Monday, November 25, 2013

Spend $500 on magazines and American Airlines will throw in a round-trip ticket to Hawaii for free

    In the amazing deals department, a couple can buy $250 each worth of magazine subscriptions through the American Airlines AAdvantage shopping portal and they will throw in a round-trip ticket to Hawaii for free.
    Now, let me admit, they don't just issue a ticket to Hawaii with two $250 purchases. But they will credit each purchaser with 17,500 miles. For a husband and wife each making purchases that comes out to 35,000 miles, which is the cost in miles of an off-peak round-trip ticket to Hawaii.
    Here's how this one works. AAdvantage is offering a 2,500-mile bonus through December 2 to anyone purchasing $250 through its shopping portal. This spending can be spread among retailers. They also have a 1,500-mile bonus for $150 in spending and $75 for 750 miles.
    Each retailer also offers miles for purchases, generally from two to six miles per dollar. But from time to time a retailer will offer a really large milage bonus. And that's what's happening now. usually offers a generous 20 miles per dollar spent, but right now they are offering 60 miles per dollar. Add that to the shopping portal bonus and $250 nets 17,500 miles. A husband and wife can do this and each will get 17,500 miles, for a total of 35,000 miles -- the cost of an off-peak ticket to Hawaii.
    To put that in perspective, consider what AAdvantage sells airline miles for. They usually get almost three cents a mile, although a current promotion provides 10,800 miles for just under $250. So for $250 you can buy 10,800 miles directly from the airline, or you can buy $250 in magazine subscriptions and get 17,500 miles thrown in for free. So you can pay 2.5 cents for miles or you can get them for 1.4 cents each and have a lot of magazine subscriptions thrown in.
    Some of the magazines are quite reasonably priced. A two-year subscription to Time costs $60, or just over 50 cents an issue. A year of Rolling Stone is $59.90. Eleven issues of Esquire is $8. Twenty-four issues of the National Review costs $29.50. All of these prices are a fraction of the newsstand cost, and generally less than I've seen quoted for these magazines.
    These points can't be pooled, but presumably most AAdvantage members will already have some miles in their accounts. The AAdvantage off-peak for Europe is Oct. 15 to May 15, with round-trip tickets going for 40,000, so this deal almost produces enough miles for a trans-Atlantic trip.
    Don't wait too long. This one won't last.

No comments: