21 Best Ways To Earn LOTS of American Airlines AAdvantage Miles [2017]

American Airlines

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American Airlines is the world’s largest airline, with the biggest fleet and highest revenue of any airline company in the world.

Knowing this, the fact that there are so many ways to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles shouldn’t be a surprise! You definitely will not be strapped for options with this program.

In this post, you’ll find out about the benefits associated with each of the available AAdvantage miles earning cards.

Even more extensively, you’ll learn about the many different partners and tactics you can use to maximize the number of miles you earn on each purchase, with or without your AAdvantage credit card.

When we’re finished, you’ll be set up to earn tons of AAdvantage program frequent flyer miles in no time at all. Keep reading to find out how, or check out our article on earning 100k AA miles in 90 days!

Sign up for an American Airlines AAdvantage Account

Airline miles programs like AAdvantage differ from bank-established points programs (e.g., Amex Membership Rewards Points) because you do not need to have an affiliated credit card to start earning miles right away.

To start earning miles as soon as possible, simply become an AAdvantage member.

Be sure to remember the unique AAdvantage member account number they provide to you. You will use this frequently to earn miles in various ways through flight purchases, partnered businesses, and more.

All the ways to earn AAdvantage miles are outlined below.

Everyday Credit Card Spending

You have a few different ways to earn AAdvantage miles through everyday spending. These opportunities are category bonuses, the online shopping mall, the American Airlines AAdvantage dining program, show ticket rewards, and big spend bonuses.

Some of these routes to earning miles are more superfluous than others, but you can decide what works best with your spending style! What I will do is outline the different types of earnings you can expect from each.

I’ll also describe any restrictions associated with obtaining certain bonus miles offers, and I’ll include some tips to help you get as many AAdvantage miles from them as possible.

1. American Airlines Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

american airlines credit card
Use an American Airlines credit card to directly earn AAdvantage points. While there are 3 pictured, there are 4 cards available through Citi.

There are currently two credit card companies with American Airlines credit cards: Citi and Barclaycard. But you only need to worry about Citi, especially when we’re talking sign-up bonuses, because AAdvantage Barclaycard cards are no longer available.

American Airlines merged with US Airways in early 2015. With this merge, many aspects of the American AAdvantage Miles program changed, including the credit cards used directly for earning miles.

After the merger, the US Airways Dividend miles program went away. Dividend miles, for the people who had them, were converted to AAdvantage miles.

Additionally, the old US Airways Premier World MasterCard turned into a Barclays Aviator Red MasterCard that now earns AAdvantage miles.

Citi, the sole partner offering new American cards, offers the following credit cards for earning AAdvantage miles:

Loyalty Program Card Name and Review
American Airlines AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®

Thankfully, the sign-up bonuses are typically pretty substantial for each AA mileage credit card. This is good considering Citi does not offer bonus miles for adding authorized users or referring a friend to apply for any of these cards.

Outside of miles, the cards also offer other benefits like a free checked bag and priority boarding.

You can apply for these cards listed above by following the links.

Barclaycard has recently started accepting applications for the Barclaycard Aviator Red card, which comes with a sign-up bonus and includes similar perks.

Don’t forget to check out Brian’s post on Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained to learn more about getting approved for Citi AAdvantage cards.

Earn SPG Starpoints® (& Transfer Them To American!)
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

2. Credit Card Category Bonuses

The category bonuses for Citi’s AAdvantage cards are fairly limited. Only the business card offers additional bonus categories besides the base 1 mile/$1 earnings on all purchases.

Category Applicable Credit Cards Bonus miles
Car Rentals and Gas Stations CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® 2x
Telecommunications CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® 2x
All other purchases CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® 1x
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® 1x
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® 1x
Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® 1x

So, you’re in luck if you get the American business card to be your airline mileage card.

Car rental merchants, gas stations, and telecommunication companies are included as business categories that earn you 2x miles for every $1 spent (see Other Travel Purchases below for information on car rental purchases).

Other than the business card categories, there are not many everyday spending options with these cards.

At least I can say all of the Citi AAdvantage cards, including the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, will earn you 1 AAdvantage mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Our article on Upgrade Your Earnings: How to Earn the Most Miles provides some general tips for earning points/miles.

As always, be sure to look into your card’s specific terms and conditions to be certain you will be getting the miles you deserve for the purchases you make.

3. Make Use of Starwood Preferred Guest Bonus Transfer Offers

If you have a Starwood Preferred Guest points account, then you could earn bonus miles simply for transferring some points to your AAdvantage account.

In the summer of 2015, the transfer ratio of Starwood points to AAdvantage miles was 1:1.5 when transferring in increments of 20,000 Starwood points.

Loyalty Program Credit Card
Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Earning Miles Through Retail, Shopping, Dining, and More!

You can earn AAdvantage miles for lots of different shopping and dining establishments, so get your cards ready to do some shopping!

4. Yay! The AAdvantage eShopping Portal!

Earning American AAdvantage program miles gets even easier when you have a shopping portal at your fingertips. Thankfully, American Airlines has a pretty good one called AAdvantage eShopping.

AAdvantage Shopping
The AAdvantage eShopping portal is a solid online shopping portal where you can earn American Airlines miles for items you were already going to buy.

In the featured listing of stores above, you get an idea of the type of offers available. However, there are many other stores and offers from which to choose (over 850!). You’ll see all of them if you navigate to the portal and then follow the link to “See All Offers.”

I especially love the Additional Offers & Coupons section on this page, which has a super helpful list of expiration dates for limited time coupon code offers. I’ve found some great deals by looking here every once in a while.

The American AAdvantage shopping portal is very easy to use. Follow these steps before you begin shopping at a participating online store (or once you have a full cart and are ready to check out):

  1. Go to aadvantageeshopping.com.
  2. Sign into your AAdvantage account.
  3. Search for a product or store.
  4. Click on the store offer (e.g. Earn 3 miles/$).
  5. The next loaded screen should look something like this:
eshoppingebags
The confirmation screen that you are going to a partner website. Be sure to finish your shopping in one session: if you close the window or try to do it later, you won’t get your miles!
  1. Wait a few moments for the store’s website to load so you can begin shopping or finish checking out.
  2. Make sure you are still logged into the store through the portal before you head to checkout to be absolutely certain you will receive the extra miles.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll be on your way to maximizing the number of AAdvantage miles you can make on your online purchases!

To get even more miles, you can use your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or another points-earning card to combine bonuses.

Hot Tip: Look out for promotional periods and special offers during when extra miles will be granted to you for using the eShopping portal or shopping at specific online retailers. You can find these on AA.com or advertised in emails if you sign up in advance to receive them.

5. Sign Up for the AAdvantage Dining Program

The AAdvantage Dining Program, also called the AA Rewards Network, is awesome because you can earn miles for eating out at many of the restaurants you’d be going to anyway.

Follow these steps to maximize your earnings through this program:

  1. Go to aa.rewardsnetwork.com.
  2. Register your credit cards using “Add a card” in your account on the right-hand side.
  3. Use the location search at the top to identify participating restaurants near you.
  4. Start using your registered credit card at participating restaurants.
aadvantage dining
Earn AA miles at any restaurant enrolled in the program simply for using your credit card for the meal.

You might find that you’ll unexpectedly earn extra miles through this program, so attach the credit card you use for dining purchases and you can get an occasional boost to your AAdvantage account.

As a new member, you can often earn a welcome bonus. Simply navigate to the “Bonuses” tab at the top and choose the Welcome Bonus.

The terms of the welcome bonus generally require that you dine at three participating restaurants within 30 days and spend at least $30 at each. Additionally, sign into your account each time and leave a review for all three restaurants at which you dined.

Hot Tip: A secret to this is you can add any and all of your credit cards to the AA Rewards Network — not just your AAdvantage cards. The only catch is your credit cards cannot already be enrolled with other miles-earning dining programs. Otherwise, you are free to cross-breed points!

6. Rewards for Show Tickets

audiencerewards
Going to see a show? Check the Audience Rewards portal to see if you can earn AA miles for purchasing tickets!

If you’re a theater nerd like me then you’ll love this option! If you sign up for Audience Rewards, you can earn up to 2,200 miles per ticket to various performances.

These include Broadway shows, off-Broadways shows, cabarets, operas, exhibitions, workshops, and more!

Simply enroll with your American AAdvantage miles account number and find tickets for a show in a city near you. Participating cities are Chicago, Charlotte, Durham, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Jose, and Tucson.

Follow these steps to be sure you will receive bonus miles in your AAdvantage program account for purchasing tickets through Audience Rewards:

  1. Go to aadvantage.audiencerewards.com.
  2. Make sure you are signed into your Audience Rewards account.
  3. In the pop-up window, link your Audience Rewards account with your AAdvantage account number (if you haven’t done so already).
  4. Search for and choose the show you would like to see in the city near you.
  5. Note the date of the performance covered by the bonus miles offer.
  6. Click “Buy now” and copy down the number appearing in the pop-up window.
  7. You will be redirected to an authorized ticket dealer website to purchase the tickets (e.g., Telecharge).
  8. Find tickets available within the bonus offer date period and purchase them using the number you received in the pop-up window.

Now you can enjoy the show and the extra miles in your AAdvantage account!

7. Only One Option for a Big Spend Bonus

Unfortunately, there are no AAdvantage credit cards offering “big spend” bonus miles, except for two cards that offers elite status qualifying miles.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers 10,000 elite status qualifying miles (EQMs) for reaching $40,000 in spending within each calendar year.

The Barclaycard Aviator Silver (not currently accepting new applications) offers 5,000 EQMs for $20,000 in spend in a calendar year. You can earn an additional 5,000 EQMs if you spend another $20,000 in the same calendar year.

Additionally, the Barclaycard Aviator Silver also allows you to earn $6,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) after $50,000 in spend in one calendar year. You receive the first $3,000 EQDs after $25,000 in spend and the second $3,000 EQDs once you spend $25,000 more.

Elite qualifying miles are unlike regular miles, in that they help you earn elite status membership with American Airlines. This means you will have access to lots of perks associated with elite status levels.

Some of these perks involve additional ways to earn miles, which can help you get tons of regular AAdvantage miles very quickly!

For example, American Airlines states: “Executive Platinum and Platinum members will earn a 100% bonus and Gold members will earn a 25% bonus” of the base miles guaranteed on flight purchases.

Earning elite qualifying miles through the big spend bonus with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® will get you on your way to earning these elite status bonus miles.

8. Other Retail Purchases

purchase flowers through aadvantage
Earn extra miles through gift and flower purchases online. Watch out for deals during special holidays like Mother’s Day!

Shower people with flowers, wine and other gifts! Or, if you love magazines, why not get a subscription to your favorite? The following are other ways to earn lots of AAdvantage miles through special retail partners.

Company Product or service Bonus miles
FTD Flowers, plants, gifts, & food 20 miles/$1 plus 100 miles
1-800-FLOWERS.COM Flowers, plants, gifts, & food 15 miles/$1
Teleflora Flowers, gift baskets 1,000 miles on every order
Vinesse Wine Wine 2,500 miles on first shipment, then 5 miles/$1
Texture by Next Issue New, first-time magazine subscription for at least one month of $14.99 Premium Plan. 2,000 miles

Hot Tip:  Check both the eShopping portal and the above company sites to see which store is offering the most miles. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM offered 9 miles/$1 through the eShopping portal at the time of writing this article. Meanwhile, you could get 15 miles/$1 on your 1-800-FLOWERS.COM purchase. Just make sure to enter your AAdvantage account number under Promotion Code in Payment Details.

flowerspayment
Put your American AAdvantage number in the promotion code box at checkout.

Earning AAdvantage Miles Through Travel

9. Airfare & Airline Purchases

American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance. This means you can earn AAdvantage miles by flying with any of their Oneworld partners in addition to several other airline partners (including American Eagle regional flights).

Just use your AAdvantage account number when purchasing the tickets. American Airlines’ Oneworld partners are listed in the image below:

oneworld member airlines
You can earn AAdvantage miles when you fly on American Airlines and its Oneworld partners. – Image courtesy of oneworld.com

American Airlines also has 11 other partners airlines, including the renowned Etihad Airways.

American Airlines Partners
American Airlines also has 11 other airline partners you can fly!

Make sure to check the airfare class codes to ensure you will earn miles for your flight. Certain low-cost or discount fares do not allow you to earn miles.

10. All Airline Purchases

earn miles for spending money american airlines
Spend money on your flight and earn additional miles with your AAvantage branded credit cards. Most cards will earn 2 miles per dollar.

For all American AAdvantage program cards except the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® and the Barclaycard Aviator Silver, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines and US Airways purchases.

Purchases included in this offer include: any product or service purchased through AA.com and American Airlines airport and city ticket counters.

The following are purchases not included in this offer: Car rentals, hotel reservations, American Airlines Vacations packages, purchase of elite status boost or renewal, duty-free purchases, and AA Cargo products and services.

Get your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and enjoy a drink on your next flight!

11. Car Rentals and Other Transportation

As part of its bonus offer for business categories, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® offers 2x points on car rentals.

In addition to this credit card offer, AA.com offers ways to earn even more AAdvantage miles through various car rental partners. See the table below to review the participating rental companies and their corresponding bonus miles offers.

Rental Company Miles Rental Company Miles Rental Company Miles
Alamo 50 per day Europcar 50 per day National 50 per day
Avis 500 per rental (use K817100) ExecuCar 150 each way Sixt 500 per rental
Budget 500 per rental (use UO72400) GroundLink 200 each ride SuperShuttle 50 each way
Carmel Up to 100, plus 2 miles/$1 Hertz 1 mile/$1 Thrifty 50 per day
Dollar 50 per day

Since Avis and Budget are considered “preferred” car rental partners, they will get you the most miles for each rental. Particularly, certain cardholders or elite status members can earn even more than 500 miles per rental.

If you are a Citi / AAdvantage or AAdvantage Aviator cardholder, you can earn 750 miles per Budget or Avis rental. If you are a Platinum or Gold AAdvantage member, you can earn 1,000 miles per Budget or Avis rental.

Finally, if you are an AAdvantage Executive Platinum status member, you can earn 1,250 miles per Budget or Avis rental. These are some excellent perks for being loyal in different ways to the American Airlines AAdvantage program!

12. Hotel Partnerships

American Airlines has tons of hotel partners with which you can earn extra miles for each night you stay.

Check out all hotel partners or look at the table below (with miles earnings included) to help you decide which hotel you might stay at next to earn bonus AAdvantage miles.

Hotel Miles/Stay Hotel Miles/Stay Hotel Miles/Stay
Best Western 250 La Quinta Inns & Suites 250 Quorvus Collection 500
Choice Hotels 250 Marriott Hotels Up to 2 miles/$1 Radisson 500
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson 250 Melia Hotels International Up to 500 Raffles Hotels & Resorts 500
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 500 Millennium Hotels and Resorts Up to 500 Rocketmiles Up to 5,000
Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts Up to 1,000 New Otani Hotels 500 Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts 500
Hilton Portfolio Hotels 1 mile/$1 Nikko Hotels International 500 Starwood Hotels 2 miles/$1
Hotel JAL City 500 Park Inn 250 Swissotel Hotels & Resorts 500
Hyatt 500 Park Plaza 500 WORLDHOTELS Up to 2,000
InterContinental Hotels Up to 2 miles/$1 PointsHound Up to 6,000 Wyndham Hotel Group 2 miles/$1 or 500
Langham Hospitality Group Up to 1,500 Preferred Hotel Group 500

As you can see above, PointsHound has one of the largest bonus points offered. They advertise a chance at earning up to 6,000 miles per nightly stay. I haven’t had the opportunity to use them before, but I am certainly intrigued.

pointshoundhotels
Earn bonus miles on AA for booking through PointsHound. Some deals claim thousands of points per night!

13. Hotel Partner Credit Cards

You can always sign up to the partner hotel credit cards and transfer your points as miles as well.

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review
Hilton Honors Loyalty Program Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
  Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card
Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card
Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
IHG Rewards Club Loyalty Program Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
World of Hyatt Loyalty Program Chase Hyatt Credit Card
Choice Privileges Loyalty Program Barclaycard Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card

14. Booking Vacation Packages

Go to American Airlines Vacations to search for great vacations combining flights, hotels, and/or car rentals and earn miles through your packaged purchase. There’s also a great list of resorts, spas, and all-inclusive hotels you can choose from.

Points earned from these packages vary depending on the combination, location, and dates you desire. Simply browse using the search engine and discover the possibilities!

15. Book AA Cruises Around the World

I’ve never been on a cruise before, but if I wanted to go I know I’d purchase a package that earned me extra miles. Check American Airlines Cruises for the latest bonus offers on cruises to places like Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, and Hawaii.

Depending on the cruise line, destination, and dates you choose, you will earn varying bonus miles for your purchase—up to 50,000 miles! Wow!

aa cruises
Earn up to 50,000 bonus miles just for taking a cruise! You can almost always find a deal with a cruise line through a points program, so be sure to look before booking.

Keep checking the website because some cruise lines will offer the chance to earn between 10,000-50,000 additional American AAdvantage miles on select cruises.

Uncommon Ways To Earn AAdvantage Miles

The American Airlines AAdvantage program has tons of partnering companies offering unique ways to earn miles. In this section, I outline for you the various areas in which you can earn miles when making purchases with special partnering organizations and companies.

Here you’ll find some really diverse ways to earn! Here are some of the best offers available.

16. Make a Donation

donate to charity and earn miles
Donating to charity can earn you a few bonus miles, making it a win-win for everyone.

There’s a do-gooder in all of us, right? Even if you’re the prickly sort, don’t worry! This AAdvantage miles-earning option is all about giving to receive—receive miles, that is!

Organization Who/what Bonus Miles
Susan G. Komen Raises funds to support a study of inflammatory breast cancer 10 miles/$1 donated
National Foundation for Cancer Research Raises funds to support research to cure cancer 10 miles/$1 donated
United Service Organizations USA women and men in uniform and their families 10 miles/$1 donated

Follow the links provided in the above table and fill out the forms to donate and receive miles. Be sure to include your AAdvantage account number.

17. Home and Health

See below for some great ways to earn additional miles through services for your home and for your health.

Company Product/Service Bonus Miles
DIRECTV Upgrade to television package from $29.99 per month 25,000 miles
Sprint Activate a new Sprint account Up to 25,000 miles
Energy Plus At least two months of active electricity (CT, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OH and PA) or gas service (MD, NJ, NY and OH) 10,000 miles
Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) Home or away 24-hour medical transport and travel assistance 1,000 miles
Everything Energy At least two months of active electricity service with promo code: XA0YNE 5,000 miles
Gexa Energy If in Texas, at least two monthly billing cycles of electricity service 20,000 miles
Reliant If in Texas, purchase Reliant Secure 24 plan 27,000 miles
Spafinder Wellness 365 Any treatment, service, or spa experience from thousands of locations 3 miles/$1

A word of warning about some of these (particularly the electric companies): Do your homework before you make a deal.

The miles you earn may look tempting, but for some of these services, the cost and the requirements may outweigh your bonus miles earnings.

Determine what makes the most financial sense for you in comparison to what you could be paying elsewhere.

18. Business Products and Financial Services

earn aadvantage miles business financial products
American AAdvantage partners with other business and financial products provide even more ways to earn miles.

The AAdvantage program has tons of partners in the business and financial industry. Some of the products and services these companies offer will earn you extra miles when you digitally enter or verbally notify a sales agent of your AAdvantage miles number.

Many of these options offer multiple ways to earn miles through various products or services. I’ve picked out examples of the larger available offers and shared them in the chart below.

If you want, you can view every offer from each company on the AAdvantage website.

Company Product/Service Example of Largest Bonus Miles Offer
American HomeMiles Assistance when moving state-to-state with Allied, North American or Global Van Lines 5,000 miles
BankDirect When you receive a full payroll direct deposit from your employer to your Mileage Checking account 10,000 miles
Fidelity $100,000+ Brokerage Account deposit 50,000 miles
LifeLock Enroll to safeguard your finances, credit, and more 7,000 miles
Miles From Home Sell a home and earn on the sale and/or purchase price 2,000 miles for every $10,000 of sale
Network Solutions Tech services, e.g., buy a five-page website, transfer a domain name, and more 1,000 bonus miles for each qualifying service purchased
PreFlight Airport Parking Parking at the airport 1 mile for every $1 spent
Reward with Miles Reward clients, customers, and employees with miles Unknown (see link)

* See more offers here. Offers are subject to change.

You should check the rates on these offers before signing up. Make sure the rates offered do not outweigh the miles benefits, as you may end up paying way more than you normally would just to get the extra miles!

Hot Tip: If you open a BankDirect Account, you can also refer your friends for a chance at an additional 1,000 AAdvantage miles. Submit your friend through BankDirect’s referral template on the Manage Your Account section of your online banking account. If your friend opens a BankDirect account too, you will both earn an extra 1,000 AAdvantage miles. Win-win! Don’t have a friend to refer?

19. Fill Out Surveys for Miles

American Airlines AAdvantage miles program is a participant in e-Rewards and e-Miles. These are online data collection companies where you can participate in marketing research and earn miles in return.

You can receive daily surveys by email or view them by logging into your account online. Usually, they offer a certain dollar amount in e-Rewards/e-Miles currency for completing the survey.

I’ve earned as little as $0.10 and up to $15.00 for completing a single survey. As soon as you complete it, you’ll see your balance increase, and you can convert your balance into miles.

Hot Tip: Save up your e-Rewards/e-Miles currency for when you really need it. Use it to top up your AAdvantage miles account when you’re getting ready to purchase award flights on American Airlines. Alternatively, use this currency to keep your AAdvantage miles from expiring. Miles transfers from e-Rewards/e-Miles will keep your AAdvantage miles account active, which extends the expiration date on miles you’ve earned.

aa erewards emiles
Different examples of miles you can earn through e-Rewards and e-Miles. Fill out online surveys and get rewarded.

The above example from e-Rewards shows that once you accumulate as little as a $25, you have the option to turn this balance into 500 AAdvantage miles.

I’ve earned thousands of extra miles by leisurely filling out a few surveys a week. Easy as pie!

20. Use Points.com To Transfer Points Into AAdvantage Miles

American Airlines is partnered with Points.com, a program in which you can transfer points/miles between various programs. Note that this is not usually a great choice since the transfer rates are generally pretty awful.

However, it is useful if you would be closing out the origin program anyway, or you need a quick way to earn some AAdvantage points to keep them from expiring.

points.com for aadvantage
The value at Points.com is not great but can be worth it as an alternative to losing all your points and miles in another program.

21. Buy AA Miles

Buying miles is the last way we’ll mention to earn points, although it isn’t the most popular. However, at certain times American Airlines will put out mileage bonuses when you purchase miles, and you can get decent value for the miles.

If the value of each mile you buy is less than the value of the miles you redeem, then you’ll come out ahead. For instance, if you purchase 20,000 miles at $400 (a $0.02 per mile value), then you will come out ahead if you redeem your miles for $0.021 or more.

Keep watch to see when American does their mileage bonuses; it’s usually around big holidays or shopping times!

Do You Earn Extra Points With the Concierge Key Program?

You might be asking, “what is the Concierge Key program?” This is one of those specialized, non-publicized elite-status programs that many of the airlines and other businesses have in order to take care of the top-paying customers.

Unfortunately, while there are many great perks to American Airlines Concierge Key, you do not earn any additional bonus points for being a member.

Final Thoughts

There are an unbelievable number of ways to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. The credit cards offered may have limited miles-earning power, but the retail, travel, and specialty earning options provide numerous avenues for earning lots of miles.

There are plenty of ways to earn extra AAdvantage miles including the shopping portal and dining program. With little to no effort, you can earn extra miles on purchases you’d make anyway.

Whether you’re shopping or traveling, there will always be a way to earn more AAdvantage miles. The more you earn, the closer you’ll be to using those AA miles for your next vacation!

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
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FAQ

What are American Airlines miles?
American Airlines’ miles program is called AAdvantage. The miles you earn and redeem through American Airlines are AAdvantage miles.

Can American Airlines AAdvantage miles be transferred?
American Airlines AAdvatange miles cannot be transferred to partner airlines. They can, however, be used to redeem tickets on award flights with partner airlines. They can also be redeemed for car rentals, hotel stays, and more.

Are American Airlines AAdvantage miles refundable?
If you have purchased an American AAdvantage Award ticket, you may be eligible for a mileage reinstatement. Contact AA reservations at 1-800-882-8880 to cancel your flight and ask for mileage back.

Eligible reinstatements are for entirely unused AAdvantage award tickets if the ticket has not expired. When reinstated, you will be charged $150 per account on the first ticket. Additional tickets will be charged $25 each. These fees are waived for Executive Platinum members.

All of the above applies to reinstatements on miles used to upgrade award tickets.

Which credit cards earn AAdvantage miles?
American Airlines mileage credit card offers were formerly the Barclaycard Aviator cards (no longer available for sign up), but are now Citi branded cards.

Citi cards include:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard®

Additionally, Barclaycard provides the Aviator Red and Aviator Silver (not currently available for application) cards.

The best frequent flyer credit card for earning AAdvantage miles is the CitiBusiness card, simply because it has the widest variety of earnings categories.

What are American Airlines AAdvantage miles worth?
American Airlines AAdvantage miles are typically valued at an average of 1.7 cents per point. This means a $100 flight ticket can be awarded for the equivalent of about 5800 AA miles.

How many American Airlines miles are required for a free flight?
You can obtain a free flight in the contiguous U.S. for as few as 7,500 AAdvantage miles after changes to the program March 22, 2016. Prior to these changes, you could obtain a free flight for as few as 12,500 AAdvantage miles.

How many AAdvantage miles do I need to get to Europe?
You will need at least 22,500 AA miles to fly to Europe in economy class during off-peak dates from November 1 to December 14 and January 10 to March 14.

Who are the American AAdvantage partners?
American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance, so they are partners with all Oneworld carriers, including:

Air BerlinBritish AirwaysCathay PacificIberiaFinnairMalaysia AirlinesQantasQatar AirwaysRoyal Jordanian AirlinesS7 Airlines, Japan AirlinesSriLankan AirlinesLATAM Airlines

They are also partners with the following additional airlines:

Air Tahiti NuiAlaska AirlinesCape Air AirlinesEtihad AirwaysFiji AirwaysGulf AirHawaiian AirlinesSeaborne AirlinesWestJet

What are American Airlines AAdvantage 500-mile upgrades?
American AAdvantage Platinum and Gold status members can upgrade their purchased main cabin ticket to the next class of fare on American Airlines flights.

Flights traveling under 500 miles will receive complimentary upgrades for Platinum and Gold members, while 500 AAdvantage program miles will be needed to upgrade on flights traveling over 500 miles.

When do American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire?
American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire after 18 months of inactivity. Simply earn or redeem miles a minimum of every 18 months to keep your account from expiring.

What is the American AAdvantage phone number?
You can contact customer service for AAdvantage at +01 800-882-8880.

What is the American Airlines Concierge Key Program?
American has an elite status tier to their frequent flyer program called Concierge Key. It offers extra special treatment like a dedicated service line, priority boarding, and more.