AA miles on sale with a bonus: average price

Guide to buying AAdvantage miles for cheaper Business & First Class travel with oneworld partner airlines

GUIDE: Buying Points
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 4 minutes
POSTED: December 23, 2019
UPDATED: December 23, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines have launched their latest offer which sees AAdvantage miles being sold with a bonus if you make a purchase by 5 January 2020 — with a resultant cost of 1.98 US cents per mile at the best-value tier.

These offers run almost monthly (see Offer history for details of past points value). The current price is about average in terms of value compared to previous offers.

Buying AAdvantage miles makes the most sense when topping up your balance for a specific Business or First Class redemption on American Airlines, a oneworld partner like Qantas or Qatar Airways, or partner airlines like Air Tahiti Nui and Fiji Airways.

The current AAdvantage purchase miles promotion

  • Bonus: From 30-70%
AAdvantage Bonus Miles Chart
  • Valid until: 5 January
  • Best value redemptions: domestic Australian and Trans-Tasman Qantas Business Class, Fiji Airways Business to Fiji, Qantas/Cathay Pacific/Japan Airlines Business to Asia, and oneworld Business to Europe
  • Book awards online: for AA, Qantas, British Airways, and some others (full list)
  • Book awards over the phone: for other partners, you can only book over the phone and are charged a $75 USD booking fee
  • You can buy miles in this promotion through this link

This promotion yields the cheapest per mile price of ~1.98 US cents per mile when buying exactly 100,000 miles.

Qantas A330 Business Class

Note: AAdvantage miles expire after 18 months of inactivity in your account, so make sure to keep your account active by earning/redeeming miles regularly.

Why purchase AAdvantage miles?

  1. For oneworld partner redemptions: American Airlines is a member of the oneworld alliance, so you can redeem AAdvantage miles across any oneworld airline, including all those who fly direct from New Zealand – Qantas, Cathay Pacific, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, and Qatar Airways
  2. For other partner redemptions: American Airlines have other partner airlines that fly to New Zealand that you can redeem AAdvantage miles for, including Etihad, Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui
  3. Very helpful award hold policy: with AA, it is possible to hold award bookings for up to five days (if booking more than two weeks from departure) or 24 hours (if booking closer), allowing you to pencil in plans and then confirm the ticket once you’ve bought or transferred the miles into your account. This policy makes it easy to make risk-free redemption holds while you re-confirm total costs of making your booking and buying the points

The best value AAdvantage redemptions for NZ travellers

Here are some of the better-priced and more readily-available awards for travellers from NZ:

Example RedemptionAAdvantage Miles requiredCost (USD) with latest promotion at highest discount tier*
* All redemption prices are in USD, one way and do not included booking fees, taxes and other charges
Australia to/from New Zealand in Business Class with Qantas or LAN 25000$495
New Zealand to Fiji in Fiji Airways Business Class30000$594
New Zealand to Tahiti or Air Tahiti Nui Business Class30000$594
New Zealand Business Class to Asia Zone 1 (Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam)40000$792
New Zealand Business Class to Asia Zone 2 (Japan and Korea)40000$792
New Zealand Business Class to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines65000$1287
New Zealand Business Class to Contiguous 48 U.S. states80000$1584
New Zealand Business Class to Europe85000$1683

Factors to consider when purchasing AAdvantage miles

Just like any miles purchase deal, you’ll need to take into consideration the following factors:

  • The cost of the miles required for your intended route
  • The $75 USD phone booking fee for some partners
  • The USD:NZD exchange rate
  • The taxes that come along with the booking, which are most easily confirmed by American over the phone
  • The time taken to research award availability and make the booking
  • AAdvantage accounts less than 30 days old are not permitted to buy or gift miles, so register for an account now so you can take advantage of future promotions
  • AAdvantage usually lets you purchase or gift 100,000-150,000 miles (not including the bonus miles on offer) per year per account receiving the miles, so ensure you are buying into a deal when you have a redemption in mind OR you think it’s a really good one
  • Be sure to get to the checkout page to see the full cost of your purchase including all USD fees and taxes

Previous offers

The simplest way to track historical AAdvantage offers is with the US cents per mile cost for the best offer tier for that period:

DateCost Per Mile
(USD cents)
December 20191.98
November 20192.01
October 20192.03
September 20192.08
August 20191.84
June-August 20191.72Lowest
May 20191.92
March-April 20191.92
January 20192.14
December 2018-January 20191.77
November 20181.92
October-November 20182.25Highest
October 20182.03
August 20181.84
June-August 20181.72Lowest
May 20182.08
March 2018 1.81
February 20182.02
January 20182.13
December 20171.77
November 20171.91
October 20172.10
September 20172.02
August 20171.83
July 20171.72Lowest
June 20171.72Lowest
May 20171.77
March 20171.80
February 20172.24Highest
January 20172.13
December 20161.77
November 20161.90
September 20162.02
August 20162.00
June 20161.72Lowest
May 20161.89
March 20161.81
February 20162.02
January 20162.13
December 20151.81
November 20151.98
October 20152.10
August 20152.09
July 20152.00
May-June 20152.06
May 20152.09
April 20152.00
February 20152.07
January 20152.14

Why purchasing AAdvantage miles is easier than earning them

The most common way to acquire AAdvantage miles for New Zealand travellers outside of flights would be to either:

Purchasing miles directly from American Airlines is usually the most cost-effective method if you have a specific flight you are targeting.

With most of these promotions I am usually quite risk-averse, and would only recommend purchasing miles for topping up an account or buying the full chunk of miles if you have a specific redemption in mind, but not to purchase speculatively. Your preferences may differ though!

Making your booking

Bookings using your miles can be made online if you are looking to fly American, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas or and a heap of other airline partners.

If not, they’ll have to be made over the phone with the (usually excellent) call centre for the region, which happens to be in Fiji.

From New Zealand, you can contact them on (09) 308 4014, selecting option 3 for award travel.

Be sure to check the taxes and fees that will be incurred with your booking as well. I find the easiest way to do this is simply to research availability online on the Qantas website and call AAdvantage to price up the booking.

Summing up

AAdvantage provide those in Australia and New Zealand with some well-priced redemption opportunities available to use for cheaper premium cabin flights by buying miles and immediately redeeming them.

Their generous award hold policy makes the process much less risky, allowing you to hold an award, buy the miles and then call back to get it ticketed once they are added to your account.

Buying miles to redeem for flights in this way is still time-consuming, requiring you to research availability to death before you can book.

Whilst there aren’t many valuable deals for Economy travellers here, if you are keen for a Business or First Class bargain, you can still pick one up when buying AAdvantage miles.

You can purchase AAdvantage miles here.

Are you new to the purchasing points game?

If you’re new to the world of buying points/miles, I’ve written a full intro guide.

AA miles on sale with a bonus: average price was last modified: December 23rd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch

You can also access more comprehensive guides for buying points in each individual frequent flyer programme below.

AA miles on sale with a bonus: average price was last modified: December 23rd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch
AA miles on sale with a bonus: average price was last modified: December 23rd, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch