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INSIDER SECRET: With certain American Airlines credit cards, you’ll have access to the American Airlines reduced Mileage Awards, which can save you up to 7,500 miles on award flights to 100+ airports.
Here are a few of the Citi American Airlines credit cards:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
And these bonus miles can get you VERY far. You’ll be able to travel to destinations like Europe, Japan, and Australia!
We’ve done the research for you and I’m going to show you how to book American Airlines award travel and find the best deals.
How to Navigate the AA Award Chart
American Airlines’ award charts are region-based. So you can see how many miles are required just by looking at where you want to fly. And you’ll really just need to focus on 3 main things:
- Who: Which airline you’ll be flying with
- What: Class of service and pricing tier
- Where: You’ll be flying
1. What Airline Will You Be Flying?
American Airlines has 2 award charts. The first is for flights on American Airlines, and the other is for flights on oneworld alliance and partner airlines.
If you’ll be flying on American Airlines, you’ll use this AA miles chart.
And if you’ll be flying on one of American Airlines’ partner airlines, you’ll use this AA oneworld award chart.
American Airlines has a long list of oneworld airline partners:
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
And they even have some other partner airlines that are not part of the oneworld alliance:
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Alaska Airlines / Horizon Air
- Cape Air
- Etihad Airways
- Fiji Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Seaborne Airlines
You’ll be able to redeem your miles with any of the above partner airlines. And because of the number of partner airlines available, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in redeeming your American Airlines miles.
2. Will You Be Flying Coach, Business Class, or First Class?
If you’ll be flying on an American Airlines flight, you’ll want to decide whether you want to fly coach, Business Class, or First Class. There are different award charts for each class of service. Once you’ve decided, you’ll also have a choice of one of the following pricing tiers:
- MileSAAver Off-Peak (cheapest, although this is not available for all regions)
- AAnytime Level 1
- AAnytime Level 2 (most expensive)
It’s best to avoid AAnytime airfare because those are the most expensive and I always try to book the cheapest flights, although if you have last-minute travel or your dates are not flexible, it may be your only option. MileSAAver off-peak fare is the cheapest, and American Airlines has a list of which flights qualify:
If you are flying on American Airlines, the off-peak MileSAAver dates are listed here under the “details on award travel section.”
And if you will be flying on a partner airline, the main cabin off-peak dates are listed here under the “details on award travel section.”
If you’ll be flying on a partner airline, you won’t need to worry about the pricing tiers, because everything is priced the same. And you’ll only have to decide whether you want to fly coach, Business, or First Class.
The final step to figuring out how many miles your trip will take will be based on where you’re going. You’ll find this information in the same chart. So for instance, in the screenshot below, a flight in coach from the US to Europe would cost 30,000 American Airlines miles on MileSAAver fare.
And if you’re wondering what regions consist of, American Airlines has published their specific region definitions, for example:
- Caribbean: Includes Bermuda and The Bahamas
- South America Region 1: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Manaus (Brazil)
- South America Region 2: Argentina, Brazil (excluding Manaus), Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
- Asia Region 1: Japan, Korea
- Asia Region 2: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
How to Use the Miles on the American Airlines Award Chart
You can find some great deals on the American Airlines award charts, especially when you combine it with an amazing intro bonus on a credit cards like the following:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: Intro bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $2,500 on purchases in the first 3 months. The card has a $99 annual fee that is waived the first 12 months
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: Welcome bonus of 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening; with an annual fee of $99 that is waived the first 12 months
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: Welcome bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, with an annual fee of $450 that is NOT waived the first year
And here are a few examples of flights you could take once you earn those bonus miles!
- Book up to 8+ short-distance flights within the US, because coach flights on American Airlines 500 miles or less only cost 7,500 miles one-way
- Get a one-way flight to Europe in Business Class for just 57,500 American Airlines miles, or a round-trip coach ticket from the US to Europe and back for 60,000 American Airlines miles
- Fly one-way to Japan in Business Class for 60,000 American Airlines miles
- Book a round-trip ticket to the Caribbean in Business Class for 50,000 American Airlines miles
American Airlines uses a region-based award chart, making it very easy to figure out how many miles you’ll need to book an award flight. That’s because you’ll just need to find which region your departure and destination airports are located.
If you know where to look on the American Airlines award chart, earning either of those welcome bonuses can get you some big travel! You can use the miles for multiple short-haul trips within the US, or book a First Class flight overseas which could easily save you over $1,000!
To learn more about American Airlines, check out these guides:
Here are our other articles to learn more about American Airlines miles:
- American Airlines Miles Review
- American Airlines Miles Value
- American Airlines Status
- Best Use of AA Miles
- How to Earn AA Miles
- How to Setup a American Airlines Account
- How to Use American Airlines Miles
- AA Award Chart
- Do American Airlines Miles Expire?
- American Airlines Economy Web specials
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