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 China Southern.
How to Buy AAdvantage Miles
You can buy AAdvantage miles on the American Airlines website. The minimum purchase amount is 2,000 AAdvantage miles at a cost of USD94, although the price per thousand gets lower as you buy more miles.
A 7.5% US federal excise tax is also added to the price. 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.
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
American Airlines’ most recent promotion offers up to a 10% discount and up to 85,000 bonus AAdvantage miles. The discount expires on 31 August 2019 (California time). Here are the latest offers:
- Buy 15,000 to 29,000 miles and receive a 5% discount + 3,500 bonus miles
- Buy 30,000 to 49,000 miles and receive a 7% discount + 10,000 bonus miles
- Buy 50,000 to 74,000 miles and receive a 7% discount + 22,500 bonus miles
- Buy 75,000 to 99,000 miles and receive a 10% discount + 40,000 bonus miles
- Buy 100,000 to 149,000 miles and receive a 10% discount + 55,000 bonus miles
- Buy 150,000 miles (maximum) and receive a 10% discount + 85,000 bonus miles
If you were to purchase the maximum amount of 150,000 AAdvantage miles during this promotion, you would receive 235,000 miles (including the bonus miles) at a cost of USD4,318.81. See the American Airlines website for more information on the latest promotion.
This offer is slightly better than the previous one for smaller purchases, but the previous promotion was slightly better for larger purchases.
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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