A quick heads up that AA has launched another bonus when you buy their miles.
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%.
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.
1. You can redeem on BA, albeit you still pay the same taxes
2. If you redeem on AA (with AA miles) there are no fuel surcharges. This saves A LOT of money on redemptions to North America.
3. 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.
4. 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!