Cheapest American Airlines Miles Ever: 1.72 Cents Each

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American Airlines is offering up to 100,000 bonus miles and 10% off on the purchase of miles through July 8, 2016. You can now buy 250,000 American Airlines miles including bonus for $4,311 or 1.72 cents each. That’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen American Airlines miles for sale.

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The discount is fixed, but the bonus miles are tiered, based on how many miles you purchase. The best deal is to buy 150,000.

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American Airlines miles cost 2.95 cents each plus a 7.5% excise tax, and every purchase has a $30 processing fee. The cheapest per-mile price comes from purchasing 150,000 American Airlines miles + 100,000 bonus miles for $3,122.

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That works out to getting 250,000 miles for 1.72 cents each. The most recent sale was for 1.89 cents each, and the cheapest one this year cost 1.81 cents each.

Math

The cheapest miles cost 1.72 cents each during this promotion, and that requires shelling out $4,300+. I value American Airlines miles around 1.5 cents each, so there is no way I would buy these miles speculatively for 1.72 cents. The only way it could possibly make sense to buy miles at these prices is if you had an immediate high value use for them.

Possible high value uses are off peak international awards like 22,500 miles one way to Europe and partner Business Class awards like Japan Airlines Business Class to Japan or Korea for 60,000 miles.

To figure out if you have a high value use, use this simple expression:

(A – B) / (C + D)

  • A: Value of the award. Important: this is the lesser of the cash price and your subjective value.
  • B: Taxes on the award
  • C: Miles used on the award
  • D: Miles you would earn if you purchased the award ticket with cash

This will spit out the dollar value you are getting for your miles. If that number is greater than 0.0172, put your dream award on a free five day hold with American Airlines, then buy American Airlines miles.

Otherwise, don’t buy.

Buy AAdvantage Miles with These Credit Cards

AAdvantage miles purchases are processed directly by American Airlines. That’s great news!

It means you can buy them with your Citi Prestige® Card, and its $250 Air Travel Credit will refund you the first $250 of the purchase price of the miles (plus you’ll earn 4x ThankYou Points on the first $250 of the miles purchase.)

It means you can purchase American Airlines miles with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.

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Bottom Line

You can buy 165,000 American Airlines for $3,122 or 1.89 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively. Hopefully cheaper sales come along.

The American Airlines miles sales are processed by American Airlines itself, so you can get category bonuses on cards that bonus airline or travel purchases like my latest card, the Citi Prestige® Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines, or you can use your Arrival Plus to get American Airlines miles for zero cash.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. My SPG cards as in TWO closed on June 10 had 76K SPG points as of TODAY (13) ..

    HAWAII TIME. Hope they run save deals like 4 for 5 nites in JAN…

    Thanks Scott

  2. Wow! This is great price. I am wondering can I get x2 AA miles if I use my AA platinum credit card to buy AA miles? or better to use Amex Gold Card which might gave me x3 points. Well, Amex might might not give me x3 points since this is mile buy, not Airline ticket. If anyone know about it, I appreciate to let us know.

    • The purchase is on aa.com, so you will get bonus points on any card that offers bonus points on airfare, like the ones you mentioned and the Citi Prestige.

  3. […] American Airlines is offering up to 100,000 bonus miles + a 10% discount when you purchase American Airlines miles through June 30, 2017. If you buy the largest amount possible, you can get them for as little as 1.72 cents each. That’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen American Airlines miles for sale (we also saw them on sale for 1.72 cents each this time last year). […]

  4. […] American Airlines is offering up to 100,000 bonus miles + a 10% discount when you purchase American Airlines miles through July 31, 2017. If you buy the largest amount possible, you can get them for as little as 1.72 cents each. That’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen American Airlines miles for sale (we also saw them on sale for 1.72 cents each this time last year). […]

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