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✈️ Award Drop: American Airlines flights for 5k miles

Plus, I'll refresh your memory on the EASIEST way to earn free night awards.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 46 seconds

✈️ One of our favorite domestic airlines just launched elevated welcome offers on their business cards (up to 120,000 points!). Go check ‘em out!

Good morning and happy Friday! We made it to the end of the week, y’all. But don’t go into relaxation mode just yet… I’ve still got some great travel tips for you:

✈️ Award Drop: American Airlines flights for 5k miles

I love a good award drop, don’t you? Especially when it means we get to save tens of thousands of miles on trips all around the world, both at home and abroad.

For the next few days, American Airlines is selling flights for as few as 5,000 miles each, with some other steep discounts on long-haul flights.

American airlines award sale

The Dates

This sale is valid for flights booked by July 2nd, 2024, for travel taking place between August 19th and December 13th, 2024.

There are a couple of blackout dates and date ranges to be aware of:

  • September 2nd

  • November 21st through December 1st

The Routes

This sale covers domestic flights in the U.S., as well as flights between the U.S. and the following regions:

  • Mexico

  • Caribbean

  • Latin America

  • Europe

  • Asia Pacific

The sale also only covers flights on American Airlines itself, not partner awards… sadly… 😭

How to Book

Unfortunately, like I said, this sale only applies to flights booked with American Airlines miles, which you can earn by flying on AA or spending on co-branded cards.

Overall, this is a great opportunity to save some miles on a variety of flights. For example, domestic flights in the U.S. start at just 10,000 miles round-trip.

Round-trip domestic flight for 10,000 miles

These flights would normally run 15,000 miles, so you’re saving a fun chunk of 5,000 miles.

That’s nice, but we can do better than that… 😏

Let’s say you’re looking for something a little more exotic than southern California.

This round-trip flight from New York to New Delhi, India, would only run you 48,000 miles and about $40 in taxes and fees.

Round trip flight from New York to India for 48,000 miles

This flight normally costs 70,000 miles round-trip, so the savings are much more substantial than the short-haul domestic routes.

Personally, I find the flights to Europe to be the least appealing with this sale.

Round trips start at just 43,000 miles, like this trip between Charlotte and Frankfurt, Germany, in September:

Charlotte to Frankfurt for 43,000 AA miles round-trip

43,000 miles to fly to Europe and back is not a terrible deal at all. If you have a big stack of AA miles, I think this would be a solid use of them.

However, here in the world of points and miles, we are spoiled by so many great opportunities that better options are available.

For example, Flying Blue’s promo rewards allow us to fly round-trip to Europe for just 30,000 miles.

Example of a KLM/Air France Promo Reward for 15,000 miles to Europe

Flying Blue miles are also much easier to earn since we can transfer most bank currencies to them, sometimes even with a transfer bonus.

So here’s the bottom line:

American Airlines is having a nice sale for travel in the fall and early winter. Whether flying domestically or abroad, this is a great way to burn down your stack of hard-earned AA miles.

🏨 How to earn six Hyatt free nights

While talking about Hyatt a few days ago, I very casually referenced a way to rack up Hyatt free night awards through a promotion called Brand Explorer…

Understandably, some of you said, “Woah, woah, woah… what is this method to easily earn the most valuable free night awards that you just breezed past…?”

Since it’s been well over a year since I last dove into this topic (and some things have changed since then), today I’ll tell you about this promotion and how I’m strategizing around it.

Hyatt's Brand Explorer promotion

Here’s a quick lowdown on how this works…

Every hotel chain (i.e., Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, etc.) has a series of “brands” within their portfolio.

A hotel’s quality and the overall experience will vary greatly depending on which brand you stay at.

For example, staying at a Hyatt Place (a low-cost brand with few amenities) will be very different than staying at a Park Hyatt (an expensive luxury brand with over-the-top service and every amenity under the sun).

Hyatt’s Brand Explorer promotion awards a Category 1-4 Free Night Award for every five brands you stay at in their portfolio:

A graphic showing Hyatt's 30 brands

Since Hyatt now has a total of 30 brands, you can earn up to SIX Hyatt Free Night Awards just from this method alone.

The reason that this is so valuable is that Hyatt Free Night Awards can be used for any Category 1-4 hotel (as long as there are standard award nights available).

That means that regardless of the cash price, you can redeem your awards for rooms.

For example, I redeemed two of my awards last year at the Alila Fort Bishangarh in Rajasthan, India.

A photo of the Alila Fort Bishangarh in India

Not only was it one of the most unique hotels I’ve ever stayed at, but it also had a cash cost of over $300 per night.

Needless to say, it can totally be worth going out of your way to earn these awards.

In a couple of days, I’ll be adding a brand to my profile by staying at this new Mr. And Mrs. Smith property in rural Java, Indonesia.

An example of one of Hyatt's new Brands, Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Since Mr. And Mrs. Smith now counts as a Hyatt “brand,” this will inch me closer to another valuable free night.

In a couple of months, I’ll be knocking off other brands like the original “Hyatt” brand, which has only a few locations worldwide, most of which are in India, oddly enough.

Hyatt Ahmedabad

In addition to the Mr. And Mrs. Smith properties, Hyatt has also just recently added yet another new brand called Hyatt Studios geared toward long-term stays.

I don’t really understand the purpose of this brand (it seems pretty darn similar to Hyatt House), but hey - I’m not complaining. 😉

A promotional photo from Hyatt's newest brand, Hyatt Studios

So far, the only Hyatt Studios Property is in Mobile, Alabama, but I suspect we’ll see more of them pop up in the coming months and years.

So here’s the bottom line:

Usually, earning free night awards (especially really valuable ones) with hotel programs is challenging.

Hyatt, on the other hand, makes it relatively easy to earn them thanks to the Brand Explorer promotion.

So, next time you have a hotel stay, look into your brand options and see if you can’t milk some extra value out of your stay by earning a Free Night Award.

Current Transfer Bonuses

Who doesn’t love a good travel win??

Check out this post from one of our members in our digital community space—the Daily Drop Lounge!

Not only are we sharing our best travel wins and moments in the Lounge, but we’re also asking and answering all of your most thought about travel questions!

If you’re looking for a like-minded community of travel enthusiasts, come join us there!

That’s all for this week, my friends! I feel like this week was pretty jam-packed with epic opportunities.

Given that many of you are starting your Summer travels around now, I hope you have gotten some extra value and learned some new tips to help you maximize your points, miles, and dollars.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday morning ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

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