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Elites can now use $400 American Airlines Vacations credit

July 02, 2020
4 min read
Elites can now use $400 American Airlines Vacations credit
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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

Earlier this year, we reported that American Airlines would give all elite members up to a $400 credit to use toward an American Airlines Vacations package, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold members will receive $300, Platinum and Platinum Pro will receive $350 and Executive Platinum will receive $400. This credit could shave a nice portion off of the cost of your next trip.

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American Airlines Vacations offers packages that include flights and hotel (and rental cars from Budget or Avis, if you wish) bundled together, often at a discount compared to booking each separately. Like other online travel agencies, you generally won't earn points or elite credits for the hotel part of the booking.

Additionally, you'll also earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles — worth $14 based on TPG valuations — when booking any American Airlines Vacations package.

The airline was the last of the big 3 U.S. airlines to extend elite status, granting another year of status to all its current elites, through Jan. 31, 2022. Additionally, it extended perks and made it easier to earn lifetime status.

Related: How to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles

We've previously covered many of the updates, but today we're going to dive a bit more into the American Airlines Vacations credit. Here's what you need to know.

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To receive the offer, you must call American Airlines Vacations at 800-321-2121 -- you can't book online -- to purchase a vacation package for travel by Dec. 20, 2021. Multiple hotel stays are valid for the promotion as long as the total nights booked is greater than the minimum stay requirements. Keep in mind that the credit will be based on your elite status as of June 30, 2020, so, for example, if you're an American Airlines Platinum Pro member on June 30, you'll get a $350 credit.

This promotion is valid for new Vacations bookings only, and the package must include round-trip airfare and hotel and meet a minimum spend requirement of $2,500.

You can occasionally get excellent business-class deals using the AA Vacation portal. For instance, I was able to find a deal for two from New York-JFK to Milan (MXP) for mid-February 2021 dates. The hotel isn't the greatest, but I want to focus on the flight.

The cost of two tickets is $4,236, or $2,118 per person. While that's a great deal in and of itself, if you add on the elite credit, the price drops as low as $1,918 per person if you're an Executive Platinum. Even if you're an AAdvantage Gold member, the cost is still less than $2,000 per person. Considering cash tickets for the same flight are almost $2,600 per person, saving a few hundred dollars by using the credit is the way to go.

Finally, American frequently runs AA Vacations promotions -- like this $250 off sale for Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. But unfortunately, this promotion can't be combined with other offers.

Related: How spending on your American Airlines credit card can help you earn Million Miler status

Featured image by Getty Images

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023