Ryan points to a new promotion for buying American Airlines miles that I hadn’t seen, and asks if it’s marginally better than this week’s 100% bonus for buying US Airways miles.

Gary – could you also buy 90,000 AA miles more cheaply through this promotion for 1.833cpm? 60,000 + 18,000 bonus + additional 12,000 bonus by Jan 31?

American has two stackable promos for buying miles, whereby you’re paying 2 cents per mile for up to 90,000 miles total. (It’s not actually 1.83 cents as suggested above, as that price wasn’t inclusive of taxes and fees.)

I’ve never seen American Airlines miles sold for less. You’ll have to wait until January to pocket the final chunk of bonus miles, though.

US Airways is straight-up selling miles for just over 1.8 cents apiece, as they often do with their 100% bonus. Those miles will eventually become American miles, but we do not know when they will begin to allow us to transfer points between accounts with the merger.

As a result, which offer works better for you (if you’re a buyer of miles at 1.8 to 2 cents apiece, which I’m likely not) depends on whether you need US Airways miles that will become American miles, or you need American miles now with some of those miles crediting later.


Celebrate with up to 30% bonus miles when you buy or gift miles. And through December 31, if you buy or gift 60,000 miles in a single transaction an e-mail will be sent to you in January 2014 to let you choose one of the following special holiday gifts, to make your travel even more rewarding.

20% additional bonus miles – In addition to the 30% bonus you can earn 20% extra bonus miles that will be deposited into your account by January 31, 2014

10% off flights on aa.com – Save 10% on flights on aa.com when you book by February 6, 2014, for travel starting February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014

5,000-mile discount on award – Get a 5000-mile discount for up to three passengers, that’s a total saving of up to 15,000 miles when you book between January 24, 2014 and February 21, 2014, for travel between February 18, 2014 through May 18, 2014 (for flights originating in contiguous US or Canada)

Three 500-mile upgrades – If you are an AAdvantage Elite Member you can enjoy an additional three 500-mile upgrades

A 60,000 mile purchase gets you 78,000 miles now.

Then in January you can get 12,000 more miles, or if you prefer you can have a 10% off coupon, a 5000 mile discount on an award (I like 12,000 miles better!), or 500 mile upgrades.

Assuming you take the miles you’ll get 90,000 total miles for $1650 + $123.75 tax + $35 processing fee or $1808.75 or 2.01 cents per mile.

Whether or not either the US Airways or American deal is ‘worth it’ depends on how many miles you already have, what you are going to do with them, and when.

It’s a good price ‘compared to what they usually sell miles for’ but it isn’t a price that I am buying at.

  1. Kalboz said,

    Would it be cheaper to purchase 20K SPG points for a total of $525 (ai) and transfer to 25K AA miles? But you are limited to 20K in purchase & 20K in gift.

  2. Lynda B said,

    I “gifted” 40K miles on USAir to my spouse and visa versa; I used up a lot of my AA miles recently. I’m not really in a hurry though, so I’ll wait until they merge the two mileage programs. AA miles work out the best for me, since I go to London a lot and San Francisco… they always seem to have the most reasonable offers and you can get flights without having to book them a year in advance. Often I can get to London for 40K miles while on DL is almost always 60K… or more….

  3. Mickeyj said,

    How old does an account have to be? In the past there was a condition on the points buying page that accounts have to be 14 days old. It is strangely absent on this promo.

  4. Sucia said,

    I’ve seen several bloggers imply (or implicitly assume) that Dividend Miles will convert to AAdvantage at 1:1. It seems to me that US Air would be giving away money/value if this were the case. Is there reason or some indication to believe one way or another?

  5. Daniel P said,

    I want to fly in Business to Japan in January and have zero AA miles currently. Is this the best way to get a seat for cheaper than paying directly for it?

    It looks like AA from North America to Japan is 50,000 miles. This would seem to make $1800 for 90,000 miles a great deal. Would this be correct? I go return for 50,000 in Business using pointsaver and have 40,000 left for the $1800?

    If true, any idea how hard it is to get seats using the pointsaver rates? Thanks.

  6. Gary said,

    @Sucia – it is inconceivable that Dividend Miles will convert at any ratio other than 1:1

  7. Tom said,

    The conversion of USAir Dividend miles will absolutely be 1:1 to AA. The billion dollar question though is how or if the award redemption chart will change.

    If the new AA decides to hose members ala UA, then essentially these promos are like stealing candy from a baby.

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