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American Airlines has announced its first buy-miles promotion of the year, offering up to 50,000 bonus miles through January 31, 2019. Bonus miles are tiered based on the number of miles purchased, starting with a 1,000-mile bonus after buying 5,000 miles.
- Promotion is valid on purchases through January 31, 2019
- Receive up to 50,000 bonus miles
- Minimum purchase of 5,000 miles to receive a bonus
- You can purchase (or receive as a gift) 150,000 miles per calendar year
- 150,000-mile limit does not include bonus miles
- Allow up to 8 hours for the miles and bonus miles to credit to your AA account (but miles typically post much faster)
The bonus is tiered, depending on the number of miles you purchase:
- Buy 5,000-14,000 miles—receive a 1,000-mile bonus
- Buy 15,000-24,000 miles—receive a 5,000-mile bonus
- Buy 25,000-49,000 miles—receive a 10,000-mile bonus
- Buy 50,000-69,000 miles—receive a 22,000-mile bonus
- Buy 70,000-99,000 miles—receive a 35,000-mile bonus
- Buy 100,000-150,000 miles—receive a 50,000-mile bonus
Purchasing the minimum number of miles to receive a 50,000-mile bonus would set you back $2,985. This would get you 150,000 miles (100,000 purchased + 50,000 bonus miles) at a cost of 1.99 cents per mile.
Maximizing the Promotion
Unlike many loyalty programs, American Airlines processes these transactions internally, so your purchase will earn extra points if you pay with a card that earns a category bonus for travel or direct bookings with airlines. The Platinum Card® from American Express (Terms Apply) and the Citi Prestige® Card will earn you an industry-leading 5X points per dollar, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will earn you 3X per dollar.
How the Promotion Stacks Up
This promotion is relatively weak compared to recent buy-miles offers from American.
- In December 2018, we saw a bonus of up to 120,000 miles or 1.65 cents apiece
- In March 2018, we saw another generous bonus of up to 115,000 miles
- In November 2018, American offered a bonus of up to 85,000 miles
If you are in desperate need of American miles, this promotion is certainly better than nothing; otherwise, you are better off leaving it on the table. If you are looking at a redemption later in the year, we're likely to see AA miles on sale at a better rate sometime in the near future.
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