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20 Best Ways To Redeem American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for Maximum Value

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American Airlines is one of the most well-known airlines in the world. Its AAdvantage loyalty program is also well-received thanks to the value of American Airlines miles.

The AAdvantage program has undergone significant changes over the years, including an entirely new way of earning elite status and switching to a dynamic pricing method for its flights. However, there is still a ton of value, particularly when it comes to redeeming American AAdvantage miles on partner airlines.

American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance and also has plenty of partners outside of it. These partnerships allow for several ways to redeem American Airlines miles.

Let’s look at 20 of the best ways to use your American Airlines miles for maximum value. These include various business and first class products you can fly, as well as some routes with great pricing.

Booking Awards With American Airlines AAdvantage

For its own flights, American Airlines has implemented a dynamic pricing method. That means miles needed for an award redemption will vary based on the cash price of the ticket. When the cash price of a ticket is high, the number of miles you need is also high.

Because of the dynamic pricing on its own flights, it’s hard to get great value with your American miles on American-operated flights.

However, partner awards with American AAdvantage are not subject to dynamic pricing. American still has a published award chart for its partner airlines. This is where most of the value of American Airlines miles comes from.

Since American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance, you can use AAdvantage miles to fly on their many partner airlines, which include some of the best airlines in the world: British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Qatar Airways.

American Airlines also has some great partners outside of the alliance, including Air Tahiti Nui, Fiji Airlines, and Etihad Airways.

Here is American’s award chart for flights from the U.S. to various regions:

SCROLL FOR MORE
DestinationMain Cabin
Off-Peak
Main CabinPremium EconomyBusiness/FirstFirst
Contiguous U.S. and Canada+Not available12,50022,50025,00050,000
Alaska15,00025,00030,00055,000
Hawaii22,50050,00055,00080,000
Caribbean17,50027,50052,500
Mexico17,50027,50052,500
Central America17,50027,50052,500
South America Region 120,00030,00055,000
South America Region 230,00040,00057,50085,000
Europe22,50030,00040,00057,50085,000
Middle East40,00062,50070,000115,000
Indian Subcontinent40,00062,50070,000115,000
Africa*40,00065,00075,000120,000
Asia Region 135,00050,00060,00080,000
Asia Region 237,50050,00070,000110,000
South Pacific40,00065,00080,000110,000

Now that we’ve taken a look at American’s structure for award redemptions, let’s look at some of the ways to earn American Airlines miles.

Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

Earn American AAdvantage miles to redeem for flights with American Airlines, any of the Oneworld alliance partners, or American’s other partners.

Earn AAdvantage Miles With Credit Card Partners

American Airlines offers numerous co-branded credit cards available through Citi and Barclays.

The only transferable points currency that partners with American AAdvantage is Bilt Rewards. Bilt Rewards transfer to AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Learn More(at Bilt's secure site)
$0

Never before has there been a credit card built specifically with renters in mind. Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card, designed specifically to help renters earn rewards on their rent payments with no transaction fees.

Of course, aside from rewards on rent, there are many other solid features that the card offers that add extra value to cardholders. In this guide, we provide a complete breakdown of everything the Bilt card has to offer to help you decide whether the card makes sense for you.

Pros
  • 3x points per $1 at restaurants
  • 2x points per $1 on travel booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies
  • 1x point per $1 on rent payments, without a transaction fee, up to 100,000 points each calendar year
Cons
  • Does not offer a welcome bonus
  • Must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • $0 annual card fee
  • 1X points on rent payments with no transaction fee (up to $100,000 in rent payments every calendar year) and on other purchases
  • 2X points on travel (when booked directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company)
  • 3X points on dining
  • Use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • Select Learn More to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Financial Snapshot
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

Marriott Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott points and transfer those to American Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1.

Recommended Marriott Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
30,000 points
$210
$0
21.49%–28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Casual travelers who like to frequent properties that are part of the Marriott Bonvoy collection of brands may want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

The Marriott Bold card rewards cardholders for Marriott stays and gives them a boost towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Pros
  • Up to 14x points per $1 on Marriott purchases
  • 2x points per $1 on travel purchases
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each year (automatically gives you Silver Elite status)
Cons
  • Lower point earn rate than other Marriott Bonvoy cards
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual Free Night Award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.

Marriott loyalists will love this card's annual Free Night Award, automatic elite status, and up to 17x points per $1 on Marriott hotel stays.
Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
Earn 3 Free Nights
$1,050
$95
21.49%–28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, there’s a lot to love about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. The card comes packed with several great benefits like a free hotel night once a year, automatic Silver Elite status (with a fast-track to Gold Elite status), and multiple options for redeeming points.

Pros
  • Earn big when you use your card at thousands of participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Earn big at grocery stores, gas stations, and dining
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • Marriott Silver Elite Status is the lowest status tier
  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at thousands of hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite status, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your card every 24 months.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%–28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
85,000 points
$595
$250
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • $250 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit, available for Qualifying Rates.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
95,000 bonus points
$665
$650
20.99%-29.99% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

Pros
  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
Cons
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 20.99%-29.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Marriott Bonvoy

Hot Tip:

The American Airlines site can be a great place to look for Oneworld alliance partner award space.

The 20 Best Ways To Use Your AAdvantage Miles

Now that we know how American prices its awards and how to earn American Airlines miles let’s look at some of the best ways to use your AA miles.

1. Fly Etihad First Class Apartment Between Abu Dhabi and New York City

Etihad First Class Apartment - Apartment 4K from Doorway
Etihad’s First Class Apartments on the A380 are some of the best seats you can find on any airline. Image Credit: Alex Miller

When it comes to the best first class product, it’s hard to beat Etihad Airways’ first class the Apartment. Etihad’s inflight product is some of the best, and the Apartment reflects just that. Each seat consists of a wide armchair as well as a separate couch, which turns into a massive bed.

To book a flight on Etihad with your AAdvantage miles, you can search directly on the American Airlines’ website, as the site now displays Etihad award availability.

One of the best redemptions available is flying first class from the U.S. to Abu Dhabi (AUH), in the United Arab Emirates. This award would cost you 115,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in the first class Apartment. Etihad discontinued this route for nearly 4 years but has announced it will return in the summer of 2024.

Business class on the same flight costs 70,000 American Airlines miles, and economy goes for a mere 40,000 miles each way.

Here’s the exact route you’ll want to book:

  • New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)

Need help booking? See our step-by-step guide for booking Etihad first class.

Hot Tip:

Etihad has announced that it plans to bring back the Airbus A380 on flights to New York (JFK) effective April 2024.

2. Fly Qatar Airways Qsuites From the U.S. to the Middle East

Qatar QSuites, 777, Turndown Service with Lie-flat bed
Qatar Airways Qsuites is rated the top business class in the world, for good reason. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Qatar Airways Qsuites is often considered the best business class product in the sky. The suites come with closing doors, providing ample space and privacy, and feature some of the best bedding in the sky.

Qsuites availability is generally pretty good if you search well in advance.

If you’re set on flying Qsuites, check out our guide on best ways to book Qatar Airways Qsuites with points. Qsuites from the U.S. can be booked for 70,000 AAdvantage miles one-way plus minimal taxes (less than $100 per person one way).

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH)
  • Houston (IAH) – Doha (DOH)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Doha (DOH)

3. Fly Qatar Airways Qsuites From the U.S. to Africa

Qatar, QSuites, 11F & 11E, Boeing 777
Africa is another Qsuites option. Image Credit: Alex Miller

If the Middle East is not on your radar, you can still book Qatar Airways using AAdvantage miles to get to Africa.

For just 5,000 more AA miles, you can fly anywhere on the African continent. This includes destinations like South Africa, which would effectively add an 8-to-9-hour flight in Qsuites.

Unfortunately, stopovers are not allowed with American Airlines redemptions, so you won’t be able to spend time in Doha (DOH). If you want to make a stop in Doha, you have to pay for each segment separately.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Doha (DOH) – Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Doha (DOH) – Windhoek (WDH)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Doha (DOH) – Seychelles (SEZ)

4. Fly Qatar Airways Qsuites From South America 2 to Africa

Qatar QSuites A350 Lighting & View from Bulkhead
Stop in Doha on your way from South America to Africa. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Yet another redemption for those who want to maximize their time in Qsuites is flying from South America Region 2 to Africa. This consists of countries like Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. However, if you’re set on Qsuites, you have to look at routes where Qatar flies its Qsuites-equipped aircraft.

AAdvantage charges 97,500 AAdvantage miles for one-way flights between South America 2 and Africa.

Considering the flight from São Paulo (GRU) to Doha (DOH) is nearly 15 hours in duration and flights from Doha (DOH) to Southern Africa are 7 to 9 hours long, you could get up to 24 hours in Qsuites for only 97,500 AAdvantage miles.

Additionally, if you originate in a country such as Brazil, your fuel surcharges are limited, which is icing on the cake.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • São Paulo (GRU) – Doha (DOH) – Cape Town (CPT)
  • São Paulo (GRU) – Doha (DOH) – Maputo (MPT)
  • São Paulo (GRU) – Doha (DOH) – Mount Kilimanjaro (JRO)

5. Fly From the U.S. to Africa in Etihad Business Class

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 Business Class
Qatar Airways Airbus A350 business class window seats. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Another great option to fly to Africa in business class is with Etihad Airways. Pricing is the same whether you want to fly on Qatar or Etihad. Both offer a great experience and are generally considered among the best airlines in the world.

You can book Etihad business class to anywhere on the African continent for 70,000 AAdvantage miles one-way.

Here are a few great example routes you can take:

  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Lagos (LOS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – Doha (DOH) – Nairobi (NBO)
  • New York City (JFK) – Doha (DOH) – Casablanca (CMN)

6. Fly From the U.S. to Australia or New Zealand With Qantas in Business Class

Qantas Airbus A330 Business Class Window Seat 4K
Qantas Airbus A330 Business Class Window Seat 4K. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Qantas offers nonstop service to Sydney from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas, which makes Qantas great for flights between the U.S. and the South Pacific.

From the U.S., you can fly to Australia and New Zealand one-way in business class for 80,000 American Airlines miles. You could also book seats in first class for 110,000 AAdvantage miles each way.

Award space can be difficult to come by on most of these routes, especially in the premium cabins.

Hot Tip:

Interested in flying to Australia? Check out our guide on the best ways to book Qantas business class.

7. Fly Between Australia and Hong Kong in Qantas First Class

Qantas First Class
Qantas first class receives raving reviews across the board. Image Credit: Qantas

Flying on Qantas premium cabins is notoriously difficult, as Qantas is stingy with releasing award availability. However, Qantas is slightly better for partner award space on routes not involving the U.S.

Interestingly, there is an excellent sweet spot between Hong Kong and Australia. Qantas operates the A380 on this route featuring first class.

American charges just 50,000 AAdvantage miles each way in first class. This is an incredible redemption, as this flight is nearly 10 hours long.

8. Check Out French Polynesia on Air Tahiti Nui From the U.S.

Air Tahiti Nui business class
Fly business class on Air Tahiti Nui for 80,000 miles to French Polynesia. Image Credit: Air Tahiti Nui

Another great way to use AA miles is for those wanting to go to French Polynesia. You could do so aboard Air Tahiti Nui, another non-Oneworld partner of American.

From the U.S., you can fly to Tahiti for just 40,000 AAdvantage miles in economy or 80,000 AAdvantage miles in business class.

Best of all, you can now search for Air Tahiti Nui award availability directly on the American Airlines site.

9. Fly From the U.S. to Tokyo With Japan Airlines in First Class

JAL A350 First Class
Use American Airlines miles to fly JAL A350 first class. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

Using your American Airlines miles to fly Japan Airlines in a premium cabin presents another great luxury redemption with your miles.

You can fly from the U.S. to Japan for 80,000 American Airlines miles in first class. Best of all, Japan Airlines offers numerous routes between Tokyo and the U.S., and award availability is generally pretty good.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • Chicago (ORD) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

Japan Airlines has also announced its new first class product aboard its A350-1000s, which it’s rolling out starting in January 2024. The new first class cabin will feature privacy doors and a seat that can be configured in many different ways.

Hot Tip:

Check out our step-by-step guide on booking Japan Airlines first class.

10. Fly From the U.S. to Japan or Korea in Business Class

Japan Airlines Business Class 777
Japan Airlines Business Class 777. Image Credit: Stephen Au

If the 80,000 AAdvantage miles price for flights between the U.S. and Japan or South Korea is too much, you can also book business class.

American charges 60,000 AAdvantage miles for one-way business class award tickets between the U.S. and Asia Region 1 (Japan and Korea).

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Boston (BOS) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Seattle (SEA) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Osaka (KIX)

11. Fly From the U.S. to London and Onward With British Airways in First Class

British Airways Boeing 777 300 First seat 4K
If you don’t mind paying a fuel surcharge, then British Airways is an amazing redemption with American Airlines miles. You probably won’t have trouble finding availability either! Image credit: Daniel Ross

British Airways award availability tends to be pretty good. However, it’s not always the most popular option because of ridiculously high fuel surcharges.

Nevertheless, British Airways does have great first and business class products as well as generally decent award space from the U.S. to Europe, as long as you’re willing to pay the surcharges. British Airways also flies nonstop to more than 20 different U.S. airports.

American charges 57,500 miles in business class or 85,000 miles in first class for flights between the U.S. and Europe. However, fuel surcharges can often be over $700 for a one-way award ticket.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • San Diego (SAN) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Phoenix (PHX) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Boston (BOS) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • New York City (JFK) – London Heathrow (LHR)

Need help booking? Read our guide to help you book British Airways First Class using Points!

12. Fly Off-Peak to Europe in Economy on American Airlines

American Airlines Main Cabin
Main cabin (economy). Image Credit: American Airlines

American Airlines offers off-peak tickets on certain routes, which allow you to fly to a destination for fewer miles.

For example, you can fly from the U.S. to Europe during off-peak dates for only 22,500 American miles each way in economy. When booking during peak season, you pay 30,000 miles to fly in economy between the U.S. and Europe.

Unfortunately, this pricing only works for Main Cabin economy award tickets. Business and first class tickets do not have off-peak pricing. These cost 57,500 and 85,000 all year, respectively.

13. Take Short-Haul Flights Within the U.S.

Short-haul flights within the U.S. can be another great way to redeem AAdvantage miles. Although American dynamically prices its own flights, that does open up great redemption opportunities.

For example, you can book economy tickets for as few as 7,500 miles one-way on many short-haul routes within the U.S.

These flights will generally be quite short, so unless your miles are burning a hole in your pocket, it might be better to redeem an economy ticket and save the extra miles for another (more exciting) award redemption.

Hot Tip:

Don’t miss our in-depth review of American Airlines, from fare types to baggage fees, seat specs, customer satisfaction, and more.

14. Fly From the U.S. to South America in Business Class

American Airlines still offers competitive pricing for flights to South America in business class. AAdvantage splits South America into 2 zones, and pricing depends on which country you are flying into.

South America Region 1 includes countries that are in the northern part of South America, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. One-way business class awards between the U.S. and these countries can be booked for 30,000 AA miles.

South America Region 2 features countries farther away, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. These destinations are much further, and pricing is also higher. One-way business class awards between the U.S. and these further destinations can be booked for 57,500 AA miles.

Here are a few great example routes you can take:

  • New York City (JFK) – Lima (LIM) for 30,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Orlando (MCO) – Sao Paulo (GRU) for 57,500 AAdvantage miles

15. Fly From the Middle East to Australia in Etihad First Class

Although we covered Etihad First Class Apartments between New York and Abu Dhabi earlier, this redemption may be slightly better. You just need to be flying between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, Australia.

Flights between Abu Dhabi and New York take around 12 to 13 hours and can be booked for 115,000 miles one-way in Etihad Apartments.

Flights between Abu Dhabi and Sydney take around 14 to 15 hours and can be booked for even less, just 100,000 miles one-way in Etihad Apartments.

With this redemption, you’ll take a longer flight, but it will cost fewer AAdvantage miles.

Etihad Apartment Seat & Bench, Top Down View
Fly between Abu Dhabi and Sydney for 100,000 AAdvantage miles in Etihad Apartments. Image credit: Upgraded Points

16. Fly Within the South Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji

Flights within Australia and New Zealand can be quite expensive and present a good redemption for your American Airlines miles.

If you fly wholly within Australia, flights only cost 10,000 miles each way in economy. Flying between Australia and New Zealand will set you back 15,000 miles each way in economy.

Similarly, flights wholly within Fiji can be booked for just 5,000 American Airlines miles one-way. This can represent tremendous value, as these are typically quite expensive cash fares.

17. Fly Between Asia and Africa

Depending on where in Africa you’re flying to or from, this redemption can be anywhere from great to downright terrible. American Airlines charges 30,000 miles in economy, 55,000 miles in business, and 80,000 miles in first class to fly between Europe and Africa.

If you’re flying from Cairo to Rome, for instance, there are certainly better options available. But if you are looking to fly between Cape Town and Helsinki, this is a potentially awesome redemption!

Finnair Airbus A350 Business Class Forward Cabin
Finnair business class is a great way to fly between Helsinki and the rest of the world. Image Credit: Greg Stone

18. Fly Between Asia 1 and the South Pacific

Flights between Asia 1, which includes Japan and Korea, and the South Pacific can also be a great redemption using AA miles.

Flights between Asia 1 and the South Pacific cost 30,000 miles each way in economy, while business and first class set you back 40,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively. Best of all, you have options on which airlines to fly, including Japan Airlines, Qantas, and even Cathay Pacific.

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Sydney (SYD) on Japan Airlines business class
  • Tokyo-Narita (HND) – Melbourne (MEL) on Qantas business class
Qantas Airways business class cabin
Qantas offers a solid business class product. Image Credit: Carissa Rawson

19. Fly to Mexico or the Caribbean on American

For those wanting a beach vacation getaway, look no further than Mexico or the Caribbean.

American Airlines prices award tickets to Mexico or the Caribbean at just 10,000 AAdvantage miles each way in economy or 20,000 miles in business class. This can provide a ton of value, as cash fares on certain routes can be quite expensive.

20. Fly From One End of Europe to the Other

American charges just 12,500 miles one-way in economy for flights within the Europe zone. The value of this redemption entirely depends on where you are flying from and to.

If you’re looking for a short hop, there’s probably a better option, and it’s definitely worthwhile to check budget carriers within Europe. However, if you’re looking to make a last-minute booking or don’t see good prices available for your dates and cities, then using 12,500 miles for a one-way ticket is tough to beat!

List of American Airlines Partners — Oneworld

American Airlines partners include Oneworld alliance members. Here’s a list of all Oneworld members:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Oneworld Partners
Alaska AirlinesMalaysia Airlines
American AirlinesOman Air (joining in 2024)
British AirwaysQantas
Cathay PacificQatar Airways
Fiji Airways (Oneworld Connect Partner)Royal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines (temporarily suspended)
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
Hot Tip:

For more information about using these partners, check out our guide to searching for award availability on Oneworld alliance airlines.

List American Airlines Partners Outside Oneworld

These are AA partners that aren’t part of Oneworld:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Additional Airline Partners 
Air Tahiti NuiHawaiian Airlines
Cape AirIndiGo
China Southern AirlinesJetBlue
Etihad AirwaysJetSMART
Fiji AirwaysSilver Airways
GOL Airlines 

Final Thoughts

Although the American Airlines AAdvantage program has undergone major changes over the last few years, AAdvantage miles still have plenty of value.

You can generally get more value from AAdvantage miles booking through American’s Oneworld and other partners.

Whether you want to fly in first class to the Middle East or you want to take an economy flight to Mexico, American Airlines AAdvantage miles can get you there.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are American Airlines miles?

American Airlines’ frequent flyer program is called AAdvantage. The miles you earn and redeem through American Airlines or its partners are AAdvantage miles.

Can I transfer AAdvantage miles to British Airways?

No, you cannot transfer AA miles to British Airways. However, since both airlines are Oneworld alliance partners, you can use your AA miles to book British Airways-operated flights.

Does American Airlines have transfer partners?

Yes, the AAdvantage program is a transfer partner of Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Bilt Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, and Marriott Bonvoy points transfer at a 3:1 ratio.

What airlines partner with American Airlines?

American Airlines is a member of Oneworld, so the program partners with all the airlines in the alliance. American also has non-Oneworld partners, which include Air Tahiti Nui, Cape Air, China Southern Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fiji Airways, GOL Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, IndiGo, JetBlue, JetSMART, and Silver Airways.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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