Redemption: 2 economy tickets from San Diego -> Europe
Total Cost: 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles + $22 (taxes&fees). This was before they recently devalued their award chart, new cost would be 45,000 AA miles)
Booked: 5 months in advance
Earned from: 1 Citi AAdvantage Platinum Card w/ 50,000 Bonus miles after spending $3000.
Spend was accomplished by: Citi Checking Account Funding (unfortunately no longer available)
Opportunity Cost (cost of acquiring miles or points): $0
Notes: We searched for American Airlines off-peak Miles SAAver awards from LAX, LGB, SNA, & SAN, since these airports were easily accessible to us. Even when searching 5 months in advance, availability was limited because OFF-PEAK awards redemptions cost 1/3 fewer Miles than PEAK season. Fortunately We found SAN(San Diego) to Italy in late April. Lastly, at the time we were searching, availability was much great for travel during PEAK season.