Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Back to top

Flights

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

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.

Also earn miles when you fly with partner airlines in the Oneworld Alliance, including:

British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Finnair
Iberia
Japan Airlines
LATAM Brasil
LATAM Chile
Malaysia Airlines
Qantas
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
Interjet
Jet Airways
Seaborne Airlines
WestJet

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

It’s typical for 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.

Back to top

Compare credit cards that earn miles

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.

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points + 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Up to 26x points total at IHG hotels, 5x points on travel, gas stations and restaurants and 3x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 140,000 Bonus Points + 1 Free Night after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
100,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Up to 17x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x Bonvoy points on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. and 2x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
50,000 and a companion certificate after you make a purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee
2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x miles on everything else
$99
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and a companion certificate when you make a purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top

Other ways to earn American Airline miles

Buy miles

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. 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.

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

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

Earn AAdvantage miles with the following car rental companies:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Carmel
  • Dollar
  • Europcar
  • ExecuCar
  • GroundLink
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Payless
  • PreFlight
  • Sixt
  • SuperShuttle
  • Thrifty

American Airlines shopping program

Earn American Airlines miles by shopping through the AAdvantage eShopping mall program. Purchase merchandise at 950 stores — including Staples, Home Depot, AT&T TV and Internet and Hulu. At some stores, you’ll earn a fixed number of miles, whereas at other stores, you’ll earn up to nine miles per dollar. Subscribe to the program to receive emails on promotions and to earn additional bonus miles on purchases.

Back to top

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 particular 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
Upgrades
  • 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
Platinum
oneworld® Sapphire
Gold
oneworld® Ruby
EQMs100,00075,00050,00025,000
EQSs120906030
EQDs$15,000$9,000$6,000$3,000

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

Back to top

How to redeem your AAdvantage miles

Earning miles is easy if you’re an AAdvantage member or own an American Airlines cobranded credit card. But finding the best value for your miles can take some effort.

Often, MileSAAver flights will give you the highest value per mile — especially if you’re traveling abroad. Flying with Oneworld partner airlines on business or first class can give you higher redemption value than flying American Airlines within the US.

Award flights

One obvious way to redeem your AAdvantage miles is on award travel. 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. Check out the following AAdvantage miles value charts to see how many miles you’ll need to redeem specific flights.

Here are the miles required for award flights if you’re flying from a mainland US state:
How to redeem American Airlines miles-chart1
Data obtained February 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Here are the miles required for award Oneworld Alliance partner flights if you’re flying from a mainland US state:
How to redeem American Airlines miles-chart2
Data obtained February 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Tip: Avoid redeeming award flights for British Airways flights, as they have high fees and taxes on award travel.

Flight upgrades

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

Back to top

Cars, hotels and vacations

Redeem AAdvantage miles on other travel costs, including car rental, hotels and vacation packages.

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

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

Vacations. 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.

Back to top

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 boost their miles earnings even more.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between MileSAAver and AAnytime tickets?

The MileSAAver requires fewer miles to redeem, but its availability is limited. The AAnytime ticket is usually available on any flight you choose.

Which American Airlines AAdvantage elite status tier corresponds to Oneworld Alliance elite tier?

  • American Airlines AAdvantage Gold = Oneworld Ruby
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum = Oneworld Sapphire
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Pro = Oneworld Sapphire
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum = Oneworld Emerald
  • American Airlines: AAdvantage® СonciergeKey ℠ = Oneworld Emerald

How do I use AAdvantage miles for an award flight on another airline?

Redeem your AAdvantage miles on partner airlines from the Oneworld Alliance.

Back to top

Pictures: Shutterstock

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site