Well, the time finally came for me to start using some of the mileage rewards on American Airlines that I have acquired over the years. They had been building up for years and I was saving them for when airline prices were out of control and/or I needed a last minute ticket, and in just the past 2 weeks I have “bought” five round trip tickets on American using only miles and $25.
I used to travel for work and would rack up the miles flying back and forth to London and France several times a year. Combine those miles with a Gold membership (giving me 1.5 miles for every mile flown) along with all of my monthly bills being charged to the card and both our families living thousands of miles away, and you come away with a giant pile of miles waiting to be used. And it was time to cash in, and cash in I did.
First I bought a ticket for my wife to go to a shower/bachelorette party in Chicago in September. The price of the ticket would have been over $300 on American, but using miles I only paid $5. Score, saved $295.
Then I bought us both tickets to go visit my Mom in Boston for the end of August. These tickets were going for about $1000 total when I redeemed the mileage, and I only paid $10 for both. Total savings of $990.
My last batch was tickets for the Christmas holiday and I got two of those for us to go back to the Midwest together for a week. These should have cost $750 but I got them for $10. Total savings = $740.
In exchange for 125,000 miles and $25, I got $2,050 worth of plane tickets. I still have about 80,000 miles left so I know our next 3 tickets will be free as well, and that is not counting the miles I continue to rack up on the card each month, paying off the balance in full when it comes due. So let this be a lesson; if you are out of debt (that’s the first step) and you are not using a mileage or other reward card for all your expenses, you are missing out on a huge savings!