How I Traveled for Free: Spring Break in St. Martin on American Airlines Mastercard

Jan 11, 2019

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When school lets out, it’s time to get out of town. This teacher and her husband headed to St. Martin on miles for their annual vacation to the island.

The cardholder

Name: Melisande Torres Age: 45 Occupation: Teacher Residence: Scarsdale, New York Credit card: Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold Mastercard Note: This card has been discontinued, but American Airlines has other credit card options with similar travel rewards to consider.

The trip

Route: Round trip from John F. Kennedy International Airport - New York to Princess Juliana International Airport - St. Martin Dates of travel: April 2016 Airline: American Airlines Class of service: Coach

Q: Did you visit a lounge at the airport?

A: No.

Q: Did you travel alone or with someone?

A: I went with my husband. We travel annually to St. Martin for a vacation at our timeshare on the island.

The card and loyalty program

Q: What card/loyalty program did you use to get a free trip?

Q: How long were you a cardholder/member at that time?

A: 15 years.

Q: How long were you saving for this trip?

A: One year.

Q: What's your favorite perk of this card/program?

A: Getting free air travel.

Redemption and booking

Q: Did you take advantage of promotions while earning points for this trip?

A: No

Q: Where and how did you book?

A: We booked online through American Airlines. We booked the flight about seven months in advance. We always have a set date because I book the hotel a year ahead of the stay.

Q: How many miles did this cost?

A: 65,000 for each of us round trip.

Q: Did you book in conjunction with a promotion or deal?

A: No.

Q: Any surprises or hassles?

A: No.

What's your next travel rewards goal?

We are hoping to use points to travel to Cancun in April. Our timeshare in St. Martin is not reopening until 2020 due to hurricane damage.

Photo via Melisande Torres

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 2022, including those best for:

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