American Airline sent out an email today offering a discount and bonus on purchasing American Airline miles. Typically purchasing miles isn’t worth it, but you might find some value if you are looking for a specific award redemption. American is actually offering two promotions:
- Get up to a 30% bonus when you buy 20,000 miles or more through May 17, 2013
- 20,000-29,000: Get 5,000 bonus miles
- 30,000-39,000: Get 8,250 bonus miles
- 40,000-60,000: Get 12,000 bonus miles
- Save 15% off the price of buying miles until April 5, 2013 at 12:00pm CST
So if you purchase 48,000 miles, you’ll get a bonus of 12,000 miles for a total of 60,000 miles. This will cost you $1,454 USD (includes the taxes and $35 transaction fee). Personally, I think paying that much for a roundtrip coach ticket to Europe is a lot, especially when you aren’t going to earn miles. Usually this is the most a flight will cost you, so I would NOT suggest purchasing miles for this scenario unless you are well aware that this will be less than the specific flight you are looking at AND award seat is available.
However, this could be beneficial if you are looking to go to Europe during the off-peak season for AA award redemption. These mileage tickets run 40,000 miles round trip and to purchase these miles will cost you a total of $839.10 USD (will need to purchase 32,000 miles and get the 8,250 mile bonus). Again, I still think you can find a paid ticket for this price if not less.
Typically, purchasing miles is most economical when it comes to business and first class ticket redemptions. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase enough miles for a round-trip international ticket, but if you are looking for a one-way (or are shy some miles) you can most likely save a decent amount of money. Purchasing business or first class tickets are extremely expensive, and while you will still be spending a lot on buying the miles, it will be far less than paying full price for this ticket type. I suggest doing the math and seeing if it makes sense for your desired flight. I also suggest looking up flight availability first prior to purchasing any ticket. You can put an American Airline ticket on hold first and then purchase the miles so you know the flight has availability.