As an AAdvantage member, you can earn and redeem award miles and qualifying dollars, miles and flight segments on American Airlines and American Eagle flights and for flights on oneworld partners and other affiliated carriers. You'll also earn award miles (and in some cases, EQMs and EQDs) for everyday purchases made with your AAdvantage-affiliated MasterCard or Citi credit card. Additionally, you can earn miles for hotel stays, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages with any American Airlines partner.
For every American Airlines flight flown, you will collect 5 miles (as a basic AAdvantage member) for every U.S. dollar spent on the base fare, plus carrier-imposed fees (not including government-imposed taxes or fees). Gold members will collect 7 award miles, Platinum members will accrue 8 award miles, Platinum Pro members will receive 9 award miles and Executive Platinum members will earn 11 award miles per U.S. dollar spent on flights. You will also earn miles for every American codeshare (American Airlines-marketed) flight operated by another carrier; American Airlines codeshare flights are identified by an "AA" code at the beginning of the flight number. Simply put, the more money you spend and the higher your elite status, the more award miles you'll earn.
In addition to award miles, you'll earn EQDs, which are awarded based on your ticket price, carrier-imposed fees included. You'll also collect EQSs (based on the number of one-way flights you take and the fare class you select) and EQMs (which are determined by the number of miles you earn and the fare class purchased). Each economy-, business- and first-class ticket for flights on American Airlines and its partner carriers earn 1 EQS, while a basic economy fare qualifies for half an EQS. You'll receive 3 EQMs for every full-fare first- or business-class ticket purchased, 2 EQMs for every discount first- or business-class ticket purchased, 1.5 EQMs for full-fare premium economy- and economy-class tickets purchased, 1 EQM for every discount economy-class ticket purchased and half an EQM for basic economy tickets purchased (though these credits can fluctuate among affiliated airline partners). You can also receive miles when you use your AAdvantage-affiliated MasterCard or Citi credit card. Plus, partnerships with various retailers and restaurants, car rental companies like Budget and Avis, cruise lines (including Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Lines) and major hotel brands, such as Hilton, Hyatt and InterContinental, allow you to accumulate miles on other travel expenses.
AAdvantage award miles can be used to cover the cost of American Airlines and American Eagle flights, as well as travel on affiliated carriers and oneworld partners, including Iberia and airberlin. To use AAdvantage miles, you must book your flight through the American Airlines website and input your designated AAdvantage number at the time of booking. For award travel with oneworld partners, you may book your flight online, or in cases where itineraries are not available online, you may book your flight by contacting American Airlines Reservations. American Airlines flight awards are divided into two categories: MileSAAver, which start at 7,500 miles for redemption, and AAnytime, which start at 20,000 miles for redemption and do not impose blackout dates. You may also reserve upgraded seats on reward flights with AAdvantage miles and cash (if required) on American Airlines, as well as with AAdvantage miles on select participating oneworld carriers. The number of miles or points required for award travel varies by airline, route, time of year and availability. Below you'll find the minimum number of miles needed (as of July 2018) to cover a round-trip flight on six of American Airlines' most popular routes:
|Route||Lowest calculated round-trip cost (in points)|
|Dallas - San Antonio||15,000|
|Dallas - Houston||15,000|
|Miami - Los Angeles||25,000|
|Los Angeles - Washington, D.C.||25,000|
|Dallas - Los Angeles||25,000|
|Boston - Miami||32,500
The calculated costs shown above are based on booking searches conducted by U.S. News in July 2018. We analyzed 12 of each airline's highly trafficked routes within three round-trip mileage categories: short domestic, medium domestic and long for three different round-trip dates between July and September.
AAdvantage members can use miles to cover the cost of nightly stays at more than 150,000 properties in 500-plus destinations around the world thanks to American Airlines' alliance with hotel brands like Wyndham, Hilton and Marriott. American Airlines' partnership with a variety of car rental companies also enables you to save on ground transportation. Additionally, the AAdvantage program gives you the opportunity to apply your miles toward vacations, magazine and newspaper subscriptions and gift cards, or you can exchange miles for LifeLock identity theft protection. In lieu of redeeming rewards for yourself, you may also opt to donate your miles to charity.
You Might Also Like
Delta SkyMiles ...
The Delta SkyMiles program is convenient for frequent flyers based in United States cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle, and for passengers who often travel to and from New York City. Delta Air Lines operates more than 15,000 flights each day to 1,000-plus destinations across more than 50 countries. By becoming a SkyMiles member, you'll earn miles based on the amount you pay for your flight with Delta, Delta Connection or Delta Shuttle; you can also earn miles for flying with any of Delta's multiple partner airlines, including KLM, Air France and Virgin Atlantic, among others. Those miles can be redeemed for free air travel on any participating airline or cashed in for cabin upgrades, unique experiences (such as concert tickets) or items for sale at the SkyMiles Marketplace. When you fly with Delta, you will also earn Medallion Qualification Miles, Medallion Qualification Segments and Medallion Qualification Dollars, which will help you gain access to a variety of perks through the Delta SkyMiles Medallion elite membership program. You can also earn miles on everyday purchases if you've signed up for a Delta SkyMiles credit card by American Express.
Hilton Honors ...
The Hilton Honors program is most advantageous for business and luxury travelers who frequently fly to and stay in major cities in the United States, Europe and Asia. Hilton Honors members can redeem points at more than 5,300 hotels and resorts across 14 different brands in more than 100 countries and territories. And because Hilton has a partnership with the United MileagePlus program (as well as more than 40 other airline and rail partners), you can cash in points for miles. Points can also be used to purchase tickets to concerts and sporting events, gift cards, cruise certificates and items sold on Amazon and Hilton Honors' shopping portal. Additionally, you can earn points for everyday purchases with the Hilton Honors credit cards from American Express.
The United MileagePlus program is best for travelers based in major American cities and those who travel to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Latin America and Asia. When you become a MileagePlus member, you can earn and use miles on United and its 35-plus airline partners like Singapore Airlines, ANA and Copa Airlines, many of which are part of the Star Alliance network. As a MileagePlus member, you'll accrue Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs), Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs) and Premier Qualifying Dollars (PQDs) each time you fly. Earn enough PQDs and PQMs or PQSs and you'll reach Premier status – MileagePlus membership levels for which you'll receive extra benefits. Additionally, you can earn miles on qualifying cruise vacations, car rentals and train fares, as well as on shopping, dining and other services. You can also earn miles for gas purchases at participating BP locations in the U.S. And since United partners with major hotel brands, including Marriott, Hyatt and IHG, you can earn rewards when you stay at properties worldwide. You may also redeem miles for flights, hotel stays, cruises, magazine subscriptions, destination experiences (think: sporting events and theater performances) and more. Choose to use one of four United MileagePlus credit cards from Chase Visa and you'll earn miles on flights and everyday purchases.