Showing posts with label American. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American. Show all posts

May 7, 2017

Earn Up to 10,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles

American AAdvantage is out with a new shopping/partner bonus that has the potential to be pretty lucrative.  I received and email about the promotion but my understanding is that it's open to everyone.  You do not need to register and you must complete purchases by 6/15/17.  You can read the full terms of the offer here.

There are four total partners:

  • 1-800 Flowers
  • AAdvantage eShopping Mall ($50 minimum)
  • AAdvantage Dining program ($25 minimum)
  • Vinesse Wine
You can earn up to 10,000 total bonus miles:
  • 2 partners = 2,000 bonus miles
  • 3 partners = 5,000 bonus miles
  • 4 partners = 10,000 bonus miles
Vinesse wines is a non starter for me.  I'll likely end up with more charges than I expected and a lot of bad wine so I am focused on the 5,000 mile bonus.  Here's how I'm thinking about it:
  • I've already completed a transaction with 1-800 flowers for $40 earning including a $15 Amex offer.  I also earned 900 AA miles given the current 30x bonus.
  • I made a $54 purchase at Saks using a gift card through the eShopping Mall earning 250 additional miles
  • There are a couple of Dining program restaurants in our neighborhood so it shouldn't be a problem to earn an additional 75 miles (3x) on a $25 purchase
All in, I will spend ~$100 and earn 6,225 AA miles.  The miles easily wash out the cash outlay, essentially make the flowers, Saks merchandise, and a meal free.  I wouldn't go out of my way to chase this bonus but it seems worth it for an extra 20-30 min over the next month.

March 26, 2017

AAdvantage Shopping Portal Offering a 10x Bonus

One of the easiest ways to earn extra award miles is to make purchases through an online shopping portal.  American AAdvantage's portal is out with a pretty lucrative bonus that's good through 4/14/17.

Make 3 $50+ purchases and you'll earn 1,500 bonus miles.  That's on top of the miles you'll earn from each online merchant.  Generally the bonuses offered by these portals provide 3 - 5x/dollar spent so 10x is really good.

I'll definitely be taking advantage of this for purchases I would have made anyway.  There are a lot of stores paying out 5x+ so you should be able to earn 15x+ if you split up your purchases.

February 11, 2017

American Offering Free Elite Status Challenge

I've never had Elite status with American Airlines.  In fact, I've only ever had status with USAirways (so I guess that's kind of AA) and United and maybe Frontier but that doesn't count.

Yesterday, I received an email from American offering me a fast track to elite status.  Seems like these offers are hitting and mine wasn't even the good one - American is offering straight up status to some that haven't flow on the airline much.

While I doubt I'm going to meet the requirements, I registered anyway.  My leisure trips are booked on United through June and my business travel will likely mean more trips on United or Delta.  So I'm not going out of my way to take advantage of this offer but spending $2,000 and flying 12,500 in the next 3 months seems doable (for Platinum status) for many with consistent business travel.

I'm sure there will be people that receive this challenge that just book a premium mileage run and achieve Executive Platinum but not me.  Will post again if I'm able to make more advantage of the offer.

Another 60,000 AA Miles from Citi

In late 2015, Emily received a targeted offer via mail from Citi.  Apply for a new American Airlines AAdvantage card and receive 60,000 AA miles after spending $3K in 90 days.

She met the spend requirements, received the 60,000 miles, and we used them to fly to Abu Dhabi.  We cancelled that card in late 2016 and unbelievably, Citi is back with the same targeted offer 60 days later.  Not one but two pieces were received in the mail this past week.

The offer is identical:

  • 60,000 AA miles after spending $3K in 90 days
  • $95 annual fee waived for the first year
  • No language around the offer only being valid if you haven't had the card for 24 months (standard Citi language)
Not only is this a great offer but Citi's loosening their grip on people churning this card.  Emily's already been approved and we'll likely meet the spend requirement in April.  I suspect that the 60,000 miles will post no problem given the extent Citi has gone (multiple direct mail pieces) to win back her business.  If so, that will be 3 bonuses from this card in <3 years.  I'll report back once the miles post.  Check your mail as this is a great offer! 

November 5, 2016

American Airlines Credit Card 10% Mileage Rebate

At the end of 2015, I picked up the Citi American Airlines AAdvantage card for Emily.  The targeted offer provided 60,000 AA miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.  The card also offers a 10% mileage rebate (up to 10,000 miles) on award tickets booked with American Airlines miles.

We were able to take advantage of this in late 2015 for our trip to London and Abu Dhabi in March of this year.

Citi AAdvantage Award Ticket Rebate
We were also able to take advantage of this benefit this year for our upcoming trip to Dubai.  While we booked separate tickets with miles from each of our accounts, Emily's 115,000 mile award redemption triggered the credit and the next day she had 10,000 miles back in her account.

This turned out to be a pretty amazing card offer.  We earned 60,000 miles from the signup bonus and 20,000 miles in the form of award ticket rebates.

Going forward, the 10,000 mile rebate more than offsets the $95 annual fee (waived for the first year).

April 17, 2016

How to Book Cathay Pacific First Class Award Tickets

Here at ATRP, we spend considerable time writing abut how to earn miles and points.  Using those miles and points to actually book award tickets and hotel nights with points is where the real fun begins.  I get a lot of questions about booking Cathay Pacific first and business class award tickets using American AAdvantage miles.  This post is a step-by-step guide to search for award availability using British Airways' search engine.  Since American doesn't actually show Cathay's availability online, this is the easiest way to find flights with open seats.

Cathay Pacific 777-300ER at LAX
Once you find availability, you'll need to call American Airlines to actually book the flight.  Having the availability on hand will make the transaction MUCH easier.

January 3, 2016

10,000 Mile AA Rebate Posted

I recently picked up the Citi American Airlines Advantage card for Emily after she received a sweet targeted offer in the mail.  The card offers a 10% (up to 10,000 miles) annual rebate on award tickets booked with American Airlines miles.  While the card hasn't even arrived yet, the 10,000 mile bonus for 2015 already posted!

10,000 Mile Rebate from AA

I booked our award on Etihad using miles from Emily's account and the rebate posted the same day!  I suspect that we'll be able to earn the rebate again in 2016 when we book our next award.  I didn't expect the rebate to trigger so fast - in the past it has definitely taken more like a week to post.  This is turning about to be quite the deal - 60,000 miles for meeting the minimum spend + a 10,000 mile rebate in both 2015 and 2016 with no annual fee for the first year!

December 24, 2015

60,000 AA Mile Offer from Citi (Targeted)

One thing I've found over the past few years is that targeted credit card bonus offers are awesome.  You typically receive an offer via direct mail, email, or via online advertising. Since I've been heavily leveraging credit card sign-up bonuses to fund my travel addiction, I've noticed that the targeted offers have largely dried up.  No worries as I still managed to earn more than 1,500,000 miles and points in 2014.  Stay tuned for the 2015 review - I thin we're going to beat that number!!

Emily is a bit "behind" me in terms of applying for cards and is still receiving targeted offers.  She received a pretty awesome 60,000 mile AA bonus from Citi last week.  She's had the card before but the terms specify "new accounts only" vs. "first time applicants" so we should be good.  She applied this morning and Christmas came early - approved instantly!

To earn the bonus, you must spend $3,000 in 90 days which is pretty low for such a high payout.  The 63,000 miles earned is nearly enough (67,500 pre-devaluation) AA miles for a one-way first class award ticket on Cathay Pacific to Asia. The annual fee ($95) is waived for the first year and the card provides some great benefits (group 1 boarding, free checked bag, no foreign transactions fees) as well.

I hope some of you were targeted for this offer - it's one of the strongest offers we've seen from Citi all year!

An Easy Retention Offer from Barclays

Annual fees (waived for the firs year) on several credit cards in my "card box" were set to bill in January.  I was hoping for retention bonuses on all three but only lucked out on one.  I was able to cancel the other two cards via online chat in a combined 15 minutes.  I called in to Barclays regarding the upcoming $89 fee on my American Airlines Advantage Aviator Red (fka US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard).

I was transfered to a retention specialist who quickly gave me two options.  Downgrade to a no annual fee version of the card (far less benefits) or keep the card with another year fee-free. 

I chose option # 2 to take advantage of the card's offerings (10,000 mile rebate on awards, free checked bag, priority boarding, etc...) when flying/redeeming American Airlines miles.  The call took all of 7 minutes and saved me $89 - although I wasn't going to pay that anyway.

I was also targeted for a bonus that offers 2x additional miles on supermarket, movie theater, and utility payment purchases.  

I opted in and will absolutely be pre-paying my utility bill to take advantage of this offer.  I'm reading the offer as 2x additional miles up to 2,500.  So I believe I can put $1,250 in spend on the card to earn 3,750 total miles which I value at $75.  

Barclays seems to be generous with retention bonuses (as well as other targeted earning bonuses) even without much spend on the card.  It's always worth the 5-10 minutes to call in and ask about your options!

November 18, 2015

Points and Miles on Sale

It seems like every major loyalty program is selling miles at a discount this month.

SPG points up to 25% off

While I wouldn't speculatively purchase miles/points here (especially given the recent rash of mergers/devaluations) it's worth a look if you are a few miles (or a few thousand) short of an award.  Availability is often tight and buying miles in a pinch can help you lock in an airline or hotel award without waiting as most purchased points post instantly.

November 10, 2015

Earn 5,000 American AAdvantage Miles

American's shopping portal is now out with a lucrative holiday bonus offer.  Not as good as the United offer but still pretty good if you're into AA miles.  You get a couple of extra days with this offer (through 11/26 vs. 11/24) and the bonus thresholds differ slightly.

Earn AA bonus miles by shopping through 11/26
If you shop through AA's online shopping portal through 11/26, you'll earn:

  • 450 miles after $150 in spend (3x)
  • 2,000 miles after $450 in spend (4.4x)
  • 5,000 miles after $1,200 in spend (4.2x)

The $450 spend threshold is the sweet spot on this offer at 4.4x.  I've already started working towards the 3,000 miles United bonus so will continue to focus there as a I get a head start on my holiday shopping.

October 28, 2015

Round the World in 11 Days: Planning & Booking

Planning & Booking
American Express Centurion Lounge DFW
Emirates A380 First Class Dallas to Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Emirates 777-300 First Class Dubai to Male
Transfer to Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
Park Hyatt Maldives
Transfer to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200 Business Class Male to Singapore
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class Singapore to Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco

They say the best part about a vacation is the anticipation.  This trip is no exception.  Emily and I have had The Maldives on our bucket list for years.  For us flying halfway around the world to get to a beach is part of the fun.  When the opportunity to spend time in The Maldives and Al Maha, (outside Dubai) I started to work on flights.  Here's an overview of the booking process and what everything cost.


We've already covered our first couple of nights in Dubai at Al Maha.  This cost me 78,000 SPG points (normally 120,000) thanks to Starwood's recent promotion.  Given the fact that the resort is all inclusive (3 meals per day and 2 activities) and room rates go for more than $1,500 USD/night, I consider this a great deal.

Cash rates at Al Maha Dubai

All in, I'm getting about 5 cents worth of value from my SPG points.  Not that I would ever pay $2K for a night in a hotel but this regardless, this is one of the best redemptions of my life.

We'll then head to the Park Hyatt Maldives for 4 nights using Hyatt Gold Passport points.  The hotel used to be a category 6 then went to 7 and now is back to 6.  So 25,000 points per night for a total of 100,000 for our stay.  I used a combination of Hyatt points earned from stays and transferred in the rest from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account.  I did pay cash to upgrade us to an overwater bungalow for the last night of our but I'll leave that out of the booking process since that was totally optional.

Park Hyatt Maldives beach

April 12, 2015

Earn 3x AA Miles with Citi Executive AAdvantage Card

Update:  Looks like the email is targeted as several readers have reported not receiving the offer.  Perhaps you will receive tomorrow.

Last year, I was able to take advantage of not one but three 100,000 mile offers from the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card.  Those bonuses enabled us to fly First Class on Cathay Pacific back from Hong Kong and to Hong Kong with my brother in June.  I'm finding a ton of value in AA miles so will continue to rack them up whenever possible.

While two of the three cards are cancelled, I have kept one card for Admirals club access.  Yesterday, I received an email from Citi offering 3x AA miles during Q2 in a handful of categories:
  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Department Stores
  • Grocery Stores
I certainly won't put any restaurant spend on this card (I'd rather earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points) but will for sure put gas and grocery spend on the card for 3x AA miles...which I value at around $.02.  That's a 6% rebate on everyday purchases - not bad!  

You could also use this bonus to triple dip with a shopping portal at department stores.  For example, Macy's is offering 6x miles through the American Airlines Advantage Shopping Mall.  In addition, they are offering a tiered bonus for spend through the mall which would earn you another 2x miles on $125 in spend.  

Add it all up and you're looking at 11x when shopping through the mall and leveraging your Citi Executive card.  It took about seven seconds to register - just click the link in the email if you received.  The bonus is limited to 2,500 bonus miles ($1,250 in spend) so should be pretty easy to max out during the quarter.

April 5, 2015

60% Bonus on AA Miles Purchases

Continuing on the theme of American this morning, AA is offering a substantial bonus on purchased miles through 4/30.  If you aren't familiar with purchasing miles direct from airlines, read this post.

If you max out the promotion (100,000 miles) you will receive a bonus of 60,000 additional miles.  The total cost (including taxes and fees) comes to $3,201.25.  Through the promotion, you're able to buy miles for 2 cents each.  That is the best deal I've seen in a long time.

So how could you leverage this promotion?

Let's say you currently have 110,000 AA miles and you want to fly to Asia.  And you want two tickets.    You could totally buy two coach tickets on AA or any other carrier.  And that would probably cost you about $3,200.

Or you could spend $3,200 and max out the current AA miles bonus (which runs through 4/30).  You'd have a total of 270,000 AA miles which is enough for two roundtrip first class tickets.  You could redeem those AA miles for a first class on Cathay Pacific!

Buying miles is an easy (and fast) way to fill in the gaps if you are looking to take a trip and don't have sufficient miles to redeem for the award you want.  $3,200 is clearly a lot of money but if you were going to spend the cash on coach tickets, you might as well fly in style.

AAdvantage eShopping Mall Bonus

The Advantage eShopping Mall is offering some pretty great deals at the moment.  If you aren't familiar with online shopping portals, read this post first.  Here's one of the best examples where you can literally quadruple dip on your earnings.

First, spend $155 at eBags (buy that new suitcase you've been eyeing) through the AA eShopping Mall.  You will earn:

  • eBags is now offering 12x AA miles through the portal through 4/11/15.  That is 1,500 AA miles after the discounts below.  You'll also earn 250 bonus miles based on the AA eShopping Mall current promotion
  • American Express Offers is offering a $15 statement credit after spending $75
  • eBags will give you $20 off a purchase of $100 or more
  • eBags will also give you 5% back on this purchase to redeem 

Pretty unbelievable.  For $155 in spend, you will receive $35 off so you'll actually spend $120.  You will also earn 1,750 AA miles which I value at $35.  Plus 5% back from eBags gets you another $6 to use in the future.   That is nearly 50% off your purchase!!!

March 29, 2015

USAirways Miles Successfully Transferred to AA

As you all know, American Airlines is in the process of integrating USAirways after their merger last year.  There have been many milestones in combing the two companies and loyalty programs.

This weekend marks a pretty important milestone as USAirways Dividend Miles are being merged into American AAdvantage accounts.  I logged into my AAdvantage account this morning and my USAirways Dividend Miles have been successful transferred!  Same goes for Emily's account.

I am still primarily a Star Alliance flyer given that I live in Denver and beyond United, my options are somewhat limited.  But I've had great success earning and burning AAdvantage miles over the past year - especially to Asia.  It's great to see that the migration went so smoothly and that all of my miles are now combined in one account.  Congrats to the new American on what is obviously a huge milestone!

March 22, 2015

Barclays USAirways 50% Spend Bonus

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I picked up the Barclays USAirways Dividend Miles MasterCard for the 50,000 USAirways miles that will soon become AA miles.  All for only $89.

When activating my card, I noticed this awesome promotion.  I don't believe it's targeted (or else it's very widely targeted) as many others have received) it's possible that you might not receive the bonus on your account.

Barclays USAirways 50% spend bonus

You must agree to the terms to get the bonus and have until 6/30/15 to max out on the spend.  This offer is essentially providing 1.5x AA miles on up to $20,000 spend over a 4 month period.  Pretty good for a non bonus category promotion.

If you sign-up for the card today (remember it's going away in April) and spend $20,000 between now and 6/30/15, you'd earn a total of 80,000 AA miles for just $89 in fees.

February 22, 2015

Last Minute Switch - AA to Cathay

Originally, we were scheduled to fly home from Taipei via Hong Kong - spending the night at the W Hong Kong before taking American's direct service from HKG to DFW.  After a late night celebrating 2015 at the W Taipei, we had a great lazy day walking around the city. We headed back to the hotel in the early afternoon and I before I checked in to our flight to Hong Kong I decided to check if there were any "better" options to get us all the way home.

Strolling around Taipei

Amazingly, I found two first class seats on one of Cathay Pacific's flights from Hong Kong to LAX.  After some discussion, we both decided that we had already had such a great trip, one more night in Hong Kong wouldn't make it that much better and heading home a day earlier would be nice.  So I set about making the change.

November 16, 2014

Ringing in 2015: Planning & Booking

Planning & Booking
United 747 Global First San Francisco to Hong Kong
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Taipei
W Taipei
Cathay Pacific 777 First Class A340 Business Class Taipei to Hong Kong
W Hong Kong
American Airlines 777-300 ER Flagship First Class Hong Kong to Dallas

We're only 40 days away from our trip and we're pumped.  Emily is always slightly bummed in the few days after Christmas (no more presents to open or family to hangout with) so it is great to have a trip to look forward to.

In the scheme of things, this trip was relatively easy to book.  There are three award tickets (two one-ways and a roundtrip) and three hotel stays.  Not like our last trip where we had five hotel stays including two overnights and four flight segments to get to our first destination!  If I had more time, we could make the itinerary MUCH more complicated but I still feel like we got great value from our hard earned miles and points.

Here's how we booked the trip:

November 8, 2014

Ringing in 2015: Introduction

Planning & Booking
United 747 Global First San Francisco to Hong Kong
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Hong Kong to Taipei
W Taipei
Cathay Pacific 777 First Class Taipei to Hong Kong
W Hong Kong
American Airlines 777-300 ER Flagship First Class Hong Kong to Dallas

I've already dripped a couple of posts around our flight to Hong Kong and the return flight so figured I might as well write the first couple of posts since the holidays are coming up and things tend to get busy.  Beyond that, we had a flood in our house a few days ago and while everyone is okay, our house is a mess.  We were looking forward to this trip before but now we are REALLY looking forward to a week on the other side of the world.  And writing about the trip gets me even more excited. on to the intro.

We had originally planned a more robust trip to Asia where we could spend more time in each place and also see more places.  For a variety of reasons, we had to rethink our itinerary so that we could be here for Christmas and return prior to the first week of January.  That left us with 8-10 days to play with.

Nearly 18,000 miles in the air - courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper

We knew we wanted to go back to Hong Kong as it's easily one of our favorite places in the world.  The combination (and juxtaposition) of cultures, sheer size of the city, and the setting make it a great place to visit.  We'll be leaving for Hong Kong on the 26th of December which has special meaning for us - we took the same flight two years ago when we departed on our honeymoon and also got engaged on the 26th four years ago.  Last time around we stayed on the Kowloon side at the W...this time we decided to mix it up and stay on Hong Kong Island at the Grand Hyatt.

So we'll spend a few days in Hong Kong exploring before we head to Taipei for three nights.  We are really excited about Taipei.  It's just a quick hop (2 hours) from Hong Kong and from everything we've read, is a real gem of a city.

We're staying at the W which is supposed to be one of the best of the W's.  The location is perfect and we'll have a great view of the Taipei 101 (second tallest building in the world) New Year's celebration.

We then head back to Hong Kong for one night where we'll return to the W we stayed at in 2012 before heading home on American's 777-300ER direct to Dallas.

Hong Kong taxi and view of the skyline

Flying "legacy carrier" first class from the US to Asia was once the way to go.  Not so much anymore with all of the competition from Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines among others.  But it will be fun to ride in the nose of a 747 (I'm in seat 1K where the window faces slightly forward) and see what American has to offer on their brand new 777.  And it will be fun to compare to our previous first class experiences.

I'm most looking forward to the actual trip and getting there in style just makes it that much more fun.  The entire trip was paid for with miles and points with the exception of our last night in Hong Kong.  I'll have all the details on each redemption in the next post but I believe our total cash outlay (for flights and hotels) will end up being less than $600!