Should you earn AA miles instead of cash on your savings?

Feb 18, 2020

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 signing up for Bask Bank and earning American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of interest.

If you’re not yet familiar with Bask Bank, the all-new digital bank, which launched in January 2020, rewards its customers with one AAdvantage® mile for every dollar saved. 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. 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 traditional savings account at another institution.

Let’s say you’re earning the industry average of .09% or less on $60,000 in your current savings account. Over the course of a year, that yields $54 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.

That’s enough for a round-trip economy ticket to Europe or a one-way business class ticket to Japan or Korea.

As long as 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 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 Oneworld Alliance. That means you can do a lot with the miles that you accumulate.

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.

You won’t miss out on bonus opportunities

The Bask Savings Account comes with some enticing special incentives. When combined, they are equal to, or beat out, some of the highest savings account bonuses currently on the market. They’re also fairly easy to earn.

The feedback bonus offer, for example, offers 1,000 bonus miles for completing the Bask Bank online survey within 60 days of opening an account. That offer is valid through 6/30/2020.

The account opening balance bonus offers 5,000 bonus miles if you open an account before 3/1/2020 and maintain a minimum balance of $1,000 or more for 30 days within 60 days of opening an account.

And there’s also a balance bonus, valid through 3/31/2020, which is where you can really give your AAdvantage® miles a boost. At the low end, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus miles for maintaining a $25,000 balance for 12 consecutive months within the first 14 months of opening an account. You can earn 20,000 miles for maintaining a $50,000 balance and 40,000 miles for maintaining a $100,000 balance for 12 consecutive months within the first 14 months of opening an account. 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.

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 may be a new digital bank, but it’s 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. 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. Member FDIC

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.

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