American Airlines Is Offering A 100,000 Mile Bonus On Purchased Miles…..But I Can See The Future & You Shouldn’t Buy


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It’s time for another American Airlines mileage sale and this time around the airline is offering a bonus of up to 100,000 miles on purchased miles. Normally I’d probably tell you not to buy the miles because they’re overpriced and hard to use economically….but this time I’m going to do something a little different.

First I’m going to tell you what the promotion is actually offering, then I’m going to show you the math and lastly I’m going to show you why I think I can predict the future.

Buy AAdvantage Miles – The Latest Offer

  • Promotion runs through 11:59:59 CT on 27 November 2017
  • AAdvantage members must buy at least 10,000 miles to be eligible for a bonus
  • Each AAdvantage member is limited to purchasing or receiving in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than 150,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Bonus miles earned do not count toward the annual purchase limits
  • AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old are not permitted to Buy or Gift Miles

Here are the bonuses on offer and the thresholds at which you’ll find them:

  • Buy 10,000 – 24,000 Miles & get a 2,500 Mile Bonus
  • Buy 25,000 – 49,000 Miles & get a 7,500 Mile Bonus
  • Buy 50,000 – 74,000 Miles & get a 22,500 Mile Bonus
  • Buy 75,000 – 99,000 Miles & get a 40,000 Mile Bonus
  • Buy 100,000 – 149,000 Miles & get a 60,000 Mile Bonus
  • Buy 150,000 miles and get a 100,000 Mile Bonus

The Math

Unusually for recent AAdvantage mileage sales, the lowest cost per mile is to be found at the very top of the purchasing pyramid.

If you buy 150,000 miles….

….you’ll end up with 250,000 miles (including the bonus) at a cost of $4,786.88

This equates to ~ 1.91 cents/mile.

If you were to buy just 1,000 fewer miles….

….you would end up with 209,000 miles at a total cost of $4,755.16

This equates to ~2.28 cents/mile.

If you were thinking to buy mikes in this promotion (please don’t!) but didn’t want to buy the maximum 150,000 miles, the better deal would be to buy 100,000 miles.

Buying 100,000 miles….

…would see you end up with just 160,000 miles (after the bonus) at a cost of $3,201.25

This equates to ~2.00 cents/mile.

Anyway….I’ve just wasted your time by making you read all of that (sorry!) because I can’t recommend anyone buy miles in this promotion unless they need miles immediately.

I’m not even going to bother showing you why at 1.91 cents a mile it would only occasionally make sense to buy miles.

Instead I’m going to predict the future.

The Future

The problem with being an airline that offers mileage sale after mileage sale after mileage sale is that at some point you run out of ideas and you start repeating yourself…and I’m prepared to guess that American Airlines is just about to do that.

Almost a year ago to the day I wrote a blog with the title “American Offering Miles For 1.91 Cents Each…..But Don’t Jump In Too Quickly” and, funnily enough, the American Airlines promotion that was running this time last year was offering a 100,000 maximum bonus and it was structured in exactly the same way as this promotion is today.

The November 2016 Mileage Promotion

Go ahead, click on the green link above and see for yourself 🙂

D’you know what happened next?

On 25 November 2016 (3 days before the 100k bonus promotion was set to end) American Airlines launched its Black Friday sale in which it offered an extra 20% bonus on top of what had already been on offer.

In that promotion AAdvantage Miles were being sold for 1.77 cents each.

American Airlines will, without a doubt, have another Black Friday promotion this year so what’s the betting that it will be exactly the same as last year?

I suspect you wouldn’t get very good odds if you wanted to bet on that 🙂

Bottom Line

Stay away from this promotion unless you’re absolutely desperate for miles – there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to pick them up for under 1.8 cents each before the month is out.

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