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American Airlines 30% Bonus and 10% Discount on Purchased Miles – 2 Cents Each

by on February 4, 2014 · 20 comments

in American, Buy Miles Promotions

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Although I don’t normally suggest getting in on purchased mileage bonuses, there are times to consider them, and American is running two simultaneous promotions on purchased miles that might make it worth it.

The first is a 30% bonus on purchased miles running now through February 28, 2014, that’s tiered as follows:

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20,000-29,000 miles: 5,000 bonus miles
30,000-39,000 miles: 8,250 bonus miles
40,000-49,000 miles: 12,000 bonus miles
60,000+ miles: 18,000 bonus miles

So to get the maximum 30% bonus, you have to purchase either 40,000 or 60,000 miles.

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However, now, through 11pm CT on February 6 (Thursday), the airline is also offering a 10% discount on purchased miles. So, if you were to max out this bonus with a 60,000 mile purchase and end up with 78,000 miles, you’d be paying a total of $1,542.69 (including taxes and transaction fee) – a price of  1.98 cents per mile. To put it in perspective, buying miles at that price would be equivalent to spending about $1,300 for a one-way first class Cathay Pacific award from Hong Kong to North America (67,500 miles), or $990 for a roundtrip domestic business class award (50,000 miles).

While that’s much better than normal, it’s still not amazing, and not quite as good as US Airways’ periodic 100% mileage bonuses where miles cost 1.88 cents each. Still, if you have a specific award in mind and need to top off for it, this could be a good opportunity to do so for less money than usual. However, if you are just looking for a big AA miles haul, remember that there is currently an offer of 100,000 miles for the Citi Executive AAdvantage card when you spend $10,000 in 3 months that is probably a better opportunity.

Just note that buy/gift miles transactions are limited to a combined total of 80,000 miles per calendar year, so you would almost be maxing out your potential miles purchases with this one promo.

Points.com processes these transactions, so you don’t earn 3X points per $1 with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card’s airfare bonus or 2.14X points per $1 on the Sapphire Preferred since this isn’t categorized as a travel purchase.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • JoeRolex

    Correction:
    If you purchase 40,000 Miles, you get the full 30% bonus (12,000 bonus)

  • TpaBill

    Correction: The full bonus is 18,000 miles as stated above.

  • JoeRolex

    True!

    I should of said “You can still get the Maximum 30% bonus starting at the 40,000 Purchase Level.”

    Thanks

  • Fritz

    I assume that AA co-brand cards don’t grant points for dollars charged buying AA miles, much less the double bonus for making AA purchases?

  • FlyingCat

    shouldn’t it be 78000 in total and not 68000?

  • Juno

    Now that AA and USAir will be merging, wouldn’t it be cheaper to get the US Air 100% bonus offer then use it on AA flights?

  • nsummy

    To me, if you use AA off-peak awards at 20k each way this is an amazing deal. You can pretty much get 2 round trip tickets for $1500

  • nsummy

    Don’t you have to have a US Airways card for that?

  • Susakajo

    back to the AA 100K bonus offer for the Executive card — existing Citi AAdvantage Mastercard members are getting the bonus despite this term??/ 1 This Citi® / AAdvantage® card offer is only valid for new applicants for a Citi® / AAdvantage® account applied for pursuant to this offer and is not available to existing cardmembers or recent applicants for a Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card.

  • mv

    can u combine aa and alaska airlines miles?

  • Bob Dalsimer

    Would these mile count toward elite status?

  • thepointsguy

    No

  • Sylvia

    Thank you to the Points Guy for all the information — the quality of my life has improved since reading about you on an American Airlines flight in December 2013 and joining your e-mail list. You’ve helped me “go to the next level” in the points and miles game, and I’m very thankful for that.
    I just logged in to aa.com to take advantage of this deal and discovered that you can max out at 98,000 miles (80,000 + 18,000 bonus) for $2,045.25 (including taxes and transaction fee), so 98,000 miles costs 2.09 cents per mile. I’m going to use my new Citi Executive AAdvantage Master Card for the purchase to reach my $5000 minimum spend to get 60,000 miles (although now I am tempted to ask Citi for the 100,000 miles deal). As I recall from having bought AA miles more than a year ago, since the purchase is handled by points.com, I’ll get one AAdvantage mile per dollar spent. So the miles I’ll rack up from this deal (124,585 miles) will cost me 1.6 cents per mile. Obviously, this only works if you are lucky enough right now to have just opened a Citi Executive card and are still in the spend window, since the 10% discount expires tomorrow. Thanks again for all the info!

  • lindseywagners

    Do the miles flown using these miles count toward elite status?

  • luciano

    I bought 60,000 miles yesterday and only received the 60,000 and not the 18,000 bonus miles.

  • mv

    im trying to figure out how to use points to go from south america to africa one way but cant see it in the chart. Help!

  • Joe

    Happend to me too. I called AA, they said that the bonus miles are currently taking 5 days to post.

    They said that there is nothing they can do to speed it up. But offered to extend the Hold on any current award reservations.

  • Joe

    When flying on an Award Ticket, you do not earn any miles, and you do not earn any miles towards elite status

  • lr

    I’m trying to buy 60K miles, but i’m getting a price of $1,631.38 USD … did the price of miles go up, or is it because my registered address with AA is outside of the US?

  • luciano

    If you purchased extra miles last week during the promo and haven’t got your bonuses mile please make sure that you don’t waste your time calling American Airlines, every time I called them they gave me a different excuse. Finally today,the true was giving that they screw up and their engineers are working on fixing that right now. They are saying that they will let us go negative if we need to book a trip now, we just need to call the advantage desk and they will help us with that.

    I have been a faithful Platinum customer for AA for years and I wished American was honest up front with us. I wasted at least 3 hours total while trying to contact them, when all they could have done is said ” Mr…. we are having some technical issue with that instead of having their agents give different excuses and promising that our miles our going to be posted such a day when they know it won’t. That’s exactly what I was told last night and the other time that I called, when they could have saved my time and they employee time by just saying the true… Please American, we love you and we want you to continue being the best.

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