Through Monday night American is offering an additional 20% on purchased miles — on top of the mileage purchase bonus they’re already running.
Maxing out the bonus means buying 270,000 miles for $4786.88, or 1.77 cents apiece.
Although in theory at least if you use your miles for international travel you should be able to get the 7.5% excise tax back.
1.77 cents is slightly below “the new normal” with the airline running discounts on the sale of miles more often than not (generally working out to 1.8 to 2.1 cents a mile). They’ve imported the US Airways approach to selling miles, and even settled close to the US Airways price.
So while it’s a good discount on miles, and if you’re going to buy miles to top off an account towards an award it’s better to do it at a discount than at full price, there’s no need to ‘jump’ on this pricing. It’s cheaper than last year’s Cyber Monday deal at 2 cents apiece — but last year award tickets took fewer miles too.
American Boeing 787-9 Business Class
This offer 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.
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 787-8 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.)
This isn’t something everyone should jump on. But some people will find it a worthwhile bonus.
Terms and conditions:
AAdvantage members must purchase at least 10,000 AAdvantage miles or more in a single transaction from the Buy or Gift Miles program from 12:00:00am CT November 25, 2016 to 11:59:59pm CT November 28, 2016, to be eligible to earn bonus miles. The applicable bonus miles are awarded to the recipient for Gift Miles transactions. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual purchase 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. Your credit card company may add a currency conversion fee.