Up to a 35% Discount with the Latest AAdvantage Buy Miles Promo

Aug 11, 2015

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – View the current offers here.

If you’re an AAdvantage Platinum member, by now you have surely received a lovely gift in your email inbox: a notification that you’ll save up to 35% when you buy American Airlines AAdvantage miles for yourself or gift miles to a friend or loved one.


The offer is good through through September 3, 2015, and breaks down as follows:

Buy/Gift Discount
6,000 – 14,000
15,000 – 39,000
40,000 – 64,000
65,000 – 89,000
90,000 – 100,000

AA often offers opportunities to purchase miles at a discount, such as this one in May, and the same factors can be applied here: Purchasing miles through this promotion should count as AA spend, so if you have a card that earns a bonus on American or airfare purchases, such as the Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card (3x on airfare), the  Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard (2x on AA), you may earn bonus miles on your purchase. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.   

Note: You can currently earn a 75,000-mile bonus after spending $7,500 within the first three months with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

TPG values American Airlines miles at 1.7 cents a piece, and with American’s current promotion, you can buy 100,000 miles for $2,091.31 — that works out to roughly 2.1 cents per mile. So in the case of this sale, it’s really only worth it if you’re maximizing the discount and plan to use the miles for a specific redemption — otherwise, you’re likely better off paying with cash and earning miles on the paid ticket.

For example, a round-trip economy flight from JFK to LAX this September will run you 25,000 miles plus $11.20 in taxes. At 1.92 cents per mile, you’ll pay $536.20 to book the flight with this current promo, assuming you’re buying at least 90,000 miles to get the full 35% discount.

If you were to buy that same flight using cash, however, you’d spend just $376.20. You’d also earn frequent flyer miles on the paid flight, and you’d be able to fly nonstop in both directions (which isn’t available with miles) so in this case you’re much better off just paying cash.

So, obviously booking a domestic flight in coach doesn’t make much sense. If you’re looking to book a long-haul first-class flight on Cathay Pacific, however, you’ll save a bundle with this promo. A one-way first-class flight on Cathay Pacific will run you 67,500 miles, or just $1,418 with miles purchased as part of this promo. A cash ticket, meanwhile, would cost you $9,430 each way, based on a round-trip.

While this isn’t the most lucrative purchase miles bonus American has offered — earlier this year you could buy AAdvantage miles with a 60% bonus, making them about 2 cents each — if you have a specific redemption in mind it could make sense to buy.

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