Is American Airlines Mileage Multiplier a Good Deal?

Mar 10, 2011

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When I checked in for my flight from JFK-Madrid, I was given the offer to participate in American’s Mileage Multiplier.

I was encouraged to buy 7,178 miles (not elite miles – just regular AAdvantage miles) for a whopping $232.20. That’s 3.2 cents per mile. At that rate, a domestic coach award would cost $800. Does that sound like a good deal to you?

Even if you think that might be a good deal, it would probably make more sense to buy them through American regular buy miles portal (powered by points.com), because that would allow you to choose.

With no special promotions, I could have purchased 7,000 miles for $218.32- 3.1 cents per mile. Slightly better than the multiplier, but buying miles is limited to 40,000 miles a year, so the multiplier might make sense if you need to buy more than 40,000 a year.

So is it a good deal? It depends on your needs. If you pay $5,000 for business class tickets to Asia, then it might make sense for you to use the Mileage Multiplier on all of your flights, because you’d be buying 100,000 mile blocks for roughly $3,200. However, I doubt this make sense for the average flyer and certainly doesn’t make sense for me.

I prefer much easier ways to accrue miles, like getting 30,000 miles for $50 with the AA Gold credit card or paying $7.95 for 2,500 for a Netflix account (1/3 of a cent per point)!

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