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Airline Loyalty Rewards

American Airlines AAdvantage Loyalty Program Review

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

There are several credit cards that can help you earn American miles that can be redeemed for some great award flights.

American Airlines Credit Cards

American Airlines has a credit card partnership with both Citi and Barclaycard. You can earn American miles directly with any one of them. One can even help you earn elite status.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card

With the Bilt card, you can earn Bilt Rewards points on rent, dining, travel, and more. You can then transfer your points directly to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio (a minimum of 2,000 points transferred).


Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to American at a transfer rate of 3:1.

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards



Other Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Several other hotel programs will let you transfer points to American Airlines. However, this is almost always a poor use of hotel points. Unless you are really in a bind, save your hotel points for hotel award stays at your destination.

American Airlines Overview

American’s mileage loyalty program is known as AAdvantage; it is one of the industry’s original loyalty programs and remains the largest with millions of members.

AAdvantage has been acclaimed as one of the more customer-friendly airline mileage programs, with elite status acquired solely via Loyalty Points that can be earned via many different means, including flying.

Miles can be earned by spending with American, Oneworld partners, other select participating airlines, and over 1,000 non-airline partners.

Accrued miles can then be used on any American flight, upgrade, or redemption travel on a partner airline, as well as some vacations, car rentals, hotels, and other retail products.

Joining AAdvantage

Enrollment is easy; you do not have to fly American before applying. Simply fill out the form, and you’re on your way!

You will gain the ability to earn miles, redeem awards, and work your way up toward elite status, which we will discuss in the next section.

How To Sign in to Your AAdvantage Account

Sign in on the homepage. You must enter your last name, AAdvantage account number, and password.

The login screen for AAdvantage.

Hot Tip: You can search for award flight availability on the American Airlines website without logging in to your account.

Viewing Your Account Activity

Detailed AAdvantage account activity is limited to 6 months. By visiting the new Account Activity page, you can see some activity as far back as 12 months.

Particularly if you have many partner flights that can have errors in awarding miles, it’s a good idea to print out your account activity every few months for your records.

Miles Expiration

AAdvantage miles expire after 24 months of inactivity, except for members who are under 21 years of age.

Any miles earning or redeeming activity counts, so you have many options beyond taking flights, such as using an American Airlines credit card, using the AAdvantage shopping portal, or enrolling in AAdvantage Dining to earn a few miles. All these activities reset the 24-month clock!

AAdvantage Program

AAdvantage Elite Status

AAdvantage has 4 elite status levels.

AAdvantage Gold: While other airlines have silver as their first elite status tier, American starts with Gold. Like other airlines, benefits at this level are few, but here are some highlights:

  • 1 free checked bag
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats within 24 hours of departure (50% advance purchase discount eliminated)
  • Complimentary preferred seats
  • Complimentary same-day standby
  • Complimentary upgrades on all eligible flights.
  • Earn 1 mile per dollar spent at Hyatt with the AAdvantage – World of Hyatt promotion (link accounts here)
  • Oneworld Ruby status for priority check-in and security with partners

AAdvantage Platinum (comparable to Gold status with Delta and United):

All Silver benefits plus:

  • 2 free checked bags
  • Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats
  • Oneworld Sapphire status for access to partner business class lounges (not American Admirals Club)

AAdvantage Platinum Pro (comparable to Platinum status with Delta and United):

All Platinum benefits plus:

AAdvantage Executive Platinum (comparable to Delta Diamond and United 1K):

All Platinum Pro benefits plus:

  • 3 free checked bags
  • Highest priority on all standby and upgrade lists
  • Loyalty Choice Rewards

Check American’s site for the full line-up of elite benefits.

Value of AAdvantage Elite Status

Overall, many travelers perceive that American Airlines’ elite status is losing value, and its Gold and Platinum levels lag behind the competition.

Frequent international travelers may consider their Oneworld Sapphire status among the best benefits of Platinum and Platinum Pro since it grants access to partner business class lounges.

At the top, Executive Platinum has long been respected as one of the highest-value airline status levels. Still, in recent years the primary benefit of systemwide upgrades (SWUs) was cut in half from 8 to 4, assuming the member selects those upgrades as part of their Loyalty Choice Rewards.

Unique among U.S. airline programs, Executive Platinum grants Oneworld Emerald status, which provides access to partner first class lounges even when flying economy. Comparable status with Delta and United only grants business class or similar lounge access, but not first class.

Earning AAdvantage Elite Status

Requirements for reaching elite status were recently revised to a Loyalty Points-based system.

Oneworld Ruby
Oneworld Sapphire
Platinum Pro
Oneworld Emerald
Executive Platinum
Oneworld Emerald
Loyalty Points40,00075,000125,000200,000

Loyalty Points can be earned in numerous ways, including flying American or partners, staying in a Hyatt hotel, renting a car booked through American, eating at an American dining partner, and so much more. You do not need to fly to earn status on American.

How To Earn AAdvantage Miles

There are a variety of ways to earn miles. From flying on American or its partners to utilizing other services, you will always be able to find ways to earn AAdvantage miles.

Earning Miles Through Flying

Mileage earning on American Airlines flights is now based on ticket price (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees):

  • Base member — 5 miles per dollar spent
  • Gold member — 7 miles per dollar spent (40% bonus)
  • Platinum member — 8 miles per dollar spent (60% bonus)
  • Platinum Pro member — 9 miles per dollar spent (80% bonus)
  • Executive Platinum member — 11 miles per dollar spent (120% bonus)

What you earn with airline partners depends on the partner, fare class, and marketing carrier (codeshare).

Earning Bonus Miles in Other Ways

Other partner bonus miles are a great way to earn extra miles for less frequent travelers.

Sign up for newsletters or follow the airline or mileage program via its Facebook or Twitter accounts to find out the latest promotions for earning bonus miles.

Make sure to use partner services for car rentals and hotel reservations, and add your AAdvantage number to all reservations.*

American’s preferred car rental agencies are Avis and Budget, but you can earn miles with other rental car agencies as well.

You can also earn miles through dining and shopping with the AAdvantage Dining program and the eShopping Mall.

*Note: If you add your airline loyalty program to other services, you won’t also earn status points with these franchises (unless it’s a preferred car rental agency that has specifically partnered with the airline; this partnership acts as a sort of alliance between airline and rental agency).

How To Redeem American AAdvantage Miles

American Airlines one standard form of awards, simply called Flight Awards. What you see on is the price you’ll pay. There are no longer “milesAAver” or “AAnytime” awards.

In a 3-cabin aircraft with separate economy, business, and first classes (such as JFK-LAX/SFO transcontinental routes or select international routes), American will charge higher rates for first than for business.

If you’re interested, we’ve dedicated an entire post to the best of the best ways to redeem 100K AAdvantage miles.

Oneworld and Partner Awards

AAdvantage has a separate Oneworld and other airline partner award chart with its own pricing.

American Airlines has many unpublished award routing rules that you learn through trial and error. For instance, a U.S.-Australia route is not allowed to transit via Asia unless you pay the more expensive U.S.-Asia one-way price plus the Asia-Australia one-way price. It is cheaper to fly direct, but award availability on American and partner Qantas is scarce.

Both Etihad and Qatar now have certain transit exceptions providing for single-award pricing to Africa and other areas.

Booking Online

Not all American Airlines partners can be booked online, so don’t give up. Call American Airlines to check for availability.

Only these partners can be booked online: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cape Air, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Hawaiian Airlines, Malaysian, Qantas Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, S7, SriLankan, and Air Tahiti Nui.

To save time, do research on partner airline websites prior to calling American Airlines:

  • Use the British Airways or Qantas website for Oneworld partners
  • Use the Etihad website for Etihad flights (look for GuestSeat availability, not OpenSeat)

Hot Tip: To book business or first class awards on Etihad, you need to call AAdvantange in Australia at +61-02-9101-1948. This team can put the award on hold for you; then call AAdvantage in the U.S. to issue the ticket. If you call the U.S. directly, you will be told there are no Etihad award seats.

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The information regarding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

AAdvantage is the loyalty or frequent flyer program for American Airlines. It is a free program, and by signing up you can earn a range of benefits and gain the ability to earn free flights.

Benefits are earned based on elite status. The 4 tiers of elite status in the program are Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum.

Depending on your level, you will get access to free bags, priority check-in and boarding, premium seats, security priority, access to upgrades, and more.

In 2022, AAdvantage moved to a system based on Loyalty Points, taking into account the amount of loyalty you provide to the airline through flying, dining, staying in hotels, and more.

Once you have earned enough miles by flying with American or earning with its partners, you can redeem for travel through AA or any of its Oneworld or other airline partners.

Partners in AAdvantage are many, including travel partners (airlines, hotels, etc.) and shopping partners. You can utilize miles to travel with all Oneworld partners and other partner airlines. However, you can’t directly transfer miles to these partners.

You can use miles to transfer to hotel partners for booking, and you can also use miles to shop at a variety of other partners.

You can sign in to AAdvantage online.

Sign up for the AAdvantage program by filling out an online form.

You can find your AAdvantage number by signing in to your account, on your membership card, or through a variety of marketing emails you may be sent.

If you can’t find it there, try using the “forgot my password” tool to reset your account so you can get in. Alternatively, try calling the customer service desk to find your number.

The program started on May 1, 1981, and is credited as the first major airline loyalty program.

US Airways and American Airlines finalized their merger in 2015. The loyalty program is under American’s AAdvantage name.

It can take up to a week after your flight for miles to post, but sometimes it takes longer. If you are earning miles through partners, wait 6 to 10 weeks to ensure your miles are credited.

Miles will expire after 24 months of inactivity, except for members who are under 21 years of age. Simply earn or redeem once every 24 months to keep your miles active. Any type of mileage earning or redemption activity counts, such as online shopping mile bonuses.

Your status will be good through the next calendar year and February of the following year. For instance, if you earn status in June 2023, your status is good through February 2025.

Yes, there are several American Airlines-branded cards from Citi and Barclays. Visit our guide for full details.

If you find a reservation you may want to book, you can hold the reservation for 24 hours instead of booking it to decide whether the fare is right for you.

The hold option is available at checkout as an alternative to paying.

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Maryjane Eldred

July 16, 2018

Be careful of the fees. I cancelled a flight I purchased with points and to reinstate those points would cost me $150, about half the cost of the original ticket. I was truly disappointed in that it took me a year to earn those points and I had to cancel due to illness. The ticket was for a family event that won’t happen again before the points expire. I also don’t expect to fly again this year so basically I lost all my points/miles.

David I Reichman

November 07, 2018

Given it is November 7th 2018, is there any partner or AA offering double/triple EQM this year ?

Jeff Brownson

November 08, 2018

Hi David, we haven’t seen any offers for EQM multipliers yet this year but you should definitely keep an eye out. AA has been known to send them out in the past.

Julie Burke

May 18, 2019


May I donate my AA Advantage miles to my daughters AA Advantage account? If so, please advise as to where I can find instructions. Thanks!

Julie Burke

Hi Julie. Yes, it is possible to transfer miles to your daughter’s account but it is quite expensive to do so. You can book flights for anyone you wish from your account for no extra cost. Here is the link to learn more, however.

M. N.

June 15, 2019

AA miles are pretty much worthless as hardly any premium cabin is available under milesaver. AA is so bad that when I was looking at NRT-ORD on a specific date, they had no seats for several month out. However, when I go to JAL’s ( oneworld partner) site they have 4 seats in Business class on the same AA flight #154 available under JAL’s mile saver which is 50,000 miles. AA will not open any seats for their own customers but they will for a partner airline frequent flyer. There is something really wrong here.

jacqueline wurn

July 03, 2019

How do I sign up?

Jarrod West

July 03, 2019

Hi Jacqueline,

You can sign-up for an American Airlines AAdvantage account through this link:

Luis Ramos-Garcia

July 23, 2019

I have been an AAvantage member for a number of years, but many times AA employees had trouble to find my AAdvantage number, thus they asked me to report it my trips to AA at a later time, I am never sure if I had those miles credited to me. I believe this is happening because the AAdvantage name different from my legal name, which contains a middle name. Could you please correct this in your records, and send me a new membership card with the correct name? Thank you for your help. Luis

Stephen Au

July 23, 2019


For security reasons, we removed your AAdvantage number, address, and phone number. We are NOT American Airlines, so we cannot provide any guidance in this matter. Please contact American Airlines and address the issue with them. Thanks.

Roger Masse

July 29, 2019

Can a Spouse use my frequent flyer miles? Nowhere can I find an answer to this simple question. Thanks!

Christine Krzyszton

July 29, 2019

Hi Roger. You, as the owner of your AAdvantage frequent flyer account, can book tickets using miles for anyone. Hopefully this answers your question. If not, please clarify.

Guy Nanney

September 26, 2019

When did it start costing an extra $75 to book a flight using AAdvantage miles?

Andrew Kunesh

September 26, 2019

Hey, it should only cost $75 extra when booking less than 21 days from departure. Unfortunately, American calls this a “close-in” fee.

Barry B. Culpepper Jr.

November 06, 2019

My name on my American mileage account does not match my passport or my tickets when they are booked. How can I change my name on my American Airlines AAdvantage account to reflect my passport?

Barry B. Culpepper Jr.

Christine Krzyszton

November 07, 2019

Hi Barry. You can log in to your AAdvantage account online at and under “Information and Password” you can change your name to match your passport.

Lucille Simpson

November 16, 2019

How do I cancel a booked flight do to a medical condition?

Katie Seemann

November 17, 2019

Hi Lucille,

This article should help: How To Cancel An American Airlines Flight

Richard P. Ellis

March 01, 2020

How can I get mileage after I took a trip to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji?
I started out with American then Qantas, and finished up my trip with
FIJI airways. Is there anyway I can get credit for all those miles? My AADVANTAGE # is 5XXXX.
I do have all my tickets to verify if needed plus I also had my girlfriend with me and I have all her tickets.
Please advise me. Thank you.

Christine Krzyszton

March 02, 2020

Hi Richard. Please be advised that we are not American Airlines, we are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in providing information resources regarding points, miles, and travel. I have removed your actual AAdvantage number for privacy. You can request your miles (and those for your girlfriend) via this link or you can call American Airlines AAdvantage customer service (800-882-8880) for assistance.

Joanne Garland

April 16, 2020

We are 73 years old. American has just changed our one-way September award flight from Amsterdam to the US. The new flight takes seven hours longer and arrives after midnight, which will not work for us! We have paid over $100 in taxes. What are our options?

Stephen Au

April 16, 2020

Hi Joanne,

If you change the ticket, you won’t be double-charged for taxes and fees. You’ll get your taxes and fees refunded and your new taxes and fees will be charged. You’ll just need to find availability for a different flight that fits your schedule. After your find availability, you should be able to change it.

Klaude Konrad

July 20, 2020

How do I talk to someone about my account?

Jarrod West

July 21, 2020

Hi Klaude,

You will need to contact the AAdvantage customer service line by calling 1-800-433-7300.


December 19, 2020

My son was a frequent flyer with American. He was killed in a very untimely manner. Can his daughter get any benefits from his accumulated miles?

Jarrod West

December 22, 2020

Hi Russell,

I’m very sorry for your loss. According to American: “If a loved one dies, call the AAdvantage customer service line and they will send you an email requesting a copy of the death certificate and an affidavit. The affidavit will need to include the deceased member’s account number and the account info of the person(s) you would like to transfer the miles to.”


July 08, 2023

My wife and I recently flew from CLT to LAX and return and I do not think we got credit for the mileage … please let me know what I have to do to add this trip to our frequent flyer mileage … thank you -MEWITTE

Keri Stooksbury

July 08, 2023

Hi Marvin – You can visit this link to request missing miles. Thanks for reading!

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