American Airlines has just announced a new bonus on the purchase of AAdvantage miles. Through March 1, 2016, you can earn up to 42,500 bonus AAdvantage miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles for yourself or a friend. The bonus is tiered based upon how many miles you purchase as follows:
As you can see, you must purchase a minimum of 20,000 AAdvantage miles for this promotion to apply, which will cost you $590.00.
If you were to max this promotion out by purchasing 100,000 AAdavantage miles, it would cost you $2,950.00 – though you would net an additional 42,500 bonus AAdvantage miles for a total of 142,000 miles.
142,500 AAdvantage miles is enough for a round trip first class ticket to Asia 1 or 2, Europe or South America 1 or 2! As always, these miles will not count towards elite status.
So is it worthwhile to purchase miles? If you were to purchase 100,000 miles for $2,950.00, you would receive 42,500 bonus miles for a total of 142,500. That is a cost of ~2.0 cents per AAdvantage mile. Most valuations (including my own) place the value of AAdvantage miles somewhere around 1.4-1.6 cents per mile, so while this offer is not a horrible value, it certainly is not a rate at which I would speculatively purchase miles. It is also a worse deal than what we saw the last time American offered a bonus on miles.
However, if you have a certain redemption in mind where you could use these miles, it may very well make sense for you to purchase miles with this promotional bonus. For example, 142,500 AAdvatange miles would be enough for a roundtrip tickets to Asia 2 in first class. A roundtrip ticket to Singapore for example would usually cost you $11,000+. Assuming there was award space available, purchasing the miles you would need for that redemption would save you ~$8,000+ out of pocket! In that situation, I think there is exceptional value to be had here.
Remember that purchases of AAdvantage miles are processed through AA, so you will earn bonus miles by using your co-branded Barclays Aviator or Citi AAdvantage Platinum card for the purchase!
While this is not a bonus that I will be taking advantage of, there is certainly value to be had with this promotion if you have a certain redemption in mind that you would otherwise be paying out of pocket for. Otherwise, I would spend that money on actually earning the miles through butt in seat travel. Plus you actually get to see some more of the world that way!
Will any of you be taking advantage of this offer?