On a similar note...
On a similar note...
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
Joel Scholtz was invited to visit 10 resorts in Mexico for business, so he used American Airline AAdvantage miles to fly there for free.
Name: Joel Scholtz
Occupation: Travel advisor
Residence: Medford, New Jersey
Credit cards: The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard
Route: Round trip from Philadelphia International Airport to Cancun International Airport
Dates of travel: Sept. 25 - 28, 2018
Airline: American Airlines
Class of service: Premium economy
Q: Did you visit a lounge at the airport?
A: Yes. I visited a Centurion Lounge, a perk of being a cardholder of The Platinum Card® from American Express.
Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?
A: I traveled alone. I was going there for work.
The card and loyalty program
Q: What loyalty program did you use to get a free trip?
A: I used American Airlines AAdvantage points as a Gold status member.
Q: How long were you a cardholder/member at that time?
A: 10 years.
Q: How long were you planning/saving for this trip?
A: The trip was hosted by the resort operator and it was planned four months in advance.
Q: What's your favorite perk of this card/program?
A: I get a free companion ticket annually with my American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard. I can bring up to two guests for $99 each when I spend $30,000 or more each year on the card.
» Learn More: Find the best airline credit card for you
Redemption and booking
Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?
Q: How did you book?
A: American Airlines’ website.
Q: How many miles did this cost?
A: 50,000 miles.
Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?
Q: Any surprises?
A: Not this time. I didn’t get a free upgrade on this flight, but I have been upgraded to business class many times.
What's your next travel rewards goal?
I travel once or twice a month for my travel business so I’m watching for the next opportunity to use miles or points for a flight.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: How I flew for free: Miles to the rescue for a family emergency How I flew for free: Round trip NYC to India using Chase Ultimate Rewards How I flew business class to Bangkok with my family for free