American Will Sell You Miles for 1.8 Cents Apiece Through April 28

American has been consistently lowering the price that they will sell miles for. After the merger with US Airways they took the Dividend Miles approach of putting miles on sale three fourths of the year. The only purpose that ‘regular price’ serves is to be a reference point that allows them to announce a huge (always on) sale.

When American moved to the US Airways model they first hovered a little over 2 cents a mile, then the price point fell to 2 and then below 2 cents. Last June and July the price hit a new low of 1.72 cents. These prices are still more than AAdvantage miles are worth.)

Now they’re offering up to 115,000 bonus miles with purchases made by April 28.

Here’s the offer table:

Buying 150,000 miles and receiving 265,000 works out to a price of $4786.88 or $0.018 apiece. (Of course you may be able to claim the taxes back from the IRS.)

Terms and conditions:

AAdvantage members must purchase at least 6,000 AAdvantage miles or more in a single transaction from the Buy or Gift Miles program beginning 07:00:00am CT on March 21, 2018 to 11:59:59 pm CT April 28, 2018, to be eligible for bonus miles. The applicable bonus miles are awarded to the recipient for Gift Miles transactions. The bonus miles earned are calculated based on each individual purchase amount and the corresponding bonus award. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual limits.

The miles purchased with the Buy Miles program and received with the Gift Miles program do not count towards AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Executive Platinum or AAdvantage Million MilerSM status qualification. Transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible. The miles successfully purchased or transferred usually post to the designated account right away, but please allow up to 8 hours for processing. Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than 150,000 AAdvantage miles. Miles purchased through the Buy Miles program or received as a gift through the Gift Miles program count against this total. A confirmation email will be sent to the primary buyer/gifter and/or recipient, using the email address(es) associated with the AAdvantage account(s) and any additional email address provided. AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old are not permitted to Buy or Gift Miles. The price of your purchase is in U.S. dollars. The pricing and/or fee to Buy, Gift or Share Miles is subject to change without notice. Your credit card company may add a currency conversion fee.

At 1.8 cents I can’t recommend buying unless it is for a specific award where the paid ticket you would otherwise buy is more expensive and you can find the availability and put space on hold before purchasing.

In fact with more frequent premium cabin sales than in the past it isn’t even always cheaper to buy miles than just to buy the ticket.

It is not at all surprising to see the price of American AAdvantage miles falling with the value of those miles falling, but clearly they’re testing to see what bottom looks like — they have hovered closer to 2 cents in recent sales and this is lower than we’ve seen in a few months.

All that said it’s better to buy miles at a lower price than a higher price so if you’re likely to need to do it anyway, great to know that there’s a bonus for it. However don’t bet this is the last time you’ll see this kind of pricing.

(HT: Alex D.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. As a former EXP, that has flown 0 miles on American this year. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. I might be a buyer at 1.0 cent a mile.

  2. Gosh let me think. I few years ago I was able to by US Air miles at about this sort of rate but…..I could get round trip off peak to europe in flatbed business for 60k each person. AND….there was actually some availability that didn’t require leaving at 5:30am with 4 tops and 25 hours to get there on an award. I think I’ll pass. I can buy sorta decent seats to europe for less AND earn miles in the process. Oh and I’m AA Gold flying UA these days.

  3. Just booked my first class award on Qantas for 70 k in an A 380
    Thank you Alaska Airlines !
    What did American want? 110 k for the same award
    Or I could use an American anytime award at 200 k and fly with their cramped Boeing with a shortage of lavatories
    Like Flyer Fun said I’m a buyer at 1 cents a mile especially
    with their gutting of their award chart
    Good luck American with your business practices
    20 years of loyalty down the tubes
    AA customer service sucks along with your non existent award availability and ruined FF program uncomfortable hard small seats with no leg room
    Not to mention disgusting cheap low end catering in so called premium cabins
    AA currency is near worthless unless one of their partners has some inventory which is still far more than what they have to offer on AA metal
    Done with your AA Ponzi Scheme and peso like currency

  4. I just calculated business class Asia-Europe RT will cost 150’000 miles, therefore 2700 USD.
    I can buy one cheaper than this with real money and just need some patience and flexibility (what you need with award bookings too).

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