Personally, I am not a huge fan of buying miles from the airlines. I don’t think that it makes sense most of the time. I have, however, bought US Airways Dividend miles when they have had a sale, and used miles + cash option when booking premium international awards using BMI miles that is essentially buying miles.
American Airlines has recently been pushing miles sales more aggressively than in the past. It must be a good way to get cash in now in exchange for award travel on AA or partner metal some later date. Last December American run a similar miles sale. You can buy maximum 40000 AAdvantage miles per year per account. Bonus miles do not count toward this limit.
Right now you can buy 55000 miles (40000 + 15000 bonus) for $1100 ($1212.50 after $30 transaction fee + taxes). This comes to 2.2 cents per mile.
When it makes sense to buy miles?
- Short on miles for premium international flight award on partner airlines
- Oneway travel in markets where OW fares are expensive
- Travel that requires flexibility as award tickets can be changed/canceled for a fee/without fee almost like flexible tickets
One of my favorite bright spots on AA’s award chart is the Europe to Middle East/Indian Sub-continent. It is 30K in business and 40K in first class for oneway travel. Now that Etihad is AA’s redemption partner this award has become more useful as Etihad has quite comprehensive coverage of the region. You could fly from Europe to Maldives in business class for 60000 AAdvantage award miles.
The Australia/New Zealand zone is good way to burn miles too as is the Europe. Both of these markets tend to be expensive unless you can plan your travel far in advance, and travel in the markets where there is competition from low cost carriers.
Terms and Conditions: Transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible. Please allow 72 hours for purchased miles to post to the designated AAdvantage® account.
1Bonus miles will be posted 6-8 weeks after conclusion of promotion. Members must purchase 2,000 miles or more in a single transaction from the buyAAmiles® program or giftAAmiles(SM) program beginning 12:00 am CST January 1, 2012, to 11:59 pm CST January 31, 2012, to be eligible for the bonus mile offer. Purchases of 2,000–5,000 miles will earn 500 bonus miles. Purchases of 6,000-11,000 miles will earn 2,000 bonus miles. Purchases of 12,000-39,000 miles will earn 4,000 bonus miles. Purchases of 40,000 miles will earn 15,000 miles. The bonus is awarded to the purchaser of the miles. buyAAmiles and giftAAmiles transactions are limited to a combined maximum of 40,000 miles per account, per calendar year. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the 40,000 mile annual limit. Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual limit. AAdvantage® miles earned through this promotion do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million Miler(SM) status.