Through October 10, American will award a bonus on miles transferred from one account to another — meaning that the person you transfer to will get as much as 30% more than the number of miles transferred out to their account.
Transferring 50,000 miles from one account to another puts 65,000 miles in the receiving account at a cost of $550 plus a $35 ‘transaction charge or a total of $585.
Transferring miles is one way to top off an account for an award ticket, say an account has 40,000 miles in it and needs 50,000 for a one-way business class ticket to Europe. If you have access to an account with surplus miles, transferring (“sharing”) is a more cost-effective way to get miles into the account that needs them than is buying miles.
And doing this when there’s a bonus is gravy, but the bonus is not a reason alone to make a transfer.
In the example above there is a net increase of 15,000 miles from this offer at a cost of $585 or 3.9 cents a mile. Clearly not worth doing for the bonus alone.
The transfer is handled by Points.com, so the fees do not generate an airline bonus for your credit card spend.
For every 10 ‘share miles’ transactions they will donate 100 miles to the American Airlines Kids in NeedSM program. That doesn’t strike me as a lot (and I wonder whether this more or less covers the commitment they are already making, or whether it constitutes a new commitment), especially considering the fees that American extracts for the transfer.
If you have the time, if getting points into an account is non-urgent, you’re better off getting an American Airlines co-branded credit card with 50,000 mile signup bonus.