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All the Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles

All the Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles

Million Mile SecretsAll the Ways to Earn American Airlines MilesMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader Jessica commented:

Does any bank or credit card company other than Citibank offer miles on American Airlines?

Earn American Airlines Miles
There are lots of Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles

Jessica wants to know which banks or credit cards, besides Citibank credit cards, earn American Airlines miles.

240,000+ American Airlines Miles

You can earn over 240,000 American Airlines miles, if you eventually apply for all the possible cards which earn American Airlines miles and open a Fidelity brokerage account and a BankDirect account.

Let’s review the ways you can get American Airlines miles with Citi just in case there’s a card which Jessica still doesn’t have.

1.   Citibank

Despite recent changes to the award chart, Jessica can use American Airlines miles to visit Maui, Hong Kong, and India.

A.   Citi Platinum Select American Airlines Card

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

The Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card is 1 of the best credit card offers.

Jessica earns 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months on the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card.

She can earn an award ticket just from the sign-up bonus:

Earn American Airlines Miles
1 Card = a Trip to Paradise

So the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card is one of the easiest ways for Jessica to have Big Travel with Small Money!

And Jessica gets:

  • Free 1st checked bag for herself and up to 4 traveling companions
  • Group 1 Boarding 
  • 10% rebate of American Airlines miles used for award travel (maximum of 10,000 miles a year)
  • 5,000 mile to 7,500 mile discount with reduced mileage awards

The 10% rebate on redeemed miles is a great benefit, and I gladly pay the fee on the Citi American Airlines card to save 10,000 American Airlines miles each year.

Some folks report being able to get this American Airlines card ~18+ months from when they were last approved for a Citi American Airlines personal card.

The general rules for Citi are:  1 Citi personal card every ~8 days and no more than 2 Citi personal cards every ~65 days.  And 1 Citi business card every ~95 days.

B.   CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard

Link:   CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Link:   How to Complete a Business Card Application

Jessica gets 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months on the CitiBusiness AAdvantage card.

And Jessica gets:

  • Free 1st checked bag for herself and up to 4 traveling companions
  • Group 1 Boarding
  • Companion Certificate for domestic travel after spending $30,000 or more in a card year

Jessica may qualify for a business card without an established business.

C.   Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Jessica gets 50,000 American Airlines miles when she spends $5,000 within 3 months on the Citi American Airlines Executive card.  The $450 annual fee is not waived, but you do get Admirals Club lounge access.

You’ll get:

  • American Airlines lounge membership which costs up to $500
  • Free checked bag
  • Priority boarding
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles a year after spending $40,000 in a calendar year

But spending $5,000 in 3 months might be tricky. So here are some tips to meet minimum spending.

Note:   Jessica may be able to get 2 Citi personal cards within 65 days.  She could apply for the regular Citi American Airlines card 1st. Then wait 8 days before applying for the Citi American Airlines Executive card.

Tip:   If she does it in reverse, it will NOT work.

2.   Starwood Preferred Guest Card Can Get You Free Flights

Starwood is the only hotel program which lets you transfer hotel points to certain airlines in a 1:1 ratio.

And Starwood gives a 5,000 Starwood point bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points transferred to an airline.

So if Jessica transferred 20,000 Starwood points to American Airlines, she would get 25,000 American Airlines miles.  That’s an effective transfer ratio of 1:1.25!

1.   Starwood Preferred Guest Card (Personal)

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Jessica gets 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 within the 1st 3 months on the Starwood Preferred Guest card (personal).  As always, terms and conditions apply.

Starwood points transfer to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. With the 5,000 Starwood point bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points transferred to American Airlines, Jessica would get 25,000 American Airlines miles.

Jessica could use 25,000 American Airlines miles to visit Key West!

Earn American Airlines Miles
Jessica Could Explore Dry Tortugas National Park

2.   Starwood Preferred Guest Card (Business)

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest Card (Business)

Jessica could also get 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 within 6 months from the Starwood Preferred Guest card (business).  As always, terms and conditions apply.

If she earned the bonus on both the personal and business cards she would have 58,000 Starwood points (25,000 sign-up Starwood points x 2 + 8,000 Starwood points from completing the minimum spending).  With a little more spending, she’d have 60,000 Starwood points.

60,000 Starwood points transfers to 75,000 American Airlines miles (60,000 American Airlines miles + 15,000 transfer bonus).

That’s enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets to the Caribbean!  Or 3 tickets if she travels from September 7 to November 14.

3.   Up to 50,000 American Airlines Miles From Fidelity

Link:   Fidelity.com 50,000 American Airlines Miles

You can get up to 50,000 American Airlines miles when you open and transfer money into a non-retirement brokerage account with Fidelity or add money to a current account.

Earn American Airlines Miles
Does Your Brokerage Account Offer American Airlines Miles? Fidelity Does.

5.   Up to 50,000 American Airlines Miles From BankDirect

Link:   BankDirect

You can earn a 1 time deposit of American Airlines miles from BankDirect:

  • 1,000 American Airlines miles for opening a Mileage Checking with Interest
  • 1,000 American Airlines miles for opening a Mileage Money Market account
  • 1,000 American Airlines miles for referring a friend
  • 5,000 American Airlines miles for using Online Bill Pay Service
  • 5,000 American Airlines miles for using your BankDirect Visa CheckCard
  • 10,000 American Airlines miles for direct depositing $2,000 each month for 6 months

You could also earn ~5,000 American Airlines miles a month or 60,000 miles a year for keeping a balance of $50,000 in a Mileage Checking account with Interest.

Earn American Airlines Miles
You Can Earn American Airlines Miles From Your Checking Account

And could earn up to 50,000 American Airlines miles when you buy a Mileage Certificate of Deposit.

Earn American Airlines Miles
Buy a CD and Get up to 50,000 American Airlines Miles

Bottom Line

Jessica can earn American Airlines miles from 5 different credit cards and 2 banks.

Citibank offers 3 credit cards: the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard, and the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard, and the most direct ways to earn American Airlines miles.

But Jessica could also earn American Airlines miles from the Starwood Preferred Guest card (personal) and Starwood Preferred Guest card (business).   And she would get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points she transfers to American Airlines miles.

You can also earn American Airlines miles when you open a Fidelity brokerage account and a BankDirect account.

Which is your favorite credit card to earn American Airlines miles?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Deborah Shadovitz

Be careful with offers from AA about Citibank cards. An American rep told me I was eligible for a special offer. I got that card but then was told I had closed a card with their time limits and therefore didn’t qualify for the bonus miles. I was just a few months early — and remember, AA told me about it. I had not asked. So not only can I not undo the application but I also have to wait an extra year plus. And I didn’t get the 35.000 miles. AA blamed Citibamk and Citi blamed LA.

Same thing happened to me. So annoying! Not happy with American!!

I am going on a fabulous trip to Germany, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Poland and Hungary this Spring.

Great info. I am staying in a few Hyatt properties for my spring travel plans.

I applied Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa® Signature card in Feb 2013 and cancelled it after a year. Will I be able to get the 50,000 miles with Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard® if I apply for it now? Does Citi consider Visa and MasterCard as different products like Chase does?

Thank you so much.

The USAirways BUSINESS card link has expired… “Thank you for your interest in a Barclaycard US account.

Unfortunately, this offer has expired.

We apologize for this inconvenience.”

Is that the same for everyone?

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