Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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As the largest airline in the world, American Airlines carries passengers to ~350 domestic and international destinations each year. It’s also a part of the world’s second-largest airline alliance — Oneworld — which 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.
There’s no question that 100,000 is a TON of miles, but what can they really do for you?
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 miles 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 miles? 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.
You can earn AAdvantage miles by signing up for one of the multiple American Airlines co-branded credit cards from Citi or Barclays. Welcome bonuses for these cards typically range from 25,000 to 75,000 miles, with targeted welcome bonuses popping up fairly regularly.
Remember: you’ll need to meet the minimum spend requirements 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 to 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.
Here are the current offers for some of the best American Airlines cards:
Status lovers will enjoy the variety of benefits that come with this card. From free bags to reduced-price inflight beverages, AA still flies in style.
Blue skies and fair winds make for a good day to fly! Choosing your airline can be difficult, since factors like location, time, and destination all go into whether or not you can fly somewhere.
An easy choice for many people is American Airlines, because they’re the largest airline in the world. If you’re an American, you’ve probably flown American Airlines at least once.
Frequent fliers tend to enjoy the treatment they can get, from boarding privileges to free bags to lounge access. There’s many reasons to fly with AA, and if so then getting a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® could be for you.
Access to Admirals Clubs, tons of added benefits, and a way to spend towards elite status make this a great option for American Airlines loyalists.
The Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is a go-to card thanks to its exclusive perks and benefits for people who love to fly American Airlines. With a complimentary Admirals Club membership, free checked bags, inflight discounts, and the ability to earn Loyalty Points for every $1 you spend, there is plenty to love about the card.
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 Bonvoy and your points can generally reap more value when used for hotel stays and other Marriott redemptions.
However, transferring to Marriott Bonvoy 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 Bonvoy points:
A great option for Marriott hotel fans who want a no annual fee card and automatic Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
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.
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.
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.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
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.
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.
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?
Bilt points transfer to American Airlines, and a number of other airline and hotels, at a 1:1 ratio.
The no-annual-fee card doesn’t come with a welcome bonus, but it can be an attractive option for renters.
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 fees.
Of course, aside from rewards on rent, there are many other solid benefits 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.
Hot Tip: You can use our transfer partner calculator to make these calculations for you!
Did you know you can earn extra miles when dining out? Sign up for the free AAdvantage 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 $1,000 each month dining out at participating restaurants, you’ll get up to 5,000 miles per month. Plus, if your credit card earns extra points on dining purchases, you’ll still get those points in addition to the bonus miles through AAdvantage Dining.
The dining program frequently runs promotions for new users, too. As of the time of writing this article, new members can earn 500 bonus AAdvantage miles by spending $25 at a participating restaurant in the first 30 days of opening an AAdvantage Dining account.
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:
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 are 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.
Take a look at the AAdvantage earning rates for British Airways flights:
|Cabin||Purchased Fares Booked In||Base Miles||Cabin Bonus||Loyalty Points|
|Business||J, C, D||100%||150%||✓|
|Premium Economy||E, T||100%||–||✓|
|Economy||Y, B, H||100%||–||✓|
|Economy||K, L, M, N, S, V||50%||–||✓|
|Economy||G, O, Q||25%||–||✓|
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 50% cabin bonus. In the end, you’d earn 10,320 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:
This means that Executive Platinum members would earn a whopping 22,704 AAdvantage miles on the itinerary we outlined above. That’s more than enough miles for a one-way ticket within the U.S.!
If you have an online purchase coming up, make sure you shop through the AAdvantage eShopping portal for bonus miles. 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 miles, 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. 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!
To earn even more AAdvantage miles, use your AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card 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.
Booking a hotel stay in the near future? Book it through AAdvantage Hotels to earn extra miles on your purchase. American Airlines elite members with an AA co-branded credit card will earn the most miles.
A word of warning, though: you won’t earn hotel points or be eligible to use hotel elite status benefits when booking with AAdvantage Hotels. Determine whether hotel points or AAdvantage miles are of more use for you before booking your hotel room with AAdvantage Hotels.
A savings account that lets you earn miles instead of interest? Yes, that is exactly what Bask Bank offers! With Bask Bank, you earn 2.5 AAdvantage miles for every dollar deposited annually. So, if you were to deposit $20,000 in your Bask Savings Account, after 1 year, you will earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles.
Bask has also run point bonuses with opening account deposits, as well as for maintaining a certain balance level over the course of a year.
Once the 100,000 AAdvantage miles are in your AAdvantage account, you need to figure out how you want to use them.
Hot Tip: If you have less than 10,000 miles leftover after booking a trip but you’re itching to use the rest of your awards, check out our piece on 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 AAdvantage Dining meals, you’ll be well on your way to earning 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!
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 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 Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
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 bonuses 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.
Yes, you can earn AAdvantage miles when flying on Alaska Airlines since the airlines are partners through the Oneworld alliance.
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.
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, you can earn miles by dining with restaurants that participate in the AAdvantage Dining program or by booking a car rental through one of American’s partners.
No, like most airlines, American Airlines does not award AAdvantage miles for award flights.
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.
Miles earned for American Airlines’ purchases are typically credited to your account within 1 to 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.
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 with AAdvantage miles, which includes British Airways.
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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. Andrew formerly worked for The Points Guy and is now Senior Money Editor at CNN Underscored.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.