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 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 USD79.98 (including taxes). There is no longer a fixed price for miles, but the price per thousand generally gets lower as you buy more miles. For example, it only costs USD89.98 ($10 more than 2,000 miles) to buy 3,000 miles.
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. It currently costs USD5,036.38 to buy 150,0000 AAdvantage miles.
To be eligible to buy miles, you must have been a member of American Airlines’ frequent flyer program for at least 60 days. If you credit at least one flight to AAdvantage, this requirement reduces to 30 days. If you’re not already an AAdvantage member, why not join now (it’s free) so you can take advantage of future promotions?
Special Deals on Buying AAdvantage Miles
The current American Airlines promotion offers up to 105,000 bonus AAdvantage miles. This deal expires on 12 January 2020 (California time). Here are the latest offers:
- Buy 15,000 to 69,000 AAdvantage miles and receive a 23% discount
- Buy 70,000 to 150,000 AAdvantage miles and receive a 26% discount
As there is a 150,000-mile annual purchase limit, it may not make sense to buy the maximum miles during this promotion as a better discount or bonus may come along in the future.
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 or Iberia).
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
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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