Buying American Airlines AAdvantage miles is a clever way to save money on premium cabin airfares! The idea is to buy miles during special promotions, then to redeem them for flights worth more than what you’ve paid for the miles.
American Airlines runs regular promotions allowing you to save money or earn bonus miles when you buy AAdvantage miles. You can then redeem AAdvantage miles for premium award travel on Oneworld airlines and other American Airlines partners, including Qantas, Fiji Airways, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
How to Buy AAdvantage Miles
You can buy AAdvantage miles on the American Airlines website.
American Airlines recently made some changes to the pricing of miles. The minimum purchase amount is still 2,000 AAdvantage miles, but the price for 2,000 miles has been reduced to USD71.10. There is no longer a fixed price for miles, but the price per thousand generally gets lower as you buy more miles. The price of buying miles may be different for different members.
A processing charge (previously USD35 per transaction) no longer applies.
There is an annual purchase limit of 150,000 AAdvantage miles per calendar year, excluding bonus miles. At full price, it currently costs USD5,129 to buy 150,0000 AAdvantage miles.
Special Deals on Buying AAdvantage Miles
The current American Airlines promotion offers bonus miles if you purchase at least 15,000 miles in a single transaction.
This deal expires on 30 September (California time). Here are the latest offers:
- Buy 15,000 to 25,000 AAdvantage miles and get 5,000 bonus miles
- Buy 26,000 to 39,000 AAdvantage miles and get 10,000 bonus miles
- Buy 40,000 to 59,000 AAdvantage miles and get 15,000 bonus miles
- Buy 60,000 to 74,000 AAdvantage miles and get 25,000 bonus miles
- Buy 75,000 to 89,000 AAdvantage miles and get 35,000 bonus miles
- Buy 90,000 to 99,000 AAdvantage miles and get 50,000 bonus miles
- Buy 100,000 to 124,000 AAdvantage miles and get 60,000 bonus miles
- Buy 125,000 to 149,000 AAdvantage miles and get 80,000 bonus miles
- Buy 150,000 AAdvantage miles (maximum) and get 100,000 bonus miles
If you were to purchase the maximum amount of miles during this promotion, you would receive 250,000 AAdvantage miles (including 100,000 bonus miles) for a cost of USD4,554.77.
This promotion comes hot on the heels of American Airlines’ last promotion, which expired the day before this one began at the start of September. Under the previous offer, customers received 50-100% bonus miles (the maximum bonus amount was only available on purchases above 125,000 miles).
See the American Airlines website for more information on the latest promotion.
Redeeming AAdvantage Miles
American Airlines AAdvantage miles are a valuable currency! You can redeem AAdvantage miles – subject to award availability – to fly on any Oneworld airline. This includes Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Finnair and Qatar Airways. American Airlines partners also include Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Etihad Airways, China Southern and Alaska Airlines.
There are many cases where the cost of buying AAdvantage miles is lower than the cost of an equivalent ticket on the flight they’re redeemed for. This is most often the case when redeeming miles for Business or First class flights. To give you an idea of how much AAdvantage miles are worth, a return Business class award booking from Australia to Europe costs just 170,000 AAdvatnage miles and First class costs 230,000 miles. This does not include any taxes payable, but these are usually minimal as American Airlines does not pass on fuel surcharges on award bookings (except when flying British Airways, Iberia or China Southern).
Here are some examples of “sweet spots” where redeeming AAdvantage miles can be good value:
- Qantas First Class flights between Australia and Asia cost 50,000 miles one-way (including Sydney-Hong Kong)
- Flights from Australia to Europe cost 85,000 miles in Business or 115,000 miles in First Class, one-way
- Etihad First Class Apartments from Sydney to Abu Dhabi cost 100,000 miles one-way
- Qantas Business class flights between Australia and New Zealand cost 25,000 miles one-way
- Qantas Business class anywhere within Australia costs 20,000 miles one-way
American Airlines AAdvantage miles can be redeemed for award flights up to 330 days in advance.
You can discuss buying AAdvantage miles on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New AAdvantage Points Purchase/Transfer Discount+Bonus Offer
Want to learn more about buying points for cheap premium cabin flights?
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