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 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. 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 USD4,794.50 to buy 150,0000 AAdvantage miles.
Special Deals on Buying AAdvantage Miles
The current American Airlines promotion offers a combination of bonus miles and/or a small discount.
This deal expires on 31 May 2020 (California time). Here are the latest offers:
- Buy 2,000 to 14,000 AAdvantage miles and get a 15% discount
- Buy 15,000 to 29,000 AAdvantage miles and receive 5,000 bonus miles + 5% off
- Buy 30,000 to 49,000 AAdvantage miles and receive 15,000 bonus miles + 5% off
- Buy 50,000 to 69,000 AAdvantage miles and receive 25,000 bonus miles + 5% off
- Buy 70,000 to 120,000 AAdvantage miles and receive 50,000 bonus miles + 5% off
- Buy 121,000 to 149,000 AAdvantage miles and receive 80,000 bonus miles
- Buy 150,000 AAdvantage miles (maximum) and receive 100,000 bonus miles + 3% off
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 USD4,650.66.
With the current promotion, American Airlines will also donate 1 mile to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for every mile bought.
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 331 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?
Frequent Flyer Solutions offers a comprehensive training program which includes an entire course on buying and redeeming points for discounted premium travel! This course covers 7 frequent flyer programs in detail, including American Airlines AAdvantage. View course →