old, here’s a breakdown of the bonus miles you will receive based on how many miles you buy:
|AAdvantage Miles Purchased||Bonus Miles Earned|
|11,000-20,000 miles||2,500 bonus miles|
|21,000-50,000 miles||5,000 bonus miles|
|51,000-75,000 miles||15,000 bonus miles|
|76,000-100,000 miles||27,5000 bonus miles|
|101,000-125,000 miles||45,000 bonus miles|
|126,000-149,000 miles||70,000 bonus miles|
|150,000 miles||100,000 bonus miles|
If you buy the minimum of 11,000 miles to receive bonus miles, your total cost (including taxes and the processing fee charged by American Airlines) will come out to $343.95. Since we want to consider both the cost of the miles plus their value when redeemed, it’s smart to consider the cost per mile here.
With this small purchase, the cost is about 2.55 cents per mile. However, if you buy the maximum 150,000 miles and receive 100,000 bonus miles, the cost per mile is about 1.72 cents. The total cost for those 250,000 miles would be $4,311.19, though, which is a much bigger price tag!
Another important point to remember is that you can only purchase 150,000 American miles per year. If you have already purchased any miles this year, you won’t be eligible to purchase the maximum of 150,000 miles during this promo.
Should You Buy American Miles During This Promo?
Now that we have the nuts and bolts of the promo out of the way, you’re probably wondering if this is even worth it.
We currently value American AAdvantage miles at about 1.4 cents per mile. The exact value you can get out of your American miles will vary, though. If you book a domestic economy award, your value could be below 1.4 cents per mile. If you book an international business or first class award ticket, the value of your miles could be significantly higher.
For example, if you wanted to book a round-trip first class ticket on American’s partner Cathay Pacific, that could cost around $30,000 if you bought a cash ticket. If you booked this ticket with American miles, it would cost 220,000 miles round-trip. (You could also book a one-way ticket for 110,000 miles.)
If you’ve wanted to book Cathay Pacific first class to experience true luxury travel, spending just over $4,000 might be worth it when you consider that you could save nearly $26,000 on these flights.
American will let you put award tickets on hold for up to 5 days, so make sure you put the ticket on hold to ensure you have the seat locked in before you buy miles. Imagine the frustration you’d feel if you bought miles only to see the award space you needed had disappeared!
Assuming you have the ability to earn miles with your credit card spending, leave buying miles for the times when you find award space for the dates you want, but need a few more miles to make the booking happen.
You might wonder why we didn’t use a flight on American Airlines as an example. Unfortunately, American rarely releases saver level award space on their own flights, so at this point we can’t recommend buying miles to book an award on American.
Buying Miles? Make the Most of It!
If you decide that buying American miles during this promo is right for you, make sure you get the most out of it. When you buy miles from American Airlines, the purchase actually codes as airfare, which means it falls into the travel category of many credit cards. This means you can earn some bonus points on top of the miles you are buying.
The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar. This is easily the most points you can earn when buying miles from American.
You could also earn 3 points per dollar with any of the following: the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and the Citi Prestige® Card.
Finally, you can earn 2 points per dollar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Using these cards, you can earn Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, or ThankYou Points for future travel when you buy miles. In a sense, using these cards provides a small rebate on your purchase in the form of transferable points that can help you book flights or hotel stays.
The most important things to consider in all of this are whether you can earn the necessary miles without buying them, and whether you can get a ton of value out of your miles if you do decide to buy them.
If you’re booking a first class award flight (or even a business class award flight), it might make sense to purchase some miles to top off your account depending on your situation.
In the end, it comes down to how many miles you need and whether you can earn them with your regular credit card spending. If you can, stick to that method. If not, be strategic about buying miles to guarantee that you get maximum value for every dollar you spend.
Following these guidelines, you should be able to decide what is right for you!