Category: AAdvantage

Booking a Last-minute Trip to Kauai for 4 Adults 7 Days Prior to Departure with Miles & Points

It is often debatable whether collecting miles and points is even worth our time and effort, given the existence of 2% cash back credit cards. TravelWhimsy and I just returned from a whirlwind long-weekend trip to Kaua’i, HI, with our moms. The entire trip was conceived and booked on a whim – 7 days prior to departure, to be exact. A last-minute trip like ours seems to indicate that miles and points could trump cash back, and we will let you be the judge.

Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Kauai’s Northern Coastline Viewed from the First Half-Mile on the Kalalau Trail

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Reader Reconnaissance #4 – 13,102-Mile 11-Segment 3-Day Mileage Run in AA First/Business Class to Achieve AAdvantage Executive Platinum Status

First of all, Merry Christmas! TravelWhimsy and I appreciate your continued support of our blogs, and wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and all the best for 2013!

Today, we are excited to share a story from TravelByPoints reader and dear friend Art, who recently completed a first-time-ever 3-day 13,102-mile 11-segment mileage run (mostly in American Airlines’ first class cabin). Art set out on this journey to qualify for AA’s Executive Platinum (EXP) elite status (their top tier), which normally requires 100,000 miles flown in a calendar year.

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Miles & Points 201 – What Fees Do I Have to Pay When Making Award Bookings?

Now that most of you have already learned how to earn and manage lots of miles and points and how to get the best mileage out of your miles in major US-based global airlines’ programs, it is time to book your award tickets before any of your miles and points expire. This post provides an easy-to-use table comparing the various award fees (in additional to mandatory taxes and security fees) some of those major airlines may charge for award travel.

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500 Free American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for One Minute of Your Time

Via Million Mile Secrets, 500 FREE American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a minute of your time. Just follow the following 3 steps. The promotion ends on December 17, 2012, and is open to the first 200,000 participants. Be sure to have everyone in your family do it.

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Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy

This is part 13 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.

  1. Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
  2. How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
  3. How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
  4. What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
  5. How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
  6. How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
  7. Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
  8. Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
  9. Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
  10. How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
  11. Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
  12. Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
  13. Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
  14. Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
  15. You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!

Throughout the series, both TravelWhimsy and I briefly touched on the topic of airport lounges and LAN’s international business class product. I’d like to take this opportunity to share our experiences with the various lounges we used during the trip, and to also throw in my two cents on whether it was necessary to fly business class or not.

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Still Possible to Earn Some Bonus AAdvantage Miles for Your AVIS or Budget Car Rentals

I was hoping that the AVIS car rental deal to earn 3,000 AAdvantage mile per day would be extended again, but it wasn’t. Instead, the original offer link has been updated to reflect a much less attractive offer (up to 750 miles).

I was able to locate a better alternative offer of 1,500 AAdvantage miles for rentals of 3+ days with AVIS. In addition, the Budget offer of up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles is still available for cars picked up by September 30, 2012.

If you happen to need a car before November 30, 2012 and can find an attractive rate with AVIS or Budget, earning some extra bonus AAdvantage miles might still not be such a bad thing (considering how you’d normally only get 50 miles per day)!

Let me go over the four best possible scenarios quickly.

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New Budget Offer Lets You Earn Up to 10,000 AAdvantage Miles + Extension of the AVIS Budget Rental Car Bonus Offer

The AVIS and Budget rental car promotion I posted in July was supposed to expire today (August 31, 2012), but it has been extended to September 15, 2012. The offer link in my original post still works and reflects the new offer expiration date. You just need to begin your rental by September 15, 2012.

In addition, there is a similar but BETTER Budget promotion going on now until September 30, 2012. You can earn as many as 10,000 AAdvantage miles, as long as your rental begins by September 30, 2012.

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My Guest Post on UsingMiles – Getting the Most Mileage out of Your Miles

Check out my guest post “Getting the Most Mileage out of Your Miles” published on the UsingMiles blog today. The post contains a table summarizing the best redemption values offered by the four major US-based airlines for international travel. If you are a newcomer to the miles & points world, this could be helpful to you in setting a travel goal and focusing your efforts on achieving that goal efficiently. For our advanced readers, this could be a good reference tool for future trip planning.

Again, the generous FREE LIFETIME premier membership (normally $29.99/year) offered by UsingMiles to all TravelByPoints readers is still available, and you can learn more about it in this post or sign up here.

Let me know what you think! I respond to all comments.

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Alert – Opportunity to Buy AAdvantage Miles for Less Than a Penny Each via Avis Car Rental (Before 8/31/2012)

Usually, you can earn 50 airline miles a day for your car rentals. Occasionally, you can also earn 500-1,500 bonus miles for a rental of 3+ days. I normally rent from Hertz for ~$10-15/day with taxes and fees included, and credit a short weekend rental to Southwest Airlines (600 points = ~$10, or $20 if you have the companion pass).

Two of our dear friends are flying to Niagara Falls for their 3rd wedding anniversary today. As loyal Avis and AA fans, they casually mentioned that they were getting 500 AA miles for their 3-day Avis rental. Unable to convert them over to Hertz with a $30 discount, I set out to see if I could find them a better deal with Avis. A quick Google search led me to a current promotion that almost sounded too good to be true!

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How We Did Lima, Peru in 24 Hours, And So Can You!

This is part 10 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.

  1. Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
  2. How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
  3. How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
  4. What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
  5. How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
  6. How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
  7. Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
  8. Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
  9. Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
  10. How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
  11. Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
  12. Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
  13. Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
  14. Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
  15. You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!

 

TravelWhimsy is not a big fan of cities and would have skipped Lima in a heartbeat, but I insisted that we not waste a free stop-over in Lima while connecting to our early Wednesday morning (1:20am) non-stop flight to Easter Island (twice a week from Lima, so you can avoid paying $160 per person for the Chilean visa).

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