MileValue is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer be available. You can view current offers here.


On Sunday, I hosted a MileValue dinner in Los Angeles. Unfortunately there was a “Korean Agriculture & Marine Product Expo” across the street, which severely limited parking and caused some people to miss the dinner.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.14.14 PM

I’ll share five tips I gave to attendees. I wouldn’t classify any as secrets, but most of them were unknown to people who, in some cases, have redeemed hundreds of thousands of miles, so the tips might be pretty useful for your next award booking.

1. AeroMexico to Mexico City, Central America, and South America

Including seasonal destinations, AeroMexico serves 13 American destinations from Mexico City.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.56.12 PM

AeroMexico has excellent award space to Mexico, Central America, and South America that can be booked with Delta SkyMiles of Air France Flying Blue Miles and can be searched at airfrance.us.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card comes with 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of cardmembership.

ThankYou Points transfer 1:1 to Flying Blue miles. You can book a trip from the United States to Mexico City for 15,000 Flying Blue miles each way.

  • What were the other four quick tips I shared?

2. Fiji Airways partners with American Airlines

If you want to go to Fiji from the United States, use your American Airlines miles to fly Fiji Airways (formerly Air Pacific). Fiji Airways is one of several AAdvantage partners outside the oneworld alliance on which you can redeem American Airlines miles.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.49.31 PM

To book Fiji Airways flights, call American Airlines at 800-882-8880.

Don’t forget American’s other partnerships with Etihad (Middle East and Indian subcontinent), Hawaiian (Hawaii and Asia/Pacific), Air Tahiti Nui (French Polynesia), and El Al (Israel), among others.

3. Alaska Airlines Serves a Number of Mexican Destinations

Alaska Airlines serves seven Mexican destinations from Los Angeles for 7,500 to 10,000 British Airways Avios one way.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 12.01.58 AM

Plus you can fly from San Diego to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta on Alaska.

Alaska Airline award flights are not searchable on ba.com. Search them on aa.com, and then call British Airways at 800-AIRWAYS to book. British Airways should have access to all the Alaska award space shown at aa.com.

4. Transfer Your Ultimate Rewards to Airlines

The most beginner-oriented tip was given to two beginners who had just redeemed over 100,000 Ultimate Rewards for two roundtrip economy “awards” to Central America.

They had redeemed the points directly through the travel portal on ultimaterewards.com where you can book pretty much any cash flight and get 1.25 cents per point in value.

They’re really going to enjoy that trip, but they may have been able to book it cheaper by transferring Ultimate Rewards to airline miles and then booking true award tickets.

United, a 1:1 instant transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, charges only 35,000 miles roundtrip to Central America and generally has fantastic award availability on its partners Copa and Taca (Avianca.)

British Airways, a 1:1 instant transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, charges a varying amount of miles depending on where you live in the United States, and generally has good award availability on its partner, American Airlines’ flights.

5. Use British Airways Avios to Hawaii

Pay only 25,000 Avios roundtrip from the West Coast. Pretty unbeatable. Here are the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii with miles and otherwise.

Hopefully one or more of these five tips was unknown to you, and you can use them to stretch your miles farther. Dinner was delicious, and a small group of us stayed all the way until 9:30 PM to discuss miles and travel.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.14.25 PM

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.