If you have an American Airlines credit card, you can get some award travel for only 17,500 miles for coach or 42,500 for business/first class. Each quarter, a reduced mileage award list is released. The 2011 Q4 list has been released. To get the lower mileage award, a MileSAAver award has to be available. Then you call the American AAdvantage Reservations desk at 800-882-8880 and tell them the flights you want and the Award Code.
If you who want to try out the upgraded version of Award Wallet, a discount code is posted in this Flyertalk thread. I’m not listing the code because I believe if you use it, you should post a thank you to the person who posted it in the thread. It appears that only one person has used it as of the time of this post and there are 10 available.
Award Wallet is a web site that helps you keep track of all of your loyalty program points/miles. The free version will keep track of when miles are expiring for 3 accounts (it will tell you the balance of any others; just not when those miles are expiring). It also keeps track of upcoming itineraries on those accounts.
I do use Award Wallet. It makes tracking your miles much easier.
As I mentioned yesterday, we’re heading to Disney. We’re using transportation vouchers we got from being bumped from a flight to pay for the flight to Disney. I called the American reservation desk earlier this week to book the flights. After reserving the flights, you have to mail the vouchers to American to pay for the flights. They give you 12 days to mail the vouchers in. I haven’t mailed mine in yet because I want to be certain that there won’t be issues with my husband’s work schedule. And since I had 12 days to send in the vouchers, there wasn’t a hurry.
I decided to check the price of the flights again today on the off chance that the price went down. And to my surprise, it did!! So I cancelled the reserversation that I made earlier (you can do this on-line). I then searched the flights on-line and put a hold on the ones I wanted. I called the reservation desk and gave them the record locator number. They changed the status to purchased and gave me the instructions to send in the vouchers. This exercise took me about 10 minutes saved us $500!!! I’ll get that back in the form of a new voucher that will be good for 1 year.
We went to Disney World for the first time with our boys about a year and a half ago. They were 5 and 6 at the time. It was a magical vacation. I think it was the perfect age to take the kids. They got so excited every time we saw one of the characters! And they were old enough to ride most of the rides. When we were heading home, we decided that we would go back in about 2 years. We realized that when the kids were older, they probably wouldn’t remember much of the first trip. But we thought if they were 7 and 8, they might remember some of it. I was about 9 when we took our trip across the country and I remember a lot of the trip. And my siblings that were a little younger than me also remembered some of it. But my youngest siblings don’t remember much of it.
As some of you may recall, we got $2,000 in travel vouchers for being bumped from one of our flights on the way back from Wyoming. Those vouchers were on American Airlines. And as you’ve probably heard in the news, American Airlines may go into bankruptcy. I’m sure that the vouchers would still be honored in bankruptcy, but I really didn’t want to take any chances. So I asked my husband if he’d be up for going back to Disney and yay! he said yes.
Now for some tips if you’re ever redeeming travel vouchers on American. You must redeem the vouchers either using their 800 number or going to a ticketing counter. If you want to do the research yourself, you can search for tickets on-line and then put them on hold. You would then call the 800 number and give them the record locator number. And if the base price for the ticket(s) is less than the total value of the vouchers you are redeeming, you do not have to pay taxes. I talked to 2 agents and neither of them knew that. In fact, one of them told me that she tickets these all the time and you have to pay taxes. I knew that I didn’t have to pay taxes. I told her that I was on their web site page about Transportation Vouchers and it says they are tax exempt. Only after I said that did she look into it. She called their tariff desk and that’s when she found out that taxes did not apply.
Here is a great site about how to redeem vouchers on American Airlines.
Now…let the planning for the Disney vacation begin! Anyone have any tips?
I added a new page to my site: Top Credit Card Deals. I pulled together a list of what I consider the best travel credit card offers to be right now. It seems to be that the best sign-up bonuses are 50,000 miles or more now. I’ve gathered more miles than I know what to do with so I’m only applying for cards that are 50,000 miles or more. There are many more offers out there than what I listed. And depending on your travel needs, you may think other offers are better to get you were you want to go.
I have been actively using credit card sign-up bonuses to help me travel for a little under 2 years now. My husband has also applied for a few cards, but only the mega sign-up bonuses (like the British Airways 100,000 miles and American Airlines 75,000 miles). We took our family of 4 to Hawaii and Wyoming this year. And we are planning to go to Hawaii and Disney World next year. Even with booking those trips, we still have over 500,000 miles/points across American Airlines, British Airways, United/Continental and Starwood hotels. My point is that you can do it too if you are smart with your credit! As I always say, don’t ruin your credit score to play this game, but if you are disciplined, your credit score can take you far.