American Airlines AAdvantage Miles remain an excellent way to nab cash free flights on some of the best airlines in the world. Etihad Airways’ First Class Apartment, Cathay Pacific’s remarkably consistent first class suites and business class seats and Qatar Airways award-winning Q Suite business class can all be had for a reasonable trove of AAdvantage points and miles. If you need to top up awards, there are several ways to nab huge quantities of AAdvantage points without spending any significant amount of cash.
International business class mileage awards range from 55,000 to 80,000 AAdvantage miles, while first class seats, like the apartment, can be nabbed for anywhere from 80,000 to 115,000 miles. Examples of a few extravagant redemptions:
- 115,000 Miles: US to India, with a New York (JFK) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) leg in Etihad’s Apartment.
- 80,000 Miles: US to anywhere in Southeast Asia in either Cathay Pacific or
QatarJapan Airlines (JAL) business.
- 55,000 Miles: US to Europe or South America in American Airlines lie-flat business class.
If you need to top up, consider these options:
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard – 60,000 Miles
For a limited time, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card is offering 60,000 AAdvantage miles after cardholders spend $3,000 in the first three months of holding this card.
The card includes other perks for American flyers, including priority boarding, free checked bags and travel insurance on trips paid for with the card.
The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard – 70,000 Miles
CitiBusiness’ American Airlines affiliate card has the best overall sign-up bonus, and the annual $95 fee is waived for the first year. Cardholders earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months after being approved.
Corporate or limited-liability business owners are not the only individuals who qualify for this card; CitiBusiness also accepts self-proprietors and those who run small businesses to earn money on the side. If you have business expenses, this card could be for you.
The card offers similar American Airlines perks to the standard Citi AAdvantage Platinum card below.
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard – 50,000 Miles
The Executive Mastercard comes with all the perks of the Platinum Select card, plus a complimentary Admirals Club Membership with guest privileges.
The limited sign-up offer on the Executive card is 50,000 miles after cardholders spend $5,000 in the first three months, plus 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles that count toward AAdvantage Elite Status.
The added Admirals Club benefit could be a great perk for those who spend a lot of time in airports, but pushes up the price of the Executive card with a $450 annual fee. Challenge goes to whoever can eat enough Admirals Club cereal and snack mix to cover the fee.
Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card – 35,000 Equivalent Miles
The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card currently comes with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus after cardholders spend $3,000 in the first three months after being approved. Those points can be used many ways, including free hotel stays at Marriott and Starwood properties, and transfers to over 35 different airlines.
If you need AAdvantage miles specifically, the 100,000 sign-up bonus points convert directly to 35,000 miles, though transfers can take up to six weeks (they’re usually faster, but no promises).
The card costs $95 per year, but comes with great earning rates at Marriott and Starwood hotels; cardholders earn six points per dollar spent.
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