|Cable Beach Sunset, Broome, Western Australia, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
Excellent American Airlines Award Redemption
by Andrew Ingersoll
A friendly “hello” to new readers. I’m Andrew, the son of Rick the Frugal Travel Guy. I’m currently living and studying a postgraduate law degree in Sydney, Australia. For more on how I got to where I am click the “about” tab. I contribute weekly to the blog my experiences traveling to various places around the globe. I love getting into a culture and experiencing life as a local. I’ve been really lucky to travel to some cool ultra-expensive places using frequent flyer miles.
This past week, I went to Broome, Western Australia. Broome is the gateway to the remote Kimberly region of Northwestern Australia. What made this trip remarkable was the amount of money I saved on the flights.
Whenever I am contemplating a new trip, I start with Kayak.com and use the +/- 3 day feature to get an idea of 1) cost of a ticket, 2) airlines that serve the destination, 3) timing of flight arrival and departure. A SYD-BME (Sydney to Broome) round-trip flight on Virgin Australia was roughly $750-800. A flight on Qantas was $1270. Not having enough Virgin Frequent Flyer miles, I logged into my American Airlines account to check my mile balance. (For newbies, Qantas and American are OneWorld Alliance partners). Having taken advantage of last year’s Citibank American Airlines credit card deals, I had plenty of AA miles for the journey to Broome.
The American Airlines website has a chart which illustrates the number of miles required for redemption; in my case, 10,000 miles each way within Australia or New Zealand. So that’s a total of 20,000 American Airlines miles for the round trip to Broome via a connection in Perth as opposed to $1270! Considering I received 50,000 miles for the Citibank card signup, this is a big win for me!
|Port of Broome Beach, Western Australia, photo by Andrew Ingersoll|
I rang up the American Advantage desk and was flexible with my dates. The agent was able to find times and flights that suited me. I provided my points earning credit card to pay the taxes and reservation fee. All up $67 +20,000 miles. Whenever I ring, I am always thankful and appreciative of the agent on the other line. I can’t imagine what sort of flack they must get.
Again, for newbies, this is one of many examples of how frequent flyer miles and credit card sign up bonuses can take you to some incredible locations at prices we can all afford. At the risk of sounding like a cheesy ‘plug’, the Frugal Travel Guy Handbook really is a great starting point for new people to this fun hobby. As Rick has mentioned, profits for book sales go to the Wounded Warrior Fund. Many of these travel tips and tricks work all over the world. I saved almost $1200 here in Australia.
Next week, I’ll share some of the things I was able to do while in Broome.
50,000 Point Offer EXPIRES November 28th
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees, making this the go-to card for travelers.
This card accumulates Ultimate Rewards points, which are very valuable for transfer to United and Hyatt. Overall, this card is a great choice for maximizing earnings on dining, travel, and every day spend.
- Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
- 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95