Skip to content

Should you earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of cash on your savings?

Oct. 14, 2020
6 min read
American Airlines 777-200ER
Should you earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of cash on your savings?
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.

With savings accounts currently paying little-to-no interest, you might be considering other ways to make the most of the money you have stashed away. And if you're a miles enthusiast in this situation, you may be thinking about earning American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of interest.

If you're not yet familiar with Bask Bank, the digital bank, which launched in January 2020, awards its customers with one AAdvantage® mile for every dollar saved, annually. So, if you deposit $60,000 over the course of a year, you'd earn 60,000 AAdvantage® miles. There's no limit to the number of miles you can earn.

Earning AAdvantage® miles for your savings is potentially very lucrative, especially if you're strategic about how you redeem your miles. Plus, miles can often provide more options than cash, especially in this age of low interest rates. When you have a big miles balance, the opportunity to book a flight without spending money is always available. You can take a trip whenever you want without worrying about the financial impact.

At the end of the day, the AAdvantage® miles you earn from a Bask Savings Account may be worth more to you than the interest you'd earn from a savings account at another institution.

Most banks are paying less than 1.00% Annual Percentage Yield in interest right now. Let's say you're earning a respectable .08% APY on $60,000 in your current savings account. Over the course of a year, that yields $48 in interest. If you were to save $60,000 with Bask Bank instead, you'd earn 60,000 miles. One AAdvantage® mile is worth 1.4 cents at TPG's current valuation, making those miles worth $840 for a future vacation. Bask Bank will report the value of the miles to the IRS and you are responsible for any federal, state or local taxes on this offer. Bask Bank is currently reporting the value at just 0.42 cents per mile. At TPG, we find most travelers get much more value out them.

For instance those 60,000 miles are enough for a round-trip economy ticket to Europe or a one-way business class ticket to Japan or Korea.

This is the perfect time to start saving for your next trip. If you're interested in racking up AAdvantage® miles, there's a good chance you'll get more long-term value out of earning one mile per dollar annually than earning a paltry interest rate on your savings.

Plus, Bask Bank doesn't charge any fees, which means you won't be paying anything to earn miles this way. With some savings accounts, you'll find annual and minimum balance fees or other costs that eat away at your return.

Keep in mind as well that American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world. It has an extensive route network, with more than a dozen airline partners. It's also part of the growing oneworld alliance®. That means you can do a lot with the miles that you accumulate.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Of course, the most straightforward way to redeem miles is to book an American Airlines flight. 60,000 AAdvantage® miles are enough for a round-trip ticket to Europe. Within the U.S., you can score a domestic round-trip flight for just 15,000 miles, or fly business class from coast to coast for 50,000.

Here are a few additional things to consider if you're thinking about earning AAdvantage® miles instead of interest:

Miles provide more option value than cash

Bask Bank offers real worth for life maximizers. These are the financially savvy points and mileage enthusiasts who are often thinking about how to maximize the return they get.

If that describes you, then you probably enjoy the optionality that miles offer. You understand that while it's sometimes better to spend cash over miles, there's real value to having a stash of miles to use in your portfolio. That's because the more your mileage balance grows, the more access you have to new and exciting experiences.

In other words, if you have a large accumulation of miles, you always have the option to travel without dipping into your cash reserves. For instance, you can book a business or first-class flight to Europe and travel in luxury, or you can be more strategic with your miles and take several economy trips. Either way, there's no cash spending involved.

There's a bonus

The Bask Savings Account comes with an enticing incentive.

For customers who have not previously opened a Bask Savings Account, if you fund an account and hold a minimum balance of $5,000 for 90 consecutive days within 120 days of opening it, you will get 1,000 bonus miles. This offer is valid until 12/31/2020*.

You're encouraged to save more

Saving can be discouraging when all you get in return is low interest earnings. But if you're a frequent traveler looking for a way to inspire yourself to save more, earning miles for saving could be a way to do just that.

If you already use credit cards to earn miles, and you're looking to supplement the miles you earn each year without spending more, Bask Bank may be a great addition to your financial toolbelt.

Of course, this doesn't have to serve as your primary or secondary savings account. Instead, it can simply be a place you keep savings in order to top off the miles you earn from your travel-rewards cards each year.

It's a safe way to earn miles

Bask Bank is a division of Texas Capital Bank, N.A., which is an established institution that boasts a 20-year relationship with American Airlines. It's also insured by the FDIC, so you can rest assured that your money, and your miles, are safe.

Bottom line

Earning miles instead of interest for your savings can be a lucrative proposition. If you're looking for an easy way to earn miles, consider opening an account at Bask Bank. It's the only savings account that earns AAdvantage® miles instead of interest, providing savvy travelers with a valuable option for building their miles balance alongside their travel rewards credit cards.

Get rewarded with miles that grow as your savings does and open an account at Bask Bank today.

Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. The sum of your total deposits with (i) Bask Bank; (ii) BankDirect; and (iii) Texas Capital Bank, N.A. are insured up to $250,000. Additional coverage may be available depending on how your assets are held.

The value of this offer will be reported to the IRS and the recipient is responsible for any federal, state or local taxes on this offer.

*AAdvantage® bonus miles are awarded within 10 business days upon meeting offer qualifications and may take 6-8 weeks to post to your AAdvantage® account.

Featured image by An American Airlines 777-200ER (Photo by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.