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American Airlines AAdvantage: In-Depth Guide to Earning and Redeeming Miles

American Airlines AAdvantage: In-Depth Guide to Earning and Redeeming Miles

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The American Airlines AAdvantage program is one of the broadest in the world, considering you can leverage this airline and its oneworld® partners to fly to 1,000-plus destinations worldwide.

AAdvantage members earn points when they spend money with American, and those points can be redeemed for free flights and other perks. You can also utilize this program to earn elite status and all the VIP privileges it affords.

If you’re eager to travel and hoping to pool your loyalty with a single airline, the American AAdvantage program is worth considering. Our comprehensive guide explains what you need to know about this program.

What is American Airlines AAdvantage?

The AAdvantage program rewards frequent flyers for their travel with American Airlines. As a member, you’ll be able to earn points (also called "miles," interchangeably) and work your way toward elite status, which offers benefits like free checked bags and seat upgrades.

As a standard AAdvantage member, the biggest benefit you’ll get is the ability to earn miles on American Airlines tickets, as well as car rentals, hotel stays, cruises and vacation packages.

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For every dollar you spend with the airline — or one of its partners — you’ll get 5 miles. Elite status members earn anywhere from 7 to 11 miles per dollar spent with American, depending on their status tier.

American Airlines AAdvantage quick facts
Countries served350 destinations in 50 countries; including partners, you can fly to 1,000+ destinations in 150 countries
U.S. Hub airports
  • Miami
  • Phoenix
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles
  • Charlotte
  • Washington D.C.
  • New York
Airline allianceoneworld
Airline loungesAdmirals Clubs
Number of miles needed for a free flightDomestic flights start at 7,500 miles
American Airlines miles value1 cent each, on average
Pros
  • Award flights can be downright affordable
  • Broad network of partners
  • You can easily book awards online
  • Earn elite status perks
Cons
  • American AAdvantage program still has an award chart, but is increasingly moving to dynamic award pricing
  • Miles are worth less than some other frequent flyer programs

How to join American Airlines AAdvantage

To join the program, you’ll need to visit the American Airlines website and enter your basic information. Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive an American Airlines number that you can use when you book tickets on American Airlines and partner airlines. If you meet certain spending and flying requirements with American and its partner airlines, you’ll be able to earn AAdvantage elite status and receive free upgrades and other benefits.

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How much are AAdvantage miles worth?

American AAdvantage miles are worth approximately 1 cent each.

This makes them worth slightly less than miles in comparable programs like Delta SkyMiles (1.3 cents each) or Southwest Rapid Rewards (1.5 cents each). Yet, the American Airlines program is still extremely valuable, due to how easy it is to earn miles and the plethora of options you have when it comes to cashing them in.

You should be aware that the average value for American AAdvantage miles is just that — an average. It’s always possible to get more value based on the specific redemption you make, and that’s especially true if you’re able to take advantage of MileSAAver awards or Web Specials on premium cabin flights or unusually expensive itineraries.

For example, an off-peak MileSAAver award to the Caribbean could cost as little as 12,500 miles one-way, which could present a better value for your miles than if you booked an AAnytime award for 27,500 miles one-way.

Ultimately, the value of each American AAdvantage mile will depend on the cash price of the airfare you redeem your miles for.

How do you know if using American Airlines miles is worth it? American Airlines miles are generally valued around 1 cent per mile — if a flight is worth 1 cent per mile or more, then it’s likely worth it to use miles. To calculate the value of miles, use this simple equation:

Cash price (minus taxes and fees) / Number of points needed for flight = Points value for that specific flight

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Pros and cons of American Airlines AAdvantage

Pros

  • You can utilize this program to fly to over 1,000 destinations in 150 countries thanks to its oneworld partners, and MileSAAver awards can be downright cheap.
  • There are numerous ways to rack up miles in the American Airlines program, and many of the best options don’t even require you to fly.
  • Elite status is easier to earn than usual, since requirements for the American AAdvantage program are lower than usual for 2021. To earn Gold status, for example, you only need to have $2,000 in Elite Qualification Dollars (EQDs) and 20 Elite Qualification Segments (EQSs) or 20,000 Elite Qualification Miles (EQMs). For comparison, in 2019 Gold status required $3,000 in EQDs and 30 EQSs or 25,000 EQMs.

Cons

  • American Airlines is following suit with other frequent flyer programs and moving toward dynamic award pricing. The American AAdvantage program still posts an award chart, but you have to dig significantly deeper to find MileSAAver awards for many itineraries, and many flight awards require a variable number of miles based on demand.
  • American AAdvantage miles are also worth less on average than many other top frequent flyer programs. This doesn’t mean miles aren’t valuable — it just means they may not stretch as far as other programs’ miles.

How to earn AAdvantage miles

As an American Airlines frequent flyer, you can earn miles toward free travel by buying American Airlines tickets, using American Airlines’s co-branded credit cards and shopping on the airline’s online portal.

Below, we’ve listed earning avenues that can help you get the most mileage from your AAdvantage membership.

AAdvantage flights

The simplest way to earn American Airlines miles is to buy flights on American Airlines or one of the carrier’s partners.

The airline uses a revenue-based miles earning system, which means you earn miles based on how much you spend. (This is in contrast to a distance-based system, which awards points for every physical mile you fly. Alaska Airlines is the last major airline to use a distance-based points earning system.)

If you’re a new AAdvantage member and don’t have elite status, you’ll have a base earning rate of 5 miles per dollar on plane tickets.

AAdvantage membership level
Base miles per dollar spent
General member5
Gold7
Platinum8
Platinum Pro9
Executive Platinum11

There are a few ways that you can increase the number of miles you earn per dollar:

  • Earn elite status. This takes time, and it’s only feasible if you travel more than 15 times per year. To get status, you’ll also have to be OK with consolidating your flights to one airline and sacrificing the freedom to shop among carriers for the lowest fare.
  • Buy tickets in business class or first class. The more expensive the cabin, the higher the bonus miles. First-class fares and some business-class fares earn a 100% bonus, which is definitely worth noting.
  • Pay for American Airlines flights with one of the airline’s co-branded credit cards. The pros and cons of using this method to earn miles are discussed below.

The example below illustrates how a $1,000 fare earns vastly different award miles depending on its fare class:

First Class (F) and First Class (A)
Business Class (J)
Business Class (R)
Business Class (D)
Fare class bonus100%100%75%50%
Base miles at 5 miles per dollar5,0005,0005,0005,000
Bonus miles5,0005,0003,7502,500
Total miles earned10,00010,0008,7507,500

oneworld alliance partners

When you fly on a partner airline, such as British Airways, you typically earn miles based on the number of miles flown with an added cabin bonus for first class, business class and premium economy fares. Cabin bonuses range from 10% to 50%.

You’ll earn miles when you fly with American Airlines, but you can also earn miles when you fly with its oneworld airline partners. The number of miles varies depending on the airline and the fare class you select.

The American Airlines partners page can tell you everything you need to know about earning miles with each oneworld partner. Be aware that this changes frequently, so you should check back before you book to find out how many miles you can expect to earn.

Here's a list of the 22 American Airlines partners:

oneworld airline partners

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

Other airline partners

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Cape Air
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Silver Airways

Elite qualifying miles

Earning elite qualifying miles on partner airlines

American Airlines uses elite qualifying miles (EQMs) and elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) to determine which AAdvantage members qualify for elite status with American. The American EQMs and EQDs that you earn on partner airlines generally will be based on the class you fly.

For example, on British Airways, Iberia and some other partners, you'll earn 0.5 EQMs per mile flown for the cheapest economy fare and up to 3 EQMs per mile flown for the most expensive first class fare. You'll also earn between 5% and 30% EQDs per mile flown based on the class you fly.

Do you earn miles on flights booked with miles on American?

Savvy traveler tip: Keep an eye on your inbox for targeted offers sent to select customers.

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For example, American double miles is a targeted promo the airline sometimes offers that allows travelers to earn twice the miles for purchases of premium economy, business and first class tickets in a certain timeframe.

You do not earn miles on American Airlines award flights. In fact, most airlines won’t allow you to earn miles on flights booked with miles. American reward miles are based on the number of dollars you spend on a flight; when you purchase an award ticket, you pay for the flight in miles rather than dollars.

Credit cards

Second to earning miles with paid flights, the most effective and consistent way to earn AAdvantage miles is to open an American Airlines credit card and use it for your everyday purchases.

Card
Earning rate
Sign-up bonus
Annual fee
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchasesEarn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening$99, waived for first 12 months
Show All Rows

You’ll earn at least 1 mile per dollar on every purchase you make. Premium cards earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, and some cards will also earn 2 miles per dollar in bonus categories like gas, groceries and restaurants.

The credit cards with the most attractive rewards rates have annual fees that range from $95 to $450 per year, so they may not be the best option if you’re a moderate spender. However, these cards do let you earn a big sign-up bonus that could be enough for a few free flights in your first year.

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The table below illustrates the rewards possibility at the flat rewards rate of 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent.

Annual spend
Miles earned
Possible redemption
$10,00010,000One-way MileSAAver award ticket for flights of less than 500 miles within the contiguous U.S.
$30,00030,000Round-trip MileSAAver fare to Caribbean
$50,00050,000Round-trip MileSAAver off-peak fare to Hawaii

AAdvantage Dining

Another way to earn points for your everyday purchases is to sign up for AAdvantage Dining. This program allows you to earn miles for every qualifying purchase you make at an affiliated restaurant. You can check for restaurants in your area at the AAdvantage Dining website.

To join AAdvantage Dining, all you have to do is sign up for an account and link your debit and credit cards. You’ll automatically earn miles each time you spend at an eligible restaurant at the following rate:

  • Regular members: 1 mile per dollar
  • Members who sign up for AAdvantage Dining emails: 3 miles per dollar
  • Members who have completed 11 transactions in a calendar year: 5 miles per dollar

American Airlines shopping portal

Savvy traveler tip: If you want to earn miles for shopping without going to the portal, American Airlines offers a browser extension that you can install to shop and earn miles directly at more than 950 online stores. The extension lets you bypass the AAdvantage portal and shop as you normally would, alerting you when there are miles available on a website.

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AAdvantage members can get extra miles for online shopping by making purchases through the AAdvantage eShopping portal. Through the portal, you can shop at hundreds of hotels, booking companies, clothing companies and other retailers, earning miles on each purchase. There are also one-time bonus offers that reward you with a few thousand miles for making a purchase at a select retailer.

AAdvantage travel partners

You can also rack up miles when you book other types of travel with American Airlines. Opportunities exist with select rental car partners and hotel brands like Hertz, Avis, Hyatt, Marriott and Best Western.

The number of miles varies depending on the travel you book, but it’s possible to earn up to 500 miles or more per car rental or 500 miles or more per hotel stay.

American Airlines vacations

You can book entire vacation packages through American Airlines, and you’ll earn bonus miles when you do. The deals change all the time, but you could earn 20,000 miles (or more) for purchasing a vacation package with hotel and airfare included. You can frequently score special discounts or upgrades in these packages, so make sure to check them often.

vacation

American Airlines cruises

You can earn up to 10,000 bonus miles when you book select cruises through the American AAdvantage program. All the major cruise lines are available, including brands like Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

Buy miles

Buying miles should be a last resort option, as purchased miles are often priced unfavorably.

On the American Airlines website, you can buy up to 150,000 miles. Keep in mind that they don’t come cheap: The current going rate for 10,000 miles is $322.50 (3.2 cents per mile).

Should you use the Mileage Multiplier?

The American Airlines Mileage Multiplier — American's site for buying AAdvantage miles as part of purchasing a trip — may be a good deal only if you need to earn AA miles fast for an upcoming trip. The Mileage Multiplier is available only when you fly American and American Eagle, and it can allow you to earn double or triple miles for your trip. Each extra mile that you purchase through the Mileage Multiplier will cost you about 3 cents plus a 7.5% federal excise tax.

If you want to add the Mileage Multiplier to a flight, you have three options:

  • Choose the Mileage Multiplier option when you book your flight online at AA.com.
  • Contact American Airlines reservations to add the Mileage Multiplier to your flight.
  • Check in for your flight online or at an airport kiosk and use your credit card to pay for the Mileage Multiplier option.

If you've already checked in, you can still add Mileage Multiplier up to 45 minutes before your flight departure time. To do this, you can either go to an airport kiosk to reprint your boarding pass or you can log into your account at AA.com, click "My reservations" and choose the Mileage Multiplier option. You can even request Mileage Multiplier after your flight.

American Airlines bonus miles purchased through Mileage Multiplier should post rather quickly and may even hit your account before your plane touches down.

It's important to note, though, that bonus miles purchased through Mileage Multiplier won't count toward AA elite status qualification and can't be transferred to a family member or friend.

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Other ways to earn American miles

American has over 1,000 partners that can help you earn miles. These companies offer goods and services in a range of categories, including business products, financial services, home, health and even charities. You can earn anywhere from a few hundred miles for taking a survey to tens of thousands of miles for buying a house.

Here are nine ways to pump up the balance in your AAdvantage account:

  1. Buy or sell your home. Join American HomeMiles and earn 5,000 AAdvantage miles for every $25,000 of the purchase price when you buy or sell a home and get 1,250 miles for every $10,000 financed on a house.
  2. Secure your home. Get 7,000 American miles when you buy a SimpliSafe home security system. The system comes in a box, is easy to set up and doesn't require a contract.
  3. Park at the airport. You may also need airport parking, and you can earn 1 mile per $1 spent on airport parking with PreFlight Airport Parking.
  4. Stay at a hotel. A partnership between American and Hyatt means that elite AAdvantage members can earn AAdvantage miles and bonus Hyatt points by staying at Hyatt hotels. Get started by linking your AAdvantage account with your World of Hyatt account to start earning Hyatt points on flights and American miles on hotel stays.
  5. Pamper yourself. How long has it been since your last facial, massage or mani-pedi? You can earn 4 miles per $1 spent on spa services at a Spafinder Wellness 365 location. There are over 20,000 locations across the country, and you only need your AAdvantage number and a copy of your receipt to earn these miles.
  6. Send flowers. Brighten someone's day and earn 4 miles per dollar when you order from Teleflora, 10 miles per dollar with 1-800-FLOWERS or 20 miles per dollar with FTD. Just provide your AAdvantage number when placing your order to get the miles.
  7. Go see a show. Still haven't seen The Lion King, The Book of Mormon or The Phantom of the Opera? Join Audience Rewards to earn miles for seeing shows, including Broadway, off Broadway, cabaret, comedy and opera.
  8. Sound off about a product or service. Everyone's got an opinion, and you can earn miles for voicing your thoughts about products and services. Join Miles for Opinions, a community just for AAdvantage members, and start earning today.
  9. Donate to charity. If you want to donate to a good cause or honor someone you know who's battling cancer, you can earn 10 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles for every dollar you give on a donation of $25 or more to Stand Up to Cancer, an organization that funds cancer research.

Of course, it only makes sense to buy or sign up for a product or service if it actually will benefit you. But if you're in the market for one of these items or already thinking of making a purchase anyway, it may make sense to rack up AAdvantage miles at the same time.

How can I earn AA miles fast?

Savvy traveler tip: You may be able to get a better deal and a break on some fees with American Airlines miles promotions.

While these offers change frequently, previously in August 2019 American Airlines offered 3,500 to 85,000 AA bonus miles plus a discount of 5% to 10% for purchasing miles, with the offer depending on the amount of miles purchased.

Do you need to get American Airlines miles right away so you can book a flight to Paris for your honeymoon or join a family getaway in the Berkshires without breaking the bank? If you're in a pinch and need AA miles fast, you do have options.

Buying American Airlines miles is just one way to pad your AAdvantage account right away. Here are some of the best ways to top off your AAdvantage account quickly:

How to earn AA miles fast
Cost to get AA miles
How quickly can you get the AA miles?
Open an AA credit card with a sign-up bonusNone, but you have to make the required dollar amount of purchases on the cardWithin 30 days of making purchase requirements
Use AAdvantage Mileage Multiplier on an upcoming flightAbout 3 cents/mile plus federal excise tax of 7.5%Within 48 hours of taking the flight
Buy AA milesAbout 3.2 cents/mile plus federal excise tax of 7.5% and $20 to $40 processing feeUsually right away, but may take up to 8 hours
Transfer AA miles from spouse or other relative1.25 cents per mile transfer cost plus $15 to $40 processing feeUsually right away, but may take up to 8 hours
Get a gift of AA milesAbout 2.95 cents/miles plus federal excise tax of 7.5% and $20 to $40 processing feeUsually right away, but may take up to 8 hours
Make a big purchase on AA credit cardNone, as long as you pay your bill in full to avoid interestWithin 30 days of making purchase requirements
Reactivate expired AA miles$40 to $2,000 per transaction, depending on the number of miles you reactivateMay take up to 24 hours

How to use AAdvantage miles

Once you’ve accumulated AAdvantage miles, you can use them on award travel, upgrades, lounge access, vacation packages and Main cabin seat selection. You can also use your miles to purchase newspaper subscriptions, or donate them to important causes and nonprofit organizations.

Book a flight using AAdvantage miles

Savvy traveler tip: To redeem American miles on a partner airline, you can't actually transfer your miles to that partner. Rather, you redeem your miles through the American Airlines AAdvantage program for a flight on the partner airline. Not all partners are searchable on AA.com, so you may need to search the partner site to find the flight then call AAdvantage customer service at 800-882-8880 to book.

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One of the most valuable options for redeeming miles is on American Airlines tickets. You can do this online at American Airlines’ award booking portal. The number of miles needed for a flight redemption changes depending on award type, time of year, cabin and destination.

Unlike Delta and United, American Airlines still publishes region-based award charts. That means you can find the cost of an award flight by referencing your departure region, destination region and class of service.

American has four award ticket options that provide different levels of ticket change flexibility. The cheapest award option is MileSAAver Off Peak, which has limited region and date availability.

Fare type
Synopsis
MileSAAver Off Peak
  • Discounted awards during defined off-peak times of the year.
  • 22,500 miles between U.S.-Europe
MileSAAver
  • The traditional saver award rate.
  • 30,000 miles between U.S.-Europe
AAnytime Level 1
  • The first level of AAnytime awards.
  • 47,500 miles between U.S.-Europe
AAnytime Level 2
  • The highest published level of AAnytime awards.
  • 65,000 miles between U.S.-Europe

There are plenty of sweet spots in the American AAdvantage award chart, including the following:

  • Round-trip off-peak flights to Europe in economy for 45,000 miles, plus airline taxes and fees.
  • A MileSAAver Off Peak award to Hawaii for 20,000 miles is also a good deal, especially when you consider that taxes and fees on domestic flights are only $5.60 per leg.
  • Domestic, one-way flights start at just 7,500 miles, which is hard to beat if you want to get away, but not too far (flights at this cost are limited to 500 miles or less).

How many American Airlines miles do you need to fly?

From cheap Economy Web Specials to unpublished AAnytime award levels, American Airlines charges a very wide range of prices for award flights. This wide range of award prices can make it hard to know in advance how much an award might cost.

  • You can generally plan to spend between 10,000 and 20,000 miles each way per passenger for domestic economy award flights. However, award prices may be much higher around holidays.
  • American Airlines has charged as few as 5,000 miles each way for Economy Web Special awards.
  • Meanwhile, a first-class award from Dallas/Fort Worth to Hong Kong is currently priced as high as 235,000 miles each way.
  • For trips to Europe, you can expect to pay between 22,500 and 65,000 miles each way per passenger in economy class. If you want to splurge for business class, MileSAAver awards start at 57,500 miles each way, but the award rates sharply increase from there.

Web Special awards

What happened to Reduced mileage awards?

AAdvantage eliminated Reduced mileage awards on Oct. 1, 2021. This benefit has been replaced by Web Special awards.

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For especially cheap award flights, you should check out American Airlines Web Special awards, which are exclusively available on American Airlines' website. Web Special awards are discounted from a flight's current MileSAAver or AAnytime award level. In exchange for that discount, you won’t be allowed to make changes to the ticket.

American Airlines may apply Web Special pricing to discount the price of any one of the four published award rates. For example, here’s an economy award that’s currently priced at AAnytime Level 2 (65,000 miles). However, you can book an Economy Web Special for 41,000 miles one way:

main_cabin

Upgrade with AAdvantage miles

Generally speaking, American Airlines upgrades may or may not be a good value depending on the itinerary you book and the normal cash price. Since American Airline miles are worth around 1 cent each, an upgrade on that long international flight would set you back $600 in value, including the miles and cash copay required.

On most American Airlines flights, you can use your miles to move up to the next cabin:

  • For domestic flights within the 48 contiguous states, an upgrade from discount economy to premium economy will cost 15,000 AAdvantage miles plus $75.
  • On long international flights, that same discount-to-premium economy upgrade could cost you 25,000 miles plus $350.
  • Award tickets and basic economy fare tickets can not be upgraded.

Make sure to compare the full cash price of a flight and the cost of upgrading later before you select this option.

Other AAdvantage redemption options

  • You can redeem your miles for an Admirals Club membership, which lets you enter American Airlines elite lounges when you fly with the airline. An individual new membership will currently set you back up to 65,000 miles. Since the cash price for a membership is $650, this nets you 1 cent per AAdvantage mile — an average value for your miles.
  • Newspaper subscriptions
  • Charitable donation through various partner organizations that have been expertly curated by the airline

Do American Airlines miles expire?

Unfortunately, while many airlines like United and Southwest do not place an expiration date on their awards, American Airlines miles expire in 24 months without account activity.

To keep your AAdvantage account active, you’ll need to earn or redeem American miles at least once in an 18-month period

The good news is that it's easy to keep American miles from expiring. Every time you earn or redeem, the clock starts over and your miles are good for another year and a half.

If you worry that your American miles might be on the verge of expiring, you can prevent that from happening by using your AAdvantage credit card, shopping the American Airlines online mall or doing any other activity that will earn you miles.

American Airlines elite status

Due to impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, elite status qualifications for the AAdvantage program were lowered for 2021. Status earned in 2021 lasts until February 28, 2022.

Here are the different levels of status you can earn with American AAdvantage and how to get there. You’ll need to meet the EQD dollar requirement, along with the EQS or the EQM requirement for each tier.

Gold
Platinum
Platinum Pro
Executive Platinum
Elite Qualification Miles (EQMs)20,00040,00060,00080,000
Elite Qualification Segments (EQSs)20457095
Elite Qualification Dollars (EQDs)$2,000$4,500$7,000$12,000

Benefits of American Airlines elite status

The level of benefits you receive from American Airlines elite status vary depending on how high you climb on the elite status ladder. Obviously, Gold benefits are less substantial than perks for Executive Platinum elites, but all levels of status come with some incentives. Here are the main perks of status you can expect with each tier:

Gold

Platinum

Platinum Pro

Executive Platinum

  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less
  • 24-hour upgrade window
  • 40% elite mileage bonus
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra Seats at check-in
  • Complimentary Preferred Seats
  • 1 free checked bag

Gold

  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less
  • 24-hour upgrade window
  • 40% elite mileage bonus
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra Seats at check-in
  • Complimentary Preferred Seats
  • 1 free checked bag

Platinum

  • Complimentary auto-requested upgrades on flights 500 miles or less
  • 48-hour upgrade window
  • 60% elite mileage bonus
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats
  • 2 free checked bags

Platinum Pro

  • 1 elite choice reward
  • Complimentary upgrades on American and Alaska Airlines
  • 72-hour upgrade window
  • 80% elite mileage bonus
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats
  • 3 free checked bags

Executive Platinum

  • 2 elite choice rewards
  • Complimentary upgrades on American and Alaska Airlines
  • 100-hour upgrade window
  • 120% elite mileage bonus
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats
  • 3 free checked bags^
  • Additional rewards starting at 120,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs)

Is American Airlines AAdvantage worth it?

Pursuing American Airlines AAdvantage elite status is worth it if you fly with American often.

Joining the frequent flyer program is free, and there are so many more ways to earn miles for free flights. The right airline credit card could also net you 50,000 miles or more right off the bat — enough for several round-trip domestic flights in economy, an off-peak round-trip flight to Europe in economy or a round-trip economy flight from the contiguous 48 U.S. states and Canada to South America Region 1 (including countries like Peru and Colombia).

You have nothing to lose by joining this program, but you can gain free flights, upgrades and elite perks. With that in mind, what are you waiting for?

American Airlines AAdvantage FAQs

These questions and answers can help you learn more about the loyalty program of American Airlines.

Is American Airlines AAdvantage free?

The American Airlines AAdvantage program is free to join.

How do you sign up for American Airlines AAdvantage?

To sign up for the American AAdvantage program, all you have to do is head to the AA.com website and select the option to create a new account. From there, you’ll provide basic information like your name, address, birthdate, gender and contact information. You’ll also answer some security questions that’ill be used to protect your account information and your miles.

How does American Airlines AAdvantage work?

The American AAdvantage program is a frequent flyer program that awards its members with miles when they fly or make qualifying purchases. You can redeem your miles for free flights, flight upgrades, vacation packages, charitable contributions and more.

Is American Airlines AAdvantage a credit card?

American Airlines AAdvantage is a frequent flyer program, but there are plenty of airline credit cards affiliated with this program. With American Airlines credit cards, you can earn American miles for each purchase you make.

How do you add a previous flight to American Airlines AAdvantage?

The American AAdvantage program does let you request miles for flights you have already flown through its request flight miles page. All you need to do to submit a request is enter your AAdvantage number and your flight ticket number.

How do I find my American Airlines AAdvantage number?

You can find your American AAdvantage number by logging into your American AAdvantage account. Your AAdvantage number is made up of a combination of letters and numbers and it will be listed prominently on the home page under your name.

How do you add a family member to American Airlines AAdvantage?

You cannot add a family member to your American Airlines AAdvantage account, but each family member can sign up for their own account and earn their own miles.

How do you add American Airlines AAdvantage to an existing reservation?

You can add your American AAdvantage number to an existing reservation by heading to "Manage trips/Check in" on the home page and entering your record letter, which is made up of six letters. From there, you can update information on your flight, such as your American AAdvantage number and your Global Entry membership.

How do you change your name on American Airlines AAdvantage?

To formally change the name on your frequent flyer account, you’ll need to call into the airline. You’ll be asked to provide some information to confirm your new identity, which you can provide through an email address.

How do you keep American Airlines AAdvantage miles from expiring?

American Airlines miles expire if you don’t earn or use miles for 24 months. However, you can keep your miles from expiring by making a small purchase on an American Airlines credit card, flying with the airline to earn miles, redeeming miles for a hotel or rental car or taking any other steps that involve earning or redeeming miles from your account.

How do you sign up a child for American Airlines AAdvantage?

Your child can have their own American AAdvantage account, and you can sign them up using the same process you used to create your own account. Head to the American Airlines website and choose the option to open an American AAdvantage account. From there, you’ll provide your child’s name, your address, their birthdate and their gender. You’ll also answer some security questions to help protect their account.

Can you transfer points to American Airlines AAdvantage from your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

You cannot directly transfer points from Chase credit cards to the American AAdvantage program. However, you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book flights on American Airlines through the Chase travel portal.

The information related to Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® and AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).