Through the end of 2012, you can purchase American Airline miles with a pretty generous bonus offer. This promotion is quite comparable to the value many see with the US Airways purchasing miles promotion that is run numerous times throughout the year and I know MANY people take advantage.

  • 5,000-9,000 miles = earn 1,500 bonus miles
  • 10,000-14,000 miles = earn 3,000 bonus miles
  • 15,000-19,000 miles = earn 4,500 bonus miles
  • 20,000-29,000 miles = earn 10,000 bonus miles
  • 30,000-39,000 miles = earn 15,000 bonus miles
  • 40,000-49,000 miles = earn 20,000 bonus miles
  • 50,000-59,000 miles = earn 25,000 bonus miles
  • 60,000 miles = 30,000 bonus miles
American Airlines has also raised the annual amount of miles are you allowed to purchase per account from 40,000 miles to 60,000 miles. So if you have yet to purchase any miles from AA, you are able to go all in with the 60,000 mile purchase (if it works for you).
When it comes to purchasing miles, as a rule of thumb, it typically is only lucrative for those wanting to fly business/first class. For those who are content with economy, usually the numbers do not add up, but you’d have to check the math and see if it is worth it.
If you were to go all in with purchasing 60,000 miles, this will cost you $1,650.00 + tax = $1,808.75. This will give you a total of 90,000 miles. From a comparitive standpoint, when US Airways runs their 100% bonus on purchased miles, getting a total of 100,000 miles (including the bonus) costs $1,881.25.

Should you take advantage of this promotion?

While there is no cut and dry answer, this promotion could be great for some of you. As mentioned before, those who primarily redeem for domestic travel will most likely not see the value, but for those that desire business and first class on international flightsthis could be a great deal! 

For a business round-trip ticket to Europe from the US, for example, it will require 100,000 miles. If you already have some miles in your account, this 90,000 miles could help you redeem for that award which would typically cost you at least $3,000 (and that is on the real conservative side probably). To compare to purchasing miles for an ecomony class ticket – An economy class ticket to Europe from the US goes for 60,000 miles, which will require you to purchase 40,000 miles and cost you $1,217.50. An economy class ticket to Europe ticket is much cheaper than that amount. Remember, you will not earn miles when redeeming, so there is that opportunity cost as well.

You can check out the American Airlines award chart and OneWorld alliance award chart to see the number of miles needed for each route.

I will personally be opting out of this promotion as I have a million or so American Airline miles so to purchase more miles when I have no need at all just doesn’t seem worth it. Also, since I typically redeem for economy class seats, this seems anything but worth it for me. I also hate speculatively purchasing points. If you know of a trip you’d like to be taking, do the math and see if it makes sense. If you’ve been eager to take that business class Cathay Pacific flight to Asia, for example, this is the perfect opportunity! With American you can put a seat on hold for 5 days when using miles!

Will you be taking advantage?

Terms: You can purchase American Airline miles during this promotion through December 31, 2012. Purchase miles here. Miles take up to 72 hours to post and up to 5 days for the bonus miles.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • Hoang N said,

    How exactly does this works? If I’ve 60,000 Miles and want to go to Hong Kong for example for economy seat…

    Do I buy miles to add up to get there or what exactly??

  • Apurva said,

    How does this show up on Capital One card?

    I could may be convert my points there using Travel Eraser into AA miles…

  • dealswelike said,

    @Apurva – Typically it shows up as travel so you can use your points.

  • dealswelike said,

    @Hoang – This is just buying miles to add to your existing account balance.

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