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The 15 Best U.S. Domestic Flight Redemptions for Max Value [2023]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

Senior Content Contributor

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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At Upgraded Points, we are big fans of being world travelers — visiting the most exotic, far-and-away destinations, and doing so in first class while enjoying pure luxury and opulence.

But sometimes, domestic travel is just as reinvigorating. It’s possible to visit somewhere close to home and feel like you’re a world away. And that way, you don’t need to worry about flipping time zones, flying 24 hours at a time, and the increased planning required with going someplace totally foreign. Some of the easiest, best vacations are domestic!

So if you’re focused (at least in the near term) on booking trips within the U.S., you’ll want to keep this guide handy. We’ll give you some inspiration for high-value ways to redeem your points for domestic U.S. flights!

How To Get Maximum Value When Redeeming Points for U.S. Domestic Flights

You may get the greatest value for your points when you use them for typically expensive flights, whether that’s domestic or international. Among the numerous types of vacations you can book within the U.S., 2 that are known to be the most expensive are beach vacations and ski vacations.

If you live in a cold area and find yourself frequently looking for sunny places to escape to like Hawaii, California, and Florida, you will inevitably come across a situation where plane tickets are ridiculously expensive.

Similarly, if you’re booking a ski vacation during the peak winter high season, it’s not surprising to shell out thousands of dollars for flights and hotels.

As with all points redemptions, you should always compare the cash price with the points price to determine if it’s a good deal (and by extension, whether you should use points or cash).

In the case of U.S. domestic redemptions, don’t worry about hitting that crazy 10 cents-per-point redemption sweet spot, because it’s not going to happen.

When redeeming points for domestic flights, you’ll typically achieve a redemption value similar to the accepted valuations, though you might sometimes get a better-than-expected outcome. You might also get a lower redemption value, but chances are you’ll always get at least 1 cent per point of value.

In this next section, we’ll show you some of the best ways to use your points for U.S. domestic flights.

Best Ways To Earn Points for U.S. Domestic Redemptions

For domestic travel, you’ll want to earn points and miles you can use with U.S. carriers. Because of the way U.S. frequent flyer programs such as United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles work, it’s a bit more challenging to redeem partner airline miles for travel on a U.S. airline.

For example, Delta SkyMiles’s dynamic award pricing system makes it extremely difficult to suss out which award tickets are bookable by partners. Its mileage prices are mostly reasonable for domestic travel, anyway.

Best Ways To Earn Points for United Airlines Flights

United MileagePlus is a 1:1 Chase transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards and Bilt Rewards.

In addition, it’s a 3:1.1 transfer partner with Marriott Bonvoy (which also offers a 5,500-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred).

Lastly, numerous co-branded credit cards enable you to earn United miles directly.

But broadly speaking, the best way to earn United miles is via Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards, which can transfer points to United MileagePlus. Here are our recommended picks:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Best Ways To Earn Points for Delta Air Lines Flights

Delta SkyMiles is a 1:1 Amex transfer partner within the American Express Membership Rewards program.

Also, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Amex also offers a variety of co-branded credit cards to earn Delta SkyMiles.

You can certainly accumulate a lot of Delta SkyMiles with the co-branded cards, but it’s easier to earn more miles on everyday spending with Amex Membership Rewards cards. Here are some recommended cards you can consider opening:

BEST LOUNGE ACCESS
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Amex Platinum reigns supreme for luxury travel, offering the best airport lounge access plus generous statement credits, and complimentary elite status.
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
80,000 points
$1,760
$695
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cards that offer top-notch benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better card out there than The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Make no mistake — the Amex Platinum card is a premium card with a premium price tag. With amazing benefits like best-in-class airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and tremendous value in annual statement credits, it can easily prove to be one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet year after year.

Pros
  • The best airport lounge access out of any card (by far) — enjoy access to over 1,400 worldwide lounges, including the luxurious Amex Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and many more!
  • 5x points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or with AmexTravel.com (up to $500,000 per year)
  • 5x points per dollar spent on prepaid hotels booked with AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • $695 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Airline credit does not cover airfare (only incidentals like checked bags)
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

BEST FOR DINING
American Express® Gold CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
60,000 points
$1,320
$250
See Pay Over Time APR
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.

With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.

There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.

Pros
  • 4x points per dollar at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
  • 4x points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases; and 1x thereafter
  • 3x points per dollar on flights purchased directly from airlines or at AmexTravel.com
Cons
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Express Membership Rewards

Best Ways To Earn Points for American Airlines Flights

American Airlines AAdvantage has a 1:1 transfer partner in Bilt Rewards, but its primary transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which transfers at a 3:1 ratio to American Airlines AAdvantage with a bonus of 5,000 miles after every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred.

Also, Barclays and Citi both issue co-branded American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards to earn AAdvantage miles directly:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)
Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
50,000 miles
$700
$99, waived for first 12 months
21.24% - 29.99% Variable

Blue skies and fair winds make for a good day to fly! Choosing your airline can be difficult, since factors like location, time, and destination all go into whether or not you can fly somewhere.

An easy choice for many people is American Airlines, because they’re the largest airline in the world. If you’re an American, you’ve probably flown American Airlines at least once.

Frequent fliers tend to enjoy the treatment they can get, from boarding privileges to free bags to lounge access. There’s many reasons to fly with AA, and if so then getting a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® could be for you.

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Program

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.
Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
70,000 miles
$980
$595
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a go-to card thanks to its exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines. With a complimentary Admirals Club membership, free checked bags, inflight discounts, and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for every $1 you spend, there is plenty to love about the card.

Pros
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible car rentals booked through aa.com/cars
  • Earn 10 miles per $1 spent on eligible hotels booked through aa.com/hotels
Cons
  • $595 annual fee
  • Doesn’t earn many miles on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $7,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on American Airlines flights and at grocery stores, all without needing to pay an annual fee.
Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
10,000 miles
$140
$0
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp® is perfectly suited for those looking for a way to earn more American Airlines miles and earn Loyalty Points, all without needing to pay an annual fee.

Pros
  • 2x mile per $1 on American Airlines and grocery store purchases
  • 1x mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases
Cons
  • Other cards are more rewarding for frequent American Airlines flyers
  • Charges a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flight
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A low annual fee, a free checked bag, and tons of perks and discounts make this card valuable for business owners who travel.

Learn More(at Citi's secure site)
A low annual fee, a free checked bag, and tons of perks and discounts make this card valuable for business owners who travel.
For a limited time, earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first 5 months of account opening.
75,000 miles
$1,050
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99
21.24% - 29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

With the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, you get a card that gives you perks like boarding privileges, free checked bags, and discounts on inflight purchases, while also earning more miles for your next award redemption.

Pros
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases
  • 2x miles per $1 spent on cable and satellite providers, at gas stations, on car rentals, and on select telecommunications merchants
  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cons
  • $99 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable rewards
  • Designed for businesses
  • For a limited time, earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first 5 months of account opening.
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries to reduce travel costs and boost your bottom line.
  • 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24% - 29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program

Best Ways To Earn Points for Alaska Airlines Flights

Similar to American Airlines AAdvantage, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan does not have any 1:1 transfer partners; indeed, the only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, which follows the same transfer ratio of 3:1 with a 5,000-mile bonus after transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Bank of America is the sole issuer of co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards, which offers one of the best ways to earn Alaska Airlines miles:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!

Provides the potential to earn plenty of miles to fly with Alaska Airlines or over a dozen partners. Plus, get an annual companion fare from just $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23)!
Get 60,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
60,000 bonus + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™
$960
$95
20.24% - 28.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

With the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card in your wallet, you could get great perks and earn miles at the same time. This is a win-win if Alaska is the airline you prefer to fly with! Plus, its annual companion fare is a great benefit for traveling couples.

Pros
  • 3x miles per $1 spent on Alaska purchases
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  • 1x mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cons
    • $95 annual fee
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  • Free checked bag for you and up to 6 guests on the same reservation – that’s a savings of $70 per person roundtrip!
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The 15 Best U.S. Domestic Redemptions

When you’re booking a flight on a U.S. airline such as United, your first instinct should be to redeem miles belonging to that airline (United MileagePlus miles in this example).

Using an airline’s miles to book will almost always steer you in the right direction. But if you have extra time and are willing to try to find partner award availability (particularly for premium cabin domestic flights), you may be able to cut down on the number of points you spend by up to 50%!

That American Airlines flight that costs 50,000 AA miles? You could possibly get that same flight booked for 32,500 Amex Membership Rewards points! That United Airlines flight that costs 50,000 miles? You might be able to get the same ticket booked for 15,000 Citi ThankYou Points!

To be clear, this generally only works on select premium cabin flights; you’ll still find the vast majority of availability when booking using the U.S. airline’s frequent flyer program. And in most cases, the mileage prices are reasonable enough to warrant booking through these programs.

Enough talk — let’s get into our top U.S. domestic redemptions you can make for maximum value.

We’ll dip our toes in partner-level award tickets for premium cabin redemptions early in this section, but we’ll focus on the cheapest realistic price you’ll find on a given domestic flight without worrying about the lowest theoretical price you’d find if you spent all day looking for partner award space.

Let’s get started!

1. United Transcontinental Polaris Class

United Polaris Business Class Seat on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
One of the top U.S. domestic redemptions you can book is United’s transcontinental Polaris class with Turkish Airlines miles! Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Our top redemption on this list also happens to be one of the most difficult to pull off in practice, but if you can pull it off, you’re getting a steal of a flight using points.

Usually, United charges 25,000 miles for Saver-level Polaris class availability on transcontinental flights.

But if you book your flights through Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles (a Bilt Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy transfer partner), you can book one-way business class flights for 15,000 points!

That’s a savings of 40% of your points! And if you’re fine flying in coach, one-way economy tickets cost just 7,500 points!

Hot Tip: The challenge in pulling off this sweet spot redemption is in finding Saver-level availability. United is extremely stingy in releasing Saver-level Polaris class award space on transcontinental routes. Keep your dates as flexible as possible!

Check out some of these nonstop transcontinental routes you can fly aboard United Polaris class:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK) one-way in United’s transcontinental Polaris class for 15,000 Turkish miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Newark (EWR) one-way in United’s transcontinental Polaris class for 15,000 Turkish miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – New York (JFK) one-way in United’s transcontinental Polaris class for 15,000 Turkish miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Newark (EWR) one-way in United’s transcontinental Polaris class for 15,000 Turkish miles + $6 in taxes and fees

Hot Tip: Need to earn more Citi points? Check out our complete guide to the best ways to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

2. American Airlines Flagship First

American Airlines Flagship First Class
American Airlines’ Flagship First is an elite premium cabin product reserved for select flights in the U.S. market. Image Credit: Stephen Au

One of the most comfortable ways you can fly in the U.S. is aboard American Airlines’ Flagship First product, which is only offered on A321T and 777-300ER aircraft.

Traditionally offered on select premium transcontinental flights, the cash prices that these flights command are immense (think $1,500 one-way).

Normally, American charges 50,000 miles for a one-way Flagship First ticket on a Saver award ticket, which actually isn’t a bad deal considering the high cash prices.

But if you are looking for the best deals possible and can be flexible, you can find Saver award space on American’s website and book that same ticket using Etihad Guest miles (transferred from Amex, Capital One, Citi, or Marriott Bonvoy) to save big!

In general, American Flagship First Saver award space is more generous than United’s transcontinental Polaris class Saver award space, so you probably have a better chance of booking the flight you want by using Etihad Guest miles.

For this flight, expect to redeem around 32,500 Etihad Guest miles one-way.

Here are a few example redemptions you can make:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Miami (MIA) one-way in American Flagship First for 32,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK) one-way in American Flagship First for 32,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – New York (JFK) one-way in American Flagship First for 32,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Santa Ana (SNA) – New York (JFK) one-way in American Flagship First for 32,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees

3. American Airlines Lie-flat Business Class

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class seat 4L
American Airlines’ Flagship Business is one of the most comfortable ways to fly around the U.S. Image Credit: Stephen Au

In addition to a top-quality first class product, American also offers a great business class product, should you be interested in booking lie-flat seats.

The benefit of Flagship Business is that it can be a bit cheaper than Flagship First. Plus, it’s easier to find a Flagship Business product, thanks to its offerings on other 777 and 787 aircraft.

On select domestic flights, you can find lie-flat business class seats akin to what you’d encounter on a long-haul international flight, which will maximize your comfort.

Here are the best routes you’ll often find lie-flat business class seats on:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Honolulu (HNL) one-way in American Flagship Business for 37,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 55,000 miles for Saver-level availability
  • Dallas (DFW) – Honolulu (HNL) one-way in American Flagship Business for 37,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 55,000 miles for Saver-level availability
  • Dallas (DFW) – Kahului (OGG) one-way in American Flagship Business for 37,500 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 55,000 miles for Saver-level availability
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Miami (MIA) one-way in American Flagship Business for 25,000 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 25,000 miles for Saver-level availability
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK) one-way in American Flagship Business for 25,000 Etihad Guest miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 25,000 miles for Saver-level availability
  • San Francisco (SFO) – New York (JFK) one-way in American Flagship Business for 25,000 Etihad Guest miles transferred from Amex or Citi + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American charges 25,000 miles for Saver-level availability

4. Delta First Class to Hawaii

Delta Airbus A220 First Class Seats 3A 3B
Fly Delta first class to Hawaii using Amex points! Image Credit: Greg Stone

Flying Delta to Hawaii is often the most convenient option, in addition to a great quality product. The diamond-stitched leather seats, warm service, and edible catering options make this one of the better airlines to fly nonstop to Hawaii.

The catch? It’s really difficult to book these flights using partner miles such as Air France-KLM Flying Blue miles. To maximize your odds of booking these tickets, you ought to accumulate Delta SkyMiles or Amex or Marriott Bonvoy points (which can then be transferred to Delta).

The great news is that Delta is excellent about offering a “baseline value” for your points, so while redeeming Delta SkyMiles may not theoretically be the cheapest option, you’ll probably get at least 1.2 cents per point of value, often more.

Here are some of Delta’s terrific routes to Hawaii:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Honolulu (HNL) one-way in Delta One/Delta first class from 127,500 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Lihue (LIH) one-way in Delta One/Delta first class from 51,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) – Kahului (OGG) one-way in Delta first class from 62,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Seattle (SEA) – Kona (KOA) one-way in Delta One/Delta first class from 54,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees

5. Nonstop Flights to Aspen

Aspen
Aspen is a fantastic year-round destination you can visit using points. Image Credit: Evan Wise via Unsplash

Planning a ski vacation to Aspen? Depending on which airport you fly out of, you could see large cash price tags upwards of $400 one-way!

Fortunately, it’s easy to use points to avoid paying hundreds of dollars for a short-haul domestic flight to Aspen.

United, American, and Delta all offer nonstop flights. If you can get 2 cents per point of value on this trip, consider it a success!

Here are some of the best nonstop flights available to Aspen:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Aspen (ASE) in Delta economy class from 29,500 Delta SkyMiles + ~$6 in taxes and fees miles
  • Austin (AUS) – Aspen (ASE) in American economy class for 12,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) – Aspen (ASE) in United economy class for 14,200 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American economy class is also bookable for 12,500 AAdvantage miles
  • Dallas (DFW) – Aspen (ASE) in American economy class for 12,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Denver (DEN) – Aspen (ASE) in United economy class for 15,000 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Aspen (ASE) in United economy class for 12,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • American economy class is also bookable for 12,500 AAdvantage miles
    • Delta economy class is also bookable from 19,500 Delta SkyMiles
  • Phoenix (PHX) – Aspen (ASE) in American economy class for 7,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees

Hot Tip: Be prepared for your next trip to the Rockies with our guide to airline ski/snowboard baggage policies and ultimate ski and snowboard trip packing list. Learn more about the 2 passes that cover Aspen Snowmass in our ultimate guide to season ski passes around the world.

6. Nonstop First Class Flights to Vail

Vail Ski Resort
Get your ski on by using points to avoid paying cash for your travels! Image Credit: Vail Resorts Management Company

Booking a ski trip to Vail can get ridiculously expensive, just like booking a ski trip to Aspen.

And while there are differences, there’s no way to get around it — you’ll be spending quite a bit of money here.

The closest airport to Vail is Eagle County (EGE), and there are many nonstop flights operated by the big 3 U.S. airlines.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Eagle County (EGE) in Delta first class from 41,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Denver (DEN) – Eagle County (EGE) in United first class from 25,000 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Eagle County (EGE) in United first class from 25,000 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Eagle County (EGE) in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Eagle County (EGE) in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Eagle County (EGE) in United first class from 25,000 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees

7. Nonstop First Class Flights to Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole
Enjoying Jackson Hole’s beautiful nature and scenery is one of the best ways to use points in the U.S. Image Credit: Aleesha Wood via Unsplash

Jackson Hole is known for its outdoorsy and rugged terrain, as well as the annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium that hosts dozens of Federal Reserve and finance professionals.

Often voted as the best ski resort location in North America, it’s no surprise that the idea of flying to Jackson Hole for a domestic vacation has probably crossed your mind.

Well, hesitate no longer because those traditionally expensive flights are now almost free, thanks to points!

All of the Big 3 U.S. carriers operate flights out of their hub airports to Jackson Hole (JAC). If you’re interested in the best deal, American and United offer reasonable fares, while Delta tends to be the priciest.

Here are some of the best example redemptions you can make:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Jackson Hole (JAC) one-way in Delta first class from 55,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Boston (BOS) – Jackson Hole (JAC) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Dallas (DFW) – Jackson Hole (JAC) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Houston (IAH) – Jackson Hole (JAC) one-way in United first class from 27,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Newark (EWR) – Jackson Hole (JAC) one-way in United first class from 50,000 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees

8. Nonstop Flights to Alaska

Alaska
Alaska offers a fantastic getaway, but can be expensive if paying for your flights using cash. Image Credit: Zetong Li via Unsplash

Alaska’s scenery and wildlife are often associated with storybook imagery and picturesque wilderness you’d only find in high-budget Hollywood movies.

Whether it’s glaciers, fjords, rivers, national parks, wildlife spotting, or rugged activities like fishing, a trip to Alaska will make you one with nature.

But getting to Alaska can be expensive — most of the flights from the continental U.S. you’ll find fly into Anchorage (ANC), and depending on when you fly, you might observe economy ticket prices exceeding $500 one-way!

Here are some solid redemptions you can make on flights to Alaska:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Anchorage (ANC) one-way in Delta economy from 34,500 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Chicago (ORD) – Fairbanks (FAI) one-way in United economy from 18,100 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Houston (IAH) – Anchorage (ANC) one-way in United economy for 18,800 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Anchorage (ANC) one-way in Delta economy from 24,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees

9. Nonstop Flights to Yellowstone

Yellowstone
Visit entrancing Yellowstone using points! Image Credit: Denys Nevozhai via Unsplash

A visit to Yellowstone National Park is one of the glorious trips you can book within the U.S. As the first national park in the U.S. and also widely accepted to be the first national park in the world, making a vacation to enjoy the natural wonders of Yellowstone is a must-do.

To check out Old Faithful and all of its surrounding attractions, you can fly into Bozeman (BZN). Here are a few great redemptions you can make using points:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Bozeman (BZN) one-way in Delta economy class from 23,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Charlotte (CLT) – Bozeman (BZN) one-way in American economy class from 10,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Houston (IAH) – Bozeman (BZN) one-way in United economy class from 12,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Bozeman (BZN) one-way in United economy class from 12,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees

10. Short-haul Flights Between the Midwest and the Northeast

Maine
Book a flight from the Midwest to the scenic Atlantic Northeast with points. Image Credit: Mercedes Mehling via Unsplash

The Northeast is home to some of America’s most quaint towns. And although visiting states like Maine and Massachusetts isn’t quite as popular as Florida or California, it’s still definitely worth a look.

Here are some great example domestic redemptions you can make:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Burlington (BTV) one-way in United economy class from 12,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Milwaukee (MKE) – Portland (PWM) one-way in United economy class from 12,500 United miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – Pittsburgh (PIT) one-way in Delta economy class from 16,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Rapid City (RAP) – New York (LGA) one-way in American economy class from 12,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • St. Louis (STL) – Boston (BOS) one-way in American economy class from 12,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees

11. Short-haul Flights Within the Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest
For a short flight within the Pacific Northwest, using points could save you a good chunk of change. Image Credit: Dave Hoefler via Unsplash

If you’ve ever looked at ultra-short-haul flights within the Pacific Northwest, you’ll know that Alaska Airlines basically has a monopoly on these routes. Furthermore, these plane tickets are often very expensive when you take into account how short they are.

So if you’re booking a short-haul flight within the Northwest, you can redeem either Alaska miles or Delta SkyMiles to save a few hundred dollars:

  • Boise (BOI) – Spokane (GEG) in Alaska economy class from 5,000 Alaska miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Eugene (EUG) – Salt Lake City (SLC) in Delta economy class from 12,500 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Portland (PDX) – Kalispell (FCA) in Alaska economy class from 5,000 Alaska miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Seattle (SEA) – Sun Valley (SUN) in Alaska economy class from 5,000 Alaska miles + $6 in taxes and fees

12. Intra-Florida Flights

Florida
If you’re booking a short hop flight within Florida, using points could be a good deal! Image Credit: Denys Kostyuchenko via Unsplash

Need to travel within Florida and can’t take a car?

If you’re using points, chances are you’ll get a good deal booking American economy flights with AAdvantage miles.

Here are a few solid redemption ideas:

  • Key West (EYW) – Miami (MIA) one-way in American economy class from 7,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Pensacola (PNS) one-way in American economy class from 12,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Tallahassee (TLH) – Miami (MIA) one-way in American economy class from 7,500 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees

13. First Class Between the West Coast and Nashville

Nashville
Save a bundle by using points to book your flight from the West Coast to Nashville. Image Credit: djgmix via Pixabay

Nashville is a fast-growing city. Known to be an incredible music mecca, Tennessee’s economic hub is a popular domestic vacation spot.

Here are some examples of nonstop first class flights you can book using points:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Nashville (BNA) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
    • Delta first class is also available from 44,000 Delta SkyMiles
  • Phoenix (PHX) – Nashville (BNA) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) – Nashville (BNA) one-way in Delta first class from 44,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Nashville (BNA) one-way in United first class from 45,300 United miles + ~$6 in taxes and fees
  • Seattle (SEA) – Nashville (BNA) one-way in Delta first class from 26,500 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees

14. First Class Between the Upper Midwest and Phoenix

Phoenix
Escape the cold Midwest and book a desert vacation today using points. Image Credit: Kyle Kempt via Unsplash

The winter season in the Midwest can get blisteringly cold. To avoid being cooped up in your house all day, go ahead and make your way down to Phoenix. The weather is much warmer year-round, and American offers tons of nonstop flights.

To book first class, you’ll redeem around 25,000 AAdvantage miles. Here are a few interesting nonstop flights you can book:

  • Bismarck (BIS) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Columbus (CMH) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Fargo (FAR) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Grand Rapids (GRR) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Indianapolis (IND) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Milwaukee (MKE) – Phoenix (PHX) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees

15. First Class Between the South and Las Vegas

Las Vegas
First class flights between the South and Las Vegas are quite pricey! Image Credit: Pexels via Pixabay

Our last redemption in this guide is booking first class flights for a short vacation to Las Vegas!

There are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas besides gambling, like shows and live entertainment, resort hopping, sightseeing, and sunbathing!

Flying in first class can be affordable — check out these sample redemptions:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in Delta first class from 61,000 Delta SkyMiles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Austin (AUS) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Charlotte (CLT) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Dallas (DFW) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Las Vegas (LAS) one-way in American first class from 25,000 AAdvantage miles + $6 in taxes and fees

Final Thoughts

In short, redeeming points and miles for U.S. domestic travel won’t net you those ultra-aspirational redemption values you’d find on international flights aboard Emirates or Lufthansa first class. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve excellent redemption value domestically!

To maximize your redemption value, the best flights to book are transcontinental or Hawaii flights aboard lie-flat-configured aircraft with true premium seats. These tickets are much more comfortable than your run-of-the-mill domestic recliner seat with enhanced legroom.

But if you would prefer not to visit a major coastal city, you can also redeem points to check out Nashville, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Yellowstone, Aspen, Jackson Hole, and much more.

The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best ways to redeem points for domestic U.S. travel?

Our top 4 favorite ways to redeem points for domestic U.S. travel are:

  1. Book United’s transcontinental Polaris class using Turkish Airlines miles transferred from Bilt, Capital One, Citi, or Marriott Bonvoy
  2. Book American Airlines Flagship First coast-to-coast using Etihad Guest miles transferred from Amex, Capital One, Citi, or Marriott Bonvoy
  3. Book American Airlines lie-flat business class using Etihad Guest miles transferred from Amex, Capital One, Citi, or Marriott Bonvoy
  4. Book Delta first class to Hawaii using Delta SkyMiles transferred from Amex or Marriott Bonvoy

What is the best way to use Chase points for domestic travel?

One of our top ways to use Chase points for domestic travel is to transfer them to United MileagePlus. You can then redeem United miles for domestic flights.

What is the best way to use Amex points for domestic flights?

Our 2 favorite ways to use Amex points for domestic travel are:

  1. Transferring them to Etihad Guest to book American Airlines Flagship Business or Flagship First
  2. Transferring them to Delta SkyMiles to book Delta economy or first class

By following either of these, you can readily book flights on both American Airlines and Delta!

Should I use miles for domestic flights?

In general, it’s best to save your points and miles for international flights. That being said, if you can find a good deal for your miles, go ahead and use them!

How many points is a domestic flight?

With American AAdvantage miles, you may redeem anywhere from 7,500 to 12,500 miles for an economy flight. With United, that number is usually closer to 12,500 miles. With Delta, a domestic flight might be as cheap as 7,000 SkyMiles or as expensive as 40,000+ SkyMiles. Alaska Airlines charges as few as 5,000 miles for flights shorter than 500 miles in distance.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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