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Deal alert: Caribbean and Mexico from 8K AA miles each way (wide-open availability)

March 09, 2020
6 min read
Deal alert: Caribbean and Mexico from 8K AA miles each way (wide-open availability)
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I routinely spend time on the AA Award Map Tool looking for mileage deals out of my hometown of Atlanta. I typically look for last-minute, weekend getaways by setting the number of miles I want to spend and a region I want to visit. The tool shows you available award destinations based on the total mileage and number of passengers you selected.

In late 2018, American Airlines rolled out a new mileage discount program called Economy Web Specials which offers AAdvantage members a chance to book economy flights for as little as 5,000 miles each way. Taking a look at the award map tool this afternoon, I found some great deals.

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The Caribbean and Mexico showed multiple destinations as available for a trip next weekend, March 13 to 15, for 10,000 AAdvantage miles each way, per person (a dark blue marker designates an available destination within your set mileage range):

True to experience, the award map has always shown accurate availability and there were multiple flights out of Atlanta for the weekend to any of the highlighted destinations I chose for 10,000 miles each way. Looking further out into the fall, prices actually dropped to 8,000 miles each way.

Airline: American Airlines
Routes: Dozens from multiple departing airports shown below
Cost: Starting at 8,000 miles one-way
Book via: Directly with American Airlines
Pay taxes and fees With: Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel). While several American Airlines cards earn 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, it’s best to stick to a card that offers travel protections.

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

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Atlanta (ATL) to Aruba (AUA) for 8,000 miles one-way:

Atlanta to Grand Cayman (GCM) for 10,000 miles one-way:

Not all of the itineraries are convenient, but in some cases you are getting tremendous value. Atlanta to St. Lucia (UVF) is only 20,000 miles round-trip when the flight is selling for over $700:

Checking the calendar shows unreal availability, with almost every date in March and April having flights to these Caribbean destinations for only 8,000 to 10,000 miles each way. I found availability for most of the routes going all the way into September:

I searched other departure cities in the U.S. and found the same award pricing to multiple the Caribbean and Mexico destinations:

Departing San Francisco (SFO):

Departing Chicago (ORD):

Departing all New York City (NYC) airports:

If you want to book a trip to the Caribbean, it's hard to beat this pricing and I recommend booking ASAP before the web specials disappear.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

How Economy Web Specials works

I’d recommend reading through our post about about how Economy Web Specials works. However, as a quick briefer:

  • These awards don’t have all of the American Airlines Basic Economy limitations.
  • Executive Platinum elites get upgrades as they can on other domestic economy awards
  • Where the American website says “Economy Web Specials cannot be changed once ticketed.” This isn’t defined but may mean that travelers can’t use Same Day Flight Changes to switch to another award flight on the same day.
  • You can cancel and reinstate your miles according to the same terms as any other AAdvantage award. A redeposit fee of $150 for the first passenger and $25 per additional passenger applies for everyone but AAdvantage Executive Platinum elites.

If these awards leave your AAdvantage account depleted, here are some ways to replenish your account:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: 50,000 miles after you spend $2,500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®: 65,000 miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first four months of account opening. Plus, 2x miles on a wide variety of expenses.
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®: 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening — with no annual fee.

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.

Related: The best credit cards for American Airlines flyers

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.