American Airlines Rewards Optimization for Newbies
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Although it has become more difficult to find award seats in recent years, there is still a lot of value to be had when redeeming your American Airlines miles.
American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, which means you’ll have plenty of flight options to use your miles. Not to mention that you can book flights on any partner airline within the Oneworld Alliance.
Plus, American Airlines AAdvantage miles are incredibly flexible, allowing you to fly just about anywhere in the world.
How to start using your points
If you are new to redeeming your American Airlines AAdvantage miles, this guide will guide you to start booking award flights.
The first step in booking an award flight is to log into your account, which you can do from the American Airlines home page.
Once logged in, you can search for award flights from the home page by entering your departure and destination cities and travel dates. You can select an option to search for one-way or round-trip flights. Also be sure to check the “Redeem Miles” box before clicking the “Search” button.
The results page will show you the award flights available and the price in miles. From there, it’s all about narrowing down your flight options based on price, travel time, and stopovers.
It is also useful to view your search results using the calendar view. This way you can compare the prices of award flights an entire calendar month at a time to see if you are getting a good price.
What to consider when buying back
To calculate your American Airlines trade-in value, use this simple formula:
Flight price in cash / Flight price in miles
Suppose, for example, that you found a return flight from New York to Amsterdam that cost 41,000 miles or $ 1,100. This means that you get a value of 2.68 cents per mile (flight price of $ 1,100 / 41,000 miles). It is great value! You can see why it pays to compare the price paid to the price of miles to make sure you get good trade-in value.
Program soft points
Travel from the United States to South America in business class
It only costs 30,000 American Airlines miles to travel in business class to Region 1 of South America. This includes places like Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, and Manaus (Brazil). At this price, it’s a great way to get to South America, and you can easily get around South America on the cheap using your AA miles.
Fly in the countries of South America
You can fly for peanuts when you book a flight entirely within any of the South American countries listed below; these prices are a real bargain considering the size of some of these countries.
You can also fly inexpensively between countries. It only costs 10,000 miles one-way in economy class to travel within the South America 1 or South America 2 region.
Fly off-peak to Europe in economy class with American Airlines
American Airlines offers discounted, economy award flights between the United States and Europe during off-season. If you can travel during these dates it can be a great way to save miles when traveling to Europe.
You can travel from the United States to Europe for just 22,500 miles each way in economy class when traveling during these off-peak times:
Booking an off-peak award will save you 7,500 miles over the normal price of 30,000 miles during peak season.
Fly Qatar Airways’ luxury Qsuite to Africa
An exceptional value exchange using AA miles is booking a flight from the United States to Africa in a Qatar Airways Qsuite. For 75,000 miles, you can travel in luxury to destinations such as Cape Town or the Seychelles.
Short domestic flights within the United States
American Airlines offers great prices on award flights under 500 miles within the United States. An economy class flight will only cost you 7,500 miles compared to the normal price of 12,500 miles for flights over 500 miles. If you only need a short domestic flight, using your AA miles to book this special priced award can be a great option.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our choices for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those that are best suited: