American Airlines AAdvantage rolled out a very lucrative points purchase promotion for December and the deadline is approaching quickly as the last purchases have to be made by January 3, 2017.
You can buy & gift AAdvantage miles campaign with up to an 80% bonus and American Airlines upped last year the number of miles that you can buy before any bonuses to 150,000 every calendar year.
Why is the number of miles important? The higher the allowed purchase amount per year the more you can take advantage of promotions and it’s much easier for example to purchase a large number of miles if you plan to travel with companions.
You can access this offer on AA’s website here.
A bonus of of to 80% (tiered based on the amount of points purchased) is big for AAdvantage.
Here is the Bonus Schedule to see how it’s distributed:
You reach the full 80% Bonus when purchasing the complete 150,000 miles, however if you buy 100k miles you get 72% Bonus (72k Miles) which is also pretty good in case you don’t need that many points or don’t want to invest that much money at once.
Here you can see the pricing should you purchase the maximum amount:
The price of a mile purchased under this offer at the 150,000 level with 120,000 bonus is 1.77 U.S. cents each. American Airlines sold miles earlier this year at 1.72 cents each so it’s not the best they ever had but certainly very competitive.
When you break down what you can get through this offer under the newly designed (massacred) AAdvantage Award Chart when purchasing 270,000 miles for $4,786 USD you end up with 2 Business Class Tickets from the continental U.S. to Asia (140,000 miles per RT) or one First Class return from Canada to Asia at 225,000 miles. First Class used to be about half that rate before AA squeezed their redemption chart.
There are still instances where purchasing points even at these rates can make sense but you have to carefully compare market prices for paid tickets with the rate for miles. You should also secure availability for your desired award flights ahead of time when purchasing points with AA (You can call ahead and make a reservation, tell the agent a big points transfer should either arrive today or tomorrow). Fares were very low in 2016 so sometimes it’s better to buy a revenue fare instead of using or purchasing frequent flyer miles and keep those for emergencies or when fares are high.
Here are the terms and conditions of this promotion:
AAdvantage members must purchase at least 10,000 AAdvantage miles or more in a single transaction from the Buy or Gift Miles program from 7:00:00am CT December 1, 2016 to 11:59:59pm CT January 3, 2017, to be eligible to earn bonus miles. The applicable bonus miles are awarded to the recipient for Gift Miles transactions. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual purchase limits.
The miles purchased with the Buy Miles program and received with the Gift Miles program do not count towards AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Executive Platinum or AAdvantage Million MilerSM status qualification. Transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible. The miles successfully purchased or transferred usually post to the designated account right away, but please allow up to 8 hours for processing. Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than 150,000 AAdvantage miles. Miles purchased through the Buy Miles program or received as a gift through the Gift Miles program count against this total. A confirmation email will be sent to the primary buyer/gifter and/or recipient, using the email address(es) associated with the AAdvantage account(s) and any additional email address provided. AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old are not permitted to Buy or Gift Miles. The price of your purchase is in U.S. dollars. Your credit card company may add a currency conversion fee.