How much are American AAdvantage miles worth?
As with their major US counterparts, American AAdvantage members will once again find their best redemption value when booking international, premium cabin travel. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that’s really the only option you should consider. Well, at least the international part. Unless you literally never travel overseas, you’d really be doing yourself a disservice by booking a domestic ticket. Of course, all rules come with exceptions. Take this months SEA->MIA route for example. The lowest price cash alternative was a whopping $563 when booked with only 48 hours notice. But this same trip was bookable for 12,500 AA miles plus $80.60. This represents a redemption rate of 3.86 cents/point. Generally this redemption rate is what I would consider approaching fantastic territory. Unfortunately, that redemption is the exception among domestic bookings. Sub-1 cent/point options seem to be more common.
This month, we saw some absolutely stellar opportunities to cash in when traveling abroad. Take a look at ATL->LON with 48 hours notice in first class, 12.15 cents/point! Just wow. If I remember correctly, I think I had to run that one twice just to make sure I wan’t doing it wrong. While the aforementioned represents the best we saw, 4-7 cent/point options were plentiful. And rarely did we see anything below 1.5.
So, as per usual, AA is great for the global traveler. But those who prefer to stay closer to home, are better off accumulating Southwest Rapid Rewards.