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American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program  

From earning miles to redeeming rewards, discover how the American Airlines AAdvantage program works.

It’s easy to earn rewards with the airline’s AAdvantage frequent-flyer program if you often fly with American Airlines. Even if you’re not taking a flight, you can earn AAdvantage miles on other travel costs including hotels and car rentals. Once you’ve earned enough miles, you can redeem them for flight rewards, upgrades, holiday packages and more.

How much are AAdvantage miles worth?

According to the American Airline’s site at the time of writing, AAdvantage miles can be worth up to 1.5 cents each, but the value depends on the flight class and whether miles are redeemed for MileSAAver or AAnytime tickets.

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The number of miles you earn depends on the date, route and ticket fare class. You may earn more miles depending on the AAdvantage status class you’re in.

StatusEarn rate
AAdvantage member5 miles per $1
Gold member7 miles per $1
Platinum member8 miles per $1
Platinum Pro member9 miles per $1
Executive Platinum member11 miles per $1

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

You can also earn miles when you fly with partner airlines in the Oneworld Alliance including:

British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Japan Airlines
LATAM Brasil
Malaysia Airlines
Qatar Airways
Royal Jordanian Airlines
S7 Airlines
Sri Lankan Airlines

Although they’re not in the Oneworld Alliance, you can also earn miles with the following partner airlines:

Air Tahiti Nui
Alaska Airlines
Cape Air
Etihad Airways
Fiji Airways
Gulf Air
Hawaiian Airlines
Jet Airways
Seaborne Airlines

Earning miles on these airlines is only possible if your booked flight has an AA flight number.

You can usually expect AAdvantage miles to appear in your account within one to three days of travel with American Airlines, but you’ll have to allow between 15 to 30 days for the miles to be credited to your account if your flight was with a partnered airline.

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Compare credit cards that earn miles

You can earn American Airlines miles with cobranded AAdvantage credit cards from Citi and Barclays, or you can use a hotel credit card to transfer the points you earn to miles. These cards can also offer other perks, like access to Admirals Club lounges.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Earn 80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Also, earn another 50,000 points after spending a total of $5,000 in the first 6 months.
7x points on eligible Hilton purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other eligible purchases
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Terms apply, see rates & fees
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
150,000 points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Up to 25x points total at IHG hotels, 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1x points on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 intro annual fee ($89 after the first year) and 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, at gas stations and restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Buy miles

You can purchase AAdvantage miles if you don’t have enough miles in your account for a desired reward. You can purchase a minimum of 2,000 miles for $59 and a maximum of 150,000 miles for $4,460. You can compare a full list of the costs on the American Airlines website.

AAdvantage sometimes offers bonus miles when you purchase them, so keep an eye out for these offers to get more bang for your buck.

You can also transfer miles between accounts, which could come in handy if you and a partner or colleague are saving up points for a trip.

Hotels stays

You can earn miles on your stay when you provide your American Airlines AAdvantage number at check-in. This includes partner and featured hotels:

  • American Airlines Hotels
  • Best Western Hotels and Resorts
  • Choice Hotels
  • Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels and Resorts
  • IHG
  • La Quinta Inns and Suites
  • Langham Hospitality Group
  • Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton
  • Melia Hotels International
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • The New Otani Club
  • Okura-Nikko Hotels and Resorts
  • Palace Resorts
  • PointsHound
  • Preferred Hotels and Resorts
  • Radisson Hotel Group
  • Rocketmiles
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Universal
  • Wyndham Hotels

Car rentals

You can earn AAdvantage miles with the following car rental companies:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Carmel
  • Dollar
  • Europcar
  • ExecuCar
  • GroundLink
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Payless
  • PreFlight
  • Sixt
  • SuperShuttle
  • Thrifty
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Do my AAdvantage miles expire?

Your AAdvantage miles only expire if your account has been inactive for 18 months. However, if they do expire, they’re gone.

When you fly with American Airlines or Oneworld member airlines, you can earn Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs). These can help you climb the AAdvantage elite and Oneworld Alliance status tiers.

Once you reach a certain tier, you get access to exclusive perks, such as bonus miles, additional baggage and upgrade opportunities. The four elite American Airlines AAdvantage status tiers are Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum.

Compare the different benefits you can expect across the tiers and how many miles you require to get there:

Tier perkGoldPlatinumPlatinum ProExecutive Platinum
  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less
  • 24-hour upgrade window
  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less
  • 48-hour upgrade window
  • Unlimited complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights over 500 miles
  • 72-hour upgrade window
  • Four one-way systemwide upgrades, with the ability to earn up to 4 more for a total of 8 per year
  • Unlimited complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights over 500 miles
  • 100-hour upgrade window
Bonus miles40%60%80%120%
Preferred seatsYesYesYesYes
Free additional checked baggageOne checked bag fee waiverTwo checked bag fee waiversTwo checked bag fee waiversThree checked bag fee waivers

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

How to earn American Airlines AAdvantage elite status

To reach elite status with American Airlines and Oneworld Alliance, you need to earn the following EQMs, EQSs and EQDs within a calendar year:

QualificationExecutive Platinum
oneworld® Emerald
Platinum Pro
oneworld® Sapphire
oneworld® Sapphire
oneworld® Ruby

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Award flights

The most obvious way to redeem your AAdvantage miles is on award travel. You can use your miles to fly with American Airlines, American Eagle or any Oneworld airline and partner airlines.

The number of miles you’ll need to redeem an award flight will depend on where you’re flying and the travel class you choose. But you can use the flight award chart on the American Airlines website to see how many miles you’ll need to redeem specific flights.

Flight upgrades

You can also use your miles to upgrade existing flights with American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. You can request to use miles to upgrade your flight at the time of booking or afterward. Keep in mind that upgrades are subject to availability.

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Cars, hotels and vacations

You can redeem AAdvantage miles on other travel costs including car rental, hotels and vacation packages.

Car rental. You can redeem a minimum of 1,000 miles for car rental with Budget and Avis.

Hotels. You can use your miles to pay for hotel stays with partnered hotels including Hilton Hotels, Marriott and Hyatt Hotels.

Vacations. You can book your entire holiday — including flights, hotels, car rentals, tours and more — using your miles. Browse your options on the American Airlines Vacations website.

Admirals Club membership

If you want to wait for your next flight in style, you can also use your miles to pay for your Admirals Club membership to get access to the exclusive American Airlines lounges. Alternatively, with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you get Admirals Club membership.

American Airlines lounges include complimentary buffets, fully-stocked bars and shower suites. Individual new membership starts at 65,000 miles.

The costs may vary depending on whether you’re renewing your membership, purchasing an individual or household membership and which elite status tier you belong to.

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Bottom line

American Airlines rewards frequent flyers with a host of redemption options, including award flights, upgrades, vacation packages and Admirals Club membership. Reaching elite status can mean boosting your miles gains and earning extra perks to make your travels smoother.

Eager travelers looking for more rewards — or those who just want to save up miles for a trip — can find several credit cards to help bump up their miles earnings even more.

Frequently asked questions

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Pictures: Shutterstock

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