American Airlines is currently running a promotion that offers various amounts of bonus miles when you purchase them by January 30. The largest bonus of 35,000 miles kicks in when you buy between 70,000 and 100,000 miles. The list price for 70,000 + 35,000 is $2,065. With taxes and fees it’s more like $2,250, or 2.1 cents per mile.
Although not an amazing deal, anything close to 2 cents is a decent price for buying most airline miles. Alaska Airlines regularly sells them at this rate when you buy them during the course of booking a ticket, and I know many people who take them up on the offer. American’s routing rules aren’t as generous as Alaska’s, but more people are likely to have elite status with American AAdvantage, leading to waived change fees that can make up the difference.
With 105,000 miles you could book a round-trip ticket in business class to Europe or North Asia. Earn a few more miles on your own to fly business class to Southeast Asia or book first class instead. Assuming you can find award space or are flexible with your dates of travel, buying miles to book award tickets can be more affordable than buying traditional revenue fares.
No account may purchase or receive more than 100,000 miles in a year. Note that bonus miles don’t count against that number, but if you choose to maximize this promotion you will not have another chance should a better one come along. I think the odds of that happening by a wide margin (perhaps under 1.8 cents per mile) are not very good. So you may want to buy 70,000 and if something else does come along you’ll still be able to buy another 30,000. Don’t forget you can also continue to buy US Airways miles and wait for the programs to merge in a few months.