Should I spend $200 to reactivate 10,000 expired AAdvantage Miles?

American Airlines logo illustration

I’ve never been a frequent American Airlines flyer, and as a matter of fact, my last flight with them was over 12 years ago. I’ve focused on other airline programs since then – not because I dislike them, but mostly because other airlines had better options to the destinations I flew to the most.

But there is change on the horizon. First of all, I have a trip coming up next month that was booked by another party, and the airline they chose was American. That raised some curiosity in my head about my old (and poorly neglected) AAdvantage frequent flyer number. Was it still active? Could I still use it? A quick login attempt on the American website put my question at ease – it was indeed still an active number. There was a catch though. All of my old miles had long since expired, and I would have to pay to reactivate them.

Additionally, I’ve recently become addicted to collecting frequent flyer miles and my goal is to build up all of my accounts. It’s an odd sickness, but the motivation behind it is to never have to sit in coach on an international long haul flight ever again. Shallow and selfish, yes, but oh so much fun.

I currently have 10,000 miles that are available for reactivation. I don’t have any travel planned with American Airlines other than a 5000 mile trip next month, and I did recently sign up for American AAdvantage and USAirways Dividend Miles credit cards which will give me 70,000 bonus miles combined (the USAirways Miles will convert once the merger goes through). All of the above added together will put my AAdvantage account at 85,000 miles.

10,000 miles for $200 breaks down to about $.02/mile, which is commonly deemed as acceptable by most in the frequent flyer community. The problem is that I have no immediate need for these miles and I’d risk devaluation if I don’t use them quickly enough. But having 10,000 extra miles is never a bad thing…

What to to?

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