Diving in Cozumel, Skiing in Switzerland, or Cherry Blossoms in Japan – How I’d Use the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Welcome Bonus
Right now, you can earn a whopping 60,000 American Airlines miles with the increased welcome offer on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® after meeting the minimum spending requirement.
Not only does American Airlines offer extensive service in North America and abroad, but with their oneworld and non-alliance airline partners, you can use these miles to go almost anywhere!
There are so many places I’d love to visit with the 60,000-mile welcome bonus. Here are my top picks!
Earn 60,000 American Airlines Miles With the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select
The welcome bonus for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card is 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
You’ll also earn:
- 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
- 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
- 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
And you can save money and miles with the perks that come with the card.These include:
- Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
- Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
- 25% off eligible in-flight purchases
- Receive 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
- Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports
The $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.
How I’d Use the 60,000 Point Welcome Bonus
To find good deals on award flights, be sure to get familiar with the American Airlines award charts. You can redeem American Airlines miles for their flights, or flights on partner airlines. American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance which includes airlines like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines. And you redeem American Airlines miles on other partner airlines (that aren’t part of oneworld) like Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and Fiji Airways just to list a few.
You can not search all of the partner airlines on the American Airlines website to redeem award flights. But you search for available award seats elsewhere, like on the British Airways or Qantas websites, then call American Airlines customer service to book them with miles.
2 Round-Trip Tickets to Cozumel, Mexico During Peak Season Worth $2,140
My family has been traveling to Cozumel for a long time, as it is our favorite travel destination. We enjoy some of the world’s best SCUBA diving, sailing in turquoise-blue oceans, snorkeling, and just relaxing on the beach while drinking margaritas.
Low-level award flights from the mainland US to Cozumel, Mexico cost 15,000 American Airlines miles each way (per person) during peak season. So 2 round-trip tickets would cost exactly 60,000 American Airlines miles, plus taxes and fees.
You can save even more miles by booking this flight during off-season for only 12,500 American Airlines miles. Off-season to Mexico is considered September 7 to November 14 and April 27 to May 20.
To compare, you could pay over $1,000 per ticket to Cozumel! So with one sign-up bonus, you could get over $2,000 worth of travel!
Travel Business Class to Japan During Cherry Blossom Festival and Save $2,250
While I have traveled throughout many countries of Asia, I haven’t yet made it to Japan. With this welcome bonus, I could finally visit it in the comfort and luxury of Business Class.
I really want to visit Japan during Cherry Blossom Festival which is generally the beginning of April of each year. This is when the cherry blossoms, the national flower of Japan, bloom in their intoxicating pink and purple glory. The entire country of Japan seems to flood this color during the short few weeks that the blossoms last.
Japanese cities celebrate this season with parades and festivals, making it an exciting time to visit. The cherry blossom has a spiritual meaning to the Japanese of mortality, mindfulness, and living in the present moment.
You’ll pay 60,000 American Airlines miles plus taxes and fees for a one-way Business Class award flight to Asia Region 1 (Korea and Japan). Looking at American Airlines website, I was able to find some dates available for Business Class tickets during this time. If you paid cash, these tickets would cost ~$2,250!
You can also redeem American Airlines miles for flights to Asia on Cathay Pacific or Japan Airlines for even more flight options.
For the return flight I would need to use some American Airlines miles beyond my welcome bonus. As long as I returned before April 19, it would be considered off-peak dates allowing me to return for 32,500 American Airlines miles in coach or 60,000 miles again in Business Class.
Round-Trip Ticket to Ski the Swiss Alps During Prime Ski Season via Partner British Airways With 15,000 Miles Left Over
The best skiing in the entire world is in the Swiss Alps. There is nothing else like skiing beneath the famous Matterhorn, in the most beautiful landscapes I have ever experienced. I can’t help but already start planning another trip back, and prime time to go is the end of January.
The best access to the Swiss Alps is flying into Geneva, Switzerland or Milan, Italy (don’t make the mistake I made once of flying into Zurich). American Airlines doesn’t fly to Geneva or Milan, but British Airways is a oneworld partner airline and does fly there. We can use our points to book a flight on British Airways to get places that American Airlines doesn’t go to.
An award flight from the US to Geneva, Switzerland was shockingly only 22,500 American Airlines miles each way. I did not expect them to consider prime ski season as off-season for award flights. This means a round-trip ticket will only set you back 45,000 American Airlines miles, leaving you 15,000 miles left over from the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select bonus.
15,000 American Airlines miles is enough for another one-way ticket from the mainland US to anywhere else in the contiguous US, Canada, or Alaska! And if you are traveling 500 miles or less within the US or Canada, then it’s enough for a round-trip ticket. You can pull 2 vacations out of this deal!
Keep in mind, you’ll pay higher fees when you redeem miles for flights on British Airways, which vary depending on the route. Be sure to do the math and compare the price to that of a paid ticket, because these days paid flights to Europe often go on sale.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is offering an increased welcome bonus of 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Use the American Airlines award charts to find great deals on flights with these bonus miles. You can redeem American Airlines miles on American Airlines or any oneworld or non-alliance airline partner like Alaska Airlines, Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Air, and more.
Here’s how I’d spend the welcome bonus
- 2 round-trip tickets to Cozumel, Mexico during peak season worth $2,140
- Travel Business Class to Japan during cherry blossom season worth $2,250
- Round-trip ticket on partner airlines to Switzerland to ski the Swiss Alps
How would you use 60,000 American Airlines miles from the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select welcome bonus?