Stack promos, buy AA miles for 1.68c each

American Airlines is offering a 25% transfer bonus when you convert hotel points to AAdvantage miles. A potentially interesting play here would be buying Marriott Bonvoy points to convert to American Airlines, which would give you an effective rate of 1.68c each to buy American Airlines miles (very similar to how we re-published the Aeroplan transfer bonus earlier which enables you to buy miles for 1.62c each). While I’m not a buyer at that price, it might make sense for those just short of an imminent and valuable redemption.

The Deal

Key Terms

  • Valid until October 30, 2019
  • Must register (see landing page above)

Quick Thoughts

Like the Aeroplan transfer bonus we re-published earlier, this could be a way to buy miles indirectly for a lesser price than what American typically charges. That’s because you can currently buy Marriott points at a rate of $8.75 per thousand points. The numbers work out like this if you indirectly buy miles:

  • Buy 60K Marriott points for $525 (60 x $8.75)
  • Convert 60K Marriott points to 25K American miles and get a 25% bonus for 31,250 AA miles
  • $525 / 31,250 miles = 1.62c per mile

A few quick thoughts on that:

First, this isn’t a price at which I’d be a buyer of American Airlines miles. There are ways to generate those miles more inexpensively. That said, if I were looking to book a trip for multiple people pronto and I were just 25K miles short of the goal post, maybe I’d consider topping off in some scenario.

Second, the AA promotion page lists the bonus a little differently than my math above suggests. They say that 60K = 20K + 25% bonus and then notes you get an additional 5K for transferring 60K. In all past transfer bonuses from other airlines as far as I’m aware, the airline transfer bonus has also applied to that 5K bonus. That is to say that if you transferred 60K, you’d get:

  • 60K –> 20K + 5K = 25K + 25% bonus = 31,250 miles

However, the way this promo is worded, it almost looks like you could end up getting:

  • 60K –> 20K + 25% bonus = 25K + 5K bonus = 30K miles

That would be an effective rate of 1.75c per mile.

My firm bet is that my initial interpretation (31,250 miles) is accurate, but I’m noting the alternative possibility because of the promo page’s lack of clarity. Even if whoever wrote the page truly thinks you’ll end up with 30K miles, my bet is that they’d be wrong. If any readers remember how this worked out in a past AA transfer bonus, please share your experience in the comments.

The other potential use for this promo is if you have hotel points that are about to languish and expire, it would be better to consider conversion rather than letting them rot — though be aware that the transfer ratios from other programs are pretty poor.

We’ve added this to our list of current point transfer bonuses.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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rich
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rich

I have a decent number ~400K AA miles and either don’t have the time off or can’t easily find uses for the miles. My preference is always western Europe and that is tough with AA/BA miles unless you want to pay the BA fees.

Chuckz
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Chuckz

I had 500k to go through. Used mostly on last minute domestic flights and a round-trip Boston to Hong Kong in F on Cathay. Honestly a pain to go through

Mary Jane
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Mary Jane

Hi Nick, you mentioned there are other ways to acquire AA points more inexpensively. Other than all the AA cc sign-up bonuses, what am I missing?

Kalboz
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Kalboz

FLIGHT CENTS program from Barclays AAdvantage Aviator cards is one way.

In order to participate in Flight Cents™, you must set your threshold to the maximum amount you’d like to round up each statement period. You can set your threshold to any dollar amount from $1 to $500. Once you’ve set your threshold, you will get a 1/2 AAdvantage® mile for every 1 cent that is rounded up to the nearest whole dollar for each purchase. At the end of each statement period, you will be charged the Flight Cents™ Amount (the total amount rounded up) and this will appear as a purchase on your statement. The miles you acquire through Flight Cents™ each statement period will then be added to your AAdvantage® account.

CaveDweller
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CaveDweller

Kalboz
I just got that card also have the Citi AA which I will keep Citi Gave me 7500 points @ renewal for a $1k spend for the $95 fee .Have u Renewed the card and DID they give u points or anything @ that time ?? I think well in advance .
Thank You !!
CHEERs

Kalboz
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Kalboz

Citi AA usually gives me statement credit for the AF but it takes ~ 3 billing cycles to appear so you have to make minimum payment. The Barclays AAdvantage just gave me 10K AA miles for annual renewal but I have heard that is ending soon.

CaveDweller
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CaveDweller

Thanks Kailboz..
Citi gave me that offer and I had No Spend for the year .I.ll try for both and will charge on both and C what happens next year .
CHEERs

CHRISTOPHER LARKBY
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CHRISTOPHER LARKBY

To put things in perspective, 1.72c/mile is the lowest price I have ever seen and to get that you had to pay for 150k to end up with 250k after the bonus.

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