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Cheap travel to Caribbean/Latin America with British Airways/AMEX points
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Cheap travel to Caribbean/Latin America with British Airways/AMEX points

by jeffreyMay 23, 2013

Note: A lot of info in this post refers to the 35% transfer bonus between AMEX Membership Rewards and British Airways Avios that runs until June 7, 2013. More info here: Deal Blitz Alert: 35% Transfer Bonus from AMEX to British Airways Avios. If you’re reading after June 7, 2013 you can still get some great value out of your Avios miles.

British Airways/Iberia Avios miles are  distance based awards:  on the surface, it seems like you’re getting a bad deal on award redemptions. But, as with anything involving miles, it opens up possibilities to find great values on non-stop short distance flights.

One partner award that especially interests me is the direct flights from Miami on AA. Miami ends up being a short hop in many cases to exotic and foreign destinations. A big thing I look for when I travel is to get away from what’s familiar and comfortable — and you don’t necessarily have to travel across the globe to achieve that.

Using your British Avios to book on American Airlines can be your answer to a cheap vacation in this part of the world:

Non-stop flights to the Caribbean & Latin America on American Airlines — From Miami-MIA/FLL


View AAtoCaribMIA in a larger map

Non-stop flights to the Caribbean & Latin America on American Airlines — From New York-JFK/EWR/LGA


View AAtoCaribNYC in a larger map

Non-stop flights to the Caribbean & Latin America on American Airlines — From Dallas-Ft. Worth-DFW


View AAtoCaribDFW in a larger map

How to Book

  1. Search AA.com –> Book Award Travel for available dates. If you’ve made your mind up on a destination, then search until you find dates that will work and make notes. If you’re flexible on destination but have fixed dates, then I suggest searching all of the routes and making detailed notes– this will help you put the puzzle together later. Full guide on searching American Airlines availability.
  2. If you don’t already have the miles, Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to BA Avios

    Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 6.07.24 PM

  3. Login to BritishAirways.com –> Executive Club –> Spending Avios –> Book flights with Avios and search the exact dates and cities you found from the AA website. If all is well, you should find your flights. Proceed through the booking process.Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 10.38.44 PMScreen Shot 2013-05-22 at 10.39.42 PM Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 10.39.59 PM Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 10.41.11 PM.pngI always select the top choice which represents points due + taxes only. Any of the choices further down are essentially giving you a choice to buy Avios for 1.3 cents. Some might see this as a good deal, others not. Personally, I skipped it because, with the promo going on, I can transfer AMEX points to BA Avios at a cheaper price than buying those same miles for 1.3 cents/Avios. For example, if you expect to earn 1.5 cents/points on your AMEX and you add in the 35% bonus, you’ll find that you can transfer AMEX miles to Avios at a cost of 1.11 cents/point vs buying them for 1.3 cents.
  4. All done! You can now head back to AA.com and add the new itinerary to your account by searching the flights and dates. This should load up your full reservation in the American Airlines system and allow you to review and pick your seats.

Full Flight Options

If you just want to go somewhere over specific dates, I recommend printing the chart below and methodically searching AA.com for award availability and making notes.

Dept Arrive MilesZoneRT Econ (with 35% bonus)RT Biz (with 35% bonus)
MIAMiami, FLKINKingston, Jamaica - Norman Manley 58816,66713,333
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMTYMonterrey, Mexico 52716,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLFPOFreeport, Bahamas 11216,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLNASNassau, Bahamas - Paradise Island 18316,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLMHHMarsh Harbour, Bahamas 20516,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLELHEleuthera Island, Bahamas 22616,66713,333
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthTRCTorreon, Mexico 63616,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLGCMGrand Cayman, Cayman Islands 45516,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLMBJMontego Bay, Jamaica 52716,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLCUNCancun, Mexico 53216,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLPLSProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos57916,66713,333
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthCUUChihuahua, Mexico 61316,66713,333
MIAMiami, FLGGTGeorge Town, Bahamas 32616,66713,333
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthAGUAguascalientes, Mexico 839211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthSLPSan Luis Potosi, Mexico 780211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthZCLZacatecas International Airport775211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLRTBRoatan, Honduras 769211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthCZMCozumel, Mexico 1058211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthCUNCancun, Mexico 1031211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthSJDCabo San Lucas, 'Los Cabos', Mexico 1024211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthPVRPuerto Vallarta, Mexico 985211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthPBCPuebla, Mexico 955211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthVERVeracruz, Mexico 952211,11122,222
FLLFort Lauderdale, FL PAPPort Au Prince, Haiti 721211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMEXMexico City, Mexico 939211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthGDLGuadalajara, Mexico 939211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMLMMorelia, Mexico 936211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthBJXGuanajuato, Mexico 889211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMZTMazatlan, Mexico 877211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthQROQueretaro, Mexico 875211,11122,222
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthHMOHermosillo, Mexico 871211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSTXSaint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 1140211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLAUAAruba, Aruba 1137211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSJOSan Jose, Costa Rica1122211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSTTSaint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 1108211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSJUSan Juan, Puerto Rico 1046211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLBDABermuda, Bermuda 1045211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLGUAGuatemala City, Guatemala 1020211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLMGAManagua, Nicaragua 1019211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSALSan Salvador, El Salvador 1014211,11122,222
JFKNew York - KennedyBDABermuda, Bermuda 762211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLPAPPort Au Prince, Haiti 714211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLPOPPuerto Plata, Dominican Republic 740211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSTISantiago, Dominican Republic 752211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLBZEBelize City, Belize - International 769211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLTGUTegucigalpa, Honduras 928211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSDQSanto Domingo, Dominican Republic849211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLSAPSan Pedro Sula, Honduras 869211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLLRMLa Romana, Dominican Republic 890211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLPUJPunta Cana, Dominican Republic 911211,11122,222
MIAMiami, FLGYEGuayaquil, Ecuador 1933314,81529,630
LGANew York - La GuardiaMTYMonterrey, Mexico 1826314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLBGIBridgetown, Barbados 1613314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLGNDGrenada, Grenada, 1540314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLBOGBogota, Colombia 1515314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLUVFSt. Lucia, St. Lucia - Hawnorra 1506314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLFDFFort De France, Martinique 1469314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLMDEMedellin, Colombia1389314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLPTPPointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe 1376314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLCCSCaracas, Venezuela 1364314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLANUAntigua, Antigua and Barbuda 1333314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLMEXMexico City, Mexico 1276314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLSKBSt Kitts, St Kitts and Nevis 1271314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLSXMSaint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles 1224314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLCURCuracao, Netherlands Antilles 1196314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLMARMaracaibo, Venezuela 1193314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLPTYPanama City, Panama - Tocumen Intl 1157314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLPOSPort of Spain, Trinidad 1624314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedyPAPPort Au Prince, Haiti 1530314,81529,630
MIAMiami, FLUIOQuito, Ecuador 1798314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedySJUSan Juan, Puerto Rico 1603314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedySTTSaint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 1629314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedySKBSt Kitts, St Kitts and Nevis 1743314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedyANUAntigua, Antigua and Barbuda 1779314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMBJMontego Bay, Jamaica 1548314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthSALSan Salvador, El Salvador 1419314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthGUAGuatemala City, Guatemala 1331314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthBZEBelize City, Belize - International 1193314,81529,630
EWRNewark, NJ CURCuracao, Netherlands Antilles 1997314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthPTYPanama City, Panama - Tocumen Intl 1996314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthSJOSan Jose, Costa Rica1782314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthLIRLiberia, Costa Rica 1707314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthPLSProvidenciales, Turks and Caicos1699314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthMGAManagua, Nicaragua 1592314,81529,630
JFKNew York - KennedyCUNCancun, Mexico 1559314,81529,630
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthCCSCaracas, Venezuela 2453418,51937,037
JFKNew York - KennedyBGIBridgetown, Barbados 2094418,51937,037
JFKNew York - KennedyCCSCaracas, Venezuela 2118418,51937,037
JFKNew York - KennedyGYEGuayaquil, Ecuador 2985418,51937,037
DFWDallas/Ft. WorthSJUSan Juan, Puerto Rico 2166418,51937,037

Distance based awards differ from normal awards in that the number of miles required varies upon the distance travelled. Often times, with British Airways Avios for example, it is based on distance by each segment. Traditional awards have specific values for each region, for example a Delta award from ANYWHERE in the US to ANYWHERE in Europe is 60k in economy.

About The Author
jeffrey
jeffrey