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 100,000+ 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 100,000 miles in your account, check out some of the other best ways to earn even more.
Why Would You Want to Earn 100,000 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 100,000 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.
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® Credit Card - Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories. 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. Plus, earn up to 17x total Bovoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card at at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, and 2x Bonvoy points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn up to 14x total Bonvoy points per $1 when using your Marriott Bonvoy Bold card at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.|
Earn 6x per $1 at hotels participants in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x on all other eligible purchases. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.|
This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott 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
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.
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 100,000 mileage goal.
5. Use the AAdvantage eShopping Portal to Bonus Miles on Online Purchases
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.
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
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.
7. Bank with Bask Bank
A savings account that lets you earn miles instead of interest? Yes, that is exactly what Bask Bank offers! With Bask Bank, you earn one AAdvantage mile for every dollar deposited annually. So, if you were to deposit $20,000 in your Bask Savings Account, after one year you will earn 20,000 AAdvantage miles.
You can also get a 5,000 point bonus for depositing $5,000 when you first open your account, plus and additional 1,000 points for completing a survey on your experience.
But the earnings don’t stop there, you can even earn additional bonuses for maintaining a certain balance level over the course of a year. a $25,000 balance for 12 months earns you 10,000 bonus miles, a $50,000 balance for 12 months earns you 20,000 bonus miles, and a $100,000 balance for 12 months earns you 40,000 bonus miles.
Using Those 100,000+ 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 100,000 miles; 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.
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!
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.