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My Retirement Travel Dreams Came True with the Help of the AAdvantage Credit Card

by simon davis on April 27, 2014 · 2 comments

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After spending decades building my career, it was finally time to wind down and make plans to retire. My wife and I were so excited about this new stage of life: With the kids all grown up and living on their own, we would finally have the time and freedom to do some traveling and see the world together. Some of the trips we dreamed of were a bit expensive, so we knew we’d need to find ways to cut the costs of travel. My brother knows I like to fly American Airlines, so he recommended I look into a few AAdvantage credit card offers to help us earn some miles. I’m glad I took his advice! After checking out our various choices, my wife and I decided that the AAdvantage World Mastercard from Citi was the best option for us. It offered all the rewards and services we needed to help make our retirement travel dreams come true.

As soon as we got our AAdvantage credit card, we started using it for all our everyday spending. We used the card for grocery shopping, household items, trips to the gas station and every other expense we could think of. Each time we spent $1 using the card, we would earn one AAdvantage award mile. This meant that whenever we did our usual errands, we were earning miles at the same time! During the holidays, I have to confess that we went a little overboard buying gifts for the grandkids; however, our splurges helped us earn a terrific bonus. We found out that we would receive 30,000 bonus miles if we made $1,000 in purchases during the first 3 months of our card membership. Even better, we also earned extra miles when we flew to see the grandchildren. We always fly American Airlines, and we earned two AAdvantage miles for every dollar we spent on those airfare purchases.

As time went by during the months leading up to my retirement, it was exciting to watch our award miles add up. We just kept using the card for all our usual purchases, and our rewards just kept growing. After we had the card for a year and renewed our membership, we reviewed our spending and realized we had spent over $30,000 using the card. This entitled us to a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount the next time we flew with the airline. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to save money on travel using our card.

When I finally reached my retirement date, I was happy to see that we had accumulated an impressive number of award miles. In fact, my wife and I had decided to take a long-awaited cruise, and we had enough miles to cover our flight to the port city. There are no blackout dates with the AAdvantage award miles program, so we didn’t have to plan our trip around any date restrictions. We actually did the whole transaction online, and it was such a quick and simple process. We purchased our airfare, booked our cruise and got ready for a relaxing vacation.

As soon as we arrived at the airport, we knew the trip was off to a good start. We were told we could each check one bag for free, which was a pleasant surprise. It seemed like we were saving money in so many different ways just by being card members. My wife always worried that our luggage might get lost when we fly somewhere, but I reminded her that we were protected since our credit card offered lost luggage insurance, with which we were covered for up to $3,000 in lost luggage costs as long as we purchased our airfare with the card. Then we remembered we were also entitled to Group 1 Boarding. Being among the first to board, it was easy to find room for our bags in the overhead compartment. It also gave us time to relax while everyone else boarded. The cruise was fantastic and provided a chance to reconnect and unwind. The memories of that trip will last a lifetime. Even though we hated to see our vacation end, I must say that our flight home was effortless. We enjoyed all the same privileges and benefits that we experienced when we flew out to our vacation destination.

I can’t say enough about our experience with the AAdvantage World MasterCard. By using the card for our everyday shopping and spending, we were able to earn miles and rewards that helped us afford a fantastic vacation. The additional benefits of being a card member made our flight experience so relaxing and enjoyable. We intend to keep using our card for all our usual purchases, and we’re already planning to use our miles to fly and see our grandchildren more often. There may be another cruise in our future as well!

photo credit: quinet

Simon Davis is a fulltime business writer since the last 4 years and has had the privilege of attending some of the most renowned business conclaves held across the world. 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

davidmichael April 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Airline credit cards can also be a disaster. It seems they change rules annually making it more difficult to take advantage of the miles they theoretically promised. My experience with the American airlines is they are not to be trusted, as anyone can see from their constant fee increases for baggage, seats, food, drinks, or movies, or whatever they can think of to screw over their clients. Like so many things in the USA over the past two decades, the integrity and service of the airlines has steadily gone downhill. I lost 150,000 miles from United a few years ago when they made several changes to their Frequent Mileage Program. As for me…never again will I use or purchase an airline card. Instead we use the Capital One Venture Card which has no black out dates, no time or mileage limits, and can be redeemable in dollars or miles. Barclay, Chase, and several other credit card companies have programs that are far superior to any airline card that I have examined (IMHO).

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No Nonsense Landlord April 27, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I recent got a Spirit Airlines card. paid $495 for the two tickets. Got $100 back when I spent another $5. Got a bonus 15K miles when I got the card, plus the trip miles, plus the $500 spend miles.

In September, I can fly three legs of a trip for free. 5K miles per leg. I might even have enough for 2 RT tickets.

Then, $400 for four round trip tickets is a pretty great deal.

Use the cards as you can, if they work for you. Make sure you do not spend extra that you would not have spent anyway.

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