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Update: The current offer for the British Airways Visa Signature Card is 50,000 Avios with $3,000 spend in the first 3 months.

This is the second installment of my series on maximizing British Airways miles. Since so many of you got in on the super-lucrative 100,000 mile BA Visa sign-up bonus (see details of the most current 100K offer), it would be beneficial to check out: General tipsPost 1 – Booking BA Awards, Post 2 – Booking Partner Awards, Post 3 – Oneworld Alliance, Post 4 – Taxes and Fees, Post 5 – Household Accounts, Post 6 – Companion Ticket, Post 7 – Using ExpertFlyer for Partner Award Availability, Post 8 – The Art of the Stopover, Post 9 – Leveraging Miles and Cash Redemptions, and Post 10 – Using Qantas.com to Find Oneworld Award Availability. Also, be sure to check out my post on the credit card deal itself and the lengthy Q&A in the comments section.

As promised,  today’s post is JFK-Lima, Peru on LAN. For this example, let’s assume we want to try something new and want to fly Lan, which is arguably the best business class product to South America. The first thing I did was Google “LAN Route Map” to see where they fly to in the US, but those results didn’t turn up much. I then went to their Facebook book, where it says their US gateways are Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. I needed to know this, because in order to take advantage of the one Oneworld partner award chart, which is the most generous, you’d have to fly only on Lan. So flying from another city on AA to a Lan gateway is not an option because that will jack the price up to 120,000 miles for business class, since that would be a multi-Oneworld partner award. I’ll cover in other posts, but if you don’t live in or near Lan gateway cities, I’d recommend finding American Airlines routing from your city to Lima – that can be done at aa.com. Any MileSAAver awards can be booked using British Airways miles – you just have to call BA if the trip has multiple stops. Now onto our award; I want to leave in the next couple weeks to take a little spring break:

Britishairways.com -> Executive Club – Spending BA miles
JFK to Lima on my preferred dates, business/club
BA.com realizes British Airways doesn’t fly that route, so it asks if I want to include partners. You can hit either of the circled buttons to pull in partner availability.
Shucks, nothing is available on my exact dates, but as with using all miles you need to be flexible. BA.com gives a +/- 7 day search in either direction of your outbound and return flights. It may take a little while, but search both ways to see what’s there – write down dates and then compare what you think could be a good trip. For this example I hit previous 7 days on both and ended up with..
Not a bad compromise

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