American Airlines is running a discount to let you save up to 30% when transferring AA miles. Here is how to take advantage of it, what the math looks like, and why you may want to do this.
Save Up To 30% Transferring AA Miles
This discount is not for obtaining new miles but rather sharing miles from one account to another AA account. This normally costs $12.50 per 1,000 miles but can now be done at a 20% or 30% discount (as long as you transfer more than 6,000 miles). In addition to the charge per mile, there is also a transaction fee of $15.
- This promo runs through March 31, 2016 11:59PM CT
- The miles transferred with the Share Miles program do not count towards AAdvantage Gold, AAdvantage Platinum, AAdvantage Executive Platinum or AAdvantage Million MilerSM status qualification.
- Transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible.
- The miles successfully purchased will post to the designated account immediately.
- Prices are in U.S. dollars and do not include applicable taxes or $15 per transaction processing charge.
- AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old are not permitted to Share miles.
- Each AAdvantage member is limited to sharing or receiving, in a calendar year, a combined total of no more than 200,000 AAdvantage miles.
- There is a limit of 50,000 miles per transaction
Why You May Want To Do This
Normally, transferring miles from one account to another is not a great idea. It costs less to transfer than it does to buy new miles but you are essentially paying for miles that you presumably already have access to for your travel in the first place. Buy mile promos have been around 2.1 cents per mile as of late and the best price on this discount promo is .9 cents per mile – for miles you already “own.”
This is not nearly as good as the old promos from Delta and US Airways that would give you a 100% bonus on miles transferred. This bonus does not give you any miles but it does defray the cost.
So, why would you want to do this? Normally, I would say don’t do it especially since there was a similar promo last year where they even gave you bonus miles. But, with the AAdvantage devaluation looming, there are a couple of ways that it may make sense for you to take advantage of this promo.
Executive Platinum Account = Free Award Changes
If you are making speculative bookings for future travel just to lock in the current rates (especially for something like premium cabins), you are going to have to pay when you change those reservations later – $125 to change it. Unless you or someone you know is an AA Executive Platinum member. An AA Exec Plat member receives fee-waived changes and redeposits.
If you know you are going to have to make at least one change later on your award booking, it could make more money sense to put that $125 towards transferring miles to an Executive Platinum account so you can make as many changes as you want – for free. It will depend on the amount of miles you want to transfer, but it could still make sense.
Even though AA miles are harder to come by than say Delta or United, Citi AA cards are still much easier to churn than Delta or United cards. That means you can certainly build your account easily just by getting new cards at some point – I added 116,000 AA miles just last month from getting two new AA cards and meeting the minimum spending (one business at 50K and one personal at a matched 60K).
But, time is running out before the devaluation. There is no way you can get a new card now, meet the spending, and have the miles post before the devaluation. Another option of getting AA miles is through SPG transfers. This can take 5 days as well so time is running out on this option as well.
Transferring AA miles to another account will happen immediately and you can book right away. That may be worth the fee if you are trying to lock in an award before the devaluation.
If you are just shy in one account of an award, you can take advantage of this promo to top up the account and get the miles needed for that award. It is certainly much cheaper than buying miles and even a better deal than buying Starpoints to transfer in.
Again, it is pretty terrible to pay for miles you already own but there are situations where it may make sense with this discount promo. I took advantage of it myself to clear out what was left of my wife’s AA miles to setup my mileage balance for the remaining awards I want to book.