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I’m kind of crushing on the creativity of a new program being piloted by the AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard to targeted accounts. They are introducing a new Flight Cents pilot program beginning October 1st where, if you are targeted and opt in, you are essentially buying American Airlines miles with each purchase you make on the card that isn’t a round dollar amount at a rate that varies based on the offer your account was targeted for. Confused yet? Let me try to explain…
I have seen reports of two different versions of this targeted offer, one that awards a 50% multiplier and one that awards a 100% multiplier. Let’s use the 100% multiplier in our example as it is the version that is much more likely to be worth it.
Let’s say you purchase a coffee for $3.10 on your eligible AAdvantage Aviator card. Usually you earn one mile per dollar charged to the card unless the charge is in a bonused category, and that is the end of it.
However, with this pilot program, the purchase would be rounded up to $4.00 and you would earn one mile per cent for those 90 rounded up cents to get to the next whole dollar amount. In this 100% bonus case that would mean you earn 90 American Airlines miles at a cost to you of the 90 rounded up cents. That is the same as buying American Airlines miles for one cent each.
If you opted in to the version of the trial with a 50% bonus then you would be getting half the number of miles for the same amount of money, meaning that you are paying two cents per mile, which is not a very good deal.
However, at one cent per mile, many savvy users of American miles will come out ahead, depending on how you redeem your miles. Only you know if it is worth it to you to stock up on additional American miles at that rate, but it is probably at least worth considering if you were targeted for the 100% multiplier Flight Cents pilot program.
I was not targeted, but based on what I have seen, there is a cap of $500 per month for the round-up threshold, though you can set that monthly maximum lower. If you had $500 in rounded up “cents” from your transactions with the 100% offer, then you would have purchased 50,000 American Airlines miles for $500 in that month. Of course you need to obviously factor in if you have the money in your budget to purchase AAdvantage miles each month.
My understanding is that you must enroll by September 30, 2017, to participate in the trial, and I don’t know how long the pilot is scheduled to run – though if you have that info, please feel free to share.
Were you targeted for the Barlcays Flight Cents pilot program on your Aviator card? If so, I’d love to hear the multiplier you were offered and whether you intend to try it out. Also remember that you can sign-up for a Advantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard right now and get 60,000 bonus miles upon the first purchase and payment of the $95 annual fee.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.