I’ve spoken about buying miles directly from the airlines before and, in general, am against it, although I have moderated somewhat from my initial position of never doing so. American’s offer, which expires on November 27, is okay but not great.
American Miles at 1.8-1.9 Cents Each
There are a number of ways to crunch the numbers on this one, depending on what credit card you use (e.g., two miles per dollar spent if you use an AA credit card), but the best way to look at it is probably 1.9 cents per mile.
This promotion is no different than most in that, to get the best value, you need to buy the highest number of miles available.
It’s not actually $4,425, but rather, $4,787 after taxes and fees. Buy anything less than that and you’re making an expensive mistake.
So should you do it? Probably not. Whenever an airline is selling, you should be suspicious of being a buyer. But if you have your heart set on an expensive trip and know that there is availability on your flights, then it’s probably not a bad deal. You should be able to get two business class international tickets for 250,000 miles, and it’s hard to to find those tickets for sale for the $4,787 that the miles would cost you.*
*Remember, though, that if you pay for the tickets outright, you will earn miles for your flight. You won’t earn miles if you use miles to purchase the ticket.
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