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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
Co-branded airline credit cards often don’t offer as much value as transferable points card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. But Citi seems to have gotten the message, as they’ve recently refreshed the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. Here’s an overview of the new earning rates with the card:
- 2x miles at restaurants (new)
- 2x miles at gas stations (new)
- 2x on American Airlines purchases
- 1x on everything else
While existing cardholders will be upgraded to the new benefits on July 22, 2018, new applicants can get these benefits right now, along with a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. So if you need some inspiration for your next getAAway, here are some of the best ways to use those miles.
Round-Trip Economy to Europe
60,000 AAdvantage miles is exactly enough for a round-trip saver economy ticket to Europe. Depending on where you’re headed, you can fly either on American Airlines or a Oneworld partner, but you’ll be best off avoiding British Airways and the massive carrier surcharges they impose on award tickets. American also recently launched several new routes to Europe, including Philadelphia (PHL) to Budapest (BUD) and Prague (PRG), and Chicago (ORD) to Venice (VCE).
One-Way Business Class to North Asia
If you’re looking to travel in a bit more comfort, your 60,000-mile sign-up bonus could also get you a one-way business class ticket to the “Asia 1” region, which American defines as Japan and Korea. American operates almost all of these routes using their shiny new 787s, which offer a comfortable ride in business class. But if you’re heading to Tokyo, you definitely want to look for a seat on Japan Airlines (JAL) instead. For the same price as a flight on AA metal (except for any small differences in taxes), you can fly in JAL’s spacious Sky Suite on any of their 777-300ER and select 787 aircraft. The window seats in this configuration are incredibly private, almost as good as Qatar’s fully enclosed Qsuite.
Two Round-Trip Tickets Within the US
If you’re looking to stay a little closer to home, you can also use your sign-up bonus to book two round-trip tickets anywhere in the contiguous US, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. You can even stack this with AA’s reduced mileage awards to get an even better deal. Using these discounted awards — which are only available to customers with certain co-branded American credit cards — you’ll pay only 6,500 AAdvantage miles for flights under 500 miles in distance, meaning you can potentially get up to four round-trip tickets out of this bonus and still have miles leftover. Just be forewarned that trying to find saver level award space, especially for multiple people, is likely to give you a headAAche.
Transcontinental First or Business Class
Airlines compete heavily for a share of the lucrative transcontinental market, but American Airlines has one of the most impressive products on this route outside of JetBlue’s Mint class. The carrier flies a specially configured 3-cabin A321T between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO). First class consists of 10 reverse herringbone seats in a 1×1 configuration, similar to what you’d find in international business class, while the business class cabin has 20 flat-bed seats in a 2×2 layout. If you’re lucky enough to find saver level space, a one-way business class ticket will cost you 32,500 miles, while a first class seat runs 50,000 miles in one direction. While that’s a lot to pay for a domestic flight, it sure beats shelling out $1,500+ in cash.
Round-Trip Economy to Central or South America
Out of the three US legacy carriers, American Airlines has by far the strongest route network in Central and South America, and it’s still expanding. The carrier recently announced plans to add flights to Pereira, Colombia (PEI), Cordoba, Argentina (COR) and a new long-haul from LAX to Buenos Aires (EZE). There are serveral ways you could use your miles here:
- Round-trip economy to South America
- Two round-trip economy flights to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (on American Airlines metal)
- One-way business class to South America
American AAdvantage miles can be notoriously difficult to redeem, but if you have some flexibility in terms of when you travel and where you go, 60,000 miles can take you pretty far. TPG values this sign-up bonus at $840, but you could easily get double that with the right premium cabin redemption.
Featured image courtesy of American Airlines.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.