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Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Frequent Flyer Miles

Different Ways You Can Use Your Frequent Flyer Miles

You can earn miles - and redeem them - for services and product other than flying. AAdvantage members can earn miles at more than 1,300 participating companies, which include more than 35 hotel chains that represent more than 75 brands, 30 airlines, eight car-rental companies and about 25 major financial companies. AAdvantage members can visit for a full list of partners.

Be sure to examine airline alliance programs. American is a member of the oneworld Alliance, which allows passengers to earn and redeem AAdvantage miles with participating airlines. The combination of AAdvantage participant airlines can take members to more than 880 destination throughout the world.

Look into alternative ways airlines might have for you to accrue miles. American offers several special programs to earn miles:

  • buyAAmiles program - Members can purchase up to 25,000 AAdvantage miles per member per calendar year. If a member is close to reaching an award, the buyAAmiles program let's them purchase the miles needed to reach the goal and claim the award.

  • giftAAmiles program - Looking for the perfect gift, or a unique way to reward employees or customers? With the giftAAmiles program, members can give up to 25,000 AAdvantage miles, per calendar year. The giftAAmiles program lets AAdvantage members give the gift of travel to those who matter most to them or reward those who most deserve it

  • shareAAmiles program - AAdvantage members now can share their miles with family and friends. Use the shareAAmiles program to transfer up to 60,000 miles and receive up to 15,000 miles, per calendar year.

Attain "elite" status in frequent-flyer programs, such as with AAdvantage Executive Platinum and AAdvantage Platinum. With elite membership comes benefits such as upgrades and expedited airport check-in.

To qualify for AAdvantage Gold membership, customers must earn 25,000 qualifying points or fly at least 25,000 qualifying miles or 30 qualifying segments during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).

To qualify for AAdvantage Platinum membership, members must earn 50,000 qualifying points or fly 50,000 qualifying miles or 60 qualifying segments during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31)

To qualify for AAdvantage Executive Platinum membership, members must earn 100,000 qualifying points or 100,000 qualifying miles during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).

Effective March 2004, American began offering its AAdvantage members:

  • All AAdvantage members can enjoy the benefits of upgraded service for less. Prices on 500-mile electronic upgrades are $25 via or $30 at the airport or through reservations

  • Complimentarily upgrades on all published fares for Executive
    Platinum members

  • One of the easiest ways to earn AAdvantage miles is by simply booking travel online.

    • Earn 1,000 bonus miles by using

    • Manage AAdvantage accounts online

    • Utilize Hot Spots to learn more about when to use MilesAAver Awards

    • Engage the Mileage Maximizer to uncover additional mile earning opportunities

    Maximizing AAdvantage Miles for Travel
    Travel during "off-peak" times. The major airport "hubs" tend to get more crowded during the "peak" traveling times (early morning, late afternoon). Try to travel during off-peak times (mid-morning through early afternoon or in the evening) from Monday through Thursday.

Whether you book online at or another travel site, use a travel agent or redeem your AAdvantage frequent flier miles, it is imperative to book as far in advance as possible to get the best deals on flights, hotels and rental cars to the destination you desire. During the summer months, popular flights sell out early.

AAnytime Awards - Available "anytime, anyplace, anywhere" there is a vacant seat, carry no restrictions, such as limited seat availability or travel embargo dates. They are the equivalent of full-fare airline tickets. AAnytime Awards can be redeemed by calling 1-800-882-8880.

MilesAAver Awards - These awards provide you with an economical alternative, if you can make your reservation in advance, but are subject to special limitations on seating availability and to certain travel embargo dates. MilesAAver Awards can be redeemed by calling 1-800-882-8880.

American recently eliminated the $100 fee for changes to date and/or time on MilesAAver award tickets

Customers can stand by at the airport for an earlier or later flight on the same day they are ticketed to travel, at no additional charge

Because American manages its seat inventory based on ever-changing customer demand, MileSAAver award seats for a specific flight may become available at any time up until departure. So, if you're trying to book MileSAAver award seats on a popular flight or at a peak time, you may want to check frequently.