US Airways will regularly sell miles at 1.88 cents apiece. Those miles will become American AAdvantage miles sometime next year.
American, though, wants a hair over 2.3 cents per mile – at best – even with their new purchase miles bonus promotion.
Until July 31: Earn up to 16,500 bonus miles
Didn’t plan a summer getaway? Here is your chance to fuel your AAdvantage® account with the extra miles you need to squeeze in a summer break.
To get even this price you have to buy exactly the number of miles that qualifies for the bonus threshold. Buying more miles gets you the same bonus, meaning your cost per mile is actually higher.
US Airways has traditionally sold miles far less expensively than American has. They’ve made their miles more expensive, and in some ways their award chart more expensive as well, since merging with American. But it still seems strange at some level to continue to undercut American’s mileage pricing, although it may just be a matter of price discrimination and gradually shifting Dividend Miles member expectations.
Anyone making a longer term play for these miles presumably would pick the lower price. Except one also imagines that not everyone who would get American’s e-mail knows about the US Airways lower priced offers. In fact, with a combined membership of over 100 million people between the two programs, I’m quite confident that most do not.
The only scenaario where I would take American up on this offer is:
- If I needed the miles for a specific award.
- I put that award on hold, and then needed to top off the account.
- I didn’t have Starwood points to transfer in to cover.
American will allow 5 day award holds. Purchased miles can take up to 48 hours to post. Starwood points post more quickly than they used to AAdvantage, such that it is possible to hold an award, transfer in points, and have those arrive in time to issue tickets.
Purchased points are serviced by Points.com, so purchase transactions do not earn credit card bonuses as airfare spend.