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If it seems that American Airlines always has a mileage sale, you aren't wrong. So far in 2021, we've seen American Airlines offer back-to-back-to-back-to-back mileage sales with no gaps in-between. AA's latest award sale lets you buy AA miles with a 75% bonus now through September 30, 2021. That drops the purchase rate as low as 1.84¢ per mile.
When Should You Buy AA Miles?
As with other loyalty programs, we don’t recommend jumping on every American Airlines buy-miles promotion that comes along. Award programs can devalue with little notice, so you are almost always better off holding cash.
With that said, there are a couple of cases where it does make sense to buy AAdvantage miles. For instance, if you only need a few more miles to complete a specific redemption, purchasing AA 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.
Some travelers may decide to buy AA miles to extend the expiration date. However, there are plenty of other options to extend your AAdvantage account. For example, just by commenting on an AwardWallet post, you'll earn 5 AAdvantage miles and extend your expiration date.
AA Buy Miles Offer Details
- Promo valid through 11:59 p.m CT September 30, 2021
- Buy at least 150,000 miles to receive the maximum 75% bonus
- Must buy or gift at least 2,000 miles to be eligible for any bonus
- You can buy up to a maximum of 200,000 miles (plus 150,000 bonus miles for a total of 350,000)
- 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
Where to Find the Best Value
AA buy miles promotions aren't known for their transparent pricing. And this promotion is another example of this. You'll need to enter a mileage amount to see the bonus and calculate the effective purchase rate.
AA tends to rotate between offering either a discount or a bonus. The current promotion falls into the latter category. In this case, the cheapest rate is found when you buy at least 125,000 miles plus a 93,750-mile bonus for $4,031.25—equaling 1.84¢ per mile.
Pay Less When You Buy AAdvantage Miles
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 American Airlines 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 Buy 75,000 AA Miles: $1,871
- Cost of Buying 75,000 AA Miles at 1.84¢ per mile: $1,380
New York — Sydney in Qantas Business Class [not currently operating]
- Mileage Rate: 80,000 miles
- Typical Cash Price: $6,228
- Redemption Rate: 7.74 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 80,000 AA Miles: $1,935
- Cost of Buying 80,000 AA Miles at 1.84¢ per mile: $1,472
Abu Dhabi — Singapore in Etihad First Class
- Mileage Rate: 50,000 miles
- Typical Cash Price: $4,089
- Redemption Rate: 8.2 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 50,000 AA Miles: $1,258
- Cost of Buying 50,000 AA Miles at 1.84¢ per mile: $920
Boston — Sao Paulo in AA First Class (an AA Web Special)
- Mileage Rate: 60,500 miles*
- Typical Cash Price: $2,167
- Redemption Rate: 3.57 cents per mile
- Cost to Buy 60,500 AA Miles: $1,516
- Cost of Buying 60,500 AA Miles at 1.84¢ per mile: $1,113
Buy AA Miles with the Right Card to Maximize Your Rewards
When you buy American Airlines miles, your purchase will code as airfare because AA processes these transactions directly. This is great news because it means you'll be eligible for the travel category bonus on many credit cards. Some of the best cards to use would be:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express — 5X Membership Rewards Points (on $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year booked directly with airlines)
- Citi Prestige® Card — 5X ThankYou Points
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 3X Ultimate Rewards Points
- Citi Premier® Card — 3X ThankYou Points
- American Express® Gold Card — 3X Membership Rewards Points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 2X Ultimate Rewards Points
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
- 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
- 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
- 3X points on eligible streaming services
- 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- 2X points on all other travel
- 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® World Elite 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:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card
- 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
This sale's 1.84¢ per mile rate is one of the better purchase rates for an AAdvantage promotion. With that said, we always recommend that you should wait until you have an immediate need before buying AA miles — especially since it's been a while since AA has not run a buy miles promotion.
Are you buying AA miles at 1.84¢ a piece?
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