More AA Miles Then I Can Use. Alternative Redemptions?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by aussieflyer, May 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. aussieflyer
    Original Member

    aussieflyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    700
    Status Points:
    595
    At the moment I have millions of AA miles and am earning more faster then I can burn them.

    Now, obviously, the best value is flight redemptions in F and I do use that out plenty.

    However, I'm wondering if anyone has any other good ideas to get good value from my miles.
    I see they transfer to HHonours (although, now reduced to 3:5) and there are some nice properties like the Conrad Maldives, Bora Bora etc. so that's an idea.

    Any other ideas?

    I could bank them but would rather use them now, especially that I'm earning plenty more.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  2. MyTravels
    Original Member

    MyTravels Silver Member

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    352
    Status Points:
    570
    Redeem Miles page
    • Flight Awards (You seem to have this down pat)
    • Upgrade with Miles
    • Lifelock® Trial Membership
    • Donate Miles
    • Admirals Club® Membership
    • Vacation Packages (flight, hotel, car)
    • Car and Hotel Awards (some nice properties & car only option)
    • Reduced Mileage Award Details (Citi AAdvantage cardholders)
    • Magazines for Miles $0.005-0.04/mile (better WSJ offer here)
    • Newspapers for Miles (WSJ) ~$0.03/mile
    • Gift cards, flowers and more (points.com) ~$0.005/mile
      • Not a great rate, but it allows you to "cash out" for non-travel related items/retailers
    • Coupon Connect in the other thread (only for other travel related items)
    I can't seem to find any cruise redemption deals​
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  3. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I keep banking mine and use them for gift trips for friends and relatives but they keep on coming anyway. It seems an odd situation, but I am sure there are quite a few of us here with similar situations. Years ago I used to sell the miels, but that because a nig no-no. Now I wait. I am confident the time will come that I'll want to use them for some RTW FC trips for Mrs jb and myself or just keep making my relatives happy. I suspect that is nothing like an answer you had in mind.:confused:
     
  4. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    I've spent about 100,000 miles on hotels this year (Rome, Dublin) and figure I saved roughly $1,400 I would have paid out of pocket. Good value for me and still plenty of miles left.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  5. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Oh to have those kinds of problems...
     
    Casey Friday and jbcarioca like this.
  6. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    It is a trifle embarrassing, to be sure. Just remember that most of us who are lucky enough to have this situation have done it by flying constantly for twenty years and more. Not that that was such a sacrifice;)
     
    bhatnasx likes this.
  7. pauleeepaul
    Original Member

    pauleeepaul Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    24
    Status Points:
    95
    I've got 2 million and don't sweat it. Hotels are an interesting proposition- but i am also loong on HH points. Car rentals are another. But there needs to be an appropriate value received/cost avoided, or I'll just hold 'em. RTWs in F can add up quickly ;).
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  8. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Well I understand what you mean, but while I'm sure you don't intend to sound like an ass, you might come across like one to some people. You gotta realize that for every person in your situation -- sitting on piles of miles like Scrooge McDuck with more coming in -- there are probably thousands on this site alone that are not, and that are playing the game to earn and reap the benefits. To come up and say that you have a gabijillion miles and more coming in than you can use can be seeing as being in bad taste... could be considered as bad as someone posting their paystub and saying that no matter how many solid gold toilets they buy they can't spend money fast enough.

    Now I'm happy for you, really, but in reality your situation is not really a bad place to be and I'm sure if you take a poll now you'd have 99.9% of the people here willing and able to trade places with you, myself included. :)

    Now the question is, what are YOU gonna do to alleviate such a burden... if you have more miles than you know what to do with, how are you -- and all the people in your situation -- gonna make use of that for the betterment of the MP community, or even people in general?

    You could start a "mile fund" and volunteer to pool a set amount -- a quarter million miles? Half a million? -- towards people that need last minute travel for emergencies but are not as well off as you are?

    You could pool a set of miles towards a monthly MP giveaway? Maybe a trip a month on a particular carrier/alliance to a randomly selected member, to draw in the crowds like that iPad giveaway did?

    Or maybe you could sit on the miles and do nothing, and post about how you have so many miles and you don't know what to do with them.

    The ball, dear sir, is in your court. :)
     
    Toula likes this.
  9. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    How are you earning your AA miles? Is it from flights? Or is it from partner activity, either air or other partners?

    If it is card activity, you might switch to an American Express card and accrue some Membership Rewards points, which can be transfered into any of the three alliances. While this doesn't help you spend them, you could at least focus on earning points that are more flexible.

    If it is all coming from flight activity, you might open a ff account with a different OW carrier and accrue some there. (You will forego the elite bonuses until you reach elite status on those carriers, so this strategy isn't free.) If this is all from flying, hiting emerald on a non-AA carrier will give you FL access on purely domestic itineraries, which is a nice benefit. Also, note that carriers like QF open their award seats 355 days in advance, versus AA which is 330...so being able to book off of a different carrier's points might give you a head start for better redemptions.

    For spending, there are some very nice hotel redemption options. Not the best valuation of miles, but in many cases, not shabby. Plus, you can book premium rooms and suites (for an extra charge) using the AA hotels points program...you're not just relegated to getting sent to a parking-lot view room.

    A final thought --- miles are generally a bit of a melting ice cube. The cost of most awards goes only one way...up. Miles that you don't spend today will generally be worth less tomorrow.
     
  10. MyTravels
    Original Member

    MyTravels Silver Member

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    352
    Status Points:
    570
    PLEASE don't make this a forum where people have to be PC (politically correct)

    I'm not living on the road and having miles pile up, but having lived on the road before, I can tell you the vast majority of people that "envy" that situation would be the first to complain about the compromises it requires.
     
  11. ma91pmh
    Original Member

    ma91pmh Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    86
    Status Points:
    325
    I would never keep a huge balance of an asset that depreciates so rapidly and easily as miles. I got up to 700k AA and used a bunch to redeem on some C class flights. I am sitting on around 1m DL miles that I plan to use next year for a South Africa vacation for the family. I am ok keeping balances of 50-200k but 2m in one plan is just waiting to see it's value eroded
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  12. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,930
    Likes Received:
    7,696
    Status Points:
    6,570
    To get a cruise redemption, you would have to convert to HHonors points. Hilton does have awards on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines.
     
    Travelman and jbcarioca like this.
  13. RonF
    Original Member

    RonF Silver Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    45
    Status Points:
    165
    Aussie please don't waste your time responding to viguera's post. This thread could deteriorate quickly (worse than it already has) if you do.
     
  14. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    I'm not sure I understand your post... I think so far this has been a fairly civilized thread IMO. And it's not like it's not inline with what he originally posted... he said he had a ton of miles and more coming in than he knew what to do with and asked for -- and I quote -- "Alternative Redemptions"

    He doesn't have to follow any of my suggestions, and that's all they were after all.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  15. Jaimito Cartero
    Original Member

    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    848
    Status Points:
    770
    I'd much rather have AA miles than any other US FF plan. I believe converting them to HH points is a waste. I think you lose quite a bit of value by doing so. You'd be way better off trading the AA miles to someone who has Hilton points if that is what you want to do. I'd say 3-4 HH points to 1 AA mile is a reasonable value.

    I used to be Hilton Diamond, and transferred a bunch of AA miles into them when it was still 2-1, and later really wished I had never done such a dumb thing.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  16. aussieflyer
    Original Member

    aussieflyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    700
    Status Points:
    595
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I earn both from flying and CC earnings.

    Crediting miles to a different airline is interesting, only other airlines award charts are so much dearer then AA.

    I do have Amex cards as well but for Visa/MC spend AA is what I use.

    So it seems like hotels are a decent option. But some are suggesting not transferring to Hilton.

    Just for example, Hilton Bora Bora Nui.
    If I book through AA, 4 nights is 408,000 miles.
    With a Hilton Amex, 4 nights is 145,000 points.

    I would think its kind of an extreme example but its a place I would love to go to so looked it up.

    Which hotels have you found good redemption rates for?
    Obviously, there is a lot more flexibility when not locked into Hilton but if the difference is as great as above, I'm more then happy to stay at Hiltons.

    Do AA miles transfer direct to any other hotel programs?

    I appreciate the help, its just something most people don't do so not too much info on non flight redemptions.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  17. MyTravels
    Original Member

    MyTravels Silver Member

    Messages:
    482
    Likes Received:
    352
    Status Points:
    570
    There is:
    • Citi HHonors Visa if you're looking for HHonors points (in addition to the HHonors AXP you sighted)
    • SPG AXP issued by AXP
    • Marriott Visa issued by Chase (2 flavors)
    • Hyatt Visa issued by Chase
    • Priority Club/InterContinental Visa issued by Chase
    • (and i'm sure some more that I'm leaving off)
    Here's a link to the Hilton Bora Bora Nui tread
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  18. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,005
    Likes Received:
    3,183
    Status Points:
    2,070
    If you log in as an EXP, that same Hilton drops to 80,550 miles a night or 322,200 miles for 4 nights. If you have any type of AA elite status you might try logging in and seeing if the price changes for you. I've taken advantage of that discount on both of my bookings this year. My recent 5 night stay in Rome was at just under 15,000 miles a night with the discount.
     
  19. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Everyone has already given some great advice on how to burn through miles, so I'll just chime in to say:
    • I'm envious of your mileage wealth, though admittedly not too envious of what sounds like some heavy travel and time away from home.
    • I hope we can all remember to focus on giving constructive and helpful advice to the OP and try to avoid any type of contentious personal discussion of members, etc. :)
     
    MyTravels, MSPeconomist and jbcarioca like this.

Share This Page