American Airlines is the world’s largest airline with the biggest fleet and highest revenue of any airline company in the world.
This translates to the airline not only having a strong route network from its various U.S. hubs, but also a powerful program that can be used to book airfare on all Oneworld airlines and other partners.
For example, you can use American’s AAdvantage miles to book everything from Qatar Airways Qsuites to Etihad Apartments, giving you access to some of the world’s best first and business class products at solid redemption rates.
With so many good redemptions available, we recommend that all U.S.-based travelers keep a stock of AAdvantage miles in their mileage bank. In this article, we’ll show you all the best ways that you can earn them.
Sign Up for an American Airlines AAdvantage Account
Airline loyalty programs like AAdvantage differ from bank-established points programs (like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards) because you don’t need an affiliated credit card to start earning miles right away.
Instead, simply create an AAdvantage account on the American Airlines website and you can start earning AAdvantage miles right away.
Be sure to remember the unique AAdvantage member account number you are assigned. You’ll need this number to earn miles on your flights with American (and its partners), purchases through American’s shopping portal, and other earning methods.
With that out of the way, let’s dig into all the ways to earn AAdvantage miles!
Earn AAdvantage Miles With Credit Cards
1. Citi® / AAdvantage® Credit Cards
Citi provides some of the easiest ways to earn AAdvantage miles through its co-branded cards, which include 3 personal credit cards and 1 business card.
Recommended American Airlines Cards
The most common card is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, which earns 2 miles on purchases with American Airlines, as well as at restaurants and gas stations, making it easy to rack up miles with your everyday spending.
It also comes with the added perk of a complimentary checked bag and preferred boarding. Plus, you can earn a $125 flight voucher after spending $20,000 in a cardmember year and paying your annual fee.
The premium American Airlines card offered by Citi is the Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.
The card earns miles at the same rate as the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card and comes with benefits such as a complimentary checked bag, priority boarding in Group 4, up to $100 in credits for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and a full Admirals Club membership.
Citi also offers the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ card. This card earns 2 miles on American Airlines and grocery store purchases and 1 mile on everything else. Plus, cardholders get a 25% rebate on inflight food and beverage purchases.
The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has a similar earning structure to the personal version of the card, but cardholders earn 2 miles on telecommunications, rental cars, and gas station purchases.
Additionally, CitiBusiness Platinum Select cardholders can earn a companion ticket after spending $30,000 during their membership year. Preferred boarding in Group 5 is also included with this card.
2. Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Mastercards
American Airlines also has a co-branded card offering with Barclays. The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is very similar to the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite card. It earns 2 miles with American Airlines and 1 mile on all other purchases. It also comes with preferred boarding in Group 5 and 1 free checked bag.
There are also the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® (not open to new applicants) and the AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®
Hot Tip: For a more in-depth look at these cards, check out our post on the benefits and perks of the best American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards.
3. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to American Airlines at a transfer rate of 3:1.
Here’s more info on these cards, including details on welcome bonuses, annual fees, and more:
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
4. Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
Bilt Rewards is a niche program aimed primarily at those who pay monthly rent. You can earn Bilt Rewards points and transfer them to American at a 1:1 ratio with a minimum of 2,000 points transferred. The Bilt card earns Bilt Rewards points on rent, although without a welcome bonus and with a minimum transaction requirement, this card won’t be for everyone.
Earning Miles With Your Everyday Spending
Don’t have a credit card? No worries — there are a few different ways to earn AAdvantage miles with your everyday spending.
5. Use the AAdvantage eShopping Portal
Earning American AAdvantage program miles gets even easier when you have a shopping portal at your fingertips. American Airlines has an excellent shopping portal: AAdvantage eShopping.
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 to choose from (over 1,200). You can see all of them if you navigate to the portal and then follow the link to See All Offers.
The Additional Offers & Coupons section is especially useful since it has a helpful list of expiration dates for limited-time coupon code offers.
Make sure to check this page often as you can save some serious money with these coupons and see elevated miles-earning opportunities.
Using the American AAdvantage eShopping portal is simple. Just 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):
- Go to the homepage.
- Sign in to your AAdvantage account.
- Search for a product or store.
- Click on the store offer (such as Earn 3 miles/$).
- The next loaded screen should look something like this:
- Wait a few moments for the store’s website to load so you can begin shopping or finish checking out.
- Make sure you are still logged in to the store through the portal before you head to Checkout to be absolutely certain you will receive the extra miles.
Follow the above steps and you’ll be on your way to maximizing the number of AAdvantage miles you can earn on your online purchases! Just note that miles will be credited to your account within a week or 2 of purchase.
To earn even more AAdvantage miles, you can use your AAdvantage-branded card when you shop.
Alternatively, you can use a credit card that earns multiple points per dollar on un-bonused spend to earn more points and diversify your points portfolio.
Hot Tip: Look for promotional periods and special offers to earn extra miles for using the eShopping portal or shopping at specific online retailers.
6. Sign Up for the AAdvantage Dining Program
The AAdvantage Dining program is great because you can earn extra miles for eating out at many of the restaurants you’d be going to anyway.
This is in addition to any miles earned with your credit card, so it’s even more valuable when combined with cards that earn bonus points on dining.
Just follow these steps to maximize your earnings through this program:
- Go to the homepage and sign up for an account by clicking the Join Now button at the upper right-hand corner of the window.
- You’ll be prompted to add credit cards to your AAdvantage Dining account as you move through the registration process. Make sure to link credit cards that earn bonus points on dining so you can maximize your purchases.
- Use the location search at the top to identify participating restaurants near you.
- Use your registered credit card at participating restaurants and earn bonus points!
Make sure to link all of the credit cards you use for most dining purchases — you never know when you’ll dine at a participating restaurant and get a boost in your AAdvantage account.
As a new member, you can often earn a welcome bonus as well. Simply navigate to the Bonuses tab at the top and choose the Welcome Bonus.
The most common bonus offer is 1,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after spending $25 at a participating restaurant in your first 30 days of membership, but it changes frequently.
You’ll earn between 1 and 5 miles per dollar spent at participating restaurants with the AAdvantage Dining program. You’ll earn 3 miles per dollar if you opt-in to email notifications, and you’ll earn 5 miles per dollar when you reach VIP status. This status is earned after you dine at participating restaurants 11 times. Note that you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar if you opt out of email notifications, severely limiting your earning potential.
Hot Tip: You can add any and all of your credit cards to AAdvantage Dining — not just your AAdvantage cards. The only catch is your credit cards cannot already be enrolled in other miles-earning dining programs that are part of the Rewards Network. This includes other airline dining programs.
7. Shop Through SimplyMiles
If you’re an American Airlines co-branded credit card holder, you can use SimplyMiles to earn extra AAdvantage miles for in-store purchases. Just register for an account using your AAdvantage number, link any Mastercard, and then activate your targeted offers. It’s a great way to earn bonus miles with little effort.
8. Hotel Partner Credit Cards
If you have a co-branded hotel credit card, you may be able to transfer your hotel points to American Airlines.
However, this is almost always a terrible use of your hotel points unless you have a very specific redemption in mind or need to quickly top-up miles.
9. Sign Up for Fuel Rewards
Sign up for Shell’s Fuel Rewards program and you’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every gallon of Shell gas purchased at participating locations.
As a bonus, new members can earn 100 AAdvantage miles when joining Fuel Rewards, but you must link your AAdvantage account to your Fuel Rewards account and ensure your first and last names on both accounts match.
It’s also worth noting that you will forfeit your Shell Fuel Rewards Gold or Silver status fuel savings if you choose to earn AAdvantage miles instead.
10. Enroll in Vinesse’s American Cellars Wine Club
When you join Vinesse’s subscription club, the American Cellars Wine Club, you can earn 2,000 AAdvantage miles with your first shipment.
After that, you can earn 5 miles per dollar spent on subsequent shipments.
Earning AAdvantage Miles Through Travel
Don’t forget your AAdvantage account when traveling. There are several ways to earn AAdvantage miles while on the road (or in the air).
11. Flying on American Airlines or Partner Airlines
As you’d expect, you can earn AAdvantage miles when you fly on American Airlines. You’ll earn miles based on how much your ticket costs, with more expensive tickets earning more miles.
Also, those with American Airlines elite status will earn more miles per flight than those without status. Here’s how many miles each status tier earns on American Airlines flights:
- No status: 5 miles per dollar spent
- Gold: 7 miles per dollar spent
- Platinum: 8 miles per dollar spent
- Platinum Pro: 9 miles per dollar spent
- Executive Platinum: 11 miles per dollar spent
Earning Miles With American Airlines’ Partner Airlines
Further, American Airlines is a part of the Oneworld alliance. This means you can earn AAdvantage miles by flying with any of its Oneworld partners in addition to several other airline partners.
Just use your AAdvantage account number when purchasing the tickets.
American Airlines also has several other partner airlines, including the world-renowned Etihad Airways.
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Cape Air
- China Southern Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Silver Airways
How you earn miles when flying on a partner airline will depend on whether you booked through American Airlines’ site or the partner’s site.
If you book a partner flight through aa.com, you’ll earn miles the same way you earn when flying on an American Airlines flight. If you book your ticket on a partner’s site (and add your AAdvantage number), you’ll earn miles based on the distance of your flight and the fare class of your ticket.
To calculate this, find your match your ticket’s fare class to a fare class listed on your partner’s information page on American’s website.
Then, multiply the distance (in miles) of your flight by the percentage displayed underneath the Base Miles and Cabin Bonus (if applicable) columns.
For example, a flight from New York (JFK) to London (LHR) clocks in at 3,451 miles one-way.
If you flew this in W fare premium economy, you’d earn 5,176 AAdvantage miles. The math looks like this: 3,451 miles flown * 100% base miles * 50% cabin bonus miles = 5,176 miles.
Just note that certain low-cost or discount fares do not allow you to earn miles, so make sure to double-check your fare class before booking a ticket.
Hot Tip: For more information, check out this in-depth guide to help you know where to credit your airline miles.
12. American Airlines Purchases
Make sure to purchase your American Airlines tickets, seat fees, and other incidental costs with your American Airlines credit card. This will help you rack up miles in addition to what you’ll earn when flying.
13. Book an Airport Shuttle
Use SuperShuttle for your trip to and/or from the airport, and you can earn 50 AAdvantage miles for each one-way ride or 100 miles for a round-trip ride. The service operates in over 50 cities, so be sure to check its site to see if you need a ride on your next trip.
14. Booking Rental Cars
As discussed earlier in the article, the CitiBusiness Platinum Select card earns 2x miles on car rentals, but there are other ways to earn bonus miles on rental cars, too.
In addition to this credit card offer, American Airlines lets you earn miles through various its various car rental partners. See the table below to review the participating rental companies and their corresponding bonus miles offers.
||50 miles per day
||1 mile per dollar spent
||500 miles per rental, more for elite members and credit card holders (use code K817100)
||50 miles per day
||500 miles per rental, more for elite members and credit card holders (use code UO72400)
||500 miles per rental (use code K105200)
||50 miles per day
||50 miles per day
Since Avis and Budget are considered “preferred” car rental partners, they will get you the most miles for each rental. Certain AAdvantage cardholders or elite status members can earn even more than 500 miles per rental.
If you are an AAdvantage cardholder, you can earn 750 miles per Budget or Avis rental.
If you are an AAdvantage Platinum or Gold 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!
15. Park at the Airport
Need to leave your car at the airport? Consider using PreFlight Airport Parking, which operates out of 5 airports. With PreFlight, you can earn 1 AAdvantage mile per $1 spent on airport parking. Again, this is another way to earn miles for spending you’d be making anyways.
16. Hotel Partnerships
American Airlines has several hotel partners where you can earn extra miles for each night you stay or based on how much you spend, depending on the hotel in question.
Check out all hotel partners on its website, or look at the table below to help you decide which hotel you might stay at next to earn bonus AAdvantage miles.
As you can see, American partners with RocketMiles for hotel bookings. The RocketMiles portal lets you earn up to 5,000 AAdvantage miles per night at thousands of hotels worldwide.
We recommend comparing and contrasting earnings between the 2 booking portals to see which offers you the most miles for your next hotel stay.
17. AAdvantage – World of Hyatt Partnership
AAdvantage members with Gold status and above can earn 1 mile per dollar spent at Hyatt with the AAdvantage – World of Hyatt partnership.
This is in addition to the World of Hyatt points you’ll already earn for your stays, making it an exceptionally good way to earn points and miles for American frequent flyers.
To enroll, simply link accounts and you’ll start earning AAdvantage miles on your Hyatt stays automatically.
18. Rewards for Show Tickets
If you sign up for Audience Rewards, you can earn up to 2,200 miles per ticket for various performances. These include Broadway shows, off-Broadway shows, cabarets, operas, exhibitions, workshops, and more.
To earn miles, simply enroll with your AAdvantage account number and find tickets for a show in a city near you. Participating cities include Chicago, Durham, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Jose, and Tucson.
Here’s how to earn miles on tickets through Audience Rewards:
- Go to the Audience Rewards homepage.
- Create an Audience Rewards account by clicking the Join for Free button on the homepage. You’ll be prompted to link your AAdvantage account to your Audience Rewards account as you move through this process.
- Head back over to the Audience Rewards homepage and select your location from the drop-down menu at the center of the screen.
- Look for a show you’d like to see. You can do this by using the search bar at the bottom of the screen or by using the Browse by Category section at the center of the screen.
- Click Buy & Earn underneath the show name and look at the center of the screen.
- Click the + button next to the Earn [points] Bonus ShowPoints per ticket and you can see which dates are eligible for points-earning with Audience Rewards.
- Click Buy now at the center of the screen and copy the number appearing in the pop-up window.
- Click Continue and you’ll be redirected to an authorized ticket dealer website to purchase the tickets (Telecharge, TicketMaster, etc.).
- Find tickets available within the bonus offer date period and add the Audience Rewards number you received in step 7 at checkout.
Now, enjoy the show and the extra miles in your AAdvantage account! Make sure to check Audience Rewards every time you buy a Broadway ticket — otherwise, you’re leaving valuable miles on the table.
19. Booking Vacation Packages
American Airlines has long offered vacation packages. These vacation packages often combine flights, hotels, and car rentals at a discounted price. And better yet, you’ll earn bonus AAdvantage miles in the process.
You’ll earn 1,000 per vacation package booked, and you can earn up to 30,000 bonus AAdvantage miles by booking at preferred hotels and locations. You can view these bonus offers on the American Airlines Vacation website.
Plus, you’ll earn miles for flying on American Airlines or one of its partners when booked as a part of a vacation package.
To book a vacation package, head over to the American Airlines Vacations website. Enter your destination and dates at the center of the screen and click the search button. Then, all available vacation packages will be listed on-screen.
Make sure to sign in to your AAdvantage account when booking to receive your bonus miles.
20. Book AA Cruises Around the World
You can also earn AAdvantage miles when you book cruises through American Airlines’ cruise portal.
Check American Airlines Cruises for the latest bonus offers on cruises to places like Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, and Hawaii. Currently, you can earn 1 mile per dollar spent on all American Airlines Cruises, up to 10,000 miles per cruise.
Plus, some cruise lines offer 10,000 to 100,000 additional AAdvantage miles when you book select cruises.
For example, as of the time of writing this article, you can earn up to 100,000 bonus AAdvantage miles by booking cruises with Seabourn. You can view all available bonus offers on the American Airlines Cruises homepage.
Uncommon Ways To Earn AAdvantage Miles
The American Airlines AAdvantage program also has tons of partnering companies that offer unique ways to earn miles — this includes everything from charity donations to opening a new checking account.
Here are some of the best offers available.
21. Make a Donation to Stand Up To Cancer
American Airlines has partnered with Stand Up To Cancer to offer 25 AAdvantage miles per $1 donated (on donations of $25+) to the organization.
Stand Up to Cancer is a premier cancer research charity that funds cancer research and awareness. Earn miles when you donate through this link and add your AAdvantage number.
22. Switch Your Home Utility Providers
American Airlines has partnered with 2 home utility providers to offer bonus AAdvantage miles when you switch your home utilities like electricity and gas.
These companies service different parts of the U.S. and each offers a different number of miles for both signing up and paying your bill every month. Here’s a look at the current earning structure:
||Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C.
||Up to 15,000 miles; 2 miles per $1 spent on electricity charges
||15,000 miles plus 500 miles per month, up to 27,000 miles total
Make sure to do your homework before you sign up for one of these services. The miles you earn may look tempting, but for some of these services, it may be more expensive than your local utility provider.
So with this in mind, it may not be worth staying with the service after you receive your initial bonus miles.
23. Sign Up With an American Airlines Financial Services Partner
The AAdvantage program has tons of partners in the business and financial space. 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, including the offers below.
||Example of Largest Bonus Miles Offer
||Credit and social security monitoring that protects you from identity theft
||12,000 miles when you enroll in Lifelock ID Theft Protection
|Miles From Home
||Sell your home and earn miles based on the sale price
||2,000 miles for every $10,000 of the sale price of your home
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 earning less interest or paying more than if you skipped the miles.
24. Fill Out Surveys With e-Rewards
American Airlines AAdvantage is a participant in e-Rewards, an online data collection company wherein you can participate in marketing research and earn miles in return.
There is no public registration directly with e-Rewards. Instead, you’ll need to be invited through American Airlines AAdvantage to participate.
You can receive daily surveys by email or view them by logging into your account online. Usually, you’ll be offered a certain dollar amount in e-Rewards currency for completing the survey.
You can earn as little as $0.10 and up to $15 in e-Rewards currency 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.
The above example from e-Rewards shows that once you accumulate as little as $25, you have the option to turn this balance into 500 AAdvantage miles.
Hot Tip: Use e-Rewards 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.
25. Take Surveys With Miles of Opinions
Similar to e-Rewards, you can earn AAdvantage miles for taking surveys through Miles of Opinions. Once you enroll using your AAdvantage number, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles for every survey you take. And the miles will be automatically deposited into your account. This is another easy way to keep your AAdvantage miles from expiring.
26. Bank With Bask Bank
Bask Bank has the innovative approach of allowing you to open a savings account that lets you earn American Airlines miles instead of cash interest. With Bask Bank, account holders earn 1.2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar deposited annually. So, if you were to deposit $15,000 in your Bask Savings Account, after 1 year you will earn 18,000 AAdvantage miles.
You can also get a 1,000-point bonus for depositing $5,000 when you first open your account.
27. Buy AAdvantage Miles
Buying miles is the last way we’ll mention to earn miles, although it is often a poor way to get AAdvantage miles.
However, when American Airlines has mileage sales that earn bonus miles, you might be able to get a decent value for the miles if you need to top off your account so you can book an award ticket.
Leave buying miles for times when you absolutely need the miles in your account immediately to book an award.
Concierge Key is American’s non-publicized elite-status program that American Airlines offers to its top-paying customers. There is no publicly available way to earn the status and you must be invited by American.
Unfortunately, while there are many great perks to American Airlines Concierge Key, you do not earn any additional bonus miles for being a member.
For more information, check out our complete guide to American Airlines Concierge Key status.
As shown in this article, there are plenty of ways to earn extra AAdvantage miles, including American Airlines credit cards, the AAdvantage eShopping portal, and the AAdvantage Dining program.
With little to no effort, you can use these programs to earn extra miles on purchases you’d make anyway. Just sign up for accounts and remember to use them whenever you eat out or make online purchases.
If you’re really savvy, you’ll have tons of AAdvantage miles in your account in no time — so be sure to check out our recommendations on the best ways to use 100,000 AAdvantage miles.
The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®, AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®, and Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card 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.