Use Fewer American Airlines Miles to Visit Europe Through Next Year

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Use Fewer American Airlines Miles to Visit Europe Through Next Year

Million Mile SecretsUse Fewer American Airlines Miles to Visit Europe Through Next YearMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Now through May 15, 2016, you can fly to Europe with American Airlines miles for 10,000 fewer miles each way, including on partner airlines!

Save 20,000 American Airlines miles on a round-trip coach award flight to Europe with off-peak awards!

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Visit Budapest (or Any City in Europe) With Fewer American Airlines Miles Through May 15, 2016!

I’ll show you how it works!

What Are American Airlines Off-Peak Awards?

Link:   American Airlines Award Chart

Link:   American Airlines Partner Award Chart

Link:   American Airlines Off-Peak Award Dates

Link:   Book American Airline Award Flights Like a Pro

One of the best perks when you redeem American Airlines miles is their fantastic off-peak awards.  For 7 months of the year, you can save 10,000 American Airlines miles each way on coach award flights to Europe, from October 15 to May 15.

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Off-Peak Awards to Europe Include Flights on Partner Airlines, Like Air Berlin and Finnair

This includes award flights on partner airlines that fly to Europe, including:

  • Air Berlin
  • British Airways
  • Finnair
  • Iberia

However, most folks will want to avoid British Airways because they include fuel surcharges which can add hundreds of dollars to your award flights!

But the other airline partners have more reasonable fees, and are fantastic options for visiting Europe.

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Fly from Chicago to Berlin Round-Trip Non-Stop on Air Berlin for Only 40,000 American Airlines Miles and ~$95!

I was able to find round-trip award flights between Chicago and Berlin in December non-stop on Air Berlin for 40,000 American Airlines miles plus ~$95.  That’s a fantastic deal!

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
The Same Flights Would Cost ~$1,176 in Cash

If you paid for these flights, they’d cost ~$1,176.  So this is a great use of your American Airlines miles.

During the summer, these award flights would cost 60,000 American Airlines miles round-trip.  So you save 20,000 American Airlines miles for round-trip award flights when they’re off-peak.

Note:   American Airlines charges $75 for award flights booked within 21 days of departure, unless you have elite status.

When to Go

My favorite time to visit Europe is when it isn’t as cold, so October or November, or April and May are all great months.

It’s chilly in late autumn, but there are fewer tourists in crowded cities like Budapest, Paris, and Prague.

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Brave the Cold to Visit Finland During the Lux Helsinki Light Arts Festival This Winter!

Or, if you don’t mind the cold, visit Helsinki, Finland, during the annual Lux Helsinki light arts festival.

And if you really like winter, consider the Swiss Alps for world-famous skiing!

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Visit Germany and Explore Huge Christmas Markets This Winter

Germany has lots of traditional Christmas markets, or Christkindlesmarkts, all over the country.  They’re known for their local crafts, Christmas displays, music, great food, and hot mugs of gluwein (spiced wine).

Or you could stay near the Mediterranean, like Barcelona or the South of France, if you want a place that’s not quite so cold.

You have lots of options for a getaway, and many months to choose from, too.

Earn More American Airlines Miles

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

If you need more American Airlines miles, the fastest way to earn them is to sign-up for a new credit card.

With the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card, you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  Here’s my review of the card.

And with the Citi AAdvantage Executive Card, you can earn 75,000 American Airlines miles after spending $7,500 within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  It’s a fantastic card to have if you fly American Airlines a lot, because it comes with an American Airlines Admirals Club membership and 1 free checked bag for yourself and up to 8 companions traveling with you.  Check out my full review!

This offer ends on October 27, 2015, so apply soon if you’re interested!

If you sign-up for both of these, you’ll have at least 125,000 American Airlines miles to use for award flights.

Use Fewer American Airlines Miles To Visit Europe Through Next Year
Fly a Family of 3 to Europe With 2 Credit Cards!

That’s enough to fly 3 people round-trip in coach to Europe during the off-peak season!

And here are all the ways you can earn American Airlines miles.  This includes transfers from Starwood Preferred Guest directly to American Airlines.  And remember, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer!

Note:   Citi will only approve 1 credit card application per day, and no more than 2 every ~65 days.  And you should wait at least ~8 days between applications.

Bottom Line

Folks who want to visit Europe can save 20,000 miles on a round-trip coach award flight with American Airlines miles.  That’s because from October 15 to May 15 each year, American Airlines has off-peak awards.

These prices are valid on American Airlines flights, and on their airline partners like Air Berlin and Finnair.

You might consider visiting Europe in the fall or spring, because it won’t be very cold, and there aren’t as many tourists.  Of course, folks who like to ski or who don’t mind the cold can still have a wonderful visit, especially to places like Germany or Finland that have big holiday festivals!

Tell me about your favorite place to visit in Europe during Autumn, Winter, or Spring!  Are you planning a trip with these off-peak awards?

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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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@airgypsy @Mau Ma – I’ll write about these questions very soon. Thank you for reading and commenting!


We want to spend first few days visiting Tuscany and Cinque Terre then Paris few more days before fly back home (DFW) from Paris in late March.

What’s the best travel plan you can advise us in general? What cities we can fly to that avoid the huge surcharge?

Thank you so much in advance.

Hi. Thanks for the reminder about the off peak period. Can you recommend what city pairings I can search for coming from west Coast to Europe so I don’t get too many BA results when I search on AA website. Thank you in advance!

@Ian – Depending on what types of points you have available, there are lots of fantastic ways to get to Europe. Thank you for the ideas!

Glad to hear you’ve had a good experience with Air Berlin. Hopefully you get an early spring in Budapest! 🙂

@Marilyn B – Excellent advice! More cultural activities and locals sounds like a perfect reason to visit Europe in the off-peak season.

Your trips to Italy and Malta sound wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Have been to Europe many times in late November – going again this year, too. Definitely fewer tourists. The cultural scene is usually more active, too. More locals than tourists in the restaurants, too. And if you are in Mediterranean cities that are cruise ship ports, the season is more or less over by late November, so you are not dealing with an influx of thousands of day-trippers. If you know how to layer properly, you can deal with the cooler temps. Besides, you wear the jacket, hat, gloves, scarf on the plane, so you aren’t packing it.

Have been in southern Italy and Malta at the end of November, and a tee shirt and light jacket have sufficed.

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