How To Earn 100k+ American Airlines Miles [In 90 Days]

American Airlines Planes At Gate

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As the largest airline in the world, American Airlines carries passengers to more than 190 domestic and international destinations each year. It’s also a part of the world’s second-largest airline alliance — Oneworld — that serves every inhabited continent with partners like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and others.

By joining American Airlines AAdvantage, the airline’s loyalty program, you can quickly earn miles that can then be redeemed for free travel on all Oneworld routes. And this is nothing to scoff at — American’s Oneworld partners have some of the most luxurious business and first-class products in the sky.

Better yet, by using the right strategies, it’s possible to earn as many as 100k+ miles in 90 days. So even if your account balance currently sits at a dull “0,” we can help you get to the trip of your dreams in no time at all.

Then, once you have the 100k miles in your account, check out some of the other best ways to earn even more.

Why Would You Want to Earn 100k Miles?

There’s no question that 100,000 is a TON of miles, but what can they really do for you?

How about flying Cathay Pacific first class to Hong Kong or other parts of Asia? Or Etihad Airways business class for a sunny beach vacation in The Maldives?

With 100,000 miles in your AAdvantage account, you’ll have more than enough to accomplish either of these bookings.

If you prefer to stay stateside, you’ll have enough points to fly 13 one-way, short-haul flights in North America. This can be useful for seeing family around the U.S. and Canada — especially during holidays and special events when flights are expensive.

Still need a bit of inspiration on how to use your points? Don’t worry: we’ve got an entire post dedicated to the best ways to use 100,000 AAdvantage miles that can help you pick your next vacation spot.

Whatever your reason for travel, the American AAdvantage program provides plenty of opportunities to earn miles! Let’s take a look at all the options.

1. Sign up for American Airlines Credit Cards

You can earn miles by signing up for one of the multiple American Airlines co-branded credit cards from Citi. Welcome bonuses for these cards typically range from 25k-75k points, with targeted welcome bonuses popping up fairly regularly.

Remember: you’ll need to meet the minimum spend in the first 3 months before you can receive the sign-up bonus for most of these cards. Then, you can use the same cards to earn extra American Airlines miles on all of your daily purchases, helping you inch closer to your 100k mile goal with every dollar you spend.

Do note that it can take up to 8-10 weeks after meeting the minimum spend requirements for the bonus miles to appear in your American AAdvantage account. Miles from everyday purchases will be credited at the end of each statement period, so you’ll have a steady flow of AAdvantage miles coming in daily.

As of the time of publishing this article, Citi and American Airlines have a suite of 4 different co-branded credit cards. Each card has different earning rates, flight benefits, and annual fees. We’ve outlined each card in the table below — see which one is best for your needs:

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

American Airlines has 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy. You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to American Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 AAdvantage miles bonus.

We usually don’t recommend doing this, though. You’ll generally lose value on the 3:1 transfer ratio when moving miles to American Airlines from Marriott and your points can generally reap more value when used for hotel stays and other Marriott redemptions.

However, transferring to Marriott can still be a solid option if you need to quickly top-up your AAdvantage account for a specific redemption in a pinch. Here are the credit cards you can use to quickly earn Marriott points:

Recommended Marriott Cards (Personal)

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card - earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Hot Tip: You can use our transfer partner calculator to make these calculations for you!

2. Use the American AAdvantage Dining Program

Sign up for the American Airlines Dining Program
The American Airlines Dining Program is a great way to quickly earn AAdvantage miles. Image Credit: American Airlines

Did you know you can earn extra miles when dining out? Sign up for the free American Airlines Dining Program and earn AAdvantage miles every time you eat at one of the over 11,000 participating restaurants and bars.

All you have to do is attach a credit card to your account and you will automatically earn bonus AAdvantage miles whenever you dine at a partner restaurant.

For instance, if you spend $1000 each month dining out at participating restaurants, you’ll get up to 5,000 mile per month. Plus, if your credit card earns extra points on dining purchases, you’ll still get those points in addition to the bonus points through American Airlines Dining.

The dining program frequently runs promotions for new users too. As of the time of writing this article, new members can earn 1,000 bonus AAdvantage miles by spending $25 at a participating restaurant in the first 30 days of opening an American Airlines Dining Program account.

3. Take a Trip on American Airlines (Or a Partner)

With American Airlines’ current revenue-based system, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles based on how much you pay for your ticket.

You’ll earn at least 5 miles per dollar spent, and even more with elite status. Here’s how much each status tier earns:

  • Gold — 7x
  • Platinum — 8x
  • Platinum Pro — 9x
  • Executive Platinum — 11x

During a recent search, we found a one-way ticket for a main cabin seat on American Airlines from Los Angeles (LAX) to Dallas (DFW) listed for $138.

For this flight, you would earn 690 miles. With elite status, you would earn 966 miles (Gold), 1,104 miles (Platinum), 1,242 (Platinum Pro), or 1,518 miles (Executive Platinum). Not bad, and it puts you closer to earning your 100,000 miles, especially if you’re flying on premium tickets for work or another reimbursable event.

You’ll even earn miles when you fly Oneworld partner airlines or non-alliance partner airlines. In most cases, the miles you will earn on partner airlines is based on a percentage of base miles plus a cabin bonus if applicable. Check how many miles you’ll earn by finding your partner airline and fare class on American’s website.

Earning Miles With American Airlines Partners
AAdvantage earning rates for British Airways flights. Image Credit: American Airlines

When you find your airline partner and fare class, simply multiply your flight mileage by the percentage of miles earned for your fare class.

For example, flying New York (JFK) to London (LHR) clocks in at 6,880 miles round trip. According to the chart above, booking this flight in a British Airways C class fare (Business Class) would earn 100% mileage plus a 25% cabin bonus. In the end, you’d earn 8,600 AAdvantage miles with no AAdvantage status.

American Airlines AAdvantage status holders earn an additional bonus on partner flights, too. Here’s how much each status tier earns:

  • Gold – 40%
  • Platinum – 60%
  • Platinum Pro – 80%
  • Executive Platinum – 120%

This means that Executive Platinum members would earn a whopping 18,920 AAdvantage miles on the itinerary we outlined above. That’s more than enough miles for a one-way ticket within the United States!

4. See a Show (American Airlines Audience Rewards)

Are you a Broadway fanatic? If so, it’s possible to earn up to 2,200 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per ticket. Just purchase tickets to participating productions in the Audience Rewards program to earn miles in this free program.

Depending on how often you go to shows, this can seriously rack up miles. Just buying 2 tickets to a premium show will earn you 4,400 AAdvantage miles, inching you even closer to your 100k mileage goal.

5. Use the AAdvantage eShopping Portal to Bonus Miles on Online Purchases

american aadvantage eshopping example retailers 2
Shop a variety of stores online to earn bonus AAdvantage miles. Image Credit: American Airlines

If you have an online purchase coming up, make sure you shop through the AAdvantage eShopping portal for bonus points. As of the time of writing, American Airlines partners with over 950 online stores, and everyone from eBay to Best Buy to Staples is a partner.

Each partner offers a different number of AAdvantage miles per dollar spent. To find a merchant’s earning rate, just find your merchant of choice on the portal’s website. Note that these rates change frequently based on promotions and current sales.

Now for the fun part: to use the portal to earn points, just head over to the AAdvantage eShopping portal, sign in to your AAdvantage account, and find your merchant of choice. Then, click on its store offer and you can make your purchase as normal.

Hot Tip: Be sure to finish your shopping in a single session. If you close the window or try to come back later, you won’t get your miles!
Your bonus AAdvantage miles will post to your account within a few weeks of making a purchase. You’ll get an email to confirm when cashback is earned, and you can track pending cashback on the AAdvantage eShopping website.

To earn even more AAdvantage miles, use your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® to make your purchases. You’ll earn 1 extra AAdvantage mile per dollar spent — something that can add up quickly depending on how much you shop.

6. Book a Hotel Stay Through RocketMiles

Earn AAdvantage Miles with RocketMiles
Earn more AAdvantage miles with RocketMiles. Image Credit: RocketMiles

Booking a hotel stay in the near future? Book it through American’s RocketMiles portal to earn extra points on your purchase. You’ll earn points based on how much your hotel room costs, with more expensive hotels earning more points. Currently, you can earn up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles per night.

Depending on how much you travel, RocketMiles can be super lucrative. This is especially true when you’re traveling for work and are being reimbursed for your hotel stays.

A word of warning though: you won’t earn hotel points or be eligible to use hotel elite status benefits when booking with RocketMiles. Determine whether hotel points or AAdvantage miles are of more use for you before booking your hotel room with RocketMiles.

Using Those 100k+ American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Once the 100,000 AAdvantage miles are in your AAdvantage account, you need to figure out how you want to use them.

Don’t miss our guides on the best ways to redeem AAdvantage miles and the best ways to use 100k; but here are a few more ideas to get you thinking:

U.S. to French Polynesia: You can fly Air Tahiti Nui in economy class for 40,000 AAdvantage miles or try out their business class product for 80,000 miles on your journey to French Polynesia.

Japan Airlines premium cabin: Experience luxury when you redeem 80,000 miles to fly first class to Japan on Japan Airlines. You can also try business class for 60,000 miles.

See our step by step guides for booking Japan Airlines first class and business class with AAdvantage miles.

Short U.S. flights: Book a flight of 500 miles or less within the U.S. for only 7,500 miles each way in economy. If you prefer business class, you can redeem 15,000 miles.

Hot Tip: If you’ve got 10k or fewer miles leftover after booking a great trip and you’re still itching to use them, check out our piece: The Best Ways to Use 10,000 (or Fewer) AAdvantage Miles.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, it’s not too hard to earn 100,000 AAdvantage miles. With 1 credit card welcome bonus and a mixture of everyday credit card spend, shopping portal purchases, and American Dining Program dines, you’ll be well on your way to 100k American AAdvantage miles.

Plus, check out our best ways to earn AAdvantage miles if you want more ideas to earn miles for the trip of a lifetime!


FAQ

What are the ways to earn AA miles?

The fastest way to earn miles is by signing up for American Airlines credit cards. In addition to earning miles for everyday purchases, you can qualify for attractive welcome bonus points when you’re a new cardholder.

Other ways to earn miles include making purchases from American Airlines’ partners including airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and online retailers.

Which airlines earn AAdvantage miles?

Earn AAdvantage miles when you book a flight on American Airlines or with one of their Oneworld partners: Airberlin, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, SriLankan Airlines, and S7 Airlines.

American Airlines also has 11 non-alliance partners that offer AAdvantage miles, including Hawaiian Airlines, Interjet, and Etihad Airways.

Can you earn AAdvantage miles on Alaska Airlines?

You can only earn AAdvantage miles when flying on Alaska flights that are booked on an American ticket. You cannot, however, add your American number to an Alaska Airlines ticket and earn miles.

Can you earn AA miles for past flights?

Yes, you can earn AA miles for flights purchased less than 30 days before your enrollment in the AAdvantage loyalty program. Once you’re enrolled in AAdvantage, you can request mileage credit for 12 months after a flight is purchased.

How can you earn American Airlines miles without flying?

While flying on American Airlines is a terrific strategy for earning more AAdvantage miles, it is only one of the many options for increasing your mileage balance.

For instance, making purchases in select categories with an American Airlines credit card will give you up to 2 points per $1 spent in your AAdvantage account.

American Airlines also has many travel and non-travel partners that award AAdvantage miles for purchases. For example, earn miles for joining the American Airlines Dining Program or participating in the Audience Rewards program.

What hotels earn AA miles?

In addition to RocketMiles, AAdvantage loyalty program has more than 20 partner hotels. Find a complete list of participating hotels here.

Can you earn AA miles for car rentals?

Yes, earn as many as 500 miles per rental depending on the rental car company. American Airlines has 13 car rental partners including its preferred partners Avis and Budget.

Can AA miles be earned on award flights?

No, like most airlines, American Airlines does not award AAdvantage miles for award flights.

Can you earn American Airlines miles by taking surveys?

Yes, you can earn American Airlines miles by filling out surveys in e-Rewards. Earn e-Rewards or another currency for each survey you complete and then convert them into AAdvantage miles.

When are miles credited to my account?

Miles earned for American Airlines’ purchases are typically credited to your account within 1-3 days of travel. Purchases for travel on partner airlines can take up to 15 days. Non-travel miles are usually credited to your account within 30 days.

Can I transfer my AAdvantage points to British Airways or other airlines?

You cannot transfer your AAdvantage miles to British Airways or other mileage currencies. You can, however, book flights on any of American Airlines’ partner airlines.

Andrew Kunesh

About Andrew Kunesh

Andrew was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and now splits his time between Chicago and New York City. He’s a lifelong traveler and took his first solo trip to San Francisco at the age of 16. Fast forward a few years, and Andrew now travels just over 100,000 miles a year, with over 25 countries, 10 business class products, and 2 airline statuses (United and Alaska) under his belt.

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13 comments

  1. Bernard Gasiorowski · June 7, 2018 · Reply

    I currently have a Citi AAdvantage, with renewal memberships fees soon due. If I were to close the account, how long would I have to wait until I can open a “new account” and earn all of the bonus miles for signing up for a new card? In other words, how long do I have to wait until I become a “new applicant”?

  2. Mary McCormick · July 13, 2019 · Reply

    If I am the cardholder and I want to buy airline tickets for family members traveling with me, am I able to use the bonus points for their tickets as well as mine?

    • Christine Krzyszton · July 13, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Mary. If you are referring to the miles you earn on your AAdvantage credit card, then yes, you can use those miles to purchase flights for anyone.

  3. Madison · July 20, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Christine,
    I need to finish the Hyatt/AA linked promotion of 3,000 EQMs by August 17, to keep Gold Status until 2021. Do I need to fly 3,000 miles r/t or as Gold do I only need to fly approximately 428 miles because as Gold you get 7 x miles if I am stating that correct? I feel like I need to fly 3,000 miles on AA but I am not sure.

    • Hi Madison,

      No worries – the difference between frequent flyer miles and elite qualifying miles can be confusing!

      In order to keep your gold status through 2021, you will need to earn 3,000 elite qualifying miles by actually flying with American.

      Keep in mind that, AAdvantage® members have a base of 500 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on American and oneworld® airlines (250 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on Basic Economy fares). So booking a short round-trip flight between cities like Boston and New York will earn out 1,000 elite qualifying miles, even though the distance flown is much shorter than that.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Vincent · August 6, 2019 · Reply

    DirecTV no longer has an AA promotion.

  5. Tigris23 · August 31, 2019 · Reply

    What’s the reason for leaving out the Barclays AA cards? Surely those can get a lot of pts.

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 1, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Tigris23. You are certainly correct. That’s why we provided a link for more in-depth information on all the American Airline’s branded credit cards including Barclays AA cards. Then we included the tables for just a couple of two of the most popular cards. Thanks for reading.

  6. If two different American Airline credit cards are used. Will the miles be put in one account or do they have to be transferred?

    • Hi Joe,

      If both cards are linked to the same American Airlines loyalty account, then all of the miles will be deposited there.

      Thanks for reading!

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