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In early 2020, Bask Bank launched a game-changing new savings account that earns American Airlines AAdvantage® miles instead of interest. The Bask Savings Account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and you earn one AAdvantage® mile for every dollar saved annually.
Plus, with traditional interest rates at historic lows, it’s the perfect time to replace those laughably small interest payments with valuable AAdvantage® miles.
In today’s post, we’ll show you just how useful those miles can be. With nearly two dozen partner airlines that can take you to over 1,000 destinations, the AAdvantage® program offers some amazing ways to spend the miles you'll earn with your new Bask Savings Account.
- Why AAdvantage® Partners Matter
- AAdvantage® Partners for Travel Closer to Home
- Use AAdvantage® Miles to Visit International Destinations
- Booking World-Class Premium Cabins With AAdvantage® Miles
- Why You Should Get a Bask Savings Account
- Earning AAdvantage® Miles
- Final Thoughts
Why AAdvantage® Partners Matter
For award flights on American Airlines, there's really no telling what award flights will cost. You may score a Web Special award to fly across the country for just 5,000 miles. But you may have to pay a ton of miles to fly during the holidays. With American Airlines' flexible award pricing, it's hard to plan for how many miles you'll need for a trip.
However, AAdvantage® maintains a static award chart for award flights on its partners. As long as you can find award availability, you can book award flights on partners for a set number of miles. That means you can calculate how much and how long you'll need to save through a Bask Savings Account to book the award you want.
And there's no shortage of AAdvantage® partners. American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance®—an alliance of 14 airlines that collectively serve over 1,000 destinations across 170 countries and territories. In addition, American Airlines partners with 8 airlines outside the oneworld alliance.
Put together, you can use AAdvantage® miles to fly almost anywhere in the world you might want to go.
So, let's take a closer look at American's many partners and where you can fly with AAdvantage® miles.
AAdvantage® Partners for Travel Closer to Home
In addition to numerous routes served by American Airlines, the AAdvantage® program has several partners that offer additional coverage in North America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. Let's start by taking a look at these.
American and Alaska have a complicated history. But, that's water under the bridge now. The once-frenemies are now close partners and both are members of the oneworld alliance. Thanks to this partnership, you can use AAdvantage® miles to fly with Alaska Airlines.
Award flights within the U.S. or between the U.S. and Canada cost:
- 12,500 AAdvantage® miles each way in economy
- 25,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in first class
One-way Alaska Airlines award flights to other parts of North America cost:
- Alaska: 15,000 AAdvantage® miles in economy or 30,000 miles in business class
- Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America: 17,500 AAdvantage® miles in economy or 27,500 miles in business class
- Hawaii: 22,500 AAdvantage® miles in economy or 55,000 miles in business class
As a non-alliance partner, there are some restrictions on how you can use AAdvantage® miles on Hawaiian Airlines. You can only use AAdvantage® miles to fly within Hawaii or between Hawaii and Asia or the South Pacific. That means you won't be able to use AAdvantage® miles to fly Hawaiian Airlines between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.
Intra-Hawaii flights cost just 7,500 AAdvantage® miles each way in economy or 15,000 miles each way in business class. That means you'd need to save $30,000 in a Bask Savings Account for just 3 months to get a free flight within Hawaii! And award availability is usually wide open:
If you're based in Hawaii—or building a multi-stop award trip—you can book Hawaiian Airlines award flights to Japan or Korea for:
- 32,500 AAdvantage® miles each way in economy
- 52,500 AAdvantage® miles each way in business class
Once Australia and New Zealand reopen, you can fly Hawaiian Airlines between Hawaii and the South Pacific for:
- 37,500 AAdvantage® miles each way in economy
- 65,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in business class
Seaborne Virgin Islands
Seaborne Virgin Islands operates flights between San Juan, Puerto Rico and parts of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands using a fleet of small propeller planes. And you can even redeem AAdvantage® miles for these flights! Award flights within the Caribbean on Seaborne Virgin Islands cost 7,500 AAdvantage® miles each way:
This can be an excellent use of your AAdvantage® miles, as these flights can cost hundreds of dollars each way.
You can get enough miles to book one of these routes with AAdvantage® miles by saving $15,000 in a Bask Savings Account for 6 months. That's much better than the cash interest you'd earn on that savings!
American Airlines recently launched a new partnership with JetBlue Airways. The first part of this agreement is already active: you can earn AAdvantage® miles on JetBlue flights and vice versa.
American Airlines and JetBlue have confirmed that there's more to come with this partnership—including being able to use AAdvantage® miles to book JetBlue flights. Redemptions on JetBlue aren’t possible yet, but when this option becomes available, you’ll have a ton of new ways to use your AAdvantage® miles.
Use AAdvantage® Miles to Visit International Destinations
Between the oneworld alliance and American's eclectic mix of non-alliance partners, you can use your AAdvantage® miles to fly all over the world—including some world-class cities that may be on your bucket list.
- London nonstop on British Airways from 26 U.S. airports
- Tokyo nonstop on Japan Airlines from 10 U.S. airports
- Madrid and Barcelona nonstop on Iberia from 6 U.S. airports
- Hong Kong nonstop on Cathay Pacific from 5 U.S. airports
- Sydney and Melbourne nonstop on Qantas from 2 U.S. airports
- Doha nonstop on Qatar Airways from 12 U.S. airports
Don't live near one of the U.S. gateway airports served by these partners? No problem! AAdvantage® has no limitations on combing partners. So, you can mix and match airlines to get you from point A to point B. You can even connect from an Alaska flight to an American flight to catch a Qatar flight if that's the best way to get there!
Hop to South Pacific Islands Using AAdvantage® Miles
Looking for a more tropical destination? You can also use your AAdvantage® miles to visit two of the most popular islands in the South Pacific. Fly from anywhere in the contiguous U.S. to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT) on Air Tahiti Nui via Los Angeles (LAX). Or, fly on oneworld connect airline Fiji Airways to Nadi, Fiji (NAN) via Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO).
Both of these incredible destinations cost:
- 40,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in economy
- 65,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in premium economy
- 80,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in business class
Booking World-Class Premium Cabins With AAdvantage® Miles
One of the best things about frequent-flyer miles is that they give you access to travel experiences you could never justify if you had to pay full price. And when it comes to flying some of the best business- and first-class cabins in the world, the AAdvantage® program truly outshines the competition.
AAdvantage® partners with Etihad Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and Japan Airlines—all of which take their premium-cabin offerings to a whole different level.
Qatar's Qsuite product is widely considered to be one of the best business-class products in the skies. Qatar Qsuite is especially great for couples. You can fly and even sleep side-by-side—complete with closing doors on either side of the suite.
You can redeem AAdvantage® miles to fly between the U.S. and the Middle East or the Indian Subcontinent for just 70,000 miles each way:
Or fly Qsuite for over 24 hours from Los Angeles to Cape Town via Doha for just 75,000 miles each way:
Cathay Pacific First Class
Likewise, Cathay Pacific is considered one of the best first-class products in the world. And it's another incredible product that you can book using AAdvantage® miles.
One-way award flights between anywhere in the U.S. and Hong Kong or Southeast Asia cost:
- 37,500 AAdvantage® miles in economy
- 50,000 AAdvantage® miles in premium economy
- 70,000 AAdvantage® miles in business class
- 110,000 AAdvantage® miles in first class
So, you're going to want to book the longest flights that you can. To maximize the experience, connect onward to another destination in Southeast Asia, and enjoy Cathay Pacific's incredible first-class lounges in Hong Kong.
Even better, fly through New York's JFK or Los Angeles to experience American Airlines' sit-down Flagship First Dining before your Cathay Pacific First Class flight. (Note that Flagship First Dining is currently closed due to COVID)
Japan Airlines First Class
For flights to Japan, it's hard to beat the luxury of Japan Airlines First Class. And again, Japan Airlines business- and first-class awards are surprisingly cheap using AAdvantage® miles. For flights between the U.S. and Japan or Korea, you'll have to pay just:
- 60,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in business class
- 80,000 AAdvantage® miles each way in first class
Why You Should Get a Bask Savings Account
The idea behind the Bask Savings Account is pretty simple. Rather than earning cash interest, you'll earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per dollar saved per year. And you don't have to wait a full year to get your miles. Bask Bank deposits miles monthly. Say you deposit $7,300 in a Bask Savings Account, you'll earn 20 AAdvantage® miles per day. A few days after the end of a 30-day month, Bask Bank will deposit 600 miles in your AAdvantage® account.
There are all kinds of reasons that you might want to open a Bask Savings Account. For starters, earning AAdvantage® miles each month is a great way to ensure your AAdvantage® miles don't expire from inactivity.
However, the main reason to save with Bask Bank is the great return you can get on your savings. That's especially true now when the average cash-earning savings account only yields 0.06% interest. At the very least, you can get 1 cent in value per AAdvantage® mile (e.g. reserving seats or buying COVID tests). That's 16 times the cash earning rate. So, even for poor redemptions, you'll get much more value from earning AAdvantage® miles than cash interest right now.
Then there are the after-tax earnings. In short, the value that you have to pay taxes on will likely be far less than the value that you can get from those AAdvantage® miles. Even if you were able to find a savings account yielding 2%, the after-tax return on earning AAdvantage® miles is likely going to be higher than your after-tax earnings from cash savings.
Earning AAdvantage® Miles
Bask Bank is a great way to put your AAdvantage® mileage earnings on auto-pilot. For those with substantial savings, it's a great way to build a large balance of AAdvantage® miles to redeem for the incredible awards we detailed in this post.
If you don't have a large amount of savings, saving even a small balance with Bask Bank can help you supplement other ways to earn AAdvantage® miles. And there are plenty of other ways to earn AAdvantage® miles. These include flying on American Airlines or partner airlines, earning bonus miles through the AAdvantage® Dining Program, shopping through the AAdvantage® eShopping portal, or opening a new AAdvantage® credit card.
Last but not least, you can earn 5 AAdvantage® miles just for leaving a helpful comment on any AwardWallet post.
American Airlines AAdvantage® is one of our favorite airline loyalty programs. Thanks to the nearly two dozen airlines it partners with, you can fly to over 1,000 destinations around the world—and travel in some of the best business- and first-class products in the skies. Especially after repeated devaluations from Delta and United, American Airlines' partner awards seem downright cheap.
Best of all, you have a wide variety of ways to earn AAdvantage® miles. One of our favorite ways is by saving through Bask Bank. In fact, I think it's such a good deal that I personally keep all of my cash savings in a Bask Savings Account.
Terms & Disclosures:
Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. The sum of your total deposits with (i) Bask Bank; (ii) BankDirect; and (iii) Texas Capital Bank, N.A. are insured up to $250,000. Additional coverage may be available depending on how your assets are held.
The value of this offer will be reported to the IRS and the recipient is responsible for any federal, state or local taxes on this offer.
American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage® program and its terms and conditions at any time without notice, and to end the AAdvantage® program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Unless specified, AAdvantage® miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or AAdvantage® Million MilerSM status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage® program, visit aa.com/aadvantage.
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