American and US Airways Off Peak Economy Awards

I had previously posted about American Airlines reduced mileage awards by having a CitiAAdvantage credit card and want to go over another mileage saving option which is the American and US Airways off peak economy awards. These are designated times during the year to select regions in the world where it will cost you less points to travel to your destination in economy. Here are the regions where you can find off peak awards which are boxed in red:

AA Offpeak award chart

And here are the dates of the off peak awards:

Hawaii: January 12 – March 13, August 22 – December 15
The Caribbean and Mexico: September 7 – November 14
Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela: January 16 – June 14, September 7 – November 14
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay: March 1 – May 31, August 16 – November 30
Europe: October 15 – May 15
Japan and South Korea: October 1 – April 30

As you can probably tell, off peak may not be the most favorable time of year to go because many places are colder or it is the rainy season. But if this doesn’t faze you, then this can help your award points stretch further. Also as a reminder, if you hold a CitiAAdvantage credit card, you will get 10% of your redeemed points back so this is even more of a savings.

As an example, say I wanted to go to Hawaii in late August. I did a search on the American Airlines website and I see plenty of availability from IAH-OGG. The below chart shows the one way cost, so this means that it will cost me 35k miles roundtrip per person instead of the 45k it would cost the rest of the year which is a 10k point savings.

AA IAH-OGG

AA iah-ogg trip price

Since I have the credit card, this award will effectively cost me 31,500 miles. Those numbers look pretty good to me and will help me stretch my points for other great vacations. Thanks to MileValue for reminding me about these off peak awards.

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments on "American and US Airways Off Peak Economy Awards"

  1. I will be US Chairman in ~3 weeks (and Platinum now from the Trial). I assume the 2 US SWA’s will be available immediately. Travel is planned for June. Is it better to buy an international coach ticket now or in 3 weeks when I have the higher status?

    • Giddy for Points | February 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Reply

      Hi Card Beagle, I’m assuming you are buying a USAir ticket? It doesn’t technically matter when you purchase your ticket, you will just call the airline when you do get your certs to apply to your rev ticket. But remember that upgrades are capacity controlled so its not a guaranteed upgrade. I would wait and call the agent to purchase and apply your certs at the same time. This way you make sure you are getting a guaranteed upgraded ticket. Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks much! Next decision will be whether to buy that guaranteed upgradable coach ticket or use some of my miles stash. What factors into that decision? Is it a simple cost per mile calculation?

    • Giddy for Points | February 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Reply

      I know some would use a calculation to book award tickets but I think there are other factors to look at like the timing of the award travel vs rev ticket, if there are any fuel surcharges, and if you have enough miles obviously. Since you are Platinum and soon to be Chairman, you won’t have to worry about an award booking or close-in ticketing fee. Also Chairman don’t have to pay an award redeposit fee so maybe you can book an award ticket and cancel if you change your mind or if you find a good upgradable rev price. Also we really don’t know what the award redemption charts will look like once US and AA merge so maybe it won’t be a bad idea to burn some miles 🙂

  3. Thank you for the refresher! I was quite surprised last week when I found out they extend Argentina’s off-peak travel to the end of November. I work with people based in Buenos Aires and they’d told me that November is actually a very nice time to visit, especially if you are from Houston and not afraid of warm weather 😉

    P.S. Speaking of AA and Argentina, they are starting DFW-EZE flights on 787 in June. When I checked last Friday there were absolutely no award seats in J or F for June-January though. Guess we need to wait for some sort of a glitch that would magically unlock low-level award space.

    • Giddy for Points | February 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Reply

      I’ve never been to Argentina but sounds like a great trip idea 🙂 And I hope for a miracle for you for F space!

      • Thank you! UA flies an old two-class 767-300 with 2-1-2 “BusinessFirst” so even with an extra connection AA’s updated J sounds better (current layout for 787 is 28 J / 48 MCE / 150 Y).

        Plus, DFW Centurion lounge is a pretty good place to spend a layover. We seriously need one in Houston!

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