Giveaway: $100 Gift Cards & More

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Update: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has exciting new benefits, and a great new limited time offer. Learn more about the current offer here.

As I mentioned a while back, I was able to take advantage of some killer discounted business class fares from Europe, and booked two roundtrips from London to kick off the New Year. Between the class of service bonuses, elite bonuses, and the transatlantic promo, I’m earning well over 120,000 redeemable miles.

On top of that, AAdvantage now offers bonus redeemable miles for premium fares based on elite status and fare class, which adds another ~12,500 miles.

I’m also applying for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, which will give me an additional 70,000+ miles once I’ve met the minimum spend.

I have some further paid domestic and international travel booked, and all told, I should be earning over 220,000 AAdvantage miles in January.

That’s more than enough for two roundtrip business class tickets to Asia on Cathay Pacific, and nearly enough for two first class tickets, which is my favorite use of American miles.

Cathay Pacific first class lounge Hong Kong cabana

Anyway, thinking about this influx of miles made me wonder about your guys’ favorite ways to redeem American miles, so I thought we’d have a contest.

I’m giving away two $100 American Airlines gift cards today to randomly selected readers.

After flying over 25,000 miles internationally in the past ten days I also have a quantity of American amenity kits, so I’ll be giving those away as well.

To enter, tell me what your favorite use of American miles is — it doesn’t have to be a trip you’ve taken yet, but if you have stories to tell that’s even better! You can gain additional entries on social media as well. Make sure to click on the widget below, otherwise I won’t be able to track your entries.

Excited to hear your thoughts, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Neither American Airlines nor Citi are sponsoring this contest in any way. I purchased these gift cards using my Platinum Card® from American Express and Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN in order to take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I don’t actually have a noteworthy amount of American miles, but I’d really like to give their long-haul First a try some time.

  2. My favorite use of Aadvantage miles is the trip I have 3/4 of booked. I have booked flights from DFW-LHR in BA first class and flights from LHR-AUH-LHR in Etihad first class. I found availability for the exact dates. I can’t wait

  3. I am planning on getting my small family together this year……and as my sons and family are either in Tx and PA and I am in AZ….American hubs is Dallas that would be helpful to save some dough!! So AA gift cards could certainly help me, thanks

  4. My best friend (whom I’ve known since I was twelve; we are now mid-30s) and I are planning a LAX-HKG trip in Cathay First Class…who needs Vegas when Macau is just a ferry ride away!

  5. Not the most glamorous…but if anything this blog has taught me its about flying loved ones in premium classes. My mom is Finnish and we flew her in business on finnair to her surprise and she was amazed !!

  6. My favorite use of AA miles it taking my grandmother back to Vancouver for her birthday every year ( via, Cathay Pacific first class)

  7. Would love to try out the new Etihad A380 from AUH to SYD….Plenty of time to enjoy my “apartment” in the sky.

  8. My favorite use of AA miles is 50k for business class to Europe, amazing value considering the 100K signup offers on the Executive card last year 🙂

  9. Since I live in Pakistan, flying Etihad or Qatar Airways Business Class to Europe is a great use of AA miles. Only 30K each way for a short haul + medium haul flight. Haven’t yet redeemed for First Class.

  10. My family loves to cruise and so my favorite use of miles probably won’t excite anyone but MJ – getting free airfare from Kansas City to Florida.

  11. After taking our 1st overseas flight this year, it was so great, I knew I couldn’t wait another 42 years to go back. After reading your blog, and others, we are hoping to take our kids before we are empty nesters. The oldest is graduating from college in May. We both applied for AA CC’s, and we have enough for 4 of us to go on a SAAVER economy award already. hopefully this year we’ll get enough miles for 2 more so the 6 of us can go in the next year or so 🙂 great giveaway!

  12. I only started collecting AA miles seriously in 2014, and my biggest use of the miles isn’t going to be spectacular, but in 2016 I’ll be flying my 4 young step-kids to England and Scotland for their first international vacation. Want to show them early in life that the world is a beautiful place that is meant to be explored, and also show them firsthand the benefits of our hobby!

  13. My favorite use of AA miles would be a first class trip on Cathay or JAL to Asia – I’m hoping to gain enough to someday book two tickets for me and my SO!

  14. I am saving up AA miles to fly from Orlando to Minneapolis where I can change planes and continue on to Montana. My goal is to hike Glacier National Park before the ice melts. At the rate we’re going, I need to hurry up!

  15. Premium cabin space on Cathay is always great, but next I’d like to look at South America. AA always has good reward space there.

  16. I have to travel from DFW to LHR for work 3-4 times a year and had become spoiled being able to fly business on AA new 777-300ER. Well on my last trip this past December AA wasn’t flying the 777-300ER from DFW to LHR anymore and my company changed travel policies so that I would have to fly coach for this trip. Well a very generous friend with some expiring system wide upgrades was able to upgrade me to business class while my boss had to fly coach. It was a bit awkward as I’m sitting in my seat and he walks by with a confused look on his face headed towards the back of the plane.

  17. My favorite use of American miles is to take the family to europe on saver awards (economy and business class). 20 dollars in total taxes jfk-cdg and then using them to return from txl

  18. For the last 4 years we have used our miles to see our Air Force daughter stationed in Hawaii! The first year we paid for our family of 3 to visit her. Then I discovered points and miles and each year we manage to save enough to fly and see her every summer. We love American because they have the most availability for us. Without the use of miles we wouldn’t be able to afford to visit her every year! She has one more year stationed there so we have 2 more visits! Then we will save up for a visit to Europe!

  19. I want to use the miles for FC on a 380 this year. Would love to visit a city we have not been to before so the destination is not the most important – it is all in the journey!

  20. Have only used miles to get from point A to Point B before. After starting to read your blog I’m looking at travel miles in a whole new way. I’ll be looking to do some upgraded travel for my family.

  21. My favorites have been (in no particular ordr):
    JFK NRT JL F for 62.5k each way
    JFK YVR CX F for 32.5k each way
    JFK LIM LA J for 30k each way
    JFK HKG CX F for 67.5k each way

  22. I actually have very little experience with AA and OneWorld – so any upgraded experience would be my way to try them out. Thanks for the blog.

  23. American has some great nuggets in their chart – one award I’ve really appreciated is the CX J redemption from Asia2 (Hong Kong/China) to Melbourne… 35K miles one way is an outstanding deal!

  24. I wouldnt mind a business class ticket to LHR. Been awhile since I have been there and my wife has never been.

  25. If I had any miles to use I would love to fly from London to Sydney with Qantas! 🙂 Always wanted to go down under. And always wanted to try out first class.

  26. I love to go to Hawaii, so that is my favorite use of AAdvantage miles. But someday I would like to try the international premium cabins I read about here on the blog!

  27. I’m going to be unique and say…Cathay Pacific premium class of any kind. 🙂 I’ve only been on CX business class from JFK to HKG to TPE so far but would love to try first class to Bali someday.

  28. My favorite use of AA miles is has been redeeming them for travel is Etihads new First Class Apartments!! I booked my flight for this summer and at 40K miles for my wife and I that is an amazing deal! I’ve seen your review, (btw, you still haven’t posted the second part about service 😉 ) and I’m really really excited that I’m booked to fly in the most amazing first class there is!

  29. I use them for anything to save me money. Two first class tickets to Hawaii, a one-way segment to Las Vegas, a round-trip ticket in the future to New England. I don’t like paying premium for miles so I try to book as far out as possible!

  30. I’ve never actually used AA miles before, but I have a nice stash and looking to fly home to Germany with them from JFK.

  31. In October 2013, I needed to be in Asia and was going to book a one-way ticket there on miles. I used AA miles to fly JFK to HND to enjoy a few days in Tokyo and used 25K AA miles. A paid ticket would have been over $1,000USD!

  32. I scored 2 business class tickets to NZ for my parents last summer. This was a dream trip for them and my dad – who is NOT a traveler – actually wants to go back!

  33. Saving my AA miles to take a trip to Italy for a milestone birthday. These points would definitely help.

  34. My favorite use of American Miles would be Cathay Pacific First Class to Hong Kong. Someday…someday.

  35. As I relocated to HKG recently, I flew JFK-YVR-HKG in F on CX last year using AA miles (62.5k).
    I had a lot of luggage, but the check-in staff allowed me to check all my heavy bags.

  36. I’m flying Etihad in March (paying – well a client is) but I’d love to use points to e perience their new A380.

  37. CX F to SE. Asia without question(too bad I’ve only been able to find biz awards!). Maybe one day I’ll plan 350 days out or some kind person will tell me the trick.

  38. right noe I am working towards two business class tickets to Tokyo. Anything that can get me to Japan is my favorite use of miles 🙂

  39. First mile redemption on AA, trip to Australia with my GF. Going to ask her to marry me down there. Hope she doesn’t see this. 😉

  40. My favorite use of AA miles so far has been Cathay SFO – HKG. That being said I’d love to try to get to Australia on Etihad!

  41. My favorite use of American miles was my one big international miles award redemption… on Cathay to Hong Kong in First Class! And it was all thanks to you. I couldn’t believe the seat, the service, and the experience. Thanks!

  42. I’ve long found (and by long I mean “from back when they released award space in business class) that their 60k miles to Northern South America in J was one of America’s best values. I’ve used that for DCA-MIA-UIO/GYE-MIA-DCA and SFO-DFW-LIM-MIA-BWI. Good stuff for sure

  43. I love to use my AA miles to fly to Paris! As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea!”

  44. In April 2013, I had used 135000 AA miles to go to Mumbai from Miami. The routing was MIA-ORD-AUH-BOM-AUH-ORD-MIA. The Miami to Ohare back to Miami was on AA First Class and ORD to BOM round-trip was on Etihad Business Class. This was a good use of the miles but it involved two stops .

    However I did book two round-trip tickets from Miami to Mumbai for December 2014 using 270000 miles and with the same routing as above (with Etihad as the international carrier and two stops).

    In October 2013, Qatar announced that it would begin flying from Miami to Doha commencing June 2014.

    In Feb 2014, I canceled the Etihad tickets and was able to get 2 Business Class seats for 270000 miles on Qatar MIA-DOH-BOM-for DOH-MIA for travel in December 2014. I was able to get the award tickets well before Qatar actually commenced flights from Miami. Also, Award tickets to India are most difficult to get for December travel as a lot of Indians travel back to India during December.

    We completed our trip on Qatar Business Class and in my opinion Qatar has the best Business Class product being offered today, bar none. Thus, it was a great use of the 270,000 miles.

  45. I like to save my AA miles for the family. I spend so much time traveling that I feel bad sight-seeing without the kids. I use work travel as a,way to scope out our next family vacation.

  46. My favorite use of American Airlines AAdvantage miles is flying from Dallas to Hawaii. I can’t wait for my next such trip!

  47. My favorite use is the reaction I get from travel companions when they pay big $$ and learn my flights are free. And they think I’m the crazy one with the crazy hobby! CF to HKG is next up.

  48. Looking forward to booking a business class cathay pacific flight from NYC! Maybe even a stopover in YVR.

  49. I personally use the miles I accrue to fly to Asia on a yearly basis. I’m a student here with most of my family abroad. JFK-HKG route on business/first is a blast!

  50. Though Cathay Pacific in first is an excellent value, even American’s first product will do the trick!

  51. For thier 30th anniversary, I was able to fly my parents out to Big Sur on the California Coast (right into the Monteray airport, not even LAX!) from their home in DC using only 35K AA miles for 2 round trip tickets! They are now sipping Napa wine overlooking the breathtaking cliff drops and crashing waves at the famous Post Ranch Inn.

  52. I would say the best use of miles has actually been – every year I use most of my systemwide upgrades but I always save two to surprise a friend who is traveling with their wife to on a long haul flight and I get them upgraded. They always love that part of the trip and it turns from an unpleasant part of the trip to something to look forward to and enjoy.

  53. Best use of AA miles? I like putting them to good causes: friend runs an orphanage in Kenya. One of the girls there became quite ill. Whilst visiting the orphanage, doctors from the U.S. sorted an agreement from their “home” hospital to treat her for free…….if she could just get there. The orphanage didn’t have the thousands of dollars needed for the flight.
    They stabilised her for travel, and I used miles to fly her to the U.S. for her care. She’ll return, well, to Kenya next month. True story.

  54. Jfk-yvr in CX F, a taste of int’l first class with amenity and such. Absolute value to go from east to west.

  55. i know this sounds cheesy, but te best use of AA miles is anything that gets me out of America and experiencing the world. I managed to snag 2 business class this summer to Rome and avoided BA’s nasty fuel surcharges. I am coming home from Dusseldorf. Was that in my plans? Nope! But I avoid surcharges and now I get to visit a new city 🙂

  56. My favourite use of AA miles is going on relaxing vacations in exotic places by finding the best possible award fare in the best possible class.

  57. My favorite so far was the now defunct gateway stopover. I flew family of 4 from FL to NYC during spring break and in August from NYC to Rome, all for 72k miles (off peak as first leg started in April, and 8k rebate on 80k booking with AA amex card).

  58. I couldn’t edit the comment in the widget but my favorite use of AA miles has got to be Cathay First!! I love them!

  59. My favorite use of Aadvantage miles is for Etihad first class LAX to/from Abu Dhabi connecting to New Delhi or Mumbai.

  60. I used the miles to get first class for my honeymoon last December from DEN-MIA-STT. Wish the planes were a little newer but still a good use 🙂

  61. I loved my CX JFK-HKG Business Class flight. Looking forward to Etihad COK-AUH-IAD Business Class in April. My next award redemption will be for CX First Class JFK-HKG-RGN sometime in 2016.

  62. I’ve never flown AA before largely due to my location in an UA-überhub. I have flown the very short HKG-TPE in CX J before and would like to do transpac CX in business or first sometime. Guess I should start collecting AA points sometime!

  63. I love redeeming for miles for travel to Europe but since we’re having a baby now, I’ll just have to redeem for trips to Orlando.

  64. I’d really like to use my american miles for first to Australia. Qantas would be fine. Although, it’s tempting to book Etihad…

  65. I used miles to take my then-14-year-old brother on his first-ever flight: ORD to DCA to see the monuments. I’d love to take him to London when he graduates high school this year.

  66. Love love LOVE using AA miles to fly between the US and Europe during off-peak season, so only 40k miles roundtrip. Yes, we’re in Y, but can’t beat the value for us.

    Especially when our part of the US is the west coast, not the east. Plus the fact you can do one-ways. We are doing SEA-CDG, BCN-SEA this February thanks to knowledge from your blog. Thank you, Ben!

  67. I am still new in this hobby and thanks to your blog I’ve learned how to redeem my AA miles. My favorite is to redeem AA miles for roundtrip JAL first or business class from SFO to HND.

  68. I fly to England a lot with my wife, who has lots of family there. I would like to take AA out of Chicago and into somewhere new in Europe, maybe Germany? So I would like to use them to go to Dusseldorf!

  69. I think my favourite way i have used AA Miles so far as to be for CX F between JFK & YVR. Hoping to use some this year to get me to Australia.

  70. Having recently flown LAX – LHR in Business class on the fantastic AA reverse herring bone product. I was visiting family and friends over the holidays, in fact my best friend picked me up from the airport and we went straight for a beer. I would love to do the same in the future but with my Mum or a freind when I have enough miles. Thanks Ben

  71. I would like to use American miles to go from Portland Maine to New Orleans.

    Anywhere warm really 🙂

  72. My favorite use of American miles has been to fly one ways Milan–JFK, off peak when possible, for 20,000 miles, usually shoulder season for 30,000 miles. Once I went to Milan for 30,000 miles in October, but returned in early November for 20,000 miles off-peak (had unusually mild weather then). Another time I flew KLM through Flying Blue one way JFK-Linate in August but returned Malpensa to JFK for 30,000 miles on AA in September.

  73. I love redeeming 20,000 AA miles to fly oneway off peak economy to or from Europe before/after I’ve taken a transatlantic cruise in the other direction! Lucky, you should try a TA cruise some day instead of flying on one of the legs if your journeys. It’s relaxing and fun, and repositioning cruises, including transatlantics, can be a bargain!

  74. I actually JUST signed up for AAdvantage earlier today because I purchased discounted tickets from Dallas to Abu Dhabi. Moreover, after realizing that part of my Etihad flight is operated by AA I’m hoping to gain some points!

    I have points in Delta, United, now AA, and just hope to use them effectively for future planning. I’ll more than likely try to use my points for booking fancy hotels in Dubai come September!!

  75. The days are sadly gone now but my favorite use was in 2006 when I redeemed about 180k the old Explorer ticket. J class mia-jfk-hkg-adl-mel-syd-hkg-cdg-lhr-yyz-ord-avl-ord-mia. It was almost a total disaster as the flight from mia was delayed and I was going to miss the connection. They switched me to the next day. All hell broke loose with the paper tickets from then on. With the rebooking though I did end up getting points for my flights! I lost a day but those made up for it.

  76. i have yet to Sign up for American miles as they weren’t really in my market until the merger.. But can certainly use them now on my trips home to PA. Have a memorial service in March to attend

  77. Well…I don’t fly American often, given that they don’t fly from BOI. The last time I had miles (a tiny amount), I cashed them in for a Martha Stewart Living magazine subscription. I would have rather cashed them in for a flight somewhere fun!

  78. It’s modest but I love the JFK to YVR flight in first on Cathay Pacific. It’s realtively short, but long enough to enjoy the full blown international first class international experience. It doesn’t cost a ton of miles. And Vancouver is a great city, which can be enjoyed largely jet lag free. You can usually position pretty easily paying cheap domestic fares that earn EQM and it’s easier to do for a shorter trip like a long weekend instead of taking a full blown trip across an ocean.

  79. I used AA miles for a first class redemption on CX last year from LAX to HKG. Will be using AA miles for 2 r/t first class redemptions in April for same route on CX. The 10% refund on points for having the AAdvantage credit card is the cherry on top.

  80. My favorite would be from JFK-MEL, since Qantas is one of my favorite airlines and its one of the great sweetspots of AA miles(of course assuming you can get availability)

  81. My absolute best flight experience ever was using 200K AAdvantage miles to book two round-trip business class tickets on CX from DEN to HKG. (First leg was on AA puddle jumper from DEN to LAX, but that doesn’t count!) Hands down, that was the most pleasant flight experience of my life: from the awesome seat, to the food, and the wonderful cabin crew. I didn’t want the 15+ hour flight to end! It took me back to the days when I was an airlines brat (father was a Captain with TWA) and we would fly non-rev in first class — when flying was an event; we even sat in the first class “lounge” on one occasion.) My older daughter lives in China and our CX flight was our first trip to see her. Last year we flew UAL business on the new 787 and there was no comparison. Our goal for this year is to rack up as many AAdvantage miles as we can to fly CX first class for our next visit.

  82. I would say my favorite is using them on the NYC- west coast (LAX/SFO) market with the premium transcontinental product.

    There’s also the thrill of having a truly international level F and J product on a narrow-body.

  83. While I haven’t done much redeeming yet — I’ve been able to accrue over 250,000 AA miles through reading this blog. My aspiration is to redeem for first class on Cathay Pacific and the new Etihad A380 First Class ‘Apartment’ product on a Round The World trip.

  84. Just booked business from lax to Rgn on Cathay for the family and we are also flying my mom on business from China to Bkk to meet us. Our annual trip to Asia is the highlight for my mom. Seeing her grandchild and travel in luxury keeps her going for another year

  85. Best use for me is SFO to Australia/New Zealand. Using AA miles seems to be more economical than DE or UA and within-region travel is dirt cheap.

  86. I gave up Delta a long time ago due to their greedy on mileage redemptions! So now I would switch to AA from UA for mileage collection and redemptions!! As simple is that!!

  87. After having flown Cathay F yesterday from Frankfurt to Hongkong…. it has got to to be using AA miles for Cathay FirstClass. Simply flawless, amazing bed and simply excellent service. No need for my own appartment or a shower on the plane 😉

  88. For me, it’s all about taking my family (wife and 2 kids) place, whether it’s ORD-LAX, ORD-IAD, or ORD-xxx-ICN.

  89. Sometime soon I plan on using miles to fly JAL 1st to Tokyo from the US and back from Hong Kong on Cathay 1st. ( I also plan to sneak singapore suites in there somehow… )

  90. AA miles are great to use to Asia via JAL. The first/business seats are killer, then add in remote food ordering from your seats….

  91. It’s not very exotic, but I love flying the new A321 JFK to LAX in First. The hard product is so wonderful it’s hard to imagine I’m only just flying to the coast.

  92. Got the US Airways card and Citi AAdvantage card recently to end up with 100k miles after the merger. We’re looking at a trip to the Bahamas. SFO-NAS is just 25k for a roundtrip, which sounds like a good deal for that distance. Anywhere else in the Caribbean is an option too.

  93. Looking forward to making 2015 the year I use American miles to fly from the US to HKG in Cathay First. Thanks for all your hard work Lucky!

  94. Well, I fly American for business and after a second international trip in a row where my luggage went missing I wrote to them not to complain, but to just tell them how sad I was at the lack of information or response I received from their customer service personnel because I really love flying their airline, but felt a growing insecurity in doing so. I received a response in two days! Moreover, they gave me a significant chuck of miles for the inconvenience I’d suffered twice in a row.

    This past year my father passed away and I began to reevaluate priorities in life, as people tend to do. I realized that I had not taken a real vacation in two years and I decided to use all the miles I accumulated to live my dreams that my father always wanted for me. I hear his word reverberate when I read your trip reports with your own father. So with the knowledge I gleened from this site (I began reading about 6 months ago) I recentky booked my dream trip on AA LA to Barcelona (via Miami) to eat tapas and marvel in Gaudi and then go on to Rome and then explore Umbria and it’s fabulous hill towns (Orvieto, Assisi and Spoleto) then back home through Rome again – all first class/business! I am even planning a winter vacation this year to visit the Christmas markets of Europe! Thank you so much for all the knowledge you share!

  95. My favorite use is first class to HND via JAL. They have the most comfortable bed from all the FC that I have flown so far and since it is overnight flight, you land in Tokyo in the morning with a full day ahead armed with good night sleep.

  96. Since I never really have a lot of miles in my account, I like to use my AA miles for either CX 889 JFK-YVR or any of the JFK-LAX/SFO transcon first flights.

  97. I’ve never redemned miles on AA but I’d love to try their business product. Your AA first class review made is sound like AA business is where the best value is!

  98. In the past, my favorite way to use AA miles was to add in a stopover after redeeming for off-peak economy to Europe and then add on a “free” ticket later in the year to somewhere in the U.S. I did this successfully several times. Now, I’m looking forward to redeeming on Cathay to somewhere in Asia sometime in the future.

  99. I live in Fairbanks, AK and I have in-laws in Europe. Since AA partners with AS and several European carriers, off peak awards to visit family without needing any positioning flights are super affordable!

  100. I’m excited that I finally have enough miles to book a vacation with my BFF. Location isn’t as important as the company. ✈️

  101. My favourite use is EY F to Australia, especially my booking today in the new apartments…but I also love the underrated JAL F

  102. Cathay Pacific First Class – HKG to SFO! Or Etihad First Class – Can’t wait to try the new First Apartments

  103. My favorite use of AAdvantage miles is (of course) milesaaver business/first international travel! I’ve got 100,000 saved up that I’m planning to use for a trip to Asia.

  104. So to be honest, AA is not the airline that I fly with on a regular basis. However, I did have enough AAdvantage miles to redeem a business class award to Barcelona a couple of years ago for a friend who have never been to Europe and who have never flown in anything but coach. It was well worth the miles spent to make the trip a reality for him.

  105. Best use of AA miles for me is by far redeeming on Etihad…already have my trip on the a380 apartments lined up!

  106. For this upcoming summer I booked my first ever award route, using 67,500 AA miles to book Etihad’s new business class on the 787! I will be flying from IAD to Abu Dhabi and couldn’t be more excited to take my first ever award trip.

  107. I primarily use AA miles to fly my family of four to Europe in J and/or F in the summer. It ain’t easy, but I’ve been able to score award tix for all 4 of us on the same flights for 5 separate summers. I hope I can continue!

  108. I want to use them for my first Business or First class international flight!!! To pretty much ANYWHERE.

  109. Our favorite was two business class tickets to Dublin, from DFW, via Chicago. First time in the front of the plane going over the pond. They fed us so much on the return, we refused the F/C meal from ORD to DFW!

  110. It’s ski season and they fly directly into Eagle, Colorado. It would be much easier and cheaper to fly to Denver and drive, but it’s so much nicer to fly direct.

  111. Discounted flights to Hawaii.

    Runner up is the executive discounts for 17500 rt in the us. Hard to beat that deal.

  112. Asia2 to South Pacific is by far the best use in terms of mileage efficiency, 35K and you can go from Beijing to Hong Kong to Auckland to Tahiti and back all in business class.

  113. Since my partner is a big AA fan, I’d like to give it to him so he it for his dream trip to Asia, starting with JFK-ICN with a stop-over at NRT. Can’t wait to see his smile!

  114. Hey regarding the Citi Premium Select card, I applied for this card a couple weeks ago and was told I couldn’t get this because of the Citi Exec card I currently have. They line was, ‘we don’t like to give out a similar deal….blah blah.’

    If you have some tips on how to deal with the recon call agents I’d be happy to hear them!

  115. We bought a pair of those crazy error fares for RTW tickets last Memorial Day weekend, but as it ended as an open jaw we needed a way home. AAdvantage miles saver awards got us home and my wife got to experience Europe for her first time!

  116. My favorite use had been 67,500 for cathay pacific first class to Asia, but now I’m thinking it’s the Etihad middle east to South Pacific!

  117. Used AA miles for CX and JL F on DEN-ORD-NRT/HKG-LAX-DEN back in November. About to do a similar trip in reverse with US miles: DEN-LAX-HKG/HKG-PEK/PEK-NRT-ORD-DEN in CX/KA/JL F, with HKG-PEN on KA using BA Avios and KBV-BKK-HKG on TG F using UA miles.

    Currently churning Citi cards for EY’s First Apartment, hopefully once they bring it to the US. If it ever shows up on the DFW route, even better!

  118. As much as I loved JAL and CX F, I’d have to say right now it’d be trying the new Etihad First Apartment for 40k one way!

  119. I’m looking forward to redeeming my bank of miles for a huge trip before my wife and I start the ultimate life journey…kids!!!

  120. Our son turned 30 so we used our miles to send him to Germany to visit his best friend; since we do not travel a lot, it was nice to have accumulated enough points to give him this gift 🙂

  121. In a perfect world, the ideal use of AAdvantage Miles would be First to Australia on a Qantas A380. Since finding that when I want to go is not likely, I’ll say Cathay Pacific in either Business or First to Asia.

  122. I would love to fly business (ok, really first) to Australia. Lived in East Timor for a bit, so have loads of Aussies friends I need to catch up with! Would be happy with Qantas, Cathay or even Etihad! All those products look good to me!

  123. i would like to have the chance to use it on etihad, but most likely it’ll be on CX. both will be perfect!

  124. My favorite use was getting to redeem only 40,00 AA miles to fly Etihad from Abu Dhabi-London in a First Class Apartment later this year.

  125. Until last year, my favorite use was for Explorer awards. My wife and I had an amazing time visiting 26 countries on our honeymoon using AA miles in business class. Since their disappearance, my favorite use for AA miles is for longhaul business/first on Qatar and Etihad.

  126. Defintely First Class international travel in general. Favorite route is PDX – AMS. Preferably flying the new KLM Business Class for the hop across the pond.

  127. I use AA miles to visit places I’ve never been. Used them for a fun Montreal trip last summer. I would much rather sit in coach and get to travel a wee bit more

  128. First class Japan Airlines. Although haven’t had the please of trying Cathay Pacific… JFK-HKG is my next goal.

  129. Cathay Pacific First Class! I’ve got one trip booked in November. Thank you for your help with that, I learnt so much from you!

  130. Australia to Easter Island via Tahiti for just 30k miles. A truly unique destination. If only I could find open space!

  131. Started collecting miles a little over a year ago for the then AA Explorer Award, when it got discontinued I had to change up how I booked the award, but I will soon be flying CX F, EY F, and several QF and CX in business class, all thanks to AAdvantage miles!

  132. I would love to try Cathay Pacific first class long haul from the US to Hong Kong! And after your review of Etihad, the first class apartments!

  133. I don’t have a lot of discretionary income to use on travel, so using AA miles to get to another place is fantastic!

  134. I’m very new to the “miles game” and just started dipping my toe into using these strategies this past year. I was a little nervous about using credit cards as I have been brought up to be very wary of them, but I’m gradually losing my fear as I see the benefits. So far I haven’t collected enough for the trip pf my dreams, but I am hoping to one day go to the Maldives when I accumulate enough points. Thank you for all of your amazing tips! Without you I’d still relying solely on Orbitz!

  135. Hmmm don’t see my comment, so I’m trying again….I haven’t booked an award flight, as I’m new to collecting points. Thank you for helping me getting over my fear of credit cards, especially when the perks make it worthwhile!

  136. Our best redemption was 60,000 US Airways miles PHX-FCO roundtrip for first class on their A330. Now that we are part of OW we want to use our miles for an extravagant FC trip. Not sure which airline yet but with the help of your blog we will figure out which airline and city will be the best.

  137. Etihad first class apartments from London to AUH. If Etihad doesn’t have your destination it is only 1hr drive to Dubai and you have to suffer through Emirates Suites instead.

  138. Favorite use of AA miles is CX first class, redeemed two seats last August SFO-HKG using your prediction method which was spot on!

  139. My first ever trip on AA was when I was just 11 years old and I flew to South Africa. I would love to recreate this trip using miles and this time do it in a premium cabin. The original trip was incredibly long and uncomfortable. My 11 year old self would appreciate the chance for a re-do.

  140. Last year I used AAdvantage miles to visit Southeast Asia. Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, mostly in Cathay Pacific first class. Totally worth it!

  141. In 2012, used miles for 2 first class tickets to Costa Rica, where I spent my sabbatical for almost a month. Would love to repeat that trip in 2015 or 2016.

  142. This past year, I’ve used AA miles for biz class Transcon JFK/SFO a few times – am currently saving miles for a BIG TRIP somewhere cool in early summer.

  143. As a Disabled Vet their good for my award bookings for my hospital visits from 1 side of the country to the other. But I’ll soon be using them for our dream vacation to South Africa.

  144. A weekend getaway with friends in Vegas good times great travel great hotel… Wonderful memories…

  145. The old American Explorer Award Ticket. 49,867 miles around the world 1.5 times over 8 months! The cost? 160,000 AA miles

  146. Escaping the NYC winter by flying JFK to San Juan to stay in Condado. Daytime at the beach and Old San Juan at night.

  147. We’re booked on a CX 1st class flight to HKG this summer with AA miles and it’s our first time in first class!

  148. Last June, I used AA miles to book flights on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airline for my family to Sai Gon (Viet Nam). We traveled in business class, and it was an unforgettable experience for us. We plan to use AA miles for a similar trip in 2016.

  149. I just had a trip on CX F and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, if I had the chance, I’d love to try Etihad first apartment!

  150. Our favorite use of AA miles is to upgrade to first class on our trips to Hawaii and to Europe. It makes such a difference to get a bit of rest, more comfortable seats and extra room, especially on the red eye flights.

  151. I try to go back to Ecuador (where I’m from) every year, to see my two grandmothers (I now live in the USA). I do this by spending money all year long on my Citi AA card and then redeeming for miles.

  152. We enjoy getting to Europe as much as we can, so we love the AA off-season econ awards for only 40,000!

  153. Love using my AA miles for trip to Europe. Currently looking to use some for a trip to Australia and New Zealand next year.

  154. I’d love to fly to Roswell, NM to visit my daughter. American is the only airline that flies to Roswell. I guess the other airlines are too afraid of the “aliens” in Roswell, New Mexico !

  155. Taking my wife along Biz class on business trips to Europe, JFK-LHR on the 777-300. SWUs for me…miles for her

  156. My favorite use of American miles is definitely being able to book Cathay Pacific in First. I’m very much looking forward to flying with them between LAX and HKG!

  157. We booked our honeymoon fights using american miles on cathay pacific. An amazing trip to Thailand and Vietnam!

  158. My favorite use is to take my sister or friends on vacation. The best was a trip to Mexico City for my bestfriend to take a two week trip through Oaxaca, Chiapas and Playa del Carmen area.

    The best use of miles is to be able to use them to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  159. I used the bonus from the Citi AAdvantage for myself and my fiancee, along with the bonus from the US Airways Barclay card for both of us, miles transferred from e-Rewards surveys, dining sign up bonuses for both of us, shopping portal bonuses from shopping before Black Friday, and Points Hound first booking bonuses to earn enough miles for both of us to travel from LAX to Papeete first class on Air Tahiti Nui for our honeymoon! Hard work is definitely going to pay off 🙂

  160. I have been several times to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) via Madrid before – but not lately. We are planing on island hopping in the Canary Island this spring or fall.

  161. In late 2013 I had booked business class tickets ORD to HKG on CX, but I got very sick and had to cancel. One day I hope to reschedule that trip.

  162. Love taking AA to the Cayman Islands via Miami!

    Lucky- I couldn’t get your widget to work right using my ipad.

  163. I hadn’t taken an international trip in years; last year I stumbled upon sites like this one (this is by far my favorite), and thanks to the new knowledge and tips/tricks (and jumping on that great AA 100k offer last year…multiple times), my wife and I have enjoyed a trip to London/Paris in business, I took a trip to visit my friend in Abu Dhabi (Etihad First!), and we just booked our JAL first class to Tokyo for later this year.

    Between the oneworld partners and partner airlines, I love the flexibility that AAdvantage miles bring!

  164. AA seems pretty good with award space so I like to accrue miles with them – would LOVE a cool amenity kit! (just did a clearout of my closet and donated a bunch to the USO here at SFO, so am ready to stock up again)

  165. Hi Lucky,
    For my Nursing school graduation, which resulted in my second Master’s degree, my parents took me on a trip to Europe, using their points on American. I flew from LAX – JFK – HEL – BUD business class, and joined them on a Christmas Market River cruise up the Danube River. It was amazing! I thought that was really nice that they used their points on me since I do not have the opportunity to travel like they do. I plan to travel a lot once I retire!

  166. Haven’t redeemed yet, but building up miles in both US and AA accounts with card bonuses. Definitely looking forward to CX F from HKG to N Am, and The Wing. Keep up to awesome, mouthwatering, work!

  167. I’m fairly new to the hobby, but I was able to fly in first class for the very first time last week thanks to AAdvantage miles! It’s definitely changed the way that I want to fly and I’m currently working towards building up enough miles to take my parents and siblings to their first Disney World trip with the help of AAdvantage.

  168. My favorite use of American miles is for a round trip to Hong Kong during Chinese New Year! It’s awesome to celebrate New Year there.

  169. Flew EY in business from BLR-AUH-SFO in December for 67.5k miles. Well worth the money considering the AUH-SFO was a good 16hours of flying !!

  170. After deciding to go back to grad school full time I had to re-think how I was going to approach travel. Limited funds didn’t mean travel wasn’t possible. I used some miles on one of my last hoorah trips last spring JFK to LHR. London was great and it got me to rework how I would be traveling while in school. I am enjoying the challenge and stocking up miles to another international getaway.

  171. South America — Buenos Aires, Rio, and Sao Paolo – First class! Thanks to the tip you posted last year when there was a lot of availability.

  172. I love using AAdvantage miles for off peak Saver awards. BNA–>ORD–>LHR–>CDG–>DFW–>BNA for 40k miles in March.

  173. Cathay Pacific first! I would also love to fly their business class product from Hong Kong to Auckland for my honeymoon but it seems availability is almost nonexistant.

  174. My favorite use for American Airline AAdvantage miles is for simple flights out of my home airport in Fort Smith, AR. With AA I can fly 45 minutes to DFW and then hitch a ride anywhere!

  175. Like the commenter before me, I’m saving up for Thailand as well to see family (by way of Los Angeles).

  176. My best friend is getting married in Cape Town in March. I am hoarding AA miles to fly to see it!

  177. I would love to use the miles for a flight for my mom in Holland to see her only grandchild in IND. Its been too long ago already! My bro and I would of course fly with her and we all go to Chicago or DCA or SAF or PSP or or or………getting excited already! This was not meant as a soppy story !

  178. Storing up miles to try 1st class on Cathay Pacific. Never flown first class before and would love to splurge on what seems to be the best.

  179. Business to Australia! Somehow its cheaper then most other shorter routes….and who doesn’t have a dream of visiting Sydney?

  180. My favorite use of AA Miles is SFO – HND on Japan First, overnight at the Park Hyatt Shinjuku and soak in the tubs, then take the morning flight in Cathay First to Hong Kong. I love the combo of the best of both airlines’ FC, and the Haneda experience including the JAL First lounge is killer.

  181. My vacation travel is usually with my older brother. He has been dying to go to his high school reunion at ISKL in Malaysia this year. So, my favorite use of American Miles is to reward those who don’t get a chance to earn them, especially family.

  182. I’ll be in India next winter and already have SQ first/suites booked on the way there. For the way back, I am planning on using my AA miles for Etihad, BOM-AUH on their 787 and AUH-LHR on their A380 in The First Apartment. Then hopefully there will be something from LHR-SFO to get me home!

  183. My favorite use of AA miles is simply for domestic coach RT tickets. With a family of 4, every little bit helps!

  184. Cathay to Hong Kong, if I could ever find two seats! (0 for 3 so far on last minute attempts)

    Granted an AA giftcard doesn’t help with that directly– but hey!

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