Current American, Delta and US Airways Mileage Purchase Promotion Rundown
There are several mileage bonus offers happening right now, but none of them are really amazing deals. Let's take a look at each:
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
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.
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.
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.