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The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

American Airlines makes pricing offer passengers will like

While airline points are a great way to score free flights to many parts of the world, those who travel infrequently or have only recently joined a loyalty program often feel discouraged by how much they will have to fly (and, subsequently, spend) before they collect enough points for even a one-way flight to a nearby domestic city.

Extensive number-crunching by WalletHub shows that a one-way domestic ticket starts at 10,000 miles for United Airlines  (UAL) , 3,400 miles for JetBlue Airways  (JBLU)  and 7,500 miles for American Airlines  (AAL) . The specific dollars-to-miles system will vary at each airline — at United, it starts at one-to-five for non-status travelers which adds up to having to spend around $2,000 to earn enough miles for that first free one-way flight.

Related: Another airline is quietly cracking down on lounge access

In order to reach customers who want to spend fewer points, American Airlines launched a promotion in which one can redeem a one-way flight between cities in the U.S. or to a nearby international destination for 5,000 AAdvantage miles.

Here is what you need to do to take advantage of this low points offer

The airline's website shows that, outside the promotion, a one-way flight between cities in the U.S. or Canada starts at 7,500 miles for economy and 15,000 for business. Flights to Mexico and the Caribbean start at a respective 10,000 and 20,000.

More Travel:

The 5,000 AAdvantage miles promotion includes any many different cities within the U.S. and flights to sun-filled international destinations such as Cancun, Barbados and the Cayman Islands (in order to be eligible for the promotion, the flight needs to originate in the U.S.)

While one will be able to pick between most major U.S. cities as well as smaller vacation destinations such as Vail and Palm Beach, American Airlines is promoting routes such as Philadelphia (PHL) to Orlando (MSW), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Cancun (CUN) and New York' Laguardia Airport (LGA) as well as routes between Miami (MIA) and New York and Cancun.

Cancun is one of the sunny destinations included in the American Airlines promotion.


Don't have enough points? Here are some easy ways to earn them faster

At most airlines, faster points collection is a perk that one gets by earning a higher loyalty status. Platinum members can earn as much as 10x for every dollar spent as well as different bonuses when one hits certain spending milestones.

Other common ways to take points collection beyond one-to-one of the cost of the flight is to use specific credit cards with that airline (such as the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard or the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card  (DAL) ) and paying for flights, dining and shopping at certain stores through the linked credit card. Most airlines also have a travel platform for booking hotels and car rentals — while sometimes more expensive than booking directly, it will maximize points-collection.

"Groceries, home renovations, pre-vacation shopping or even spending on upcoming nuptials are great ways to earn miles. With AAdvantage eShopping, shop at more than 1,200 online stores and earn miles on every dollar spent," the airline said in advertising the promotion. "With SimplyMiles earn even more with a linked Mastercard on purchases from select brands in store and online."

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