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While still not as lucrative as the 100% buy miles bonus US Airways is offering until December 20, American Airlines has launched its own promotion on purchased miles that includes up to a 50% bonus, meaning you can buy American miles for as little as about 2 cents apiece. Here are the details and if you’re interested, you can access the purchase page here.
Now through December 31, if you buy or gift 60,000 miles in a single transaction an e-mail will be sent to you in January 2014 to let you choose one of the following additional benefits.
- 20% additional bonus miles – In addition to the 30% bonus you can earn 20% extra bonus miles that will be deposited into your account by January 31, 2014 – that’s a total potential of 50% bonus miles.
- 10% off flights on aa.com – Save 10% on flights on aa.com when you book by February 6, 2014, for travel starting February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014
- 5,000-mile discount on award – Get a 5000-mile discount for up to three passengers, that’s a total saving of up to 15,000 miles when you book between January 24, 2014 and February 21, 2014, for travel between February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014 (for flights originating in contiguous US or Canada)
- Three 500-mile upgrades – If you are an AAdvantage Elite Member you can enjoy an additional three 500-mile upgrades
While the flight discounts are something to consider, there are a lot of terms and conditions to them including the fact that much of the applicable travel must be booked by February and must originate in the US, so you have to know your plans in advance. I’ll include those below.
I think the most interesting option is the additional 20% bonus. Putting in some numbers, if you were to buy the full 60,000 miles, it would cost you a total of $1,808 including the 7.5% tax and $35 processing fee. You’d end up with 90,000 AA miles – giving you a cost of 2.01 cents per mile – well below the usual cost of about 3.5 cents American usually sells these for.
That said, spending $1,800 on miles isn’t something I’d suggest doing speculatively, but only if you have a specific redemption in mind that you know you’ll book where you’ll get a much better value out of the award than just paying for the ticket. Otherwise, I might still just stick with the US Airways 100% bonus, which is more straightforward, since those miles will eventually be transferable/combinable with American miles as the merger between the two airlines progresses.
Also, just keep in mind that these transactions are processed by points.com, so you don’t get airfare/ or travel purchase bonuses like you would with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival.
In the meantime, here are the rest of the terms and conditions of the other award options:
Terms and Conditions for an Additional Award Option
To be eligible to select an Additional Award Option, members must purchase or gift 60,000 AAdvantage miles through the buyAAmiles or giftAAmiles program in a single transaction between 12:00 am CT December 16, 2013 and 11:00 pm CT December 31, 2013. In early January 2014, eligible members will receive an e-mail, (sent to the email address the purchaser/gifter enters at the time of the transaction) containing a website link that will allow members to select the Additional Award Option. Eligible members will be able to select one of the following for their Additional Award Option: 20% Additional Bonus Miles or 10% Discount Code or (3) 500 Mile Upgrades or Reduced Mileage Award. Selection must be made by January 21, 2014 and no changes will be allowed once the Additional Award Option has been chosen. The Additional Award Option selected will be awarded to the member listed as the purchaser or gifter of the 60,000 mile transaction made during the promotion period. This offer and the associated awards are neither transferable nor refundable unless otherwise stated. These gifts have no cash value and may not be bartered or sold. No residency restrictions apply although travel origination and destination restrictions may apply based on the Additional Award Option selected.
The 20% Additional Bonus Miles option provides an additional 20% bonus in miles in addition to any bonus miles earned from the original buyAAmiles or giftAAmiles transaction. Award will be calculated by multiplying the 60,000 miles purchased or gifted by 20%, for a total of 12,000 additional bonus miles. Bonus miles earned from gifting miles will be awarded to the purchaser. Please allow until January 31, 2014 for the 20% additional bonus miles award to post to the purchaser’s AAdvantage account. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual limit. AAdvantage miles earned through this promotion do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million MilerSM status.10% Discount Code
The 10% Discount Code option entitles the member to a 10% discount (via a promotion code) and is applicable on published round trip or one way fare purchased on the United States (English version) of aa.com between January 7, 2014 and February 7, 2014, for travel on or after February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014. Discount is valid for travel systemwide, excluding codeshare flights. Travel is not valid March 7 – 9; March 14 – 16; March 21 – 23 or April 18 – 21. No advance purchase, minimum or maximum stay or Saturday stay required. Applicable on all fare classes except T/U/Z. The promotion code requires instant purchase and may not be applied to previous reservations or reservations placed on hold. The discount will not be applied to any government or airport imposed taxes, fees or charges. Only one promotion code may be used per reservation, for up to four people in the reservation. Round trip travel is defined as travel from your city to the destination, and from the same destination back to the city where you originated travel with no deviations. For full terms and conditions about AA.com promotion codes, visit www.aa.com/promotioncode.(3) 500-Mile Upgrades
The (3) 500-mile upgrades option is available to elite status members only. Elite status will be confirmed when making your flight reservation. 500-mile upgrades allow for an upgrade from a purchased Economy Class ticket to First Class on eligible domestic flights with two classes of service or to Business Class on eligible flights with three classes of service. Travel is valid American Airlines or American Eagle within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda or between the U.S. and Central America. 500-mile upgrade requests are subject to capacity controls and seating limitations. One upgrade unit is required for every 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade. For more information on 500-mile upgrades please visit www.aa.com/500mileUpgrades.
5000-mile Discount on Award Flight
The 5000-mile discount on award flight option offers a 5,000 mile discount when redeeming miles for a round-trip Economy MileSAAver® award. US/Canada RMA may be used for up to three people in the same reservation for a total savings of 15,000 miles. Offer is valid for award travel on American Airlines, American Eagle or the American Connection® carrier where applicable. Codeshare flights are not allowed.
• Award travel must originate in the 48 contiguous United States or Canada
• Awards must be booked January 24, 2014 through February 21, 2014
• Awards are valid for travel February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014. No embargo dates apply
5000-mile discount on award flight are redeemed by calling American Airlines Reservations and the $25 American Airlines Reservations ticketing charge will be waived for this offer. Passenger is responsible for any taxes, fees and charges associated with award travel. Flights and availability are subject to change without notice.
This offer is not combinable with any other Reduced Mileage Award promotion such as a Citi cardmember RMA offer. At no time may AAdvantage® mileage credit or travel awards be purchased, sold or bartered. Any such mileage or awards are void if transferred for cash or other considerations. Violators may be liable for damages, litigation and transaction costs. Use of award tickets that have been acquired by purchase or for any other consideration may result in the tickets being confiscated. If a trip has commenced, any continuing travel will be at the passenger’s expense on a full-fare basis. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the best travel credit cards on the market right now because you can use the miles to cover many expenses that traditional miles won’t cover. Plus, for a limited time the sign-up bonus is 50,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening – which equates to $525 when you use them for travel expenses.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is one of the best travel credit cards on the market right now because you can use the miles to cover many expenses that traditional miles won’t cover. Plus, for a limited time the sign-up bonus is 50,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening – which equates to $525 when you use them for travel expenses.