Subtle Change to "Buy AA Miles" for 2013

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by kansaskeith, Jan 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    It appears that the annual cap on the number of AA miles one can buy has been raised from 40,000 to 60,000 for the new year.

    I haven't checked UA for a long time, but my memory was its cap is 60,000, and I don't know about DL's (or US's, ugh), but it is possible this cap change for AA is a competitive response.

    https://buy.points.com/PointsPartne...nguage=EN&product=BUY&CAMPAIGNCODE=AAMktPgDom

    This is not a huge change in that historically AA and points.com ran "special offers" during the year raising the cap during the offer from 40K to 60K anyway. Also be aware that now it is January and there do not appear to be any special monthly bonus miles thrown in -- as there were as recently as December, yesterday -- for miles one buys right now. EDIT: AA now HAS added a bonus for miles purchased in January, though it is not as lucrative as the bonus in effect before New Year's Day.

    Nonetheless, for what it is worth, it appears the cap has changed.
     
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  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    DL is 60k as well. LINK


     
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  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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  4. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    OK, thanks. UA must have raised its cap since I last checked months, or possibly years, ago. Now, a couple observations.

    First, the only cap of know on AA if you buy miles (the so-called "Mileage Multiplier") as part of your itinerary is 3x the miles for whatever flights you are checking in for, and of course this is in addition to the 40,000/now 60,000 "Buy AA Miles" cap. However, unlike what you say about UA, AA "Mileage Multiplier" is in my experience decidedly more costly than "Buy AA Miles."

    Second, I went to your link and compared pricing on buying AA and UA miles over the Internet (not with an itinerary). It's a little complicated to compare prices because UA includes the excise tax on the up-front quote and AA saves that and the service charge for the check-out page (I didn't go that far), but I tried to account best I could for all that, and if I did it right, the pricing wasn't even close. . . 60K miles bought today from United, $2,257.50, and - if I did my math right, 60K bought today from American, $1,803.75. Yikes!
     
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  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I know it was 100k last year too for United.

    Since I haven't been flying AA of late, I didn't know about the mileage multipliers. United's award accelerator, those without status and those with Premier Silver status can buy an additional 1x or 2x miles (current rates are 2.1 cents for int'l itineraries and 2.9 cents for domestic). Those who are Premier Gold or higher can buy 2x (rounded up to the nearest 1000 miles) or 3x at those same rates.

    As for the difference in prices, partly that's because of the different philosophy about award seat availability. United standard awards offer last-seat availability. There are no capacity controls on standard awards.
     
  6. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    Is this sentence meant to imply that you have knowledge certain that AAdv has recent;y instituted capacity control on it's version of "standard award," "AAnytime Award."? I mean besides the current thread on FT, of course.
     
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  7. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I have not been following AA's practices, but I have noticed a real difference in availability when I've tried to use my AA miles (and checking seats vs. Expertflyer) vs. my success on UA. This is one reason I switched from AA to UA (also that I live at a UA captive hub). I still accrue AA miles through my credit card, though.
     
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  8. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    I'm not sure I understand this answer.

    Allow me to point out that AA's published policy is absolutely not what you imply in your post on this-- and I've seen absolutely zero conclusive proof otherwise. Are you sure you're comapring apple to apples; UA "standard" awards to AA "AAnytime awards"?

    Regardless, you can/should take your accrual wherever your needs are met best (I've switched to UA accrual as well) but let's not make statements of personal observation as if they are statements of fact-- for clarity sake.

    AA's actual, publshed policy is:

    AAnytime® Awards
    This type of travel award provides you with the most flexibility, because with an AAnytime Award you can book any unsold seat on any flight, on any day
    http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/makingAwardReservations.jsp
     
  9. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Same availability reason that I've been using UA the past few years, and letting my AA miles just sit there and accrue. B/T the wife and me, we have over 350K AA miles that we have no desire to use in the foreseeable future. As PIA (Yes PIA) is our main airport, both fly there, but seat upgrades and availability makes UA the better choice. Even though it is the 'new' UA. We'll see how the coming year pans out, I have lost Gold, now Silver. But for the first time, Da Bride has made a premier status (Silver). She's pretty excited.
     
  10. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Fair enough, I sit corrected.

    I'm not sure the current policy is what was in effect last time I really flew AA though -- probably been two or three years. I do know that I've had a lot better luck getting saver inventory on United, too.

    Of course, most of my miles had been on BA, which has pretty rotten availability. Sigh.
     
  11. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    The policy I link to has been unchanged for well over a decade.

    Saver vs. Saver, OTOH, I find a huge advantage for UA-- much, much better availability than AAdvantage. For my specific needs (and, obviously, others-- but equally obviously, not all) UA miles trump AA miles at "saver" level in every single way. So not an argument in the world there, I'm dumping all my AA-earning stuff and going all UA-accrual-- sorry I didn't do it a long time ago.

    Only strong point, in my book, (and it's huge one) for AAdv is it's incredible availability on CX in premium cabins.

    Just wanted to correct the erroneous implication that ON PAPER, UA "standard" are any/much different than AA "AAnytime"-- in terms of "any seat on any flight" type availability.
     
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  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Fair enough. :)

    CX was awesome when I flew them. I was able to book one long-haul premium cabin through BA, but the other had to be coach (I waited just a tidge too long). I really loved the A340 herringbone config from HKG-DXB.
     
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  13. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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  14. theskyflyer
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    theskyflyer Silver Member

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    When US is having another 100% bonus sale, won't it be cheaper to buy their miles - with the impending merger?
     
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    What impending merger? Is there an announcement I've missed?

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     

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