American Airlines’ AAdvantage program is one of the longest operating frequent flyer programs in the Untied States. Like all frequent flyer programs, you accrue points or ‘miles’ and can redeem them towards future flights or upgrades.
Every time you fly with American you earn miles based on the dollars you spend on flights. These mileage rates differ based on your elite status. If you don’t hold an elite status, you earn 5 miles per dollar as an AAdvantage member.
American Airlines has teamed up with MasterCard to provide a cobranded credit card that comes with some great perks. The AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard, which I am personally a cardholder of, will earn you 2 miles per dollar spent on AA purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent everywhere else. So if you are an AAdvantage member and you purchase a ticket using your Platinum Select credit card, that means 7 miles per dollar! Plus you get 1 checked bag free per passenger AND priority boarding!
Now onto the exciting part. For a limited time, AA has announced a sign up bonus that will earn you 60,000 miles(!) if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening a Platinum Select card. I recommend this if you can find an American Airlines flight for your next vacation. I signed up in January when the bonus was 50,000 miles and used it to book my honeymoon where I immediately met the minimum spend requirement. Add in the 7 miles per dollar I received from purchasing the ticket and my trip to Hawaii, which I was going on anyways, earned me 64,000 miles!!!
American Airlines has an award travel chart that determines how many miles you need to redeem in order to fly to certain parts of the world.
To fly from the 48 contiguous US states to any of the other 48 US states, you need 12,500 miles one way, so 25,000 miles round trip.
If your trip is >500 miles then only 7,500 miles is needed one way, 15,000 miles round trip.
The 60,000 mile bonus alone is good enough to fly round trip TWICE to anywhere in the United States!
And, if you’re feeling adventurous, book a one way ticket >500 miles. Live a little!
I currently sit at 75,000 miles in my AAdvantage account and will soon be booking our trip in December to Europe. This will put me up to 90,000 miles and a big redemption next summer!
What does the AAdvantage program cost?
Completely free! The program itself is free. The AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard is subject to credit approval and has a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.
How long until I receive my sign up bonus?
I received my bonus miles about 4 weeks after my statement meeting the $3,000 minimum spend.
When do my miles expire?
Your miles will expire 18 months from your last activity that earns you miles.
What if I want to fly somewhere other than the 48 contiguous states, can I use miles?
Yes! You can redeem miles to anywhere AA flies. The chart below shows how many miles are needed to redeem for each location, all departing from the 48 contiguous US states.
If you are flying American any time soon, sign up!
If you are already planning a flight with American soon it would be wise to sign up and take advantage of the sign up bonus since you are already spending money with the airline. Use the card for the rest of your trip and you will hit the minimum spend in no time, and just might fly free to your next destination!