IT'S REAL! American's

I wrote last night about a chance to buy American AAdvantage miles at just over $0.004 apiece. A lot of readers are worried about whether the deal will be honored.

SimplyMiles is like an online shopping portal, but instead of going through a link that tracks your purchase, you spend money with a Mastercard credit card that you have registered with.

There is an offer of sextuple miles that runs through December 27, but could be pulled earlier.
There are offers that can earn 40 miles per dollar. Mastercard is the most lucrative way to donate to an environmental charity.
40 miles per dollar plus 5x the usual miles equates to a total of 480 miles per dollar.
Since it is a charitable gift, there is a separate discussion on whether or not you are entitled to a tax deduction. Some will argue that their cost basis is even lower here.

Is this offer real? Will it be honored?

I contacted American Airlines and asked if the offer would be honored as advertised and if members would receive 6 times the advertised miles.

I made it clear that a charitable donation under an offer of 40 miles per dollar should earn at least 220 miles per dollar, or a return of 1 mile per $0.0042 spent.

The offer is described by American Airlines. It is not a mistake. I was told that the offer was from Mastercard and it would run until December 27. They want to know how they will inform members if the promotion ends before Christmas.

I was worried that the 40 miles per dollar donation could be a mistake. They confirm that it is not a mistake.

Is this offer really for a bonus of 5 times the usual miles?

Several readers have asked about the offer, but it seems clear to me.

Two years ago, a similar offer was made. The members got six times the usual miles.
They offered a bonus of 5 extra miles per dollar.
A bonus of 5 extra bonus miles per dollar wouldn't make sense since many offers are for a fixed number of miles. The offer wouldn't be for 1505 miles.
The offer was described in a promotional email.

Through December 27 you can earn an additional 5x American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles on every offer site-wide. If you earn 100 miles on a purchase of $30 or more, then you will earn 100 miles and 500 bonus miles for a total of 600 miles.

The concern about the number of miles you would receive is why I asked if this would be honored. American says, "MC will fund the original 40 miles per dollar and then it would be part of the 5X offer, which would be an additional 200 miles per dollar donated."

How can you make sure this doesn't go away?

SimplyMiles will give you miles when you pay with a Mastercard linked to your profile. I have three Mastercards, two of which are American Airlines co brands. If you don't go over the combined Mastercard credit limit, you can't do anything here.

By the time charges are paid, you can free up your credit line again, and the offer will be pulled because it is no longer lasting.

I am not telling anyone to spend their full credit limit on this offer. When I maxed out on US Airways miles at a net cost of a little over a tenth of a cent per mile in 2009, I knew American AAdvantage miles weren't worth what US Airways miles were worth.

Look at it this way.

One way, the QSuites to theMaldives is currently priced at $291.67 with this offer.
One way between the U.S. and Tokyo costs 80,000 miles and $333.33 with this offer.
Air Tahiti Nui business class between the US and Tahiti costs 80,000 miles and $333.33 with this offer.
The first class airfare between the U.S. and Southeast Asia is $450.83 with this offer.

Let's assume award prices go up. A lot. How much travel can you afford?

If you wanted to fly to Australia from the US, you would have to pay an outrageous 195,000 miles for business class, but it would still be just $812.50.

Do you get a tax deduction?

There are some amazing offers at SimplyMiles. I rarely paid attention to SimplyMiles. That has changed because of this. There are some good deals for magazines and The one that is getting the most attention is the donation from theConservation International.

Readers have donated $20,000. There is money on the table. Mastercard says to take a deduction for your gift.

If you have questions about the tax deductibility of your contribution, please seek a financial advisor.

quid pro quo contribution is when you receive something of value in exchange for your gift. You are giving the charity money for goods and services, but also money for a gift.

If a donor gives a charity $100 and gets a concert ticket valued at $40, the donor gets to deduct $60 of their gift. The value of something in this example is what a willing buyer and seller would pay for it.

Are you getting miles in exchange for a gift? You don't own the miles, but American AAdvantage does. How much are the miles worth?

Bask Bank reports miles earned from their savings account to the IRS at a value of 0.42 cents per mile. It pretty much wipes out any chance of a deduction.

Donations of $10,000 would yield 2.4 million miles.
You receive $10,080 in value back in exchange for your gift, according to Bask Bank.
Nothing is deductible.

You would have to take the position that the miles didn't qualify as quid pro quo value under IRS definitions to take a charitable deduction and reduce your cost basis on the miles even further.

Are there any warnings?

Make sure the deal is live and still being advertised when you use it because it can be pulled at any time. Take pictures. We don't know when it will be pulled and we don't know how they will notify the public.

No matter how good a deal this is, don't spend money on travel that you can't afford. You still want to be able to make rent even if you want to live in first class cabins.

It will be even better if this offer ever comes back.

Loyalty Points will be counted as miles earned with SimplyMiles in January. The 5x bonus wouldn't count. 40 miles per dollar with a donation would be enough.

Executive Platinum status is earned by a $5000 donation. If you reach 30 flight segments, you will earn 750,000 point status for level 5 Choice Rewards, which is similar to confirmed international upgrades.

Loyalty Points are going to be the tie-breaker when it comes to how upgrades are given. You would be at the time of every upgrade list for a year if you earned Executive Platinum.

There is no Loyalty Points that you can earn yet, and this offer won't make it into 2022. They have done lucrative bonuses with SimplyMiles before, and those will be even better in the future.

If you use an American AAdvantage co-brand MAstercard for this, you should eventually earn Loyalty Points for the purchase price, which is 1 point per dollar. There is that. Since the deal could be gone, I wouldn't hold on to transactions in order to get into the next month's statement.

Someone hasn't thought through the implications of an incredible offer. You can buy American AAdvantage miles at a low price of just over 4% of a cent per donation, and there are other great offers as well. It won't last.

December 12, 2021.

In the book "discounts and deals". purchases will get you 45 miles per dollar instead of the usual 12. This offer will not last long. 45 miles per dollar equates to $0.022 cents per mile. This is an idea to play with.

October 10, 2016


Every day of the year, there are big offers for flowers. It's been true for a long time. A big boost is earning 30 miles per dollar, which is a pretty good reward for miles, often worth 1.5 cents apiece.

February 5, 2018)

In the book "discounts and deals".