Fly to Asia for ~$50 & Just 1 Credit Card With American Airlines Miles

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Fly to Asia for ~$50 & Just 1 Credit Card With American Airlines Miles

EmilyFly to Asia for ~$50 & Just 1 Credit Card With American Airlines MilesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I love American Airlines, and it’s one of my favorite travel rewards programs.  Over the past few years, I have taken some amazing trips that I wouldn’t have been able to go on without miles.  One of my favorite trips was to Japan, and my partner Alfy and I redeemed American Airlines miles plus ~$110 in fees in Business Class!

With the current increased sign-up bonus on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, you’ll earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 4 months of account opening.  That’s enough for a round-trip coach flight to Japan, which costs 65,000 to 70,000 American Airlines miles plus ~$50 in fees depending on the season.  To compare, paid tickets can cost ~$1,500+ from some cities!

Exploring Tokyo at Night Was the Best
Exploring Tokyo at Night Was the Best, and You Could Do It too With Just One Credit Card Bonus

I’ll show you how you can earn enough American Airlines miles to visit Japan with one credit card! 

The Citi American Airlines Business Card Sign-Up Bonus Can Get You $1,500+ Worth of Airfare!

Apply Now:  Citi American Airlines Small Business Card 

Our Review of the CitiBusiness AAdvantage American Airlines Card

 

You can earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 4 months with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.

It’s easy for Citi American Airlines Platinum Select small business cardholders to boost and replenish their American Airlines miles balances because you earn:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at certain telecommunications and rental car merchants, and at gas stations
  • 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
I Paid ~$100 and Opened Two Credit Cards for This Business Class Ticket!
I Paid ~$110 and Opened 2 Credit Cards for This Business Class Ticket!

With the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select small business credit card, you’ll save money or miles with these perks:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Companion Certificate after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports

The annual fee is $95 and it’s waived for first year.  So you can try out the card for ~11 months to see if you like it and can make the most of its benefits.

One of the major advantages of considering this card is it will NOT appear on your personal credit report.  That’s great news if you want to apply for cards that won’t affect Chase’s 5/24 rule.

You Can Get a Business Credit Card With Little / No Business Income

Link:   How to Qualify for a Business Credit Card

If you earn income for performing a service, or selling goods, you could have a small business.  I have a small Airbnb side business and occasionally rent my house when I travel.  This creates extra income for me and also gives me a way to get approved for small business credit cards!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Have an Extra Bedroom? Consider Renting It on Airbnb to Generate Some Extra Cash

Here’s how you can qualify for a small business card.  And 7 activities that might qualify you to open one.  To qualify as a small business, you must be for-profit.  And you might even be eligible if you haven’t made a profit yet.  The representative we spoke to at Citi said you could be eligible for a small business credit card even if you’re just starting a business.

Riding Bikes Around Temples Like This One in Kyoto Was a Highlight of Our Trip!
Riding Bikes Around Temples Like This One in Kyoto Was a Highlight of Our Trip!

You can apply as a sole proprietor using just your social security number.  You don’t need to have an official business name.

Treat Yourself to Business Class

Apply Now:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Our Review of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

If you want a 2nd card to snag a Business Class flight (or save them for another trip!), apply for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.  You can earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  The $99 annual fee is also waived for the first year.

With both cards, you can earn 130,000 American Airlines miles, which is more than enough for a round-trip flight in Business Class!  We used our miles to fly in super fancy Cathay Pacific going there and Japan Airlines’ brand new airplane on our return trip!  We paid ~$110 each in taxes and fees for our flights which would have cost ~$5,000 if we’d paid cash!

 

It’s easy for Citi American Airlines Platinum Select cardholders to boost and replenish their miles balances because you earn:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
You Can Use Your American Airlines Miles to Book Flights on Japan Airlines

With the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select credit card, you’ll also get:

  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
  • Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports

Who Is Eligible for the Citi American Airlines Card?

Link:   Citi Rules Restrict Sign-Up Bonuses to Once per “Brand” Every 24 Months

Remember, Citi will NOT let you earn the sign-up bonus from more than one personal card of the same “brand” within 24 months.  For example, if you’ve opened or closed the Citi American Airlines Executive card in the past 24 months, you would NOT be eligible for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® sign-up bonus.

However, there’s an exception if you’ve had the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® in the past 24 months.  You CAN earn the sign-up bonus on the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card because Citi says:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Reports online suggest you should wait at least 8 days between personal card applications (for example, if you applied for a personal card of a different brand and a Citi AAdvantage personal card).  And they usually won’t approve more than 2 cards in 65 days. 

For business credit cards, it’s best to wait 95 days between business card applications. 

However, some folks report you can apply for a personal and business card on the same day or the same week and don’t have to wait 8 days.

Use Our Creative Ways to Help Meet Your Minimum Spending

Link:   How to Meet Credit Card Minimum Spending Requirements

If you have questions about meeting the minimum spending requirement, check out this post on lots of creative ways to spend.  I treat my credit cards like debit cards, and put all my spending on them.  Then, when the bill is due, I pay it off in full each month.  

You may also be able to prepay your cell phone, cable, or internet bill via a credit card by paying more than the monthly amount due.  But don’t do this if you can’t cover all of the charges when your bill is due.

How to Redeem American Airlines Miles for Flights

It’s easy to redeem American Airlines miles for flights.  Just log onto your American Airlines account and click on the “Redeem Miles” checkbox.  To get even more flight options, you can search for available award seats on the British Airways or Qantas websites because these show flights on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. 

Once you’ve found available award seats, jot down the dates, flights, important numbers, etc, and then call American Airlines to piece together the itinerary.  When I booked my trip to Japan, I told the agent a couple of different routes, and she found better availability than I did. 

So it can help to just call and get a skilled agent to do the searching for you.  If you end up calling to book a partner award on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines, ask the agent to waive the phone booking fee because it’s not possible to book online.  

Search for American Airlines Flights on Their Website
Search for American Airlines Flights on Their Website

It is simple to book flights between the US and Japan, but it does help being flexible or planning ahead to get the lowest miles prices.  And I always start by researching the long haul flights first, and then connecting flights from my home airport. 

For example, I would look at flights leaving from the West Coast for Tokyo to see which flight timings and prices were better.  And then I would look for available flights from my home airport to the West Coast once I had selected my long haul flight.

Success! A Round Trip Flight to Tokyo for Just ~$50 + 1 Credit Card
Success! A Round Trip Flight to Tokyo for Just ~$50 + 1 Credit Card

Bottom Line

American Airlines miles are great for traveling to lots of different places!  We had a fantastic time in Japan and look forward to one day returning.  You can do it too, by opening 1 or 2 credit cards.

You can earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 4 months with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard.  If you earn income for performing a service, or selling goods, you could have a small business.

You can also earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard.

Have you been to Asia using American Airlines miles?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

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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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hello. how did you find award availability on japan airlines? i tried looking for award availability using japan airlines in march but all the seats (economy and business) the whole month are “waitlist”.

Author

Search on the British Airways website for flight options. Make sure to search each flight segment one by one because the search engine can’t find more complex availability. Piece it together yourself.

Also, this post may help you a little bit! https://millionmilesecrets.com/2018/02/07/persistence-pays-off-business-class-award-flights-for-a-family-of-4-worth-over-18000-from-asia-to-the-us/