Get Up to 115,000 Bonus Miles When You Buy AAdvantage Miles

Apr 18, 2017

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earning airline miles using the traditional method (actually flying) is just one way to boost your account balance. Fortunately, airlines make it relatively easy to accrue miles without flying, whether through top credit card offers or by utilizing shopping portals and dining reward programs. You can also purchase miles directly from an airline.

Now through April 28, you’ll earn up to 115,000 bonus miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles. That’s up to a 77% bonus when you buy the maximum 150,000 miles. While AA is billing this as an extension of a previous promo, the bonus structure has changed — and there are additional tiers. So, if you passed on the previous version, you might want to give this one a glance.

AA April 2017 buy miles bonus banner

You’ll earn the maximum 77% bonus (115,000 miles) when you purchase 150,000 miles. Or, you can earn up to a 60% bonus for buying either 100,000 or 125,000 miles. You can even earn a 56% bonus (22,500 miles) for buying as few as 40,000 miles.

The regular price for buying miles from American is 3.17 cents per mile ($29.50 per 1,000 miles plus a 7.5% Federal Excise Tax) — before a $30 processing charge per purchase. With this promotion, your price will drop to 1.81 cents per mile if you max out this offer.

Here are the sweet spots of this promotion’s bonus chart:

  • 6,000 + 1,500 bonus miles for $220 total (2.94 cents per mile)
  • 10,000 + 3,500 bonus miles for $347 total (2.57 cents per mile)
  • 20,000 + 7,500 bonus miles for $664 total (2.42 cents per mile)
  • 30,000 + 15,000 bonus miles for $981 total (2.18 cents per mile)
  • 40,000 + 22,500 bonus miles for $1,299 total (2.08 cents per mile)
  • 55,000 + 30,000 bonus miles for $1,774 total (2.09 cents per mile)
  • 70,000 + 40,000 bonus miles for $2,218 total (2.02 cents per mile)
  • 85,000 + 50,000 bonus miles for $2,726 total (2.02 cents per mile)
  • 100,000 + 60,000 bonus miles for $3,201 total (2.00 cents per mile)
  • 125,000 + 75,000 bonus miles for $3,994 total (2.00 cents per mile)
  • 150,000 + 115,000 bonus miles for $4,787 total (1.81 cents per mile)

AA April 2017 buy miles bonus

To take advantage of the promotion, follow these steps:

  1. Visit American’s Buy, Gift, and Share Miles page.
  2. Select Buy Miles or Gift Miles (the promotion is not valid on sharing miles).
  3. Log in to your AAdvantage account.
  4. Add your credit card details and click Continue.
  5. Review the information, check the box to agree to the Terms and Conditions and click Pay Now to finalize the purchase.
  6. Your miles should post to the designated account immediately.

Keep in mind that the usual restrictions for purchasing American miles apply to this promotion, including the following:

  • Miles may be purchased in increments of 1,000 miles up to a maximum of 150,000 miles per year.
  • Transactions are nonrefundable and non-reversible.
  • Purchased miles don’t count toward elite status or Million Miler status.

American Airlines processes mileage transfers and purchases directly (instead of going through Points.com), so this spending should count as airfare. That means you’ll earn bonus points if you use a card with a travel or airfare category bonus. By far the best option in this category is The Platinum Card from American Express, which now earns 5x on airfare, and during American’s December miles promotion, several TPG readers reported receiving this category bonus on their purchases. So that could make this a really great deal.

Other top credit cards to consider include the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 3x Ultimate Rewards points on general travel, the Citi Premier Card and the Citi Prestige‘s 3x ThankYou points on air travel and the Chase Sapphire Preferred with 2x Ultimate Rewards points on general travel.

Should you buy American miles?

Business class middle seats on the 777-200 new retrofit.
If you can find saver award availability on AA’s business class — especially on the 777-200 new retrofit — it could be worth buying miles.

TPG currently values American miles at 1.5 cents apiece, and at best, this promotion allows you to buy 265,000 AAdvantage miles at 1.81 cents per mile. That means you’ll still be paying more than our general valuation of AA miles. However, there are some circumstances that it can make sense. If you’re a first or business-class international flyer or routinely buy expensive flights under 500 miles then you might do better buying miles. Of course, the very best time to buy miles is when you’ve got your eye on a specific award that’s available right now and that you’re ready to redeem right now.

So for certain travelers, taking advantage of this promotion could make sense. Just remember that you can only buy 150,000 miles per calendar year and make sure to use the right card to maximize your purchase.

Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.

Are you going to take advantage of this buy miles promo?

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