In September, I brought you news of a British Airways offer to buy AVIOS and a similiar offer from American Airlines. The British Airways offer was rewarding buyers with bonus AVIOS, but the American Airlines offer included no such incentive. I wonder whether that offer didn’t receive the results they hoped, as a new offer has been launched. This one is much more generous and includes AA bonus miles. However, it is still a valid question to wonder if buying American Airlines AAdvantage Miles is good use of your hard-earned cash?
Buying AAdvantage miles bonus offer
This promotion rewards customers who buy more than 6,000 miles with bonus AAdvantage miles, up to a maximum of 150,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. For instance, you can buy 1,000 miles for $29.50, 27,500 for $590, 72,500 for $1,475 or 265,000 for $4,425. These numbers include the bonus miles.
Buying AVIOS with the British Airways offer turned out to be terrible value for most scenarios, but how does this compare?
How much does one AAdvantage Mile cost?
|Amount purchased||Bonus miles||Total miles||Cost for purchase||Cost per AAdvantage|
Correct as at 22/03/18 – Source: American Airlines
You have probably noticed that the cost does not reduce on a linear basis. Strangely, buying 50,000 AAdvantage miles is less value than buying 40,000 miles, however if you opt for the maximum, the cost per mile reduces substantially.
Of course, the real test comes when you try to redeem your miles. 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||12,500||$135.80||$295 for 13,500||$5.60||$301.60||Extra $165.80|
|New York – New Orleans||Economy MileSAAver||12,500||$145.60||$295 for 13,500||$5.60||$301.60||Extra $156.00|
|Chicago to Seattle||Economy MileSAAver||12,500||$158.2||$295 for 13,500||$5.60||$301.60||Extra $143.40|
|Chicago to Cancun||Economy MileSAAver||12,500||$168||$295 for 13,500||$34.00||$301.60||Extra $143.40|
|Nashville to San Jose, Costa Rica||Economy MileSAAver||12,500||$182||$295 for 13,500||$5.60||$301.60||Extra $119.60|
|Seattle to Salt Lake City||Economy MileSAAver||12,500||$169.4||$295 for 13,500||$5.60||$301.60||Extra $132.20|
|Los Angeles – Christchurch||Economy MileSAAver||40,000||$691.60||$885 for 45,000||$123.00||$1008.00||Extra $315.40|
Source: American Airlines as at 24/3/18 – all flights are one way departing in September 2018. All comparison flights were sourced from Expedia and are for the cheapest flight only.
Is it worth buying American Airlines AAdvantage Miles?
On the face of it, this seemed like a good deal, but considering how cheap the flights are to buy outright, it simply does not stack up. 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 for 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 get 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. You receive points into your account instantly. Frankly though, I think you are better saving your cash and using it to buy flights outright.
What do you think?
Have you ever purchased AAdvantage miles? What was your experience?