New American Airlines ‘buy miles’ bonus – up to 30%

American Airlines is at it again, offering a bonus when you purchase their miles. This deal offers a bonus of up to 30% and is valid until July 31st.

Whilst not as generous as the deal they ran in April, the fall in the value of the $ since then means that you price you pay is roughly the same.

You can buy via this page, click on the AA logo.

American buy miles

The offers looks like this:

Buy 16,000 – 20,000 miles – get a 2,000 mile bonus

Buy 21,000 – 30,000 miles – get a 4,000 mile bonus

Buy 31,000 – 40,000 miles – get a 7,000 mile bonus

Buy 41,000 – 54,000 miles – get a 10,000 mile bonus

Buy 55,000+ miles – get a 16,500 mile bonus

The best value comes when you buy exactly 55,000 miles to receive 16,500 for free.  That is the ONLY way to get a ‘30% bonus’.  You would be getting 71,500 miles for $1,661 including fees and taxes, or 1.35p each.

It isn’t worth buying all the miles you need for a redemption at this price – although some of the Etihad deals are tempting. It is an OK price if you need to top-off an account, though.

American Airlines ‘sweet spots’

I wrote the following in earlier posts on buying American Airlines miles, but it is worth repeating.

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. You will pay under £200 in taxes for Heathrow to Abu Dhabi in Business or First (about £250 less than BA) and the onboard product is meant to be excellent. It is only a short drive from Abu Dhabi airport to Dubai (60 minutes) and you get a free transfer included in your Business or First Class ticket. (You will also get a free chauffeur to Heathrow.)

Australia is also an amazing bargain. You need 300,000 Avios to fly First Class to Australia via British Airways Executive Club. Using American Airlines miles, you only need 160,000 return for First or 120,000 return for Business.

There are also great deals to Hawaii. AA treats this as part of America (which of course it is!) and so London to Hawaii in Business Class is only 100,000 AA miles.

Other decent deals are UK-US if you fly on an American plane, as you won’t pay any fuel surcharges. (Unlike using Avios, where booking onto transatlantic AA flights requires the same taxes as an identical BA flight.)

Cape Town is also interesting since AA does not charge by segment, unlike BA. Flying to Cape Town on BA using Avios usually means flying to Johannesburg and using more Avios for a Jo’burg – Cape Town connection (30,000 return in Club Europe). Using AA miles, the Jo’burg – Cape Town connection is included for free.

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Comments

  1. Hasn’t this been available for a while now? Incidentally, if you want 30k or less it’s cheaper to buy Starwood points and convert under the current bonus offer which expires on the same day.

  2. Can one transfer avios uk to American Airlines points?

  3. flyforfun says:

    The article makes AA earning more appealing than BA earning! With the daily game of trying to find availability on BA in J, I’m beginning to think I should forget about the BAPP 241 and just focus on AA. I don’t fly enough currently to earn status so it’s primarily CC spend for me.

    • AA is highly likely to devalue their award chart next year when they merged the AA and US Airways programmes. It is now over-generous compared to the other two major US airlines.

      Doing a transfer for an immediate booking is OK but I would be nervous about making a long-term commitment until the US / AA scheme merger happens.

  4. pazza2000 says:

    OT: I’m really town between sending across some SPG to AA with the current bonus (which doesn’t come along often with AA). As AA stands right now, I value them greater than Avios, owing to their low taxes to/from EU > EUR & good value EY redemptions to the M.East are tempting. I’m not sure how AA will change in terms of devaluation in the near future though…

    • Pazza, I had the same dilemma but did it anyway for the reasons you list about AA. I transferred 60k SPG last monday and 90k AA miles showed in my account Wednesday morning. Now to book the EY flights before AA devalues their award chart.

      • pazza2000 says:

        The issue is I do not have any plans to head to the UAE until next year, and I probably have enough to cover that. I guess the question I’m wondering is how hard is the anticipated devaluation likely to effect us?! On the other hand I don’t foresee Starwood doing another devaluation any time soon…

    • They’ve done it past and might do it again. Think about generous offers in the US like 100k AA miles sing-up bonus. Crazy.

  5. Andrew S says:
    • Ironically I am covering the Senator lounge at Hamburg tomorrow (tho this guy would have been in the business lounge which is worse). Better than I remembered but not worth a special trip!

  6. Moonman85 says:

    What is the availability like in comparison to avios? As a redemption to Australia would be very tempting, however if drawing on the same pool of reward seats as Avios then it is pointless

    • Same except Etihad is included on top (and Aer Lingus taken away)

    • With Avios, you only have access to the cheapest redemption seats on AA (known as AAsaver). With AA miles you can access the entire AA award inventory, albeit the extra inventory require more AA miles.

      Once in the US, AA has Hawaiian as a partner, and thus you can book on Hawaiian flights which opens up some interesting pacific island options.