Reviews

Bask Bank Review – Earn Airline Miles For Saving, Not Spending

All airline loyalty program members earn frequent miles for each greenback spent on airfare and different choose purchases with their favored airways. Those with co-branded airline bank cards earn miles on different purchases too.

In different phrases, you must spend {dollars} to earn miles. There’s no means round it.

Or is there? All you want is the appropriate checking account and a free American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program membership.

Bask Bank: A New Way for Travelers to Save

That checking account is the Bask Savings Account, an FDIC-insured financial savings account backed by Texas-based Bask Bank. It’s one of many solely mileage-earning deposit accounts round as we speak and the one financial savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, not curiosity.

Account holders can redeem these miles for award airfare and upgrades with American Airlines and its companions, plus a bunch of choices unrelated to airfare as properly – see all of the choices on American Airlines’ website.

Airfare redemptions start at 7,500 miles for short-haul economic system one-ways and 12,500 for economic system one-ways throughout the contiguous U.S. and Canada.

Bask Savings Account clients earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for each $1 on deposit with no minimal stability required. Multiple bonus alternatives considerably enhance potential first-year mileage earnings. And Bask Bank expenses no month-to-month upkeep charges, maximizing depositors’ returns.

The Bask Savings Account does have some notable drawbacks. Most importantly, per IRS tips, the financial institution treats miles as curiosity for tax functions. That means account holders should report earned miles to the IRS and state income authorities every year at Bask Bank’s established per-mile valuation, which is $0.0042 for the 2019 tax year.

Bask Bank additionally doesn’t enable joint accounts – a disadvantage for spouses and companions with collectively managed funds – and doesn’t provide any deposit or loan merchandise aside from the financial savings account.

But let’s not promote Bask Bank quick. If you’re a daily American Airlines flyer desirous to earn AAdvantage® miles with out spending a dime out of pocket, it is best to give the Bask Savings Account a detailed look.

Key Features

Bask Bank account holders profit from three various kinds of mileage bonuses, low charges, and an ongoing mileage rewards program.

Account Opening Bonus

As a brand new account holder, you’re eligible to earn 1,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles whenever you do the next:

  • Deposit $5,000 in new money – not beforehand deposited with Bask Bank or its associates – into your account inside 30 days of opening your account
  • Maintain a $5,000 minimal stability in your account for at the very least 90 consecutive days throughout the first 120 days of opening your account

Bask Bank awards bonus miles inside 10 business days of confirming you’ve met the bonus necessities, however miles can take as much as eight weeks to submit to your AAdvantage® account.

Earning AAdvantage® Miles on Deposits

Every $1 deposited within the Bask Savings Account earns 1 AAdvantage® mile per year. In easy phrases, which means a $50,000 stability deposited on Jan. 1 and maintained by Dec. 31 with no additional deposits or withdrawals earns a complete of fifty,000 AAdvantage® miles by the tip of the year.

Specifically, every Bask Savings Account buyer earns miles month-to-month primarily based on their common month-to-month stability. Bask Bank makes use of the next components to calculate month-to-month mileage earnings:

([Average monthly balance] / 365) x [number of days in the month]

Bask Bank rounds month-to-month mileage earnings as much as the closest complete quantity. So a $50,000 common month-to-month stability in a 31-day month would earn 4,247 miles for the interval: (50,000 / 365) x 31 = 4,246.58 = 4,247.

Bask Bank awards miles for every month on or earlier than the fifth business day of the next month. But as with all different awards, miles can take so long as eight weeks to submit to clients’ AAdvantage® loyalty accounts.

Tax Statements

The IRS requires Bask Bank to deal with AAdvantage® mileage earnings as revenue and Bask Bank experiences every year’s cumulative payouts to the IRS. Each January, Bask Bank sends clients a 1099-INT assertion reporting cumulative mileage earnings for the earlier year at a valuation decided by Bask Bank.

As of the 2019 tax year, Bask Bank assessed AAdvantage® miles at $0.0042 every, however values are topic to vary on the financial institution’s discretion.

Account Fees

The Bask Savings Account has no month-to-month upkeep or minimal stability charges. That’s notable as a result of Bask Bank’s sister financial institution, BankDirect, expenses a month-to-month upkeep charge on its superficially comparable mileage checking account.

See Bask Bank’s terms and conditions for extra details about potential charges.

Advantages

Bask Bank clients get pleasure from a number of alternatives to earn American Airlines AAdvantage® miles with out spending a dime. No account charges or minimums sweeten the deal.

  1. No Need to Spend to Earn AAdvantage® Miles. Bask Savings Account clients earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for each $1 on deposit each year. That’s a marked distinction to co-branded airline rewards bank cards, which situation mileage payouts on card spending exterior uncommon, restricted, one-time account-opening bonus alternatives.
  2. No Monthly Maintenance Fee. Bask Bank doesn’t cost month-to-month upkeep charges. That’s a big benefit over BankDirect’s mileage checking account, one other AAdvantage® mile account backed by Bask Bank’s sister establishment, Texas Capital Bank.
  3. No Minimum Account Balance. There’s no minimal deposit required to open a Bask Savings Account and no ongoing account minimal, although Bask Bank does reserve the appropriate to shut accounts not funded after 60 days.
  4. Easily Attainable Account Opening Bonus. Bask Bank’s 1,000-mile account opening bonus is simple to achieve. Just deposit $5,000 in new money and keep a stability of $5,000 for at the very least 90 consecutive days inside 120 days of opening your account, and it’s yours.
  5. No Maximum Mileage Earnings. The Bask Savings Account has no most stability restrictions, so there’s theoretically no restrict to the variety of miles account holders can earn on deposits. However, FDIC insurance coverage applies solely to the primary $250,000 on deposit.
  6. The Right Redemption Strategy Significantly Increases the Account’s Value. AAdvantage® miles – and airline loyalty foreign money basically – obtain their finest worth when redeemed for long-haul flights in increased fare lessons – suppose transoceanic business and first-class fares. You can simply extract $0.03 or extra per mile on such redemptions, excess of Bask Bank’s rock-bottom $0.0042-per-mile evaluation.

Disadvantages

Bask Bank’s principal drawbacks embody federal — and presumably, state — tax on mileage earnings, questionable worth in higher-interest-rate environments, and restricted utility for clients removed from American hubs.

  1. AAdvantage® Miles Are Taxable. Per IRS tips, Bask Bank treats AAdvantage® miles earned on financial savings deposits as taxable revenue. You should report your annual earnings as curiosity revenue at Bask Bank’s current-year valuation of $0.0042 per mile as of the 2019 tax year. In actuality, AAdvantage® miles’ common redemption worth is nearer to $0.01 per mile, however taxes nonetheless take a chew out of earnings.
  2. High-Yield Savings Can Offer a Better Return, Depending on Your Redemption Method. The worth of a mileage deposit account will increase as money rates of interest decline. Still, money charges must be very low for mileage checking to supply clearly superior worth. Look at it this manner: If you earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 on deposit per year, and your common redemption worth is $0.01 per mile, your complete earnings are the equal of 1% annual share yield – lower than most high-yield financial savings accounts. If you’re constantly in a position to extract $0.02 per mile or extra, the calculus ideas in Bask Bank’s favor.
  3. Limited Value for Customers Far From American Airlines Hubs. The Bask Savings Account is a useful useful resource for frequent American Airlines flyers situated near the Airline’s main hubs, reminiscent of Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Charlotte, Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. For frequent vacationers not situated close to a serious American hub — and particularly these dwelling close to smaller airports indirectly served by American Airlines — Bask Bank has restricted utility.
  4. No Joint Accounts. Bask Bank doesn’t at the moment provide collectively owned accounts for spouses and companions with joint funds, although that might change sooner or later.
  5. Miles Don’t Count Toward AAdvantage® Elite Status. AAdvantage® miles earned on Bask Savings Account deposits don’t depend towards the AAdvantage® program’s elite standing tiers. If you’re chasing increased standing ranges, you possibly can’t get these with Bask Bank – you want a high-end credit score card just like the Citi/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard.

Final Word

Bask Bank designed its financial savings account for just one group of consumers, albeit an enormous one: the five hundred,000 vacationers who fly American Airlines every day.

If you’re amongst them, there’s little draw back to opening a Bask Savings Account. With no minimal deposit or ongoing stability necessities and no month-to-month upkeep charges, each greenback on deposit earns 1 AAdvantage® mile each year.

Even budget-friendly airline bank cards, just like the AAdvantage® MileUp Card from Citi, demand that you simply spend {dollars} to earn miles. A Bask Savings Account really pays you to save lots of.

Bask Bank, Member FDIC

Back to top button