Deal alert: American’s 5,000-mile Web Special awards are back

Sep 11, 2020

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5x points on up to $500,000 on airfare per calendar year purchased direct or via Amex Travel with the Amex Platinum card. 

Editor’s note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Flying right now looks very different. However, more people than ever during the pandemic are taking to the skies.

If you’re considering a domestic flight anytime in the months ahead — and have American Airlines miles — take note of this deal.

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While American still has a traditional award chart, much of the AAdvantage program consists of variable award pricing (called “Web Specials“) for its own flights. That sometimes works in your favor — especially when there are flights for as low as 5,000 AAdvantage miles one way.

That’s right — dozens of cities are on sale from coast-to-coast from 5,000 miles on American Airlines.

The deal

Airline: American Airlines
Routes: Throughout the U.S., mostly to non-hub and secondary airports with a connection
Cost: From 5,000 AAdvantage miles one way
Dates: Late September 2020 through the end of the booking window

(Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

How to book

To book, your best bet will be to do an award search directly on American’s website or use the awesome American Airlines Award Map. With this tool, you can enter your origin and preferred travel dates and leave the destination open as “Continental U.S” to see the full list of 5,000-mile awards.

If you prefer some destination inspiration, you can change it to search only for certain criteria like beach, ski or golf.

Sample itineraries

From New York-area airports, there are dozens of destinations where awards are pricing at just 5,000 miles each way throughout the fall, winter and well into 2021.

For instance, you can go across the country to Monterey, California for 5,000 AAdvantage miles later this fall.

Screenshot courtesy of American
Screenshot courtesy of American

Planning a winter excursion to hit the slopes in Aspen? That’s also just 5,000 miles for random dates this December.

Screenshot courtesy of American
Screenshot courtesy of American

An escape to a national park more your speed? A flight to Bozeman, Montana (and Yellowstone National Park) is 5,000 miles for next spring.

Screenshot courtesy of American
Screenshot courtesy of American

These are just a few examples but there are many, many cities with pricing from just 5,000 AAdvantage miles.

How to earn more AAdvantage miles

To earn more American miles in the future, consider adding these AAdvantage cards to your wallet.

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: What are the best cards for American Airlines flyers? 

Bottom line

For months, I had not seen any of the crazy-low, 5,000-mile AAdvantage Web Special deals that had popped up in 2019. But now, it appears they’re back. Keep in mind that every itinerary seems to require a connecting flight to price out at 5,000 miles. However, there are still amazing deals to be had across the country.

And if your plans change due to the pandemic or otherwise, American is allowing you to cancel your flights booked by Dec. 31, 2020 for no fee — making this deal a way to effectively grab refundable award tickets.

Featured photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images.

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