American Airlines miles on sale again

A quick heads up that AA has launched another bonus when you buy their miles.

Full details are here, scroll down and click on the AA logo.

Until January 31st, you can receive up to 15,000 bonus miles when you buy miles. At the end of the scale, you receive 15,000 bonus miles when you buy 40,000 – this represents a bonus of 37.5%.

American Airlines

If you need to top-off an American account then this is an OK deal.

If you are not familiar with AA miles, they do have their uses.

You can redeem on BA, albeit you still pay the same taxes

If you redeem on AA (with AA miles) there are no fuel surcharges. This saves A LOT of money on redemptions to North America.

Redemptions on a BA plane from London to India or the Middle East are a lot cheaper with AA miles. BA asks 40000 / 80000 / 120000, whilst AA only want 40000 for economy, 60000 for business and 80000 for First. AA also has a partnership with Etihad so you can fly their excellent London to Abu Dhabi service.

AA still charge by journey, whilst BA now charges by segment. If flying to Cape Town, for example, via Johannesburg, an Avios ticket means you get charged separately for Jo’burg to Cape Town. Using AA miles, the connecting leg is included for free.

There is a 60,000 mile annual limit on the miles you can buy, so you cannot just pile in and buy 80,000 for a First Class ticket on Etihad, unfortunately!

Two London Priority Club properties still just 15,000 points per night
Last chance for 25% bonus on 'hotel to Avios' conversions
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. How about Honolulu to New York (stopover for as long as you like) and then to LHR on AA all for 50k miles and taxes of just £3.20?

  2. Should have added that’s Business Class. if you can muster another 12.k from somewhere you could do it in First. (You can redeem Starwood points into AAdvantage).

  3. gagravarr says:

    Looks like it’s $1,100 for 40,000 miles, 55,000 miles with the bonus. Just under 700 quid at the current exchange rates. Buying the maximum 60,000 miles (gets you 75,000 with the bonus) is $1,650.00, so just a smidgen over £1000. If you have a few AA miles already to take you over 80,000, that looks pretty good for first to India!

  4. Interesting, Raffles, although I missed the even better 50% bonus!
    a) It appears to allow 60,000, plus bonus (max bonus is 15,000 for any purchases over 40,000), so you can almost get to the 80,000
    b) The Ts & Cs say “buyAAmiles and giftAAmiles transactions are limited to a combined maximum of 60,000 miles per account, per calendar year”. Do you know if that means that total combined amount one person can spend, or total that can be credited to their account from multiple sources?
    Keep up the good work.

    • 60k (plus any bonus with a 60k transaction) is the combined total that you can buy AND be gifted by someone else. No limit to how many you can redeem per year, or indeed earn from other sources.

  5. I’m fairly certain that the limit refers to the total you can credit from buy/share sources.

  6. Raffles – firstly, thanks for an excellent blog. You are only encouraging my interest in all things avios!

    Do you know if there is an efficient way to transfer AMEX MRs to AA? (or can you only do it through SPG?)

    RB

    • No. SPG is the only way, but the conversion rate (effectively 0.625 per 1 Amex Point, if you convert out of SPG in 20k chunks to get the 5k bonus) is not great. However, if you are redeeming for very low tax redemptions then it may be beneficial.

      Remember that any BA redemption using AA miles will incur the same taxes as BA would charge. However, you would NOT pay taxes on an AA flight booked with AA miles – whilst BA WOULD charge you fuel surcharges on a transatlantic AA flight.

      (And where do those fuel surcharges go? BA keeps them, amazingly. The money is not passed to AA.)

      MBNA has an American Airlines credit card you can get in the UK, although the current 5k bonus is poor. Wait for a promotion.

  7. ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    I never even thought about opening an AA account but after reading this it sounds like it is worth a go and try to create ways of earning miles. Thanks Raffles!

    • If you earn a lot of miles from flying, then AA is a credible alternative to crediting to BA.

      However, remember that there are few other earnings routes for AA miles (although there is a UK AA credit card, see my credit card pages). No Tesco transfers, no BA Amex 2-4-1 etc.

      It does make sense if you often redeem alone (so no use for a BA Amex 241) or redeem to the Americas (where you can fly AA and so pay no taxes on redemptions) or the Middle East / India (where redemption levels are lower than BA asks).

  8. Just to clarify the limit you can receive issue.

    You can ‘buy’, ‘share’ or ‘gift’ miles. Buy is obvious of course but ‘share’ is a transfer from another member. ‘Gift’ is exactly that – where you gift your miles to a charity or cause.

    Incidentally, sharing miles is surprisingly expensive to do.