One of the latest ways airlines are reaching into our wallets is by enticing us with future options for free travel. We all love our hard earned frequent flyer miles—and the airlines know this—so they’re quick to offer a few extra thousand for a little bit extra cash. Airlines like Continental have been doing this for some time, but this week American Airlines jumped into the game. Previously they’d only offered this service at the airport, but now you can pay extra from the comfort of your living room thanks to Mileage Multiplier.
Available on either domestic or international flights at check-in, American Airlines will sell you a little bit of a bonus depending on the length of your flight. It’s going to cost you around three cents for every mile flown, and there’s even a 7.5% sales tax to sweeten the deal. So your flight from Chicago to Dallas would normally earn you around 800 AAdvantage miles, but now with a little infusion of plastic money you could score double miles for $24 or triple miles for $48. As you can see it would get pretty pricey if you’re headed to Madrid. Triple miles on this route out of JFK would cost around $230—oof.
The miles don’t count toward status qualification, so get the thoughts of paying a little extra now for up front seats later out of your head. They’re just plain miles ready for cashing in to somewhere warm or somewhere classy.
Once your miles have been deposited the rules are similar to standard frequent flier miles. They can expire, you can’t return them, and you’re pretty much stuck with your decision to maximize your mileage. We guess if you’re close to that award ticket to bring the whole crew to Hawaii it might be worth it, but otherwise we say leave the credit card in your wallet.