6 Ways to Use 150,000 AAdvantage Miles

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6 Ways to Use 150,000 AAdvantage Miles

Million Mile Secrets6 Ways to Use 150,000 AAdvantage MilesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Yesterday, I wrote about the amazing Citi AAdvantage 75,000 bonus mile offer. And if you follow my advice in the original post, you may get the bonus for both cards – even though the bonus is supposed to be only for first time cardholders.

That’s 150,000 Citi AAdvantage bonus miles if you get approved for both cards!

That’s worth at least $1,500 if you value AAdvantage miles conservatively at 1 cent per mile.  Your cost for these miles would be zero since the first year fee was waived on these credit cards!

American Airline miles are very useful since they can be used for one-way travel and because you can fly on some fantastic airlines such as British Airways, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas through American Airline’s membership in the One World Alliance.

However, you do have to pay fuel surcharges on British Airways award tickets (~$300 each way) and American Airlines does charge close-in ticketing fees of $50 if booked 7 to 20 days prior to departure and $100 if booked within 7 days of departure.

You can book flights which are wholly on American Airlines through the AA website, but awards with partners have to be booked through a phone representative for an additional $20.

So where can you go with 150,000 Citi AAdvantage Miles?

I’ve placed a link to “Airline Award Charts” in the ‘Mile and Point Resources” section to make it easy for you to look up different airlines’ award charts easily and figure out where your miles will take you.  Just bookmark Millionmilesecrets.com instead of the different airline award charts in your browser!

American Airlines offers 3 types of award charts:

I’ll review the differences between these 3 award charts in a later post.

6 Ways To Use 150,000 American Airline Miles

1) Domestic US Economy

Use 150,000 miles for 6 domestic round-trips at the MileSaver (25,000 miles) within the US (excludes Hawaii) or to Canada.  You’ll only pay $5 per ticket in taxes and American Airlines has great award availability!  You can check AA availability here.

Sure, you’re not maximizing the value of AA miles here, but since the cost of these miles was zero, any redemption value will benefit you. You’re playing the mile and point game to benefit yourself, so do whatever makes sense for you!

If you use the miles for 6 tickets which would have otherwise cost you $300 each, you are gaining $1,770 (6 X $300 -$5 in taxes).

And you can get even better value if you use them for tickets during Holidays (you’ll need to book way in advance for these), last minute travel (funerals, job interviews, surprise visit to the kids in college etc.), travel to remote airports (Traverse City, Michigan & Toledo, Ohio) where tickets can be north of $450, or travel to Canada or Alaska where tickets are $500+.

2) Domestic US First Class

Use them for 3 domestic (within the US) First Class round-trips at the MileSaver (50,000 miles) level.  You’ll only pay $5 per ticket in taxes and American Airlines has even better award availability for MileSaver First Class seats!

The value per mile is also usually higher compared to redeeming for Economy tickets, but then domestic First Class is not priced at market levels since most seats are upgrades by Elites.

Now, domestic First Class on US airlines  is nothing great and I’d rather be in Singapore Airlines Economy Cabin than in American Airline’s domestic product, but it might be useful if you want to treat your parents or a special someone who has no intention of ever traveling outside the US!   Or if you want to feel important! 🙂

3) First Class on Cathay Pacific to Asia

Fly round-trip on Cathay Pacific First Class from the US to Bali or Thailand or anywhere else in Southeast Asia for only 135,000 miles.  This is how I’d use my miles!

If you’re wondering what Cathay Pacific First Class looks like, check out these fantastic trip reports from Gary from View From The Wing blog and Lucky from One Mile At A Time Blog.  Gary and Lucky are 2 travelers who know how to spend their miles in style!

4) Fly To Europe or South America

It costs only 40,000, 60,000, 100,000, or 125,000 miles for a  roundtrip using economy off-peak, regular economy, business class, or first class awards to Europe or South America.

I’ve flown British Airways First Class and it was wonderful! I had to pay about $600 per person round-trip in fuel charges, but the new British Airways First Class cabin and the Concorde lounge in London made it an experience that I won’t forget in a hurry.  If you fly on American Airlines, you won’t pay the fuel surcharges.

We flew to Brazil during Carnival using our United Miles, but I was also checking AA availability and was able to find seats on AA.  AA has TERRIFIC availability to South America!  How about a trip to Buenos Aires in Argentina, or Santiago, Chile?

5) Fly To India

You can redeem 135,000 miles to fly business class to India on American Airlines and Jet Airlines.  I’ve flown on Jet Airlines before and it has a great business class product – including true flat beds, pajamas, and great service.

6) Use Them For OneWorld Airlines Distance Awards

These are little know awards which are distanced based.  You can get 1 First Class award for up to 14,000 miles of travel or 1 Busines Class award for up to 25,000 miles of travel.

These are most useful when you are visiting multiple destination in 1 trip since you can have upto 16 segments and 1 stopover per segment.  These are great for visiting many countries in Europe or Asia.  You do have to travel on 2 OneWorld Airlines besides American Airlines to be eligible for this award.

Bottom Line: You get a lot of options to have Big Travel with Small Money with 150,000 AAdvantage miles.

Over the next month, I’ll cover the details of how to book some of these awards.

How do you want to use your AAdvantage miles?

Related Posts:

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Please help me exactly how many miles do I need to go to vietnam or China

I have aaadvantage miles

Amex miles

Chase miles or bonus

Thank you so very much


Hi there, I’m a total newbie and would like to fly to Taiwan in December…

I have zero credit card at the moment, but I’m willing to take some to get the miles. So what cards should I get? (Knowing that I would prefer not to have to spend to much to meet the miles bonus requirement…) What would be the best strategy to go to Taiwan?

Hope you can advice me on that, your blog is really inspiring.

Million Mile Secrets

@Sarah – Unfortunately, they don’t count towards elite status.

@Madinina– It may be a bit too late to apply cards, complete the minimum spending, get the miles and book a trip for December. It is 70K miles or 110K in business so 2 Citi American Airlines cards should get you there. You have to apply for them both at the same time and complete $3,000 in minimum spending within 4 months to get the full sign-on bonus. Check out the 40+ ways to help meet your minimum spending requirement.

I just signed up for the AAvantage citibank card for 30,000 bonus miles. Do these bonus miles go toward my status or no?

Hi Daraius, did I miss your post(s) on “Over the next month, I’ll cover the details of how to book some of these awards?” I would love to learn how to book AA miles using Cathay Pacific from SFO to Asia such as HKG or SGN? Is it 70K economy? Thanks.

Million Mile Secrets

@Nguyen – You didn’t miss them! I’ll get started on that soon. It is 70K miles roundtrip. You have to look for Cathay award availability from the North American gateway (departure city) and then ask AA to book it. The best tool to do that is either the Japan Airlines tool, the BA tool, or even Cathay’s award tool, but Cathay’s award tool may show more award availability then there actually is.

I got denied for too many cards, yet I only have 2 cards with Citi, how do I get around this denial? should I just call after I apply and talk to the CSR?

Million Mile Secrets

@David – I would call the reconsideration line or write to the executive offer explaining your good credit history and responsible use of credit. CitiBank Executive Review Department, P.O. Box 6000, Sioux Falls, SD 57117

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