This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CardRatings.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. What is written in the article is the editor's opinion.
Thanks to Frequent Miler for posting this “Quick Deal!”
It certainly did go quick.
I saw Business Class award availability shrink away from me with the Wicked Witch of the East’s shoes when the house fell on top of her.
But First Class seats were still there – at least 2 of them – and I thought, you know, whatever. And just did it. DFW-NRT First Class on American Airlines. And ITM-NRT-DFW coming back.
At least I got in on this one during its prime time unlike the ~$747 AA Business Class ticket to Barcelona (which still ended up being a very good deal).
This trip cost 62,500 American Airlines miles each way, but I got back 10,000 miles for having the Citi AA credit card.
In total, I paid 120,000 American Airlines miles round-trip.
I wish it were on JAL, or Cathay Pacific, instead of AA, but oh well. It’s in the middle of cherry blossom season. I hope these dates are lucky so I’ll be able to see cherry blossoms during Japan’s spring.
By the numbers
Y’all know I love running numbers after the fact.
I added in a domestic flight on JAL found on BA.com.
At retail, these flights would’ve cost ~$7,179.
Jay is going, too. He added on a DFW-LGA segment in Biz for $0 extra, so his got even more value from his miles.
And booking First was a great way to redeem them. I got 6 cents of value out of each one, which is triple my minimum for redeeming miles.
It’s nothing like the 12-14cpm some folks have gotten. But the dates worked. And I’ve also wanted to visit Tokyo for a long time. So for me, it’s worth it.
No hotels in Tokyo were available with points. Like, nothing. So I settled for the Hilton Tokyo‘s paid rate.
Room rates were pretty high – ~$499 a night. But I booked a refundable room rate via Citi Travel Concierge, so will get the 4th night free. Between Jay and me, it works out to ~$748 per person for 6 nights in Japan, or ~$125 per night. The last 2 nights in Osaka are free with IHG points.
And it’s all able to be canceled, so I’ll be on the lookout for ways to get this number down.
I mostly booked these to prevent the price from going up any more. Because the other chain hotels I looked at were even higher. And I presume it’ll keep going up closer to time because it’s an extremely popular time to visit.
And, there’s always Airbnb.
The wrench now is that… well, a funny thing happened.
The Citi agent misspelled my last name. So I called Hilton to correct it.
The Hilton rep changed my room rate to a Triple points room rate.
And there’s also the Double Points promo running through the end of April.
So according to the Hilton Points Calculator, I’ll get 16,440 base points for the stay.
- Triple base points would be 49,320 points
- Plus another 16,440 points with the Double Points promo
- Plus another 16,440 points for being Hilton Diamond
That adds up to 82,200 Hilton points for the stay. Pretty cool – I could squeeze at least 2 nights out of mid-tier property with that. Or more at a lower-tier hotel.
Not to mention the free breakfast and access to the Executive Lounge I’ll get for having Diamond elite status.
And the 3X Citi ThankYou points I’ll get from booking with Citi Prestige. And if I decide to keep these rates as-is, I’ll add it to my Citi Prestige by the Numbers page before I go.
I’m heading off to Martinique next week and already have another trip to look forward to. So excited for Japan! My first time in Asia.
I’m proud of what I was able to cobble together in a couple of hours.
It’s not Cathay Pacific First Class and I didn’t get to burn any Hilton points or pull any other aspirational-type shenanigans. But when it came down to it, I saw this as a way to visit Japan during a busy time.
And, all things considered, I got a good price.
I’ll be on the lookout for cheaper accommodations. But I’m pleased with the flights. And glad to be off-loading these AA miles to Asia, too. Because starting March 22, 2016, these flights will cost even more.
Did anyone else book a flight and burn some American Airlines miles?
Let me know if you’ve stayed at the Hilton Tokyo, too – I’d love to find cool things to do in the neighborhood or nearby!
BEST Current Credit Card Deals
- Chase Ink Business Preferred - Earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 3X bonus points for travel, internet, cable, and phone service
- Chase Sapphire Preferred - Earn 50,000 Chase points with the BEST card for beginners
- Chase Ink Business Cash - Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and 5X bonus points for office supplies, internet, cable, and phone service with NO annual fee
Support me by opening one of my favorite credit cards for award travel!