One of the best award redemptions was great when paired with the Star Alliance partners and will still be offered with the new Oneworld partners – the US Airways 90K business class award ticket to north Asia. Not only is that an incredible redemption rate for premium cabin travel on a trip that long, but it also allows a stopover in Europe. So, instead of paying 100,000 miles for business class just to Europe and back, you can pay 90,000 miles to go to Europe, north Asia, and then back to the US. That lets you save 10,000 miles and go even further than if you just did Europe and back!
That award still exists today under the new Oneworld Alliance partners (for US Airways award reservations). The only sad part about that is that Europe has grown considerably smaller with the new alliance versus Star Alliance’s presence throughout Europe. Now, transiting through Europe has to be done by ignoring the largest Oneworld carrier in Europe – British Airways – or else you will find yourself paying some very large fees.
90K Mile Business Class Tickets From American Airlines
Citi Platinum AAdvantage Card – 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in 90 days – Application Link (I do not receive a commission)
Citi AAdvantage Executive Card – 100,000 miles after spending $10K in 90 days – Application Link (I do not receive a commission)
It is easy to forget that you can actually book an award ticket to north Asia using American Airline miles as well – and you can do it in a way that will only cost a net of 90,000 miles! I know there are many of you who have signed up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive credit card offer of 100,000 AA miles. If you plan your strategy the right way, you can not only get a business class award ticket to north Asia for 90,000 miles net, but you can have a similar reduction on all your award redemptions (up to 10,000 miles back per calendar year).
I am talking, of course, about the unique perk given to holders of the Citi Platinum AAdvantage card. If you hold this card, you will receive a rebate of your miles used each year up to 10,000 miles. This means, if you book an award ticket for 100,000 miles (like the north Asia business class ticket), you will receive a rebate of 10,000 miles making the north Asia ticket have an effective cost of 90,000 miles.
This also works for any type of award tickets you book from your AA account. If you book a round-trip ticket in the US for 25,000 miles, you will receive 2,500 miles. This will happen for every ticket booked out of your account until you reach a total of a 10,000 mile rebate in the calendar year.
Of course, this requires you to have the full amount in your account in the first place. So, if you are booking a business class ticket to north Asia, you will need to spend 100,000 miles because it is not a reduction of the award price itself but a refund. With US Airways, it is different. If you book an award ticket on US Airways and hold their credit card, you will receive an actual discount of 5,000 miles per person. For the AA card, it is a rebate. Another good thing is you do not have to do anything to get it – it is automatic. The rebate appears within a couple of weeks after making the reservation – not after you fly.
Unfortunately, the Citi AAdvantage Executive card does not carry the same rebate program, so you will have to have the Citi Platinum AAdvantage when you book your award ticket for this to work. The good news is that that card also has a very nice bonus offer – 50,000 AA miles after spending $3,000 in 90 days. This offer would go along very nicely with your newly acquired 100,000 AA miles. 🙂 As long as it is has been more than 7 days since your last Citi application and you have not had 2 applications in the last 60 days, you can go ahead and apply for this card and add this to your AA mileage total. So, counting the minimum spending on each card and the bonuses, these two cards will give you a total of 163,000 AA miles plus you will get a 10% rebate up to 10,000 miles for miles you redeem each year you hold the Citi Platinum AAdvantage card! That sounds pretty good to me!
This also works if you want to book in a higher cabin but only have enough points for business class. You can book the business class ticket and when the miles are rebated, call back to change the ticket to first class using the miles you just received as rebate. Note: According to AA, this type of change should result in a $150 fee to deposit the miles and rebook however I have booked a couple of trips where it was not even mentioned and the change was made at no cost – as long as outside of 21 days of departure. Just something to consider.
Not only will applying for the Citi Platinum AAdvantage card give you an additional 50,000 AA miles, it will also give you up to 10,000 miles back for every award booking per calendar year. The best strategy is to book a large award, like a 100,000 award, just before the end of the year and then book the same for a companion or a different award after the new year. This will allow you to book two high-mileage tickets fairly close while getting the rebate on both. Check out the chart and create your own reduced mileage award, thanks to this rebate!