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Fees on Reward Travel to Europe!

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I've recently learned a hard lesson that I wanted to share with the forum. We've been Frontier Airlines (for domestic flights) AAdvantage card holders (Central America, etc.) for quite some time. We are planning our first ever family trip to Europe for the three of us for travel in November this year, and I was hoping to use award miles for at least two of the tickets. I was thrilled to note that we could get a RT ticket to Spain in off-season for a mere 40K points from American! Woo-hoo! I did check availability and it looked good. Based on this info, I signed up for new Advantage cards to acquire bonus points.

Mistake number one: Not checking out the FEES involved before making a decision on which airline award card to acquire. You won't know this until you actually get to the point of purchase of the award ticket.

Yes, AA charges a mere 40K points for a RT ticket to Europe off-peak AND about $650 in fees per ticket! That adds up to almost $2,000 in fees for our three tickets!

Mistake number two: Then assuming all airlines must charge similar fees for similar tickets to Europe.

Au contraire. United Airlines charges more points - 60K RT, but much lower fees - approx $95 in fees per ticket!

I may be missing even better deals. I have no idea because I can't find any charts out there that compare points AND fees. If anyone knows of such a chart, please share the URL.

Thanks!

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