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Current American, Delta and US Airways Mileage Purchase Promotion Rundown

by on February 6, 2012 · 5 comments

in American, Delta, Purchase Miles Promotions, US Airways

There are several mileage bonus offers happening right now, but none of them are really amazing deals. Let’s take a look at each:

American
AAdavantage members can purchase miles now through February 29, 2012 at up to a 37% bonus.

The increments are:

Purchased Miles                Bonus Miles
-2,000-5,000 miles                500 bonus
-6,000-11,000 miles               2,000 bonus
-12,000-39,000 miles            4,000 bonus
-40,000+ miles                        15,000 bonus

Details of the promotion on the AAdvantage site.

So, is it worth it?

The short answer is: no. Let’s take the baseline examples though to price it out.

American Airlines normally charges 2.95 cents per mile. In terms of this promotion, if you were buying 2,000 miles, you’d get a total of 2,500 miles for $59. That equates to 2.36 cents per mile – still not good.

If you bought 6,000 miles for $165 (the normal price), you’d get a total of 8,000 miles at a cost of 2.06 cent per mile. Better, but still likely a losing proposition for most people.

For a 12,000-mile purchase, you’d pay $330 and get a total of 16,000 miles. Cost per mile: 2.06 cents. Same as above.

Finally, if you purchased 40,000 miles at the cost of $1,100 and received the full bonus of 15,000 miles, your cost per mile breakdown would be an even 2 cents per mile. This isn’t amazing, but if you are spending 100,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe that you would have paid more then $2,000 for, buying miles at 2 cents could make sense. If you are looking for coach tickets, I  would find this harder to justify, unless you are flying routes that have sky-high airfares.

So even in the best-case scenario, you’re still paying 2 cents per mile, far above the value most people reap from redemptions. That said, if you need either a very small number of miles or a very large number of miles to top up your account in a hurry (they take 72 hours to post), price out the option and see if it makes sense for you.

Delta
Is currently offering a 75% bonus on purchased Skymiles until March 31, 2012. Delta sells miles at a pricey 3.5 cents a piece plus a 7.5% tax. With this promotion, you could get up 105,000 for $2,257, or 2.2 cents each. Not very impressive – especially since Delta recently let you buy miles for 1.1 cents each through their 100% transfer promotion. I would hold off unless you really need to top up your account.

Delta bonus chart

US Airways

US Airways is currently offering their Mastercard cardholders 50% off a mileage purchase thru February 29, 2012. US recently raised the price of Dividend Miles to match Delta’s sky high price of 3.5 cents plus 7.5% tax, so 50,000 miles cost $1,881 less 50% is $940.63, or 1.9 cents a mile. While not terrible, it isn’t as good as past sales that were as low as 1.5 cents a mile.

This is probably the best deal out there right now, especially since US has a decent award chart and Dividend Miles can be used to book Star Alliance partner travel.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Michael

    One thought is American does allow one-way awards so if you need to top off your account to get to 50,000, you can use that one way business from LAX-Europe/Asia which is a pretty nice redemption for $1000, especially on Cathay business.

  • http://www.clarkecomputer.com/ Charles Clarke

    Do any of these qualify for the AMEX $200 airline credit?

  • Guest

    Re Delta – but there is also a targeted email for 50% bonus on TRANSFERRED miles. Cost of transfer is 1 cent per point plus $30 fee- just like last year. But this time, instead of 100% bonus going to the recipient, it is a 50% bonus for the SENDER. Why no details on this? Hasn’t anyone received this promo?! We got 3 emails in this household a few days ago

  • siva valluru

    I would like to know if it is worth it as well.

  • Pingback: Buy Delta Miles 75% Bonus Promo – Worth It? | The Points Guy

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