American Airlines

[Targeted] 2x Bonus Miles from AA Aviator

The AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard is offering a targeted bonus for the second quarter of 2017.  Normally this card only offer bonus miles on purchases from American Airlines but during this promotion cardholders may earn 2x bonus miles for every $1 spent at grocery stores, home improvement stores and restaurants between April 1 and June 30, 2017, up to 2500 bonus miles.  If you were targeted you should have received an email from Barclays providing a link to activate the offer.  Note that you must activate the offer by May 31 to be able to take advantage of it.

The phrase “2x bonus miles” had me stumped.  To me, that sounds like I should get 2 miles (the bonus) in addition to the 1 mile per dollar I’d normally get at these types of businesses, which would mean I’d only have to spend $834 to max out the offer.  I reached out to both the Twitter team (@AskBCUS) and using the secure message center on the Barclays US credit card website. The folks at the secure message center didn’t even take the time to understand my question.  They seemed to think I was having trouble registering.  Fortunately the Twitter team was on the ball.  They clarified the offer is for a total of 2 miles per dollar spent in these categories, meaning I’d need to spend $1250 to accumulate all 2500 miles.  That was what I had suspected but it was good to get clarification.

For me this is one of the easiest offers to use.  Grocery stores and home improvement stores each sell gift cards – both Visa and merchant – which makes it a piece of cake to meet the requirement.

Note that bonus miles will not be awarded until 6-8 weeks after the promotion ends.  While I hate that it takes that long to get the extra miles, that’s pretty standard for Barclays.

Categories: AAdvantage Aviator, American Airlines, Barclays, Credit Card Promos, Credit Cards | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Danger of Using Credit Card Points to Buy AA and UA Tickets

Yesterday both American Airlines and United Airlines rolled out their new basic economy fares in limited markets.  These are cheaper fares that come with a number of restrictions like no carry-ons in the overhead bin, no seat selection, no flight changes (even for a fee), last boarding group, limited mileage accrual and lesser credits toward elite status. (Some of these restrictions are waived if you have elite status and/or hold one of the co-branded credit cards.) When you book these fares on their website, there should be clear indication of what is and is not included in your fare.2017-01-18-aa-basic-economy
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Categories: American Airlines, United | Tags: , | Leave a comment

AA Introduces Basic Economy Fares


Today American Airlines presented the details of its new basic economy fares.  Following the leads of Delta and United, this cheaper fare will come with a number of restrictions – though travelers will be able to decide for themselves what the better choice is.

These fares will be for seats in the Main Cabin (aka Economy) and the standard free snacks, soft drinks and inflight entertainment will still apply.  But there are a number of items not included:

  • Only one bag may be carried on and it must fit under the seat (no access to overhead bins)
  • If you try to bring on a bag that does not fit under the seat, there will be a $25 fee to check it in addition to the standard checked bag fee
  • Seats will be assigned at check-in
  • If you want to select a specific seat you may do so within 48 hours of departure but there will be a fee
  • Basic Economy fares are not eligible for upgrades
  • Travelers on Basic Economy fares may not change their ticket (even for a fee) or get a refund
  • Basic Economy will be the last group to board

There are some exceptions if you’re an elite member of the AAdvantage program or if you hold a co-branded AAdvantage credit card:

  • You may have a carry on that fits under the seat as well as one in the overhead bin
  • You’ll retain any priority or preferred boarding privileges
  • You will still receive at least one free checked bag per the terms of your elite status or credit card

There are further restrictions on the number of Elite Qualifying Dollars/Miles/Segments earned on these type of fares.

Basic Economy Fares will go on sale in late February on specific routes.

I’ve been analyzing how this will affect me personally.  I don’t have elite status with American but I do hold two of their co-branded credit cards.  So I don’t have to worry about boarding last or not being able to use the overhead bins.  The real difference is seat selection.  For me, I think it will depend on my destination. I think that for a single-leg (each way) flight this might work for me.  I’m specifically thinking of flights to Chicago that are serviced by a regional jet.  These seats are in a 2×2 configuration so there’s no worry of a middle seat.  If I’m not making a connection it doesn’t matter whether or not I’m in the back of the plane.  Even if I have a relatively short flight, a middle seat is not the end of the world.  But for longer or multi-leg flights I suspect I’ll be paying more to sit where I want.

Categories: American Airlines | Tags: | Leave a comment

Enter to Win 100,000 AA Miles


American Airlines is offering entrants the chance to win up to 100,000 AAdvantage® miles by entering their Latitude Adjustment Sweepstakes.  To enter, all you need to do is either join the AAdvantage® eShopping program or, if you’re already a member, simply sign in to your eShopping account.  Register or sign in by 9 October 2016.

The Grand Prize winner will receive 100,000 AAdvantage® miles and $2,500 (to cover the taxes) and three First Prize winners will each receive 20,000 AAdvantage® miles.

If you already have an AAdvantage® account, you should have received an email with a link to the registration.  Others can go to and click on the link for the sweepstakes

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Earn AA Miles with Sprint

2016-09-17-aa-miles-for-sprintActivate a new Sprint account between now and the end of the year and earn 25,000 AAdvantage miles! You’ll need to activate a new account with at least one phone, request your miles through this link and in 8-10 weeks your AAdvantage account should be credited.

Already a Sprint customer?  You can earn up to 5,000 miles for your current service.  These miles will be awarded in monthly installments up to 5,000 miles per year as long as your Sprint account remains active and in good standing.

So if you’re looking to change your service, maybe this offer is worth a look for you.  If Sprint is already your provider then there’s no reason not to register for this offer.

Categories: American Airlines | Tags: | Leave a comment

Stand Up to Cancer and Earn AA Miles

This past Friday you may have seen the Stand Up to Cancer telethon on many TV stations.  American Airlines is offering the opportunity to earn AA miles while donating to this cause.


For a minimum donation of $25 you’ll earn 10 AA miles for each dollar you donate. This page on the AA website has the link to use.  Almost everyone knows someone who has won or lost a battle with cancer. Here’s your chance to fund the research to make sure everyone wins in the future.

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Great airfare deals on AA and UA to/from Chicago

I saw a tweet this morning from Ric Garrado of Loyalty Traveler that American and United are having fare wars between certain cities.  His blog post showed a screen shot of a fare on United where the base fare was $53!  There were taxes and fees that brought the cost up to $86 but still, that’s a fantastic deal for a round-trip ticket.  His post lists the 12 cities and the base fares that he found.

Great news for those who live in Chicago or want to visit the Windy City!

Categories: American Airlines, United | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A South Pacific Birthday Trip

SPB Trip Planning
SPB Qantas First Class to Sydney
SPB Park Hyatt Sydney
SPB Sydney Opera House
SPB Around Sydney
SPB Flying to/from Uluru
SPB Emu Walk Apartments
SPB Uluru and Kata Tjuta
SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne
SPB Around Melbourne
SPB Flying to Fiji
SPB Hilton Fiji
SPB Snorkeling Trip
SPB Fiji Air Business Class to Los Angeles
SPB Hyatt Regency DFW


I have a couple of friends I like to travel with and over the years we’ve all had a birthday that ends in a zero (with different leading digits!). Our tradition has become whoever has the “zero birthday” gets to pick the vacation spot and we try to do it up right. About two years ago I first got into the miles and points game and it wasn’t long before I set a goal of celebrating my next “zero birthday” in Australia and using miles and points to pay for as much of it as possible.

My dad, who’s a 2 million miler on American, offered to give me whatever AA points I needed to make my trip happen. That left me a goal of helping my friends accumulate the miles they’d need to fly Down Under too. Then, of course, there would be points needed for hotel rooms. Lofty goals but with two years to get things planned, we were able to accomplish it relatively cheaply – well, cheaply as compared to what it COULD have cost!

The itinerary

I had visited Australia before, in 2006, and was eager to go back. One of my friends had been there as well but the other had not. So I knew that meant I’d need to re-visit some of the iconic places but I also wanted to be sure to visit some places I’d never been. My prior trip had involved stops in Sydney and Cairns, which is up near the Great Barrier Reef. While I would have loved to have gone back to the GBR, there were other places I wanted to visit as well, and with a total trip length of two weeks, we just couldn’t squeeze everything in this time around. In the end we flew from the US to Sydney and stayed there four days. Next we flew to the Red Centre of the country and visited Uluru (Ayers Rock) for a couple of days. Then it was down south to Melbourne for a bit more than two days.

During our trip planning we had talked about stopping off somewhere a little more exotic on the way back, somewhere we could just enjoy the beach, the sun and the surf. Since we’d be using primarily American Airlines miles, I quickly realized that due to their routing rules we’d need to stay in Oceania for our beach time. That led us to look at Fiji as our final stop before heading back to the US.

My friends and I each make our homes in different cities in the US so here is how our trip worked out:

The various routings for our trip. Map made on

The various routings for our trip. Map made on

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Categories: American Airlines, Australia, Award Travel, Chase, Fiji, Fiji Air, Hilton, Hotel, Hyatt, Oceania, OneWorld, Qantas, Sapphire Preferred | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Earn Up To 125,000 Bonus Miles on American

From now through the end of January you can earn up to 125,000 bonus American Airlines AAdvantage miles on flights to Europe when you fly with American, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, OpenSkies or US Airways. Registration prior to travel is required. You can register HERE.

2015-09-25 AA 125K Promo

The number of bonus miles you get depends on your class of service. To earn the full 125,000 bonus miles you’d have to fly in Business or First Class on five round-trip flights. For each Premium Economy or Full Fare Economy (fare classes Y, B, H) flight you can earn 7,000 bonus miles. And for all other Economy fares you’ll earn 2,000 bonus miles per flight.

2015-09-25 AA 125K Promo Chart

Note that those mileage figures are for each round-trip flight.

The registration page has full information on which classes from the other airlines qualify for each of the bonuses.

Even though I currently have no plans to visit Europe, I’ll still register because – why not, it’s free!

Categories: American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, OneWorld, US Airways | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonus When Buying AAdvantage Miles

From now through September 3rd, American Airlines is offering a bonus when you buy or gift miles.

Since these purchases are processed directly by the airline, if you use one of the Citibank AA credit cards or one of the Barclays AA cards they’ll count as airline purchases and you’ll earn additional miles for your purchase.  You could also use the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card or Citi Prestige Card where you’d earn 3 Membership Rewards or Thank You Points per dollar spent and if you haven’t used your airline credit for the year,  it should apply as well!

Here is this discount chart:

2015-08-11 AA Buy Miles PromoIs it a good deal?  Not particularly.  Unsurprisingly the best deal is if you buy the most miles.  But if you haven’t used your airline credit for the year and have no plans to do so, why not buy the miles and get a $100 (Amex Gold) or $250 (Citi Prestige) discount?!


Categories: American Airlines, Purchased Miles | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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