American Airlines and US Airways have buy/gift miles promos going on right now. In fact, there are two promos going on right now and they are stackable! But, even with the combo of promos, is it a good deal and something you should consider doing right now?
AA/US Buy Mile Stackable Promos
Both American Airlines and US Airways are running promos on the purchase/gifting of their miles. The miles normally cost 2.95 cents each plus taxes and fees. With this promo, you can receive a bonus of miles purchases plus 10% off the cost of the miles. While this is not a 100% bonus, it does get very close to that bonus thanks to some different factors.
Here is how the bonus breaks down (the same is true whether purchasing through AA or US):
- 20,000-39,000 miles = 7,000 more bonus miles
- 40,000-59,000 miles = 15,000 more bonus miles
- 60,000-74,000 miles = 23,000 more bonus miles
- 75,000-100,000 miles = 30,000 more bonus miles
This purchase promo runs through March 3rd.
The second promo ends February 9th and takes 10% off the cost of the miles if purchasing over 20,000 miles.
Best Bang For The Buck
If you want to receive the best bang for the buck (at each level), you will want to purchase the minimum amount of miles for each threshold. So, purchase either 20,000 miles, 40,000 miles, 60,000 miles or 75,000 miles. Doing so will result in a cost of per mile that looks like this (after factoring in the 7.5% tax and $30 processing fee):
- 20,000 miles – 2.2 cents per mile
- 40,000 miles – 2.1 cents per mile
- 60,000 miles – 2.09 cents per mile
- 75,000 miles – 2.06 cents per mile
Yes, this is more than the previous bonuses that offered miles at 1.88 cents per mile, but there are some factors to consider. One is that the most miles you could get before was the total of 100,000 miles (counting the bonus). With this promo, you can receive up to 130,000 miles. So, if you really need to max out your account, this would be one way to do it.
Earning More Points/Miles From The Purchase
Another factor to consider is the fact that both American Airlines and US Airways sell their miles themselves now. In the past, purchases went through points.com. Because the airlines now sell the miles, you can use a credit card that will give you bonus miles on airline purchases. If you use your American Airline card or US Airways card, you will receive 2 miles per dollar. So, that is an additional 1 mile per dollar that you will earn this time that you would not have earned before.
To make it even better, if you use the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card (which awards 3x points for airfare), you will receive an additional 2 points per dollar over purchasing points in the past from points.com. With that card, let’s run the math.
Breaking It Down
If you purchase the sweet spot of 75,000 miles, here is how the math breaks down.
- Buy 75,000 + 30,000 bonus miles = 105,000 miles
- Pay $2,170 total (on your Amex PRG card) = earn 6,510 Membership Reward points
- Total miles and points received = 111,510 miles/points
- Total cost per point (counting the bonus from the card) = 1.9 cents per mile
Under the previous 100% promos, you would have earned a total of 101,880 miles/points (counting the credit card single mile per dollar). That cost came to 1.8 cents per mile. So, you are paying 1 cent per mile more this time after taking everything into account.
Is It Worth It?
If you have a specific redemption in mind, it could be worth it to do this. But, you would want to be sure of that since these purchases are non-refundable and you don’t want to hold on to these miles for a long time in case a reworked award calendar comes out overnight that devalues your miles. I will not be purchasing miles through this promo but it may help for some people!
Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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