Last week, I brought you news of the latest British Airways offer to buy AVIOS? Just a few days later, I received a similiar offer from American Airlines, and wondered if this offer might fare any better for those seeking to enhance their airmiles balance. Unlike the British Airways offer, there isn’t a bonus incentive so is buying American Airlines AAdvantage Miles good use of your hard-earned cash?
American Airlines AAdvantage Offer
This is a one size fits all promotion with a set cost for the number of miles you might wish to buy, up to a maximum of 150,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. For instance, you can buy 1,000 miles for $29.50, 20,000 for $590, 50,000 for $1,475 or 150,000 for $4,425.
Buying AVIOS with the British Airways offer turns out to be terrible value in the majority of scenarios, but how does this compare?
How much does one AAdvantage Mile cost?
|Amount purchased||Cost for purchase||Cost per AAdvantage|
Correct as at 21/9/17 – Source: American Airlines
Now on the face of it, this offer looks even more horrific than the British Airways offer. The cost per mile is the same whether you buy one mile or 150,000 miles, which seems pretty poor value. The British Airways offer, in comparison, starts at a cost of 2.06 pence versus 2.95 cents, but reduces to 1.07 pence for the maximum purchase of 100,000 miles.
Of course, the real test comes when you try to redeem your miles and for this reason, I am not writing off this offer just yet. Let’s take a look at a number of options, and remember, even for Brits living on this side of the pond, it can be worthwhile accruing AAdvantage points. After all, the redemptions in the States are generally much better value than in the UK, thanks to those ridiculously expensive, damn taxes!!
That said, you can just as easily redeem your AVIOS for American Airline flights in the States. (If you want to know which other airlines you can use your miles for, get the FREE infographic here.)
Where can you go with your AAdvantage Miles?
|Route||Class||AAdvantage miles needed||Cost for flight without using miles (A)||Cost for equivalent miles using the offer (B)||Taxes and fees (C)||Total cost using offer plus taxes (B+C = D)||Difference in cost between using miles and paid fare (D – A)|
|New York – Vegas||Economy MileSAAver||25,000||$342.29||$737.50 for 25,000||$11.20||$748.70||Extra $406.41|
|New York – New Orleans||Economy MileSAAver||25,000||$370.59||$737.50 for 25,000||$11.20||$748.70||Extra $378.11|
|Chicago to Seattle||Economy MileSAAver||25,000||$316.40||$737.50 for 25,000||$11.20||$748.70||Extra $432.30|
|Chicago to Cancun||Economy MileSAAver||30,000||$315.98||$885 for 30,000||$86.59||$971.59||Extra $655.61|
|Nashville to San Jose, Costa Rica||Economy MileSAAver||30,000||$626.94||$885 for 30,000||$81.26||$966.26||Extra $339.32|
|Seattle to Salt Lake City||Economy MileSAAver||25,000||$328.40||$737.50 for 25,000||$8.20||$818.70||Extra $490.3|
|Los Angeles – Christchurch||Economy MileSAAver||80,000||$992.36||$2,360 for 80,000||$171.41||$2,531.41||Extra $1539.05|
Source: American Airlines as at 21/9/16 – all flights are departing and returning in March 2018. All comparison flights were sourced from Expedia and are for the cheapest flight only.
Is it worth buying American Airlines AAdvantage Miles?
Well, it sure doesn’t take a genius to work out this is just as rubbish as the British Airways deal. In fact, I struggle to understand why anyone why buy miles unless they are planning a dream trip and are coming up a little short. A quick look at the far right column shows that it would cost more to purchase the miles and then redeem them for flights than buying the flights.
American Airlines redemptions
It is not all bad news though. This exercise reminds me just what great redemptions are available in the United States. For anyone planning a trip domestically within the States, or a trip from the UK, involving a number of cities, combining use of AVIOS and AAdvantage miles (if you have both) could prove useful.
I actually find myself getting really excited with these offers, as the taxes are so little compared to what we pay in the UK. Even using miles for economy class, which I would rarely recommend at home, looks great value. In some cases, it is only an extra 10,000 to fly business which gets me planning even crazier trips. What’s to stop me flying business to Las Vegas using a British Airways companion voucher and then using my American AAdvantage points to fly on to Hawaii for next to nothing? $5.60 in taxes really does feel like a free flight, after all my Starbucks probably cost me more than that this morning!
Find out more:
Want to know more about redemptions in the UK? Read: Long haul v short-haul redemptions
How to purchase?
If you still wish to purchase miles, log into your American Airways AAdvantage account and simply buy miles by following the on-screen prompts. Points should be received into your account instantly. Frankly though, I think you are better saving your cash and using it to buy some flights outright.
What do you think?
Have you ever purchased American Airways miles? What was your experience?