Insights > How to Use American Airlines AAdvantage Miles to Book Flights and Travel 

How to Use American Airlines AAdvantage Miles to Book Flights and Travel 

7 minute read 07 April 2024
Written by: Sarah Cash

American Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines. Its loyalty program, American AAdvantage, gives you the ability to earn and redeem American Airlines miles for flights, upgrades, and other travel, both on American and partner airlines. Here’s how to use American Airlines miles to book flights and other travel services.

How to use AA miles for flights on American Airlines

The best way to redeem American Airlines miles is subjective, but the easiest way is surely on an American Airlines flight. For its own flights, American has a pretty easy-to-understand award chart with awards starting at just 7,500 miles each way — and it’s possible to find short-haul domestic flights for even less.

How to use American miles for flights on partner airlines

Another fantastic way to use American Airlines AAdvantage miles is for flight awards on partner airlines. American is a Oneworld alliance member, which includes the following airlines:

  • Alaska Airlines 
  • British Airways 
  • Cathay Pacific 
  • Finnair 
  • Iberia 
  • Japan Airlines 
  • Malaysia Airlines 
  • Qantas 
  • Qatar Airways 
  • Royal Air Maroc 
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines 
  • SriLankan Airlines

You can also redeem AAdvantage miles for award tickets on the following American Airlines partners:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • SriLankan Airlines

Using American’s partner awards chart is an excellent way to score economy and business-class seats internationally, especially to the Middle East and Asia. While availability for partner airline flights can be spotty, you can generally find seats on Etihad Airways in business class for 62,500 miles one-way, or even Japan Airlines first class for 80,000 miles one-way.

How to use AAdvantage miles to upgrade

Looking to fly business class? The American Airlines AAdvantage program allows you to use miles to upgrade your ticket. Upgrades start at 5,000 miles one way, though it’s important to note that upgrading from economy to business or first class will result in premium cabin taxes and carrier-imposed fees.

How to use American Airlines points for other travel

You can redeem AAdvantage miles on far more than just award flights. You can also use miles on ancillary purchases, like lounge access, upgrades, and more. Let’s take a look at how you can redeem AAdvantage miles for other travel.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for hotels, rental cars, and shopping

  • Your AAdvantage miles can be used to purchase an Admirals Club lounge membership (85,000 AAdvantage miles) or a day pass (7,900 AAdvantage miles). 
  •  You can redeem AAdvantage miles for upgrades on on American, British Airways and Iberia flights starting at 5,000 miles one-way
  • You can reserve Main Cabin seats with AAdvantage miles
  • AAdvantage members can redeem miles for car rental and hotel purchases (AAdvantage elite status members and cardmembers use up to 30% fewer miles when logged in).
  • Use AAdvantage miles to book a vacation.

While you can use AAdvantage miles for other travel, it’s not the best way to use them. You will get the most value by using AAdvantage miles for flights on American or other Oneworld partners.

Transferring points to American Airlines AAdvantage

You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to American AAdvantage at a ratio of 3:1, and Bilt Rewards points to American at a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately, none of the other major credit card issuers’ rewards programs — American Express, Chase, Citi, Capital One — transfer over to American AAdvantage.

However, you can transfer hotel points from several chains to American:

  • IHG One Rewards: transfer 10,000 IHG One Rewards points and receive 2,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Marriott Vacation Club: transfer 500 Vacation Club Points and receive 8,000 AAdvantage miles. You’ll earn an additional 4,000 bonus AAdvantage miles for every 250 Vacation Club Points converted within the same transaction.
  • World of Hyatt: transfer 5,000 World of Hyatt points and receive 2,000 AAdvantage miles

How do I join American AAdvantage?

Joining the American AAdvantage loyalty program is simple. Visit the American Airlines website, where you’ll register using your name, date of birth, gender, home or business address, email, and phone number. You will then be prompted to create a password and set your preferences for notifications. And voila: You’ll now earn Aadvantage miles on every American Airlines flight, and on partner airlines as well.

Using to use AAdvantage points for flights

To use to redeem AAdvantage miles for a reward flight, you’ll search for your flights by inputting your starting and ending locations, dates, number of passengers, and booking class.

You can then isolate American Airlines flights by checking American Airways, or select partner flights operated by any other Oneworld member. Once you’ve determined award availability and settled on an itinerary, simply book it with the airline and then return to add your six-digit confirmation number so we can monitor your trip.

Frequently asked questions about using American Airlines miles for flights

Can I use AA miles to pay for part of a ticket?

No, you can’t use AAdvantage miles to pay for part of a ticket. You will need to have the exact number of miles needed to pay for the ticket or buy miles to cover the balance.

What is a good redemption rate for American Airlines miles?

Generally, a good redemption rate for American Airlines miles is between 1.0 and 1.7 cents per mile.

Can I redeem AA miles for gift cards?

No, AAdvantage miles cannot be redeemed for gift cards.

How many American Airlines miles do you need to get a free flight?

You will need at least 7,000 AAdvantage miles for a free flight on American, though it can be less if you pay with a combination of cash and miles.

Do American Airlines miles expire?

American miles expire after 24 months. To keep miles from expiring, make sure to earn or redeem miles on American or with an AAdvantage partner at least once every 24 months.

Read more about airline loyalty programs and how to use points

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