50% bonus when you buy American Airlines miles (and AA redemption ‘sweet spots’)

American Airlines is offering a 50% bonus when you buy miles. The deal is valid until 31st December.

I am not an expert on buying AA miles, but View from the Wing rates this as about as good a deal as you ever see for buying AAdvantage miles.

The ink to buy AA miles is here (click on the AA logo).

The best value comes when you buy 60,000 miles (the annual cap for buying AA miles) to receive 30,000 for free. That is 90,000 miles for $1,685 including the fee, or 1.17p each.

Even taking into account AA’s low taxes (business class London to New York is £177 of taxes compared to £520 with BA), it still isn’t worth buying all the miles you need for a redemption at this price. It is not a bad price if you need to top-off an account, though.

The ‘sweet spots’ for AA redemptions for a UK resident are the Middle East and India, where business class (flying on a BA plane) is 60,000 miles return vs 80,000 using Avios. First Class is 80,000 AA miles versus 120,000 Avios. You still pay the same taxes as BA would charge, though.

AA is also partners with Etihad which offers you an alternative route to the region via Abu Dhabi. I don’t know what the taxes are for London to Abu Dhabi on Etihad, using AA miles, but I imagine they are lower than BA and the onboard product in Business and First is meant to be excellent. It is only a short drive from Abu Dhabi airport to Dubai as well.

360 Avios for £3 with Lemon Popsicles and Strawberry Milkshakes!
Earn bonus Avios .... at Sainsbury's!
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Comments

  1. As long as you avoid BA and IB, there is no high taxes. my CX F flight from CMB to YYZ cost less than $75 USD.

  2. EY tax for LHR-AUH return is around $350.

    • Thanks. I know Etihad charges £470 on a cash business class ticket London to Abu Dhabi but didn’t know how much of that AA would actually want.

  3. Phil Leonard says:

    Hi Raffles

    No one ever mentions it (and perhaps I should stay quiet in my own selfish interests) but the Europe/Africa redemptions are very much a “sweet spot” with AA miles. An F return redemption is 100k AA miles versus 150k Avios.

    If CPT is your destination and there is no availability on the direct flight – as is often the case nowadays – you will spend another 30k Avios for Club seats on the internal legs. AA includes those legs for nothing making the AA miles proposition very compelling.

    So even though you still pay all BA’s iniquitous fees and taxes, there’s a substantial saving and it is done online on AA’s very user friendly award booking system. (As you can guess I’ve just talked myself into buying the full whack of miles for SO and me.)

    Cheers Phil

    • Very interesting, I never knew that. And I did, in January, end up doing exactly what you described – doing an F to JNB and then being stung with the extra for the connection.

  4. I’m flying EY LHR-AUH in F and then AUH-BKK in J and QF SIN-LHR-MAN in F return in January. Charges were £243 each ticket. All with AAdvantage and requiring 140k miles each. Very happy with that.