American Airlines AAdvantage

Points

#5 in Best Airline Rewards Programs

Points

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.

Earn Points

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 earns 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-class tickets purchased, 1 EQM for every full-fare or 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 MarriottWyndham and InterContinental, allow you to accumulate miles on other travel expenses. If you have elite status and link your AAdvantage account to a World of Hyatt account, you can earn both AAdvantage award miles and World of Hyatt points during American Airlines flights and stays at participating Hyatt properties, as well as for activities booked through Hyatt's FIND experiences program.

Using Points

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 Cathay Pacific. 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 three categories: MileSAAver (which start at 7,500 miles for redemption), AAnytime (which start at 20,000 miles for redemption and do not impose blackout dates) and Economy Web Special (which require fewer miles than MileSAAver and AAnytime awards and are only available for economy-class tickets for select flights and dates on the American Airlines website).

You may also reserve upgraded seats on award 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 2019) 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 25,000

The calculated costs shown above are based on booking searches conducted by U.S. News in July 2019. 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 Choice, Meliá and Best Western. 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 vacation packages, magazine and newspaper subscriptions and gift cards, or you can exchange miles for LifeLock identity theft protection. What's more, miles can be used to purchase or renew an Admirals Club lounge membership. In lieu of redeeming rewards for yourself, you may also opt to donate your miles to charity.

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