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What Are The Best Ways To Earn American Airlines Miles?

Learn the most effective methods for earning American Airlines miles and start maximizing your travel benefits today.
By Robert Flowers III - 2023-12-20

There is no shortage of ways that you can earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. This includes flying American Airlines and their partners, using credit cards, 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).

Use Our Calculator To Maximize Your AAdvantage Miles

Discover personalized credit card options that match your spending habits and maximizes your AAdvantage Miles.

Simply input your monthly and yearly spend amounts into our easy-to-use calculator to find the best options for you!

Fly partner airlines

You can earn AAdvantage miles on flights marketed by American's oneworld and partner airlines.

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

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

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 lots of AAdvantage miles is by using American Airlines credit cards offered by Citi and Barclays. These credit cards not only allow you to earn AAdvantage miles on your everyday purchases, but they offer a range of perks and benefits including free checked bags, lounge access, and more.

Here are the credit cards that American Airlines offers:

Credit Card Highlights
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Best For Admirals Club Lounge Access
  • 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
  • $595 annual fee
American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
American Airlines AAdvantage® MileUp®
Best For No Annual Fee
  • 2X miles on American Airlines and restaurant purchases
  • 25% off in-flight purchases of food and beverage
  • $0 annual fee
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Earn 2X AAdvantage Miles on American Airlines purchases and on gas station and restaurant purchases
  • Earn 1X AAdvantage Miles on all other purchases
  • Receive the first checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 others when you use the card to pay for your flight
  • Enjoy priority perks which includes priority check-in, screening, and boarding privileges
  • Receive a $125 discount when you spend $20,000 or more on your card during the membership year
  • $95 annual fee
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  • Earn 2X AAdvantage Miles on American Airlines purchases and on telecommunications, rental car, and gas station purchases.
  • Earn 1X AAdvantage Miles on all other purchases
  • Receive the first checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 others when you use the card to pay for your flight
  • Enjoy priority perks which includes priority check-in, screening, and boarding privileges
  • Receive a $99 Domestic Economy Fare Companion Certificate when you spend $30,000 or more on the card during the membership year
  • $0 annual fee the first year, then $99 thereafter
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
  • Earn 2X AAdvantage Miles on American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1X AAdvantage Miles on all other 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 your Aviator Red Mastercard during the year
  • Receive $25 back in statement credits annually for Wi-Fi purchases on AA operated flights
  • $95 annual fee
AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®
AAdvantage® Aviator® World Elite Business Mastercard®
  • Earn 2X AAdvantage Miles on America Airlines, office supply store, telecommunications, and car rentals purchases
  • Earn 1X AAdvantage Miles on all other purchases
  • 5% mileage bonus on your card anniversary
  • First checked bag free for yourself and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation
  • $99 annual companion certificate after spending $30,000 or more on the card during the calendar year
  • $95 annual fee

Transfer Points From Partners To AAdvantage

American Airlines AAdvantage is a direct transfer partner of several programs including one flexible credit card rewards program: Bilt Rewards.

Here's the full list of partners you can use to earn AAdvantage miles:

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Bilt Rewards

Bilt Rewards points can be transferred to American Airlines AAdvantage at a 1:1 ratio meaning that every 1,000 Bilt Rewards points you transfer to AAdvantage will give you 1,000 AAdvantage miles.

The selling point of the Bilt Rewards program (outside of it's great transfer partners) is that you can earn points paying rent with no transaction fee. Depending on your rent payments, this is an easy way to build lots of points.

Here is the one credit card that Bilt offers:

Credit Card Highlights
Bilt Mastercard®
Bilt Mastercard®
  • Earn 3X points on dining.
  • Earn 2X points on travel.
  • Earn 1X points on rent payments, up to 100,000 points per year.
  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases.
  • Enjoy cell phone coverage and travel coverage including trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy is also a solid option for earning AAdvantage miles. Every 3,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer to AAdvantage will give you 1,000 AAdvantage miles.

Marriott Bonvoy members can earn up to 23.5 Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 spent at Marriott brand hotels when factoring in base points, elite status points, and Marriott credit card points. This is equal to a whopping 7.83 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent when transferred.

Here are the credit cards that Marriott offers:

Credit Card Benefits
Best For High-End Marriott Travelers
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program
  • Earn 3X Marriott Bonvoy points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • Earn 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide
  • Receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month worth up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card with no limit to how many times you can use this credit
  • Receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status each calendar year
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • $650 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Earn 4X Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2x points)
  • Earn 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Earn 1 Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year
  • Each calendar year you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status
  • $250 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • Welcome Offer: Earn Five Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $8,000 in eligible purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Redemption level up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points for each bonus Free Night Award, at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer Ends 3/20/24.
  • Earn 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program
  • Earn 4X points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Receive a Free Night Award that's good for any hotel that costs 35,000 points or less at the time of booking and earn a second 35,000-Point Free Night Award after spending $60,000 on the card during the calendar year.
  • Receive 15 elite nights towards top-tier elite status with Marriott
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Gold Elite status
  • $125 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card
  • Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Earn 4X points for every $1 on the first $15,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery store and dining purchases
  • Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 1,000 Bonus Points per each eligible stay at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year and automatic Gold Elite status each account anniversary year as a cardmember.
  • Enjoy a Free Night Award every calendar year, after $15,000 in spend, valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 50,000 points
  • $250 annual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®
  • Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive a Free Night Award that's good for any hotel that costs 35,000 points or less at the time of booking
  • Receive 15 elite nights towards top-tier elite status with Marriott
  • Receive 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status with Marriott for every $5,000 you run across the card
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status
  • $95 annual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
  • Earn 3 Bonvoy points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®
  • Earn 2 Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases
  • Earn 1 Bonvoy point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive 15 elite nights towards top-tier elite status with Marriott
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status
  • $0 annual fee

Shop online using the AA's portal

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 from AA

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.

At the standard rate, AAdvantage miles will cost you 3.7625 cents per mile. This means a 2,000-mile purchases would cost you $75.25. This is on the pricey side, but could be worth it if you're a few miles short of a redemption.

Purchasing AAdvantage Miles
AAdvantage Miles Cost
Cost Per Mile
2,000 - 150,000 Miles 3.7625 Cents

FAQs

How do you earn American Airlines miles?

American Airlines miles can be earned flying American Airlines and their partners, using credit cards, staying at hotels, renting cars, and shopping online.

Can you earn American Airlines miles using credit cards?

Yes. American Airlines offers several co-branded credit cards through Citi and Barclays.

Get Matched With The Best Credit Cards.

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