This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Earlier this month American Airlines launched yet another offer to buy miles at a bonus, through July 31, 2014 and frankly, I thought I had written about it, but apparently not. It isn’t really an earth shattering promotion, but if you need to top up your AA account, it could make sense.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.12.24 PM

In order to maximize this promotion, you would want to buy only 55,000 miles, since you’ll receive the same number of bonus miles whether for purchasing any amount between 55,000 and 80,000 miles. The cost to buy 55,000 miles is $1,512.50 plus a $35 transaction processing charge and applicable taxes, bringing the total to  $1,660.94. This means you’re essentially buying 71,500 AAdvantage miles for 2.3 cents a piece. Not a great deal in my opinion, but it could make sense for some people who know how to maximize AAdvantage miles.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 4.52.55 PM

Key Rules and Limitations:

  • buyAAmiles® and giftAAmiles® transactions are limited to a combined maximum of 80,000 miles, per account, per calendar year.
  • AAdvantage miles purchased or bonus miles earned do not count toward elite-status qualification or AAdvantage Million MilerSM status
  • Transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible
  • AAdvantage members must purchase at least 16,000 AAdvantage miles or more in a single transaction from the buyAAmiles® program beginning 12:00 am CT July 2, 2014, to 11:00 pm CT July 31, 2014, to be eligible for bonus miles
  • If you purchase between 12 am and 9 pm the miles usually post that same evening, (overnight). However, please allow 24-72 hours for the miles to post to your account

Worth It?

A better option would be to buy US Airways Dividend Miles at 1.8 cents apiece with the current 100% buy miles bonus, also available until July 31, 2014. Even though American Airlines miles and US Airways miles are different, US Airways redemptions give you have much more flexibility. For example, TPG contributor Eric Rosen just took an around the world trip in business class for just 90,000 Dividend Miles and $143 (that same trip would now cost 110,000 miles and need to be one oneworld carriers, but the routing rules largely remain the same).

American vs. US Airways Miles
Some other key differences between American and US Airways miles include the ability to book one way awards with AA miles, and to utilize Alaska Airlines as a partner of American. US Airways has it’s perks though- lower mileage thresholds for saver awards generally speaking and although they recently exited Star Alliance and joined Oneworld, they retained some Star Alliance partners – including South African Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and through July 31, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines – which means there are still great award redemptions on some Star Alliance carriers, as well as world-class new ones on its new Oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

As always, do the math for yourself before deciding to jump on this promotion, but I would choose to buy 50,000 US Airways miles to receive a full 100,000 with the current bonus offer. We may not see many more of these promotions as the American-US Airways merger process continues, so if you’re planing to buy miles already, don’t assume there will be more offers, because the gravy train could end at any point.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.