American Airlines promotion: Earn 500 AAdvantage bonus miles per flight

May 11, 2020

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Editor’s note: At TPG, our top priority is providing our readers with the information needed to make educated decisions about travel and rewards-earning strategy. This is not the best time to travel, domestically or internationally, as airlines have cut major parts of their route networks. But we are sharing this information to provide value for future travel once coronavirus concerns have subsided.

Today, May 11, American Airlines launched a new promotion where it will award 500 bonus miles per flight booked by May 18, 2020. Flights set to depart between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 are eligible, and you can earn up to 5,000 bonus American miles during this promotion.

Note that this promotion counts round-trip flights as two separate flights, so you’ll earn 1,000 extra miles on round-trip tickets and 500 miles on one-way tickets. All flights must be operated by American Airlines or American Eagle and flights booked with miles or changed after May 18 are not eligible for the bonus.

You can register for this promotion on American’s website through May 18. All miles earned through this promotion are in addition to miles you’d earn by flying.

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Should you take advantage of this promotion?

American fly later promotion registration screen shot

If you’re already planning to book post-coronavirus travel with American Airlines, you should definitely register for this promotion beforehand. TPG values American miles at 1.4 cents per point, so you’ll earn $7 worth of miles per one-way flight and $14 per round-trip flight.

On the other hand, we don’t recommend booking travel now just to earn bonus miles — while you can change American tickets booked by May 31 for free, the airline isn’t offering cash refunds on these tickets. Instead, canceling a ticket will only result in future flight credit.

Related: Airline coronavirus change and cancellation policies: A complete list

Keep in mind that holding this flight credit can be risky even if you’re an American loyalist. Like much of the travel industry, American Airlines isn’t in the best financial position right now. It has been forced to ground a good portion of its fleet and request a government bailout in response to the coronavirus-fueled travel downturn, so if the airline was to go belly-up, you could be left with worthless travel credit and no way to get a refund.

Further, we’re still not sure when it will be safe to travel again. If the coronavirus outbreak isn’t contained quickly, you could be stuck with this credit for a long time.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

Bottom line

It’s nice to see American offer bonus miles for booking future travel. It’s an interesting way to drum up travel demand and can be rewarding for those preemptively booking future business and holiday travel for the end of the year.

However, we don’t recommend booking travel now solely to earn bonus miles. If earning miles is your goal, check out our complete guide to earning American miles for less risky ways to earn.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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