It’s not too late: book a holiday trip to Mexico with open American award space

Nov 18, 2021

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.

Dreaming of a holiday in the sun but don’t want to break the bank? We have good news for you.

American Airlines has wide-open December award space for two or more passengers from hub airports to popular tourist destinations in Mexico, like Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. Many of these destinations have award space over the holidays, and others have space at the beginning of the month, letting you beat the crowds. Whatever you pick, you’re sure to enjoy warmer weather, excellent food and a selection of points-friendly resorts and hotels.

Let’s take a closer look at this award space and how to book it with your points and miles.

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

In This Post

The deal

Airline: American Airlines
Routes: Various American hubs to various cities in Mexico
Cost: From 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $97.21 or 15,000 British Airways Avios + $97.21 round-trip
Dates: December 2021
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier® Card (3x on air travel ), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).

Last-minute holiday award space to Mexico

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Below you’ll find nonstop award space from American hubs to tourist destinations in Mexico. That said, you may be able to fly from other airports with a connection for the same price when you book with AAdvantage. Unfortunately, booking with Avios will result in you paying for the connection since it prices each segment individually.

BOS to SJD American award example

Each of the dates listed below has award space for two or more passengers — here’s a look.

Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to/from Cancun (CUN)

Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to/from Cancun (CUN)

Los Angeles (LAX) to/from Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

Miami (MIA) to/from Cozumel (CZM)

New York-JFK to/from San José del Cabo (SJD)

Phoenix (PHX) to/from San José del Cabo (SJD)

Related: Ultimate guide to searching award availability for the major airlines

How to book

If booking with American, head to the airline’s website and enter your desired itinerary in the search box on the homepage. Make sure to select the “Redeem miles” option to view award prices.

You can view available flights for your date of travel at the center of the screen.

If you have flexible dates, click the “Calendar” button at the upper right-hand corner of the screen to view a month’s worth of award space at once.

Dates with saver award space are bookable with Oneworld partner programs, like Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and British Airways Avios. You can view award space online (though British Airways’ award search engine is currently down).

Related: Your ultimate guide to American Airlines AAdvantage

 Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a card that earns additional points on airfare purchases to pay for award ticket taxes and fees. Some great options include The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), Citi Premier Card (3x on air travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel).

Many of these cards also offer travel protections, like trip delay and baggage delay insurance. These protections are even more important during the holidays when high demand and possible bad weather can delay flights with little room for recovery. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve will cover your hotel and food expenses when you experience a lengthy covered delay, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

All screenshots courtesy of aa.com

Feature photo by CAN BALCIOGLU/Shutterstock.com

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

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
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • 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.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • 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
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.