American Airlines is the king of off peak awards. It offers economy off peak awards to most regions of the world. To some regions, you can get the off peak price by flying any of American Airlines’ partners. To other regions, until now, you have needed to fly American Airlines metal to get the discount. Now to those regions where you had needed to fly American Airlines to get the off peak price, you can also fly US Airways and get the off peak price.

Below is a chart that shows the one way off peak price for an economy award in thousands of American Airlines miles. Pay attention to the last column, “Own Metal?”. “Y” means you have to fly American Airlines–and now US Airways–planes to get the discount. “N” means you can fly any partner.

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Plus if you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, which comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, you always get a 10% rebate on American Airlines awards on the first 100,000 miles you redeem each year.

With that rebate, the effective price of a trip to Europe in early May is 18,000 miles one way. American’s off peak dates are often extremely generous, encompassing more than half the year and many prime dates to some locations.

The Change

As the chart above notes, to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, you needed to fly American Airlines planes to get the off peak price:

  • 12,500 miles one way to Mexico and the Caribbean
  • 15,000 miles one way to Central America and Northern South America

That’s not the case anymore. Now you can fly American Airlines or US Airways planes during the off peak dates and get those prices. This isn’t a huge change because American Airlines has a far better route network to these places than US Airways, but it is welcome.

This is the award calendar from Charlotte to Nassau, Bahaams in October and November for the direct flight. There are a few days at the off peak price of 12,500 miles one way.

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Clicking on a date, you see that the US Airways flight is pricing at the off peak price. US Airways flights to the Caribbean did not used to price at the off peak price.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.19.44 PM

The Non-Change

The other regions have always allowed flying on American Airlines or any of its partners to get the discount:

  • Europe and Southern South America for 20,000 miles each way
  • Japan, Korea, and Mongolia for 25,000 miles each way
  • Hawaii for 17,500 miles each way

Here’s the award calendar for Charlotte to London in October. As you can see, on October 15, the price drops from 30,000 to 20,000 miles.

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As you can see from selecting October 15, this price applies to direct US Airways flights, American Airlines flights, and combinations of these airlines with other partners.

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Bottom Line

American Airlines has the best off peak award chart in the world, and it just got slightly better. The few regions that required you to fly American Airlines to get the discount now allow flying US Airways flights also.

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Right now the personal and business American Airlines cards are each offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The personal card also offers a 10% rebate on all American Airlines awards up to 100,000 miles redeemed per calendar year. That rebate applies to off peak awards as well, so the Caribbean is 11,250 miles one way and Europe is 18,000 miles one way.

 

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