Points, miles, and snide remarks.


American Airlines’ Stand Up to Cancer Campaign: Miles for a Cause, But Not for Status

American Airlines has once again caught our attention with their latest collaboration, once again partnering with Stand Up to Cancer for a charitable promotion that offers a unique way to give back while earning AAdvantage Miles. For those who frequently find themselves at 30,000 feet, this could be an opportunity worth considering. However, as always, the details matter, and it’s important to understand the nuances of this promotion before diving in.

The heart of the promotion lies in the ability to earn up to 50x AAdvantage Miles for contributions to cancer research. Admirable, indeed. For donations of $25 or more, American Airlines is offering a respectable 25x AAdvantage Miles as a token of gratitude. But the rewards don’t stop there. If you’re wielding an American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard and your donation falls between the $25 to $10,000 range, you’re in for a treat – a whopping 50x miles.

Now, before you whip out your credit card and start racking up those miles, there are some key points to consider. This promotion is live until September 30, 2023, or until the $3 million donation threshold for the 50x miles tier is reached. Be aware that patience is the name of the game – those hard-earned bonus miles might take up to twelve weeks to finally make their way into your account.

Here’s where it gets interesting. While each AAdvantage Mile is valued at 3 cents for the purpose of charitable deductions, it’s worth noting that this could have implications on your tax deductibility. Now, I’m no CPA, but it’s probably a good idea to consult one before you start counting those miles as deductions on your tax return.

One detail that’s of particular interest to the frequent flyers out there is whether these bonus miles contribute to elite status. Well, folks, I hate to burst your bubble, but these miles are firmly in the “bonus miles” category, and that means they won’t help you inch any closer to that coveted elite status level. Since rolling out Loyalty Points in 2022, AA has used the term “bonus miles” to indicate that you’ll accrue only redeemable award miles – not LPs. So, if you’re eyeing this promotion as a shortcut to elevate your loyalty, you might want to rethink that strategy.

In the grand scheme of things, if you’re already considering donating to cancer research and have some spare change to throw in the ring, this promotion could be a nice little cherry on top. However, for those aiming to pad their loyalty points tally, it’s essential to recognize that these miles won’t pave the way to elite status. Like a good pilot, it’s wise to have a steady hand on the controls – in this case, a clear understanding of the promotion’s ins and outs – before you take off into the wild blue yonder of charitable giving and AAdvantage Miles.