AAdvantage is American Airline’s official frequent flyer program. American Airlines is currently the largest airline in the world, and it has one of the most popular rewards programs. With this loyalty program you will be able to earn miles for eligible flights, as well as booking hotels, cruises, and even just by paying your bills. When you fly on American Airlines or one of their partner airlines, you will be able to earn miles that you can redeem later on for a variety of rewards. Those who accumulate miles through American Airlines’ AAdvantage program will be able to redeem them for complimentary airline tickets, cabin upgrades, free or discounted car rentals, hotel stays, various merchandise items, and more. You will quickly discover that earning miles through this rewards program is quite easy and incredibly beneficial in a number of ways.

General Information

oneworld®
+1 (800) 882-8880

Pros

  • Easy to use booking tool
  • Discounted off-peak awards
  • Mileage price starts from 7,5K
  • Free 5 day hold on itineraries ❶
  • Good number of partner airlines
  • Good availability of saver awards
  • Only 2 airlines impose fuel surcharge

Cons

  • Close-in fee ❷
  • Miles expire in 18 months
  • Stopovers are not allowed
  • Only one 1 : 1 transfer partner
  • Not all partners are bookable online
  • Booking tool doesn't show stop duration

Fees & Charges

  • Close-in fee ❷
    $75
  • Change award fee
    $150
  • Cancellation fee
    $150
  • Phone booking fee ❸
    $0

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 18 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ Between 330 and 15 days prior to departure - 5 day hold
❶ 14 days or fewer prior to departure - 1 day hold
❶ Within 24 hours of departure - up until 2 hours prior to departure
❷ A $75 fee will be charged for award tickets booked less than 21 days prior to departure
❸ The American Airlines Reservations Ticketing Service Charge will be waived for all members redeeming miles for awards that cannot be booked on aa.com. For all other bookings: $30 - domestic travel; $40 - international travel

Transfer Partners

1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Starwood points
1 : 1
+5,000 BONUS
1,000
miles
2 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Hyatt points
2.5 : 1
400
miles
56 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
2.8 : 1
357
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Choice points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Choice points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
BW points
5 : 1
200
miles
7 days
1,000
BW points
5 : 1
200
miles
7 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
Wyndham points
5 : 1
200
miles
28 days
1,000
La Quinta points
5 : 1
200
miles
56 days
1,000
La Quinta points
5 : 1
200
miles
56 days
1,000
Hilton points
6.67 : 1
150
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
6.67 : 1
150
miles
4 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
miles
42 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to AAdvantage®.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
airberlin airberlin
oneworld®
Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines
No alliance
American Airlines American Airlines
oneworld®
Finnair Finnair
oneworld®
Qantas Qantas
oneworld®
Royal Jordanian Royal Jordanian
oneworld®
British Airways British Airways
oneworld®
Iberia Iberia
oneworld®
Air Tahiti Nui Air Tahiti Nui
No alliance
Cape Air Cape Air
No alliance
Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific
oneworld®
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
No alliance
Fiji Airways Fiji Airways
No alliance
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Gulf Air Gulf Air
No alliance
Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian Airlines
No alliance
Japan Airlines Japan Airlines
oneworld®
Jet Airways Jet Airways
No alliance
LATAM Brasil LATAM Brasil
oneworld®
LATAM Chile LATAM Chile
oneworld®
Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Airlines
oneworld®
NIKI NIKI
oneworld®
Qatar Airways Qatar Airways
oneworld®
S7 Airlines S7 Airlines
oneworld®
Seaborne Airlines Seaborne Airlines
No alliance
SriLankan Airlines SriLankan Airlines
oneworld®

Program Review

American Airlines, also known simply as American, has its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the largest airline in the world in terms of its fleet size as well as sheer revenue, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and the number of destinations it serves. This airline is a founding member of oneworld alliance, which is the third largest airline alliance in the world. You will find that this airline operates out of ten different hubs in Dallas, Chicago-O’Hare, Philadelphia, Miami, Phoenix, Washington, DC-National, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, and New York LaGuardia. This airline has a fleet size of 939 mainline aircrafts, and it flies to 350 different destinations around the world. The frequent flyer program that American Airlines offers, commonly known as AAdvantage, offers a number of benefits that are worth looking into before making a final decision of any kind.

 

AAdvantage Program

The AAdvantange is American Airlines’ frequent flyer program, and it awards members who pay more for their tickets. This loyalty program offers those who fly with this airline and their partners to accrue points/miles that can be used to redeem award flights, cabin upgrades, hotel bookings, vehicle rental, and more. There are a number of different elite statuses that members can work their way up through, and each one has different requirements. Those who fly with American Airlines often will definitely want to take the time to look into this program.

 

Earning AAdvantage Miles

It is important to understand that there are two different types of miles that you can earn with AAdvantage. There are award redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles. You will find that award redeemable flight miles can be earned on certain qualifying flights as well as spending with partners. These points can be exchanged for a wide variety of great rewards. Elite qualifying miles can only be earned on flights that are eligible. These miles cannot be redeemed for any sort of rewards, and their only purpose is to determine your eligibility for elite status. Next we are going to discuss award redeemable miles, because there is a lot that you will need to know about them. You will be able to earn award redeemable miles when you travel with American Airlines. You earn miles the second you purchase en eligible fare. You also have the option of earning these type of miles by traveling on eligible flights with partner airlines. You will, however, need to make sure that you add your AAdvantage number when you book your flight so that your miles get credited without any issues. You will be able to find a list of eligible partner airlines here. The structure for earning miles with American Airlines may vary depending on the partner you are flying with.

 

Earning Miles on Land and Sea

While most people think that they can only earn flight miles while they are in the air, the truth is that there are a lot of other ways. You can even earn miles when you book your ride from the airport with your AAdvantage car rental along with other transportation partners. If you book a cruise through American Airlines online portal, you will be able to earn miles that way as well. Everybody loves a nice relaxing cruise, and it can be a very effective way for you to earn a significant amount of miles for the future.

 

Redeeming Miles

Once you have accumulated quite a few AAdvantage miles, you will of course need to know how to go about redeeming them. These miles can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, such as award flights, cabin upgrades, and an Admirals Club membership. You even have the option of donating your miles for a good cause. When you go on American Airlines website, you will be able to make award flight reservations for travel on American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas, and Royal Jordanian. If you want to book award tickets on other partner airlines, you will need to call up American Airlines Reservations department.

 

Routing Rules

One of the downsides associated with the Aadvantage program is that stopovers are not allowed at all. Any layover that is four hours or longer on a domestic award of 24 hours or longer on an international award is considered to be a stopover, and it will cause your itinerary price as two separate awards. This 24-hour limit applies to domestic connections as well as international ones. One exception to this rule for domestic connections is that if the next scheduled flight is more than 4 hours away, you won’t have to pay for two separate awards.

 

Award Categories

There are two different award categories in American Airlines’ AAdvantage rewards program, including MileSAAver and AAnytime. Those who want more flexibility when it comes to changing flights will find that AAnytime can be extremely beneficial.
AAnytime awards are usually treated as full-fare (Y) tickets. MileSAAver rewards have all the restrictions of the MileSAAver awards category, and none of the benefits. It is important to keep in mind that MileSAAver business or domestic first tickets cost the same number of AAdvantage miles as AAnytime economy tickets. An AAnytime economy ticket will include two free checked bags and a Priority AAcess boarding pass. You will also be able to request seats in the Main Cabin Extra seats or Preferred Seats at no additional charge.

 

Booking Fees & Charges

There is a $75 fee for those who book less than 21 days in advance, a $150 fee for changing flights once a flight has been booked already, and a $150 fee for reinstating award tickets.

 

Redeem on Upgrades

You will be able to use the miles/points you accrue as an AAdvantage member for cabin upgrades so you can fly more comfortably. Those who travel with the contiguous 48 states, Alaska, and Canada, will need 15,000 points to upgrade from discount economy, 5,000 from full-fare economy, 15,000 + $175 from discount business, and 15,000 from full fare business.

 

Elite Levels

There are a number of elite levels that you can work your way up to when becoming an AAdvantage member. These elite levels include Executive Platinum Emerald, Platinum Pro Sapphire, Platinum Sapphire, and Gold Ruby. Those who want to become a Platinum Emerald member will need 100,00 EQMS (Elite Qualifying Miles), Platinum Pro requires 75,000, Platinum is 50,000, and Gold Ruby is 25,000. You will find that there are a number of benefits associated with each elite level, such as a 100-hour upgrade window for Executive Platinum members, or a 24-hour upgrade window for Gold members.

 

Benefits of AAdvantage Program

There are many different benefits associated with American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, including how easy it is to earn points, especially the further you go up their elite statuses hierarchy. Those who reach Executive Platinum Status will find that they will have absolutely no problem at all with earning points when they fly with American Airlines and their partners. Those who become a member of AAdvantage will find that there are also lots of premium promotions that members who are of an elite status can use to save quite a bit of money while earning more points. The double elite-qualifying points promotion, which offers great rewards to top-tier flyers without sacrificing luxury, is just one example of these promotions. You will quickly discover that there are also a lot of great upgrade opportunities for AAdvantage members, allowing you to fly in comfort with award flights.