American Airlines launches new way for some flyers to earn double miles for a year — at a cost

Jan 22, 2021

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Want to earn double American AAdvantage miles for the next year? That’ll be $59.99, please. Oh, and I’m going to need to see your emailed invitation.

In a new era of frequent flyer innovation, some targeted members of American’s AAdvantage program have received an invitation to earn double redeemable miles for a year on their domestic American Airlines travels for a $59.99 fee. (Update: We have now heard from TPG readers who received this offer at a $79.99 price-point, so your offer and related math on if it is worth it may vary.) This new offer is being dubbed AAdvantage Tailwind.

The Tailwind offer that TPG’s Benji Stawski received is only valid on American Airlines-operated flights. The doubling of miles is applicable on the base miles earned, not on any elite or other bonuses. Note that these bonus miles also won’t get you to that next elite status tier any faster — though these credit cards can.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter.

Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines

Assuming you’ve received an emailed invitation (or see the promotion when logged into your AAdvantage account), is it a good deal to spend $60 to earn double base redeemable miles for a year?

The answer will largely lie with how much you plan to spend and fly with American on domestic flights in the next year…which is admittedly hard to guess for many of us at this point.

On top of that, you’ll need to think through a little math to determine if this offer is for you.

The number of American Airlines miles awarded for flights is five miles per dollar spent on the base fare. There are elite bonuses and such that can ramp that amount up, but since the terms for this offer indicate the doubling excludes elite bonuses, we’ll stick with five miles per dollar.

Excluding elite bonuses, if you spent $300 on an American Airlines ticket, you’d normally earn about 1,500 redeemable AAdvantage miles worth around $21 by TPG valuations after you complete your trip.

Related: These are the best American Airlines credit cards

Your own personal valuation of American miles may come in higher or lower than TPG’s, so prepare to adjust your math accordingly. If a $300 flight would typically return around $21 in redeemable American miles, you’d earn around $42 in redeemable American miles with the Tailwind offer.

Continuing with that relatively simple math, if you took three flights that each cost you around $300 in 12 months on American Airlines, you’d normally earn about $63 in redeemable miles (4,500 in total).

However, if you spent $59.99 to purchase the Tailwind accelerator, you’d earn a second set of 4,500 bonus redeemable miles and would just about break-even at those rates, with those 4,500 miles being worth around $63, assuming your own valuation is also 1.4 cents per mile.

Those who think they will spend and fly above that $900 – $1,000 threshold in domestic base fares on American Airlines in the next year are the ones most likely to come out ahead by spending the $59.99 for this interesting promotion.

If you are targeted for the offer and decide to go for it, here are some of our favorite ways to use AAdvantage miles so you can start brainstorming what you’re going to do with all those bonus miles.

Featured image by Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.