Through July 8 American is offering to sell you miles for as little as 1.72 cents, which is the lowest price I’ve seen.
Through July 8, save up to 10% when you buy or gift American Airlines AAdvantage® miles. Plus, you’ll earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you buy miles for yourself, or add up to 100,000 bonus miles to your purchase when you gift miles to a friend or loved one. That’s a total of up to 250,000 miles.
Here’s the bonus chart, to maximize earning you need to buy 150,000 miles (and get 250,000).
That costs you a whopping $4311.19 but works out to 1.72 cents per mile.
It remains striking to me that you’re spending $4000 on their proprietary currency and they hit you with a $30 junk fee for agreeing to take your money. The tax law does seem to suggest, though, that you can get your 7.5% refunded if you don’t use your miles for domestic travel. I’d love for someone to go through the effort to get their taxes back and share their story.
1.72 cents per mile is the best price I’ve ever seen from American for miles. After last week’s program changes and the March 22 award chart devaluation perhaps they need to drop price in order to find buyers.
American pitched it as an amazing offer, worthy of the program’s 35th anniversary, when they were selling miles at 1.89 cents apiece last month. I think I’d be angry if I took AAdvantage of a ’35th anniversary special’ at 1.89 cents and then the very next month they dropped price further “’cause it’s June.”
Of course 1.8 – 2.1 cents a mile is “the new normal” with the airline running discounts on the sale of miles more often than not. They’ve imported the US Airways approach to selling miles, and even settled close to the US Airways price.
- In mid-November American offered a purchase miles bonus through November 30 that they extended through January 4 which allowed you to buy miles at 2 cents apiece.
- Then they dropped the price even further to 1.8 cents. The promo pricing went back to 2 cents for February. Then last month they returned to 1.8 cents.
This can be useful though — especially to top off an account, but in some cases to buy premium cabin flights at a discount. American lets you put awards on hold for 5 days under most circumstances. So you can secure awards, then buy the miles, then go back to ticket.
If You Intend to Fly Coach It’s Unlikely This Will Be a Good Value
Business class between the US and Europe is still just 115,000 miles roundtrip. Focus on Iberia or airberlin availability to avoid fuel surcharges, or American’s own flights on 787s, 777-300ERs, and reconfigured 777-200s for the best experience. It can make sense to buy miles for an award that’s currently available (although substantial advance purchase business class to Europe during off peak times can be less than $2000 paid).
American Boeing 787 Business Class
One change since the merger is that unlike US Airways, American processes these transactions themselves. As a result purchases count as bonusable spend for credit cards that give extra miles for airline purchases. (US Airways sold miles via Points.com, who processed the transactions.)
This isn’t something everyone should jump on. But some people will find it a worthwhile bonus.