Deal alert: Amazing award prices to South America for early 2021

Apr 9, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: The team at The Points Guy loves to travel, but now is not the time for unnecessary trips. Health officials note that the fastest way to return to normalcy is to stop coming in contact with others. That includes ceasing travel. We are publishing travel deals because we should all use this time to think about and plan our next adventures. TPG doesn’t advise booking trips for travel until later into 2020 – and even then be mindful of cancellation policies.

While the team at TPG is sheltered-in-place, many of us have our heads up in the clouds thinking about that next trip. While American still publishes an award chart, many of the best (and worst) mileage rates have been off-the-charts — literally. American’s Web Special awards have been particularly lucrative opportunities to maximize your AAdvantage miles.

For more TPG news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The latest American deal opens the door to incredible opportunities to visit South America this winter. Eager to experience Carnival in Rio? What about a trip to Santiago and an adventure onwards to Patagonia?

And since we’re talking about destinations in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll experience the summer peak period when days are long and the air is warm.

In This Post

The deal to South America

To get the best mileage rates to South America, book for travel in early 2021. We’re talking about destinations such as Santiago, Buenos Aires, São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro. 

  • Airline: American Airlines
  • Where: Various U.S. cities to major South American cities where American operates
  • When: Early 2021 including during Carnival
  • How much: From 30,000 AAdvantage miles roundtrip in economy and from ~80,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip in business class. Save up to half the normal “MileSAAver” rate on these flights for the peak travel season to destinations throughout South America

Sample itineraries

New York-area airports to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) in Feb. 2021 during Carnival: 30,000 miles round-trip in economy

Head to Carnival from 30,000 AAdvantage miles roundtrip

New York-area airports to Rio de Janeiro (GIG) in Feb. 2021 during Carnival: 82,000 miles round-trip in business class

New York-area airports to Santiago (SCL) in Jan. 2021: 30,000 miles round-trip in economy 

Wide open 15,000 AAdvantage miles one-way from New York to Santiago
Lots of availability for 15,000 AAdvantage miles one-way between New York and Santiago, Chile

Los Angeles (LAX) to São Paolo (GRU) in Feb. 2021during Carnival: 30,000 miles round-trip in economy 

How to book

The easiest way to book is directly through American’s website. American has a newer award booking tool that, while a bit slow, has a handy calendar view option that can be sorted by class of service and number of connections.

Remember, Web Special fares with American cannot be changed but you can redeposit miles for a fee (unless you are an Executive Platinum which has the fee waived).

Related Reading: How to avoid change and cancellation fees

Note that there may be other cities with even lower fares, so you can also use American’s handy Award Map tool. Enter your home airport, dates, number of passengers and total miles you want to use. You can even specify premium cabins only. From there, the map will display which destinations are available within those parameters.

Earning extra American miles

In the coming weeks and months, there are bound to be more mileage deals that come our way. There are a handful of ways to earn extra American miles to be ready for when that happens. This includes transferring points from Marriott Bonvoy, dining at a participating restaurant in the AAdvantage Dining Rewards program or shopping through the AAdvantage eShopping portal.

Related Reading: Maximizing online shopping portals

However, one of the quickest ways to earn a healthy stash of American miles is by adding a new credit card to your wallet, and a few of American’s cobranded cards are currently offering lucrative sign-up bonuses:

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

While the travel industry is hurting now in the current realities, airlines are looking to lure deal seekers in with great cash and mileage deals. This is a prime opportunity to visit South America in 2021 using American miles. Play around with your home airports and additional destinations to see if you can jump on one of these offers.

Visit TPG’s guide to all coronavirus news and updates

Featured photo by Emir Terovic/Getty Images

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.