Your American Airlines Miles Just Got Easier to Use For Flights to Japan — Just in Time for the 2020 Olympics

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INSIDER SECRET: You can book Japan Airlines awards 330 days in advance, so you’ve still got time to earn the miles you need for a trip to the 2020 Olympics.

It’s now a bit easier to use your American Airlines miles to get to Japan. Japan Airlines is a Oneworld alliance partner, so you can use American Airlines miles to book Japan Airlines award seats. But until today you weren’t able to do this online, you had to call in to make the reservation.

For the average American Airlines member the change is good news. The downside is that because Japan Airlines award seats will be easier to find, there likely will be more people booking them. These awards probably will fill up much more quickly than before, especially with the 2020 Olympics just around the corner.

Using your American Airlines miles for partner award flights to Japan is a great idea. (Photo by Guitar photographer/Shutterstock)

American Airlines Miles to Japan

Japan Airlines flies to/from the US from these cities:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Honolulu
  • Kona
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Japan Airlines releases its award seats 330 days in advance. So if you want to book award flights to Japan for the 2020 Olympics, (which start July 24, 2020) set a reminder to start looking for flight right around August 28, 2019 (depending on when you want to arrive).

Round-trip award flights from the US to Japan on American Airlines Oneworld partner airlines (like Japan Airlines) cost:

  • 35,000 miles in economy
  • 60,000 miles in business class
  • 80,000 miles in first class

The Olympics are far enough away that you could have to time to open an American Airlines credit card and earn the bonus miles needed to book a flight 330 days in advance, but you’d have to be able to meet the minimum spending requirement within the first billing cycle. Here are the current bonus offers:

  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card – 10,000 American Airlines miles and a $50 statement credit after you make $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® – 60,000 American Airlines miles after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® – 50,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® – 50,000 American Airlines miles after you make $2,500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® – 60,000 American Airlines miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the $99 annual fee
  • Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® – Up to 75,000 American Airlines miles; earn 65,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card, Barclays Aviator cards has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You can also transfer Marriott points to American Airlines at a 3:1 ratio.

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Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

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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