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American Airlines Escalating Bonus on Miles Purchases

According to this post on MilePoint, through November 15th American Airlines is offering up to 12,000 bonus miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles. The maximum number of miles you can purchase in a calendar year (and also through this promotion) is 40,000.

To purchase, follow this link and input your AAdvantage information.

As you can see from the terms and conditions page below, the highest bonus is earned when you purchase between 36,000-40,000 miles. You will receive 12,000 bonus miles.

The “sweet spot” of this promotion is purchasing exactly 36,000 miles. Buying this amount will net you a total of 48,000 AAdvantage miles for $1,099.25. You will be getting miles for 2.29 cents per mile. If you purchase the maximum 40,000 miles, you will still get 12,000 bonus miles but the cost per mile jumps to 2.34 cents.

Using the Mile Value Leaderboard, you can see that Scott values American miles at 1.77 cents. AAdvantage has solid online award availability (including partners British, Hawaiian, Qantas, airberlin, and Alaskan) and also allows free oneways on award travel. For more information, make sure to check out the full post, How Much is an AAdvantage Mile Worth? The Value of American Airlines Miles Part 2.

Obviously miles purchased through this promotion are more expensive than we value them. However, if you have a specific redemption in mind and this deal allows you to reach that milestone, then this promotion could make sense for some. I would not speculatively buy AAdvantage miles outright like I did for the recently concluded US Airways share miles promo. For more information on that, read Buy US Airways Miles for 1.1 Cents Through 100% Share Mile Bonus.

Southwest Announces Service to Puerto Rico, Hawaii Next?

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Southwest has announced service to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Southwest will have three daily flights from Orlando (MCO) and one from Tampa Bay (TPA.) The airline is also holding a special $99 oneway promotion from to celebrate this new service. Details on that deal can be found on Southwest’s official page here.

Though AirTran, which recently announced it would be merging with Southwest, already services San Juan from several cities, the Orlando and Tampa routes will be exclusively handled by Southwest.

This is an important step for Southwest for several reasons. First, FlyerTalkers have confirmed that the Companion Pass does indeed work with this route. Earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year gains you the coveted Companion Pass. With the pass, you can book any Southwest flight and have a designated friend or family member fly with you for nearly free. They must only pay the nominal September 11th security fees which are a maximum of $10.00 per roundtrip.

The Puerto Rico route greatly enhances the value of the Companion Pass and Rapid Rewards points as a whole.

Southwest’s expansion into Puerto Rico is also an important first step for eventual flights to Hawaii. I first discussed Southwest’s intentions to enter the Hawaiian market here and here. If Hawaii is next on Southwest’s route map, the value of the Companion Pass and Rapid Rewards points will grow even more.

Frequent Traveler University Tickets Now On Sale

As I mentioned in a post last week, Forum Buzz: Frequent Traveler University Dates Announced, the popular miles and points seminar Frequent Traveler University (or FTU) will be taking place April 26-28 in Tysons Corner, Virginia, a Washington DC suburb.

Registration for the event is now open and tickets can be purchased here.

This is an excellent event to meet up with fellow travelers and mile enthusiasts as well as hear presentations from your favorite bloggers. Scott will actually be speaking at the The FTU in Los Angeles from November 30-December 2 at the Sheraton LAX, which is now sold out. He will be covering free oneway awards on the major domestic carriers. For more information on his presentation, read MileValue to Speak at the Los Angeles Frequent Traveler University.

Recap

The American Airline bonus for purchasing miles is not worth it if you simply are trying to boost your AAdvantage account. The miles earned through this promotion are simply more than our valuation. Buying miles is less expensive than normal with the bonus, but not a suitable price for outright speculative purchases.

Southwest’s expansion into Puerto Rico is great news for Rapid Rewards members. These new routes are eligible for the Companion Pass, and this clears the way for more overwater destinations. Southwest could soon begin flights to Hawaii, creating an even better group of destinations for leisure travelers.

Frequent Traveler University tickets for the April 26-28, 2013 are now officially on sale. If you want to learn some great tricks and tips from experts and meet some like-minded travelers, this is the place to be.

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