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This isn’t just an Admirals Club update, it’s an all out reincarnation.
With your invitation in hand, hit the elevator button for the second floor, and prepare to be wowed, American style. Gone are the days of the stale and desperately impotent lounge offerings by U.S. carriers for International business and first class passengers. American is bringing some hardcore game. Fresh décor, Bollinger champagne bars, and drop dead gorgeous looking and fantastic tasting food. Let’s take a look at the American Airlines Flagship Lounge Chicago, ORD.
If you couldn’t tell by my intro…I was impressed. Two greeters stand outside of automatic doors to collect your invitation, and as those doors open, Flagship is revealed. Fresh, modern, spacious, and very well staffed. This is a lounge that competes with foreign competitors.
Turn left and head on to the dining area.
You’ll immediately see a champagne and wine bar. Bollinger is served.
The food is delicious, handsomely presented, and in copious amounts. There was also a great omelet station. I felt like I was in the restaurant of a great hotel, not an American Airlines lounge.
The bar? Top shelf and smaller producers.
Detail distinguishes the ordinary from the exceptional, and it’s clear to see that AA has paid attention to the details.
We were there during prime morning hours, and while the lounge was crowded, there was ample room. Hopefully the admittance of both One World Sapphires and Emeralds, as well as International biz and first passengers, doesn’t diminish the lounge with foot traffic. If it’s like it was today, in the future, it’ll be a bit crowded, but not overwhelmingly so.
Glass tile, Large stalls, and C.O. Bigelow products. Who can complain?
I can’t wait to come back, and have the LA lounge open up. If it’s anything like this one, which I’d imagine it will be, it’ll save me a trek to Tom Bradley if my flight departs out of terminal 4. I was very impressed, and if AA continues to develop lounges at this caliber, they’ll be a solid competitor internationally.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
In Chase branch: 70k Points after $4k spend in 3 months ( make appt with banker –Information about this card has been collected independently by Monkey Miles. Card issuer is not responsible for the information or accuracy.)
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.