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

Nov. 18, 2021
5 min read
Chairs on the beach in Cozumel Mexico
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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.

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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.

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.

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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

Featured image by (Photo by CAN BALCIOGLU/Shutterstock.com)
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.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more