You can get from anywhere in the United States to tons of destinations in the Caribbean for 20,000 US Airways miles roundtrip or 25,000 American Airlines miles.

The Caribbean from Google Maps
The Caribbean from Google Maps

Both deals rely on the airlines’ off peak award charts. US Airways’ off peak dates are September 1 – 30. American Airlines’ off peak dates are September 7 – November 14.

Both airlines, as well as Delta and United, normally charge 35,000 miles roundtrip in economy to the Caribbean. During off peak dates, both US Airways and American Airlines charge 25,000 miles. In addition, US Airways offers folks who have a US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® a 5,000 mile discount on all US Airways awards flown exclusively on US Airways planes. US Airways off peak awards have the same requirement, so cardholders get a 5,000 mile discount on all US Airways off peak awards, bringing the all in price to 20,000 miles roundtrip to the Carribean.

We know that the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will no longer be offered as soon as the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer programs integrate, some time in early 2015. That means that the chance to earn 40,000 bonus miles after first purchase will disappear soon. That’s enough miles for two roundtrips to the Caribbean during September. Check out all the places you can go with just the sign up bonus.

  • What is an even better deal than off peak awards if you live in Charlotte, Philadelphia, Miami, New York, or Dallas?
  • How do American Airlines and US Airways off peak awards work?

British Airways Avios

You can book any of the award space in this post with British Airways Avios on ba.com. While American Airlines charges the same price from anywhere in the United States to anywhere in the Caribbean, British Airways Avios award flights cost a certain number of miles based on the distance flown.

This can be as little as 4,500 Avios one way between Miami and nearby islands.

As a general rule: if you live in a city with direct flight to the Caribbean on American or US Airways, you will be better off booking those flights with Avios. These cities include New York, Miami, Dallas, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.

If you live somewhere else, these American Airlines and US Airways off peak awards are for you.

US Airways Off Peak Awards

All US Airways off peak awards require you to fly all US Airways flights. US Airways and American Airlines are one company, but still two separate airlines until 2015. American Airlines flights cannot be flown on US Airways off peak awards.

US Airways charges only 25,000 miles roundtrip from the United States to the Caribbean during the month of September, only 20,000 miles roundtrip for US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® holders.

US Airways serves over a dozen Caribbean destinations from Philadelphia and Charlotte with connections throughout the country.

You can search the off peak award space on usairways.com. The off peak award space shows up automatically on any award search if your dates include off peak dates. A few things to know:

  • Right now, only half of September 2015 is bookable with US Airways miles, with one more day becoming bookable each day.
  • You can book one way at the Off Peak price and the other direction at another price and pay the sum of each (minus 5,000 miles if you have a US Airways card.)
  • If you don’t live in Charlotte or Philly, you need to connect to these off peak award flights on flights on which US Airways has released “Low” award space (their name for “Saver.”)

Here are a few routes to give an idea of the award space picture. The lightest days, approaching white in color, have off peak award space.

Charlotte <-> San Juan, Puerto Rico

Three days of off peak award space going and zero returning so far. The dates with award space for 17,500 miles have MileSAAver award space on American Airlines flights, which means you can book those for 25,000 American Airlines miles.

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Charlotte <-> Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Two days of off peak award space going and one returning so far.

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Charlotte <-> Nassau, Bahamas

Two days of off peak award space going and one returning so far.

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There is definitely some US Airways off peak award space available to the Caribbean in 2015, and more will open up in the next two weeks. Unfortunately, we’re far from a gold mine situation where you can pick and choose your dates. Instead, you need to be flexible and take the off peak award space offered.

American Airlines Off Peak Awards

American Airlines has off peak awards to much of the world. If off peak dates are listed on its partner award chart, you can book any partner during those dates and pay the off peak price. For instance, you can book any American Airlines partner to Europe between October 15 and May 15 each year for 20,000 American Airlines miles each way.

Unfortunately, the off peak dates to the Caribbean are only on the American Airlines flights award chart.

That means, you can only get American Airlines’ off peak price of 12,500 miles each way to the Caribbean from September 7 – November 14 each year on American Airlines flights. US Airways flights to the Caribbean cannot be booked with American Airlines miles at the off peak price.

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American flies from Dallas and New York to the Caribbean, but most of its Caribbean flights originate in Miami.

You can search the off peak award space on aa.com. The off peak award space shows up automatically on any award search if your dates include off peak dates. A few things to know:

  • Right now, only the first few days of the 2015 off peak window are bookable with American Airlines miles, with one more day becoming bookable each day.
  • You can book one way at the off peak price and the other direction at another price and pay the sum of each.
  • If you don’t live in Miami, you need to connect to these off peak award flights on flights on which American Airlines has released MileSAAver award space.

Miami <-> Curacao

Award space kicks in on September 7, 2015 at 12,500 miles each way. I would expect there to be a ton of the award space, judging by the few weeks leading up to the off peak dates.

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The returns shows a similar pattern of wide open availability, with off peak awards beginning September 6.

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Miami <-> Cancun

Don’t forget that the same off peak award dates apply on American Airlines awards to Mexico (including its Caribbean Coast.) US Airways does not offer off peak awards to Mexico.

Also keep in mind that we are in the middle of American Airlines’ 2014 off peak award dates to the Caribbean and Mexico.

There  is great award space for the next month to Cancun for 12,500 miles each way.

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The same picture emerges on the return.

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Recap

American Airlines and US Airways both offer off peak awards to the Caribbean. Both airlines require you to use their own planes to get the off peak price.

American Airlines has a wider date range, more award space, and offers off peak awards to Mexico on the same dates for 12,500 miles each way.

US Airways offers an overall lower price. People who have the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® can book off peak award space to the Caribbean for 20,000 miles roundtrip. That means the 40,000 mile sign up bonus on the card books two roundtrip off peak awards to the Caribbean.