Your Quick & Simple Guide To American Airlines AAdvantage

Frequent Flyer Programs
Maximize your rewards with American Airlines AAdvantage! Learn everything you need to know about earning and redeeming miles with our easy-to-follow guide.
By R.Flowers III

AAdvantage is the frequent flyer program of American Airlines. Miles can be earned flying AA and their airline partners, spending with travel partners, and using credit cards. They can be redeemed for tickets, flight upgrades, car rentals, hotel stays, merchandise and more.

American Airlines partners

American Airlines is part of the oneworld alliance which allows you to earn and redeem your AAdvantage miles for flights with partners all around the world. If you fly American Airlines enough to obtain elite status, you'll receive a handful of benefits when flying these partners including lounge access and extra baggage allowance.

Oneworld Alliance

Here are American Airlines' Oneworld alliance 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 partner airlines

There are also a handful of airline partners outside of the Oneworld alliance that you can use to earn or redeem miles with. These partner airlines include:

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

Do note that you cannot book award travel on aa.com for China Southern Airlines, Etihad Airways and GOL Airlines. For these, you will need to call the respective airline to book award travel.

How much are AAdvantage miles worth?

The Point Calculator values American Airlines AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents each when redeemed for standard economy flights. This means that 10,000 miles is equal to about $140 in average flight value.

You can maximize your value by booking Business class or First class awards. These type of redemptions can give your points up to a value of 2 cents or more.

AAdvantage miles value

Redemption option Redemption value in cents
First/Business Class flights 2
Economy flights 1.4
Admiral Club membership 0.73
Hotel stays 0.64
Car rentals 0.6

How to earn AAdvantage miles

There is no shortage of ways that you can earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. This includes flying American Airlines and their partners, staying at hotels, renting cars, shopping online, and much more.

Here's a handful of the most common ways to earn AAdvantage miles:

Fly American Airlines

When you fly on an American Airlines operated flight, you will earn miles based on the base price of your ticket. This is the total cost of your ticket minus taxes and fees.

The amount of miles you earn will be based on your AAdvantage elite status which is based on how many Loyalty Points you've earned during the qualification year.

Here's how many AAdvantage miles each status tier in the program earns per dollar spent:

  • AAdvantage: 5 miles per $1 spent which is the base earning rate.
  • Gold: 7 miles per $1 spent which is a 40% bonus.
  • Platinum: 8 miles per $1 spent which is a 60% bonus.
  • Platinum Pro: 9 miles per $1 spent which is a 80% bonus.
  • Executive Platinum: 11 miles per $1 spent which is a 120% bonus.

So if you were to book a flight that cost $200 plus $25 in taxes, you would earn 1,000 miles ($200 x 5 miles per dollar) as an AAdvantage member. That same flight, as an Executive Platinum member, would earn you 2,200 AAdvantage miles ($200 x 11 miles per dollar).

Fly partner airlines

You can earn AAdvantage miles on flights marketed by American's oneworld and partner airlines. When flying these partners, you will earn AAdvantage miles based on flight distance and the fare class of your ticket. It will then be multiplied by your AAdvantage elite status.

Cheaper economy tickets will usually results in you getting less of your miles flown while flying in higher cabins such as business class and first class will generally result in you receiving 100% of your miles flown along with a cabin bonus.

For example, lets say that you're a Platinum Pro elite and bought a ticket from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia which is about 7,400 miles.

If you purchased an H Fare Economy ticket you would only receive 50% of your flown miles which is 3,700 AAdvantage miles. You would then receive an 80% bonus on top of that which would be a total of 6,660 miles and Loyalty Points earned.

Use American Airlines credit cards

One of the best and easiest ways to earn AAdvantage miles is by using American Airlines credit cards. Both Citi and Barclays offer AAdvantage credit cards.

Credit Card Highlights Annual Fee
Best For No Annual Fee
  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage┬« bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • 2X miles on American Airlines and restaurant purchases
  • 25% off in-flight purchases of food and beverage
$0
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • 2X miles on American Airlines, gas station, and restaurant purchases.
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 others traveling with you.
  • Receive a $125 discount when you spend $20K or more on the card during the membership year.
  • 25% off in-flight purchases of food and beverage
$95
Best For Admirals Club Lounge Access
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage┬« bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • 2X miles on American Airlines purchases
  • Complimentary Admirals Club membership
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 8 others traveling with you
  • Up to $100 towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application
$495
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  • 2X miles on American Airlines, telecommunications, rental car, and gas station purchases
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • Priority perks including check-in, screening, and boarding privileges
  • Receive a $99 Domestic Economy Fare Companion Certificate when you spend $30K or more on the card during the membership year.
$0 the first year, then $99
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
  • 2X miles on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • $99 companion certificate after spending $20,000 or more on the card during the year
  • Receive $25 back in statement credits annually for Wi-Fi purchases on AA operated flights
$95
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Card
Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Card
  • 2X miles on America Airlines, office supply store, telecommunications, and car rental purchases.
  • 5% mileage bonus on your card anniversary.
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation.
  • A $99 annual companion certificate after spending $30,000 or more on the card during the calendar year.
$95

Shop online

You can earn AAdvantage miles shopping online when you click through the online AAdvantage shopping portal. You merely sign up for an account, find the merchant you wish to shop with, and click through.

A new window or tab will open and you'll be dropped off on the merchants site. You can then shop as normal and even log into your loyalty account if the merchant has one.

Once you make a purchase, AAdvantage will be notified and you will be rewarded AAdvantage miles and Loyalty points in addition to the rewards earned through that merchant's reward program (if they have one) and the earnings you'll get if you used a rewards credit card to checkout.

It's an easy way to triple dip on rewards!

Buy miles

If you're short on AAdvantage miles, you can buy them. American Airlines has promotions several times per year that allows you to buy AAdvantage miles with a bonus or a discount.

What can you redeem AAdvantage miles for?

American Airlines AAdvantage miles can be redeemed for award flights, seat upgrade, hotel stays, car rentals, vacation packages, lounge access, and much more. You'll get the best value of your miles when you use them to book flights with American Airlines and their airline partners.

Award flights

AAdvantage miles can be redeemed on aa.com for award flights with American Airlines and their partners. When searching for award travel on aa.com, all American Airlines and partner flights will be listed in the results together.

When booking flights with American Airlines, you'll keep your eye out for MileSAAver rates which allows you to book one-way flights for as little as 7,500 miles with taxes and fees starting at $5.60 per person.

If you want to get the most out of your AAdvantage miles, there are many sweet spots in the AAdvantage program. This includes:

  • U.S. to the Middle East in Qatar Qsuites: 70,000 miles one-way.
  • U.S. to Japan in First Class on Japan Airlines: 80,000 miles one-way.
  • U.S. to Europe in Economy: 60,000 miles round-trip and 45,000 miles round-trip during off-peak!
  • U.S. to Europe in Business: 115,000 round-trip.

Admirals Club membership

AAdvantage miles can be used to pay for Admirals Club membership. The cost of this redemption depends on the membership type you wish to purchase and your elite status in the AAdvantage program.

If you want access to Admirals Club lounges, I highly suggest picking up the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® which grants complimentary membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you. The card's annual fee is $200 cheaper than paying for membership and you can a long list of additional benefits along with the ability to earn AAdvantage miles on your purchases.

Car rentals

AAdvantage miles can be used to rent cars with all of the major car rental companies including Hertz, Avis, Budget, and Dollar. Booking car rentals through American Airlines will give your miles low value.

Hotel stays

AAdvantage miles can also be used to book hotels. This includes all of the leading brands like Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, and more. Similar to car rentals, you'll get very low value out of these redemptions.

American Airlines elite status

The American Airlines AAdvantage program is free to sign up for. Once you sign up, you'll be given an American Airlines AAdvantage number. You'll use this number when booking flights and making purchases which allows you to earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points.

Loyalty Points is the only metric in the AAdvantage program. They can be earned when you fly American Airlines, spend on American Airlines credit cards, and spend with AAdvantage partners.

American Airlines has four tiers of elite status: Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum. There is also an invite only level called Concierge Key.

Here are the Loyalty Point requirements for earning AAdvantage elite status:

  • 40,000 Loyalty Points for AAdvantage Gold.
  • 75,000 Loyalty Points for AAdvantage Platinum.
  • 125,000 Loyalty Points for AAdvantage Platinum Pro.
  • 200,000 Loyalty Points for AAdvantage Executive Platinum.

American Airlines AAdvantage elites will also receive Oneworld status which grants perks when flying on other Oneworld airlines.

AAdvantage Gold benefits

AAdvantage Gold members earn a 40% status mileage bonus, 24-hour upgrade window, complimentary Preferred Seats, complimentary Main Cabin Extra Seats at check-in, and 1 free checked bag.

When flying oneworld alliance airlines, AAdvantage Gold members will be able to enjoy Oneworld Ruby status.

AAdvantage Platinum benefits

AAdvantage Platinum members receive a 60% status mileage bonus, 48-hour upgrade window, complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats at booking, and 2 free checked bags.

When flying oneworld alliance airlines, AAdvantage Platinum members will be able to enjoy Oneworld Sapphire status.

AAdvantage Platinum Pro benefits

AAdvantage Platinum Pro members receive a 80% status mileage bonus, 72-hour upgrade window, complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats at booking, and 3 free checked bags. Platinum Pro members will also get to choose 1 Loyalty Choice Reward when they qualify for status and fly 30 qualifying segments during the qualification period.

When flying oneworld alliance airlines, AAdvantage Platinum Pro members will be able to enjoy Oneworld Emerald status.

Executive Platinum benefits

AAdvantage Executive Platinum members receive a 120% status mileage bonus, 100-hour upgrade window, complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats at check-in, and 3 free checked bags. Executive Platinum members can also choose a second Loyalty Choice Reward when they qualify for status and fly 30 qualifying segments during the qualification period.

When flying oneworld alliance airlines, AAdvantage Executive Platinum members will be able to enjoy Oneworld Emerald status.

Our Credit Card Recommendations For American Airlines

10,000 Bonus Miles
Fantastic choice for earning AAdvantage miles on all purchases while paying no annual fee.
50,000 Bonus Miles
Enjoy complimentary Admiral Club Lounge access, a free checked bag, and priority perks.
75,000 bonus miles
Earn unlimited miles that can be put towards any type of travel including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.
Calculate Total Rewards & Card Value Per $1 Spent For 200+ U.S. Credit Cards
Search Results Display Here