Wish me luck: I just bought millions of miles

I just took advantage of an incredible deal on a pretty large scale (or should I say AAdvantage?)

I bought AAdvantage miles for 0.42 cents each (hopefully)

I wrote about the amazing SimplyMiles promotion that is available right now. In short, there is a promotion with 5x AAdvantage bonus miles for purchases from selected retailers. If you do make use of this make sure you know what you are doing and read all of SimplyMiles’ terms and conditions, FAQs, etc.

Not all retailers offer the same rewards, and there is one option that will stand out. Donations to Conservation International typically offer 40 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent. Because you can earn 5x additional AAdvantage bonus miles for every dollar spent, you will receive a total of 240 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent.

That’s a cost of 0.42 cents per AAdvantage mile (excluding credit card rewards) which is an incredible deal. For context, I estimate AAdvantage miles to be 1.5 cents each, so I only bought the miles at 28% of what I estimate. I admit I took a go big or go home approach here and bought millions of miles. Well, or at least I made a donation in the hopes of getting millions of miles in the end.

To put that in perspective, a Qsuites Business Class award from Qatar Airways from the USA to the Middle East currently costs 70,000 miles each way. At 0.42 cents per mile, that’s equivalent to paying less than $ 300 for the ticket.

Maybe with all these miles I will simply declare my residence in Qsuites?

Why I decided to “get big” with this offer

Over the years the miles and points world has seen some incredible offers in this direction. Sometimes they were honored, sometimes they weren’t honored. Most of the time, I don’t bother taking advantage of these offers because I think it’s not worth the risk or hassle.

This time it was different. Why? First of all, Conservation International is a great thing. Presumably Conservation International is not on the hook for this promotion and the bonus miles, but SimplyMiles, Mastercard, AAdvantage etc.

In general, I would have serious concerns about this offer being honored, but in this case I feel as confident as I could with such a generous offer:

  • Emails to SimplyMiles members explicitly stated the intent of the bonus to offer 5x additional bonus miles, for a total of 6x the number of miles one would normally earn (“For example, if you earn 100 miles for a purchase of $ 30 or more, then you actually earn 100 miles + 500 bonus miles for a total of 600 miles. “)
  • This was confirmed by a spokesman for American Airlines View from the wing that “the offer is as described”
  • Although there is the theoretical clause in the terms that the offer is “subject to the availability of bonus miles,” this offer will continue to be advertised on the SimplyMiles website and I think we can all agree that it would be unreasonable , continue to be eligible for the offer if no bonus miles are available
  • After the donation, I received an email confirming that I had earned the standard 40 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent, so at least the first part of the offer works as expected
  • It was a full day’s work and the offer was not withdrawn; Hell, a lot more people have been approached about this offer in the past few hours
  • I took screenshots of everything

Then there is the general concept of parting with cold cash for miles that can be devalued at any time:

  • I am buying AAdvantage miles for less than 30% of their value. Even if AAdvantage miles were devalued to the point where redemptions cost twice as much (which I don’t expect anytime soon), that would still be amazingly worth it
  • Granted, I’m parting with a significant amount of cash (and I’m lucky enough to be in a situation where I have the liquidity), although it also seems like a sensible “investment” to me – whether it’s selling and selling Hyatt or Marriott gift cards Offered a 100% bonus, I would buy lots of gift cards too
  • Let me also say upfront that I recommend always playing by the rules as I am sure that some mileage brokers will take advantage of this offer and close their accounts after miles have been sold and if that happens, they deserve it; Buy only as many miles as you can practically use for yourself, family and friends without exchanging or selling them
240 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent? Yes, please!

Do I think this promotion will be honored?

On the surface, I don’t see any way that SimplyMiles will not be able to recognize this promotion, especially as American has confirmed that this was the intent of the promotion and that it will continue to run after a business day. It is one thing if this could only be done for a few short hours over a weekend, but that doesn’t happen here.

Besides that:

  • I’m not sure who is running the tab for this promotion, which is likely to determine the outcome of this promotion – is it SimplyMiles, Mastercard, AAdvantage, or a combination of all three?
  • Absolute worst case scenario, I would expect a full refund to be offered in case this is somehow not met; If that happened, I would still make a (smaller) donation to Conservation International, just as a goodwill gesture
  • I think the look will be interesting considering that this money is going to be used for a good cause; even if the intention is undignified, maybe the different parties will come together to make something positive out of it, and this will also raise SimplyMiles’ awareness

In all honesty, it’s exciting to be part of these promotions. It’s been years since I’ve participated in such an offer, so after some deliberation, I’ve decided that I can’t say no.

I can already taste all of those premium American Airlines turkey sandwiches!

Bottom line

Over the years there have been a number of offers in the miles and points world that are “too good to be true”. In some cases these are flight or hotel error fares, and in some cases they are offered by airline and hotel partners. Sometimes they are honored, sometimes not.

While this offer seems too good to be true, I’m not sure what else could be done here regarding due diligence. The airline has confirmed that this promotion will be offered as intended and will continue to be available after one business day. Add the money going to a good cause and this just seemed like something worth taking a spin.

As I warned in the last post, if you decide to take advantage of this offer, you should study the terms carefully, be aware of what you are getting yourself into, take screenshots, and not spend any money that would have a material impact on your situation (in case this somehow doesn’t work and / or your money is withheld for an extended period without the miles).

I’ll tell you how it works so that hopefully all OMAAT readers have at least some entertainment out of it …

If you are eligible, did you take advantage of this offer? Would you have taken advantage of this offer if you were not eligible?

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