Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

265,000 award miles for $4,786.88; worth it? (to merge)

265,000 award miles for $4,786.88; worth it? (to merge)

Old Mar 31, 17, 9:02 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 89
265,000 award miles for $4,786.88; worth it? (to merge)

This is where I show my ignorance of mileage buy rates.

AA's latest promotion is offering 265,000 miles (150,000 base plus 115,000 bonus) for $4,786.88 - all other considerations aside (e.g. buying miles is always a bad idea) - is that a good price for air miles, I make it 1.8 cents a mile ?
Fonsini is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 9:51 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Here and there
Programs: AA EXP, Best Buy Elite, Starbucks Gold, Sweetgreen Green
Posts: 1,484
Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
This is where I show my ignorance of mileage buy rates.

AA's latest promotion is offering 265,000 miles (150,000 base plus 115,000 bonus) for $4,786.88 - all other considerations aside (e.g. buying miles is always a bad idea) - is that a good price for air miles, I make it 1.8 cents a mile ?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but that promotion runs constantly. It may end for a day or two, but it seems to be available more than not.

If you have a need for the points, go for it. It should be simple to compare the cost of the points to the cash price of the award ticket you are looking to buy.
deeruck is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 10:57 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 18,362
Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
This is where I show my ignorance of mileage buy rates.

AA's latest promotion is offering 265,000 miles (150,000 base plus 115,000 bonus) for $4,786.88 - all other considerations aside (e.g. buying miles is always a bad idea) - is that a good price for air miles, I make it 1.8 cents a mile ?
I would not speculatively buy AA miles at any price, because there's a significant risk you will later end up complaining in this forum that your miles can't be used, and your complaints will end up moved into this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...iscussion.html

Put your award that you find on hold, buy the miles you need, and then be done with it, but AA is a lousy program to buy miles in "because it's a good price".

FWIW, it was possible to buy US miles for 1.1 CPM in 2011, and AA's program isn't 70% better than US's was five years ago (the airlines have caught on to the FTer "I'll just buy a discount F ticket via buying miles" crowd and adjusted pricing accordingly). AV miles are regularly available at ~1.5 CPM or less (and *A is immensely better than OW for alliance availability). AA's price for miles on this sale may be a decent price these days, but it is not a good deal unless you have a specific redemption available to you. I'd rather have the nearly $5000 in cash, please.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Mar 31, 17 at 11:04 am
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Mar 31, 17, 11:57 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: OMA/LNK
Programs: AA EXP, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 210
For $3000 you can get a paid business ticket from ORD to LHR (mid-week in October as an example). That business ticket would cost you more than 200,000 miles for an anytime award. Or 115,000 if you manage to scrap together a saver award (good luck with that).

If you pay for the ticket you will get EQDs, EQMs with a class of service multiplier and anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 RDMs.

I would echo what others say, if you find a saver award you are close to and need the miles maybe not a bad idea - but compare it to the cash price of the ticket plus the other potential benefits like qualifying for status and redeemable miles.
badkneeski is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 1:35 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 41,469
The value depends on what you plan to redeem it for and what that would cost if were to buy the flight

For, example, an Australia-UK r/r journey in buisness class would be 170k. pro-rata the miles purchase and that is $3079 plus tax

Looking at a paid ticket you would be looking at (excluding tax) $4000-$6000 depending on the airline that you would have chosen. MH would be around $4000, QF around $5500 and QR around $5900 ( loooking at lowest fares in May )

Would be a $900-$1900 saving by use of a miles redemption

If wanting to make a booking and there is availability, on that route, would def make the award reservation, buy miles and then ticket

On another routes , such as a LHR-JFK r/t could cost $2000 whilst the value of 115k miles required pro-rated on the 265k purchase would be $2077 and use of miles there would be poor
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 1:50 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 588
only makes sense if you have a specific purpose for them. for example if you are flying first class on cathay pacific or etihad then this is a bargain. otherwise, i wouldn't buy them just to hold on to them. smart thing to do is put the ticket you want on hold first and then buy the miles
omaralt is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 1:50 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,247
Well 220k gets you a CX F ticket to Southeast Asia and those aren't all that difficult to find. Great deal compared to the $15-25k+ it probably costs in cash, but do you really want/need to spend $4500+ on that ticket? That's harder to answer.
ijgordon is online now  
Old Mar 31, 17, 2:02 pm
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 41,469
Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
only makes sense if you have a specific purpose for them. for example if you are flying first class on cathay pacific or etihad then this is a bargain. otherwise, i wouldn't buy them just to hold on to them. smart thing to do is put the ticket you want on hold first and then buy the miles
Indeed - but only a bargain if would otherwise have purchased a 1st class ticket - a farer comparison in saving is against what would have purchased
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 2:03 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Here and there
Programs: AA EXP, Best Buy Elite, Starbucks Gold, Sweetgreen Green
Posts: 1,484
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
If wanting to make a booking and there is availability, on that route, would def make the award reservation, buy miles and then ticket
Dave's right. Find the seats, then purchase points if necessary.
deeruck is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 2:35 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: AA LifeTime PLT (2.982 MM, But 3MM+ Total), HHonors GOLD, IHG AMB
Posts: 787
Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
This is where I show my ignorance of mileage buy rates.

AA's latest promotion is offering 265,000 miles (150,000 base plus 115,000 bonus) for $4,786.88 - all other considerations aside (e.g. buying miles is always a bad idea) - is that a good price for air miles, I make it 1.8 cents a mile ?
AA devalued the program specifically for these reason. To buy miles at the inflated costs, and force flyers to purchase business class rather than EXPs having eight (8) SWUs....which are now four (4) at 100K + this $12,000 spend BS. If you want to have 1 million miles in your account first (like an investment for the flexibility), and then purchase flying afterward, yeah....it's okay.

But if you are buying tickets now with a low mileage level in your account, then no.....let AA suffer.

Near the end of the year, the promotions used to be double miles. And then it would lag into the first week of January, from which you could double buy to 600,000 miles; "300K per calendar year". To me, that's better. @:-)
Spock Seat is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 3:35 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,687
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Indeed - but only a bargain if would otherwise have purchased a 1st class ticket - a farer comparison in saving is against what would have purchased
what one would pay in cash for the same ticket is irrelevant, why do you always show up and say that?! You can buy miles and get the ticket for this price, ergo it is a great value next to the cash price of an F ticket. And that is true regardless of whether a particular buyer of miles would buy or could afford the cash ticket piurchase.

CX J remains a great value as well, particulalry in light of the fact that you can actually score multiple tix on the same plane. Whether to top up an accout to enable you to redeem 4 or 5 awards on CX J or simply to purchase 2 tix outright, this can be a great deal on some of CX's more expensive J routes.

I dont think buying miles for AA J redemptions is a real value though, since 2-3 times a year i can score AA J to europe for under $1500 per person, so better to keep eyes open and jump at those opportunities rather than overspend on miles (where miles avenue tix arent even available).
stephem is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 3:53 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest
Posts: 270
For me, the value of AA miles (even more than some other programs) is a function of having a lot of schedule flexibility and no small amount of luck. I recently picked off two business class tickets -- HNL/SYD/CNS for a vacation next year. Using AA miles - Hawaiian (with their new lie flat configuration), and then the next day to Cairns on Qantas.

Those flights would have cost something like $3000 each. So at 65K miles I got 4+ cents per mile. But I had schedule flexibility and this was 'long out' planning for next year.

So it is still possible to get decent value per FF mile -- but it makes little sense to buy miles speculatively these days. Curiously, if I had tried to arrange the HNL/SYD leg using Hawaiian miles on their flight -- it would have been 130K miles just for that leg. I looked at that and found it easy to pass on that opportunity. <smile>

I simply don't advocate using miles at less than 2 cents a mile.

A few years back I was able, using Alaska miles to scarf up two RT first class tickets from LA to Australia on Cathay Pacific. Those ran me 160K miles for each of the RT tickets. But the Cathay Pacific price for those tickets was **$24K** each. I figured 15 cents on the mile was an excellent deal.

So as they say, your mileage may vary.

By the way, while Hawaiian Airlines was not a good miles option for that long haul flight to Australia, it can be a better option from Phoenix (my home base) to Hawaii compared to American Airlines for miles. Again, it varies a lot.
BarryAZ is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 4:31 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ROC/NYC/MSP/LAX/HKG/SIN
Programs: AA 1.75MM EXP EMD, UA 1.31MM LT *G, DL SM, AS MVPG 75K, Marriott LT PLT(PP)/ICH AMB PLT/Hertz PC
Posts: 3,207
Originally Posted by Fonsini View Post
This is where I show my ignorance of mileage buy rates.

AA's latest promotion is offering 265,000 miles (150,000 base plus 115,000 bonus) for $4,786.88 - all other considerations aside (e.g. buying miles is always a bad idea) - is that a good price for air miles, I make it 1.8 cents a mile ?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...han-seats.html

This thread will give you a good perspective of what to expect when you pay $4800.00 for the miles.

IMO you can only beat the system if you find a deal that cost more than what you pay for the miles. If you are going to redeem on the carrier that other FFPs would also do, then you have to do more research in it. In most cases, no, it's just better to buy the ticket instead of paying for the miles.
PaulInTheSky is offline  
Old Mar 31, 17, 7:41 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok, Thailand. No longer Palm Coast, FL though still exiled, again, from the Bay Area.
Programs: Only the good ones
Posts: 4,857
Originally Posted by stephem View Post
what one would pay in cash for the same ticket is irrelevant, why do you always show up and say that?!

I dont think buying miles for AA J redemptions is a real value though, since 2-3 times a year i can score AA J to europe for under $1500 per person, so better to keep eyes open and jump at those opportunities rather than overspend on miles (where miles avenue tix arent even available).
I think he says it because that's one way to value the miles, and probably more relevant than saying CX has this and AA has that, i.e. maybe the OP doesn't want to go to SE Asia on CX or Europe on AA. As a general rule, it's not worth buying miles for speculative future unknown awards. If the OP has a specific need, then it may become worthwhile to look at the alternatives.
rbAA is online now  
Old Mar 31, 17, 10:52 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: PDX
Programs: AS DL
Posts: 4,408
Not worth it unless you had a very specific use right now. Even then, it would be a questionable value.
Toshbaf is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: