Get Up to 120,000 Bonus Miles When Buying American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

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American Airlines offers a promotion for purchasing miles almost every month, and this month is no different. The latest sale includes the ability to buy AAdvantage miles for as little as 1.8¢ each and receive up to 120,000 bonus miles through June 30, 2020. Additionally, AA has raised the annual limit on purchasing miles from the typical 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

A Note on Buying Miles

At AwardWallet, we never recommend buying miles speculatively. Award programs can devalue at with little notice, so you are almost always better off holding cash.

With that said, there are a couple of cases where buying miles can make sense. For instance, if you only need a few more miles to complete a specific redemption, buying miles might be the fastest and most cost-effective route. Additionally, if you're going to consider paying cash for a premium ticket, you may want to consider buying miles instead, since the cost for the required mileage could be considerably cheaper than paying for the product outright.

Offer Details

  • Promo valid through 11:59 p.m CT June 30, 2020
  • Receive a 5% discount and 120,000 bonus miles when purchasing 200,000 miles
  • You can buy up to a maximum of 200,000 miles
  • AA accounts must be older than 30 days to purchase miles
  • Purchased miles are non-refundable and non-reversible
  • Miles purchased, transferred, or received as a gift do not count towards elite-status qualification or AAdvantage Million Miler status

This promotion operates on a tiered system, with a different bonus offered depending on how many points you plan to purchase.

Where to Find the Best Value

AA has opted to go with more opaque pricing schemes for its recent buy miles promotions. While you can easily reverse the math of each tier's offer to figure out how many miles you'll receive, you're required to use a price ‘calculator' to see the actual price.

Unlike the May 2020 promotion, AA has returned to a structure that offers increasingly better value for higher mileage purchases, with the price bottoming out at 1.8¢ per mile when you buy 200,000.

When Does Buying Miles Make Sense?

We've posted about some of the best sweet spots in the AAdvantage program and the recent surge in AA “Web Special” offerings. Let's pick a few of these redemptions and compare the typical cash price with the cost to purchase the necessary miles under the terms of this promotion.

Los Angeles — Johannesburg in Qatar QSuite

  • Mileage Rate: 75,000 miles
  • Typical Cash Price: $5,920
  • Redemption Rate: 7.9 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,542

Dallas — Sydney in Qantas First Class

  • Mileage Rate: 110,000 miles
  • Typical Cash Price: $11,700
  • Redemption Rate: 10.6 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles (at 1.8¢ per mile): $1,980

Abu Dhabi — Seoul in Etihad First Class

  • Mileage Rate: 50,000 miles
  • Typical Cash Price: $5,722
  • Redemption Rate: 11.4 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,147

Jacksonville — Tokyo in AA First Class (a recent AA Web Special)

  • Mileage Rate: 55,000 miles*
  • Typical Cash Price: $6,800
  • Redemption Rate: 12.4 cents per mile
  • Cost to Purchase Necessary Miles: $1,306

*Like all Web Specials, this price isn't published on AA's award chart and is subject to availability.

Maximizing you Purchase

Unlike most airlines, AA processes point purchases directly. This is great news because it means that point purchases will code as airfare, and are eligible for the travel category bonus on many credit cards. Some of the best cards to use would be:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring a 60,000 point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Other Ways to Earn AA Miles

If you're not in a hurry, another way to beef up your AAdvantage stash is through a sign-up bonus on a co-branded credit card. For example, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® is currently offering the chance to earn up to 75,000 bonus AAdvantage miles: Earn 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card. Some of the other options include:

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Welcome Offer Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
The AA Business Card is a great card to hold for any business owner that travels at least a few times per year with American Airlines. Get a free checked bag on domestic itineraries, priority boarding and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. Even better, this card gives you access to Reduced Mileage Awards, which can save you up to 30% on the miles required for domestic awards. With these perks, it's easy to justify the annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.
  • Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
  • Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
  • A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
  • Reduced Mileage Awards can save you 7,500 miles on roundtrip MileSAAver Awards
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Final Thoughts

This sale isn't quite as lucrative as the last one we saw. While 1.8¢ per mile isn't far from the previous sale's best rate of 1.79¢, you're required to spend a lot more—close to $6,000—to achieve it. To AA's credit, with a raised maximum purchase amount of 200,000 miles before the bonus, at least you'll get a ton of miles for this price.

Although this isn't the best promotion we've ever seen, if you have a specific redemption in mind, this could still present a terrific opportunity.

Are you buying AA miles at 1.8¢ a piece?

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  • Maria Elisa says:

    Tenia tarjeta VISA del Citi asociada al programa AAdvantage, pero lamentablemente el Citi dejo su operatoria en Argentina.

  • Ariel Cabeza says:

    Well, This is one of the lowest prices I’ve ever seen!. I’m considering applying for some miles. Hopefully I’ll be able to use them next summer.

  • If they counted towards Million Miler status it would be enough to tempt me to buy, but unfortunately they don’t. I suppose those with an AA credit card could ‘double dip’ by using the card to pay thereby earning some additional miles (which would count towards Million Miler).

  • AA Is working hard to get their business going again and for us that seems to be a good thing. Thanks for this information!

  • I appreciate your doing the math and finding the best sweet spot. Tempting to use the Platinum card to get over $200 value in Membership Rewards to offset the cost even more. Question though, would using the AA Citi Mastercard, since the purchase goes through AA trigger the double AA miles on an AA purchase?

    • JT Genter says:

      It *should* and past AA purchases with AA credit cards have triggered the 2X earning rate. And thankfully AA says as much in the T&C

      If I purchase miles using my Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card, will I also earn miles for the transaction?
      Yes. If you are a U.S. resident and you use your eligible Citi® / AAdvantage® credit card to buy AAdvantage miles, you will earn miles 2 AAdvantagemiles per $1 spent. For example, if you buy 25,000 AAdvantage miles, you’ll earn on the cost of the miles ($737.50 x 2 miles = 1,475 miles), the applicable tax ($55.31 x 2 miles = 111 miles) and on any applicable processing charge ($30.00 x 2miles = 60 miles), for a total of 1,646 miles.

      If I purchase miles using my AAdvantage® Aviator™ MasterCard®, will I also earn miles for the transaction?
      Yes. If you use your AAdvantage® Aviator™ MasterCard® to buy miles, you will earn the same amount of miles as you do on eligible American Airlines purchases. For example, if you earn 2 miles on airline purchases and buy 25,000 AAdvantage miles, you’ll earn on the cost of the miles ($737.50 x 2 miles = 1,475 miles), the applicable tax ($55.31 x 2 miles = 111 miles) and on any applicable processing charge ($30.00 x 2 miles = 60 miles), for a total of 1,646 miles.

  • Harvey Kwan says:

    Are travel restrictions being lifted soon?

  • Can selling miles really help airlines overcome their ongoing financial crisis at all?

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    Deals are coming in! That’s the only good thing with this Wuhan virus situation. I actually had to buy some points this last year, so a sale is good. I never seem to have enough points.

  • Would be nice if they counted towards Million Miler status!

  • jianguo dong says:

    The price is not bad when people just are short of just a few thousands towards a ticket redemption.

  • I’m surprised by the Jacksonville-Tokyo web special. Japan is currently not allowing passengers from the US to land unless they have citizenship or permanent residency. There is no immediate plan to change this, so I’d be wary of such a redemption even if it can technically be changed or refunded.

    • JT Genter says:

      I’m hopeful that the borders will be open again by February 2021 which is when I booked this award! 🙂

  • Buying miles seems to defeat the purpose of this hobby, unless you need a topper for a specific travel plan.

    • KC_Queso says:

      There are actually many who prefer to use lucrative cash back cards instead of points earning cards so they can take advantage of great cash sales just like this for planned redemptions.

  • I need some more miles for my future travel. As I was debating if I should buy miles, I saw that AA has committed to donating one mile to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for every mile purchased. That’s a great incentive! Glad I can be of some help to others while I buy miles for myself.

  • Ignacio Vargas says:

    This could be a good oportunity to boost your AAdvantage account for future travel

  • Soy socia de AAdvantage hace años y me alegra saber que están trabajando para que todo vuelva a funcionar y así nosotros podremos seguir disfrutando de los beneficios!!

  • Living in northern Europe, this promo doesn’t make much sense to me. It too early to predict the development of the Covid-19 situation in the coming months. That said, I also need a vacation…

  • Im still not going to buy miles. However there is a double miles earning promotion for those of us who still need to fly for work. So I’ll earn a few extra that way.

  • This isn’t a bad deal for the sweet spots, which is a good way of burning off some existing miles.

  • When will the extra 25% Marriott bonus to AAdvantage return with the 60000-point transfer on top of the regular 25%?

  • Florencia says:

    Having AA process point purchases directly is a great differential value. I’m a fan of aadvantage.

  • I never understood purchasing miles, since the whole point of the travel hacks game is to travel without having to spend extra money or break the bank. But this post has finally answered the question for me of WHY anyone would want to buy miles. It makes sense if the cost of purchasing the miles helps you reach a redeemable value and is less expensive than just covering the difference in cash. Thanks for clearing that up!

  • Air Canada had a recent promotion that gave 60-100% more miles per mile purchased. I think it ended up being 1 cents per mile. I would only get this AA deal if I have an upcoming trip coming which I want to redeem miles for. You can always wait for a better offer.

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