You can book yourself a tour around the Caribbean and South America stopping in three places for only 64,500 miles total with half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in three places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.
This incredible deal relies on piecing together four sweet spots awards into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, you should know about these sweet spot awards.
For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:
Philadelphia > Aruba > Bogota, Colombia > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Philadelphia
However the price is the same no matter where your home airport is, and no matter where you choose your destination in Southern South America to be.
You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.
What does that mean exactly?
- Aruba could be replaced by anywhere that is in the region defined by American Airlines as Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America for no extra miles
- Bogota could be replaced by any nearby city with direct LAN flights from the Caribbean or Mexico, though the miles price will probably go up if you choose a different city since this part of the award is flown with distance-based Avios
- Rio de Janeiro could be replaced by any destination in South America for no extra miles
United States to Aruba
American Airlines post-devaluation award chart has flights to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean during the off peak season priced at just 12,500 miles one way in economy.
The off peak season for these regions is defined as:
- April 27 – May 20
- September 7 – November 14
How to Book: on aa.com
Aruba to Bogota
It costs 4,500 British Airways Avios to fly from from Aruba to Bogota, Colombia on LAN in economy.
Taxes: $49 (my ba.com is in euros for this reason)
Where to search for award space: ba.com. Here’s how to search ba.com. This route has the worst award space in the post, so if you copied this routing, you’d build the trip around award space on this leg. You can pick a place with better award space to Bogota (or wherever you decide to go), but the Avios price will probably be higher. Aruba to Bogota is only 605 miles flown, so it is the cheapest price of 4,500 Avios. Flights 651-1,150 miles flown are 7,500 Avios and something like Cancun to Bogota is 10,000 Avios.
How to Book: on ba.com.
Bogota to Rio de Janeiro
For 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles you can fly from Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Avianca/TACA (if using Singapore miles) or LAN (if using American Airlines miles). You could book the same flights in Business Class for 20,000 Singapore miles, or 25,000 American Airlines miles.
Taxes/Fees: $62 (ignore the miles price in the screenshot, we pay the price on Singapore’s chart, not United’s chart when using Singapore miles)
Where to search for award space: If using Singapore miles, united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. If using American Airlines’ miles, ba.com. Here’s how to search ba.com. Award space is very good on Avianca’s direct Bogota to Rio flight, especially in Business Class.
How to Book: If using Singapore miles, on singaporeair.com. If using American Airlines miles, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.
Rio de Janeiro > United States
It costs 35,000 Asiana miles to fly Business Class on Copa Airlines, Avianca, United, or Air Canada from Southern South America to the United States. I booked Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile in Copa Business Class for 35,000 Asiana miles this year.
Taxes/Fees: $57 (ignore mileage prices below, Asiana has lower prices than United for the same flights)
How to Book: call the Asiana Club at +1-800-227-4262.
What Do Those Awards Add up to?
United States to Aruba = 12,500 American Airlines miles
Aruba to Bogota, Colombia = 4,500 British Airways Avios
Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil = 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles
+ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to United States = 35,000 Asiana miles in Business Class
64,500 miles and under $184 in taxes
Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between Colombia and Brazil in Business Class, it would cost 72,000 using Singapore or 77,000 American Airlines miles.
Consider it from this angle as well. Heading southbound, you spent only 12,500 + 4,500 + 12,500 = 29,500 miles/Avios, and you visit three places. Normally a one way award to Southern South America would cost 30,000 American Airlines/Delta/United miles, and no stopovers would be allowed.
Why are There No Fuel Surcharges Mentioned in This Post?
Because fuel surcharges are not levied on any airline, on any ticket, w the Americas that I am aware of. Great news for our mega-trip!
How to Get the Miles and Points Needed for this Trip
American Airlines Miles
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®
Singapore Krisflyer Miles (transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points)
The Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card
Asiana Miles (transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints)
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening.
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (personal)
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
British Airways Avios
British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase is offering 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 within three months of the account opening.
While I can not directly link to the current offer from British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)
If you have some (emphasis on some, not many are needed!) American Airlines, Singapore, and Asiana miles as well as a few British Airways Avios, you can piece together an amazing multi-award trip that spans all over the Caribbean and South America with three different destinations. It would be a great way to use up smaller amounts miles hanging around in your frequent flyer accounts, leftover after larger redemptions.------------------------------------------------------------
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.