All the Ways How to Earn American Airlines Miles in 2019!

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All the Ways How to Earn American Airlines Miles in 2019!

Devon O'RourkeAll the Ways How to Earn American Airlines Miles in 2019!Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

American Airlines is the largest airline in the world by number of passengers it carries every year.  So it’s no surprise that American Airlines miles are among the easiest to earn and most valuable!

As part of the oneworld alliance, American Airlines is a leading brand for both domestic and international travelers.  With American Airlines miles, you can reach luxurious destinations like Hawaii and the South Pacific, visit historic cities in Europe, or explore exotic spots in Asia and South America.

Whether you’re starting from scratch, or want to top-up your account for a dream vacation, you have lots of options.  The fastest way to earn American Airlines miles is from welcome bonuses on top cards like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

All the Ways to Earn American Airlines AAdvantage Miles in 2018
Let’s Look at All the Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles in 2018!

But there are lots of other ways to earn American Airlines miles – and some might surprise you!

How to Earn American Airlines Miles

Earn American Airlines Miles Directly

The easiest way to earn American Airlines miles is with welcome offers from credit cards.  Citi and Barclays each issue American Airlines personal and small business cards.  Each one varies in terms of welcome bonus, annual fee, and miles earned in bonus categories.

Here’s a round-up with the important details.  Be sure to check our in-depth reviews of each card for more information.

American Airlines Credit CardsWelcome BonusMinimum SpendAnnual Fee
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card10,000 American Airlines miles + $50 statement credit$500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening$0
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®60,000 American Airlines milesEarn 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.$99, waived the first 12 months
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®50,000 American Airlines miles$5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening$450
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®70,000 American Airlines milesEarn 70,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 4 months of opening your account. $99, waived the first 12 months
Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®60,000 American Airlines miles 1 purchase within first 90 days of account opening$95
Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®60,000 American Airlines miles1 purchase within first 90 days of account opening$95

Note:   Here’s an easy guide to the Citi American Airlines application rules.

1.   American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

Apply Here:   American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

Our Review of the Citi American Airlines MileUp Card

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card comes with a 10,000 American Airlines mile bonus and a $50 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

And it offers 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on groceries, which is a big expense for lots of folks!  There aren’t many no-annual-fee cards with a bonus on spending in this category.  You can check out all the benefits and perks of the Citi American Airlines MileUp card here.

Plus, current Citi American Airlines cardholders will be happy to know that the MileUp card is exempt from the welcome bonus restrictions on other Citi American Airlines credit cards.  This means that you are more likely to be eligible for this offer.  Here’s how to decide if the American Airlines MileUp card is worth it for you.

You can apply for the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card here.

2.   Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

Apply Here:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Our Review of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

When you apply for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card, you’ll earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after making $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll get:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic flights only)
  • Preferred boarding for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation
  • 25% off eligible in-flight purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
  • Reduced Mileage Awards – get discounts up to 7,500 miles round-trip on award flights to certain airports

There’s a $99 annual fee with this card, but it’s waived for the first 12 months!

The Citi American Airlines Platinum Select is worth it if you can use perks like a free first checked bag and preferred boarding.  Here are all the benefits and perks of the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select.

3.   CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

Apply Here:   CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Our Review of the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

When you apply for the Citi American Airlines Platinum Select small business credit card, you’ll earn 70,000 American Airlines miles after making $4,000 in purchases in the first 4 months of account opening.

And it comes with:

  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent on American Airlines flights
  • 2X American Airlines miles per $1 spent at certain telecommunications, rental car merchants, and at gas stations
  • 1X American Airlines mile per $1 spent on other purchases
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 4 travel companions on the same reservation (domestic American Airlines flights only)
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
  • 25% savings on in-flight Wi-Fi purchased with your card
  • Companion Certificate after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases during your card year and renew your card (account must remain open 45 days after card anniversary)

The $99 annual fee with this card is waived for the first 12 months.  Have a look at the full list of CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select benefits and perks to decide if it’s worth it for you.

3.   Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Apply Here:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Our Review of the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

You’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles when you’re approved for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card and spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

You’ll also get:

  • American Airlines Admirals Club membership (worth up to $650) – access to Admirals Club lounges when on a same-day American Airlines flight for you and your immediate family (spouse / domestic partner and children under 18) or up to 2 guests traveling with you
  • Authorized users (free to add!) can also access Admirals Club lounges (without the primary cardholder)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (every 5 years)
  • First checked bag free (for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation) on American Airlines domestic itineraries
  • Priority check-in, security (where available), and boarding
  • 10,000 elite-qualifying miles if you spend $40,000 or more on the card in a calendar year
  • 2 American Airlines miles per $1 you spend on American Airlines
  • 1 American Airlines mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • NO foreign transaction fees

This card has a $450 annual fee.  It’s the easiest way to get American Airlines Admirals Club lounge access!

4.   Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard®

American Airlines offers a business card through both Citi and Barclays.  Both cards offer similar benefits, but there are a few slight differences.

With the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard, you’ll get:

  • Welcome offer of 60,000 American Airlines bonus miles after making your first purchase within 90 days and paying the annual fee
  • 2X American Airlines bonus miles per $1 spent on eligible office supply, telecom, and car rental purchases
  • 5% American Airlines mileage bonus earned every year after your account anniversary date based on the total number of miles earned using your card
  • Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars after spending $25,000 on purchases each calendar year

This card has a $95 annual fee.

5.   Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

Some benefits include:

  • Welcome offer of 60,000 American Airlines bonus miles after making your first purchase within 90 days and paying the annual fee (offer ends April 30, 2019)
  • 2X American Airlines bonus miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 1X American Airlines bonus miles per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • First checked bag free

This card has a $95 annual fee.

Earn American Airlines Miles Indirectly

You can earn points in other programs that you can transfer directly to American Airlines, including:

  • Marriott
  • Hilton

1.   Marriott Points

Link:   All the Ways to Earn Marriott Points

Marriott points transfer directly to American Airlines at a 3:1 ratio.  Additionally, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer!

The easiest way to collect Marriott points is with welcome offers from cards that earn Marriott points, like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

Note:   You can only earn the welcome bonus on American Express personal and business cards ONCE per person, per lifetime.

2.   Hilton Points

Link:   All the Ways to Earn Hilton Points

You can transfer Hilton points to American Airlines directly.  But please only do so if you need to top off your account.

You’ll get a measly 1,500 American Airlines miles for every 10,000 Hilton points transferred.  And while Hilton points are easy to earn, there are better ways to spend them!

There are 4 cards currently earning Hilton points:

Note:   You can only earn the welcome bonus on American Express personal and business cards ONCE per person, per lifetime.

3.   Other Hotel Points

Link:   Convert Hotel Loyalty Points to American Airlines Miles

As mentioned before, you can convert hotel points, like Hilton points, into American Airlines miles.  The rates are frankly terrible (except Marriott) and we don’t recommend using this option unless you have a very specific reason to do so.

That said, you can convert these other hotel loyalty points to American Airlines miles:

  • Best Western
  • Choice Hotels
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Radisson
  • Wyndham

More Ways to Earn American Airlines Miles

1.   Fly With American Airlines

Link:   How to Earn Miles Flying With American Airlines

You will certainly earn American Airlines miles when you fly on American-marketed flights!  Miles are earned based on the cash price of the ticket:

  • AAdvantage member – 5 miles per $1
  • Gold member – 7 miles per $1 (40% bonus)
  • Platinum member – 8 miles per $1 (60% bonus)
  • Platinum Pro member – 9 miles per $1 (80% bonus)
  • Executive Platinum member – 11 miles per $1 (120% bonus)

In general, you will not earn American Airlines miles on award tickets booked directly through American Airlines.

All the Ways to Earn American Airlines AAdvantage Miles in 2018
A Handy Chart Showing How American Airlines Miles Are Earned With Cash Tickets

2.   Dining Rewards

Link:   Join American Airlines AAdvantage Dining

That’s right, you can regularly earn bonus American Airlines miles when you link your debit and credit cards with American Airlines’ dining program and visit participating restaurants!

All of the travel-related dining programs share the same network, and you can only enroll your card with 1 partner at a time.  That said, you can link your card with American Airlines’ dining rewards if you want extra miles for your next award.

Every time you dine counts as a visit – and there are no minimums you have to spend to earn miles.  There are often promotions to earn a nice chunk of bonus miles when you spend a certain amount at a participating restaurant within a certain period from enrolling.

3.   Book a Cruise

Link:   American Airlines Cruises

You’ll earn up to 50,000 American Airlines miles when you book through their cruise website.  Miles are awarded based on the length of your cruise.

This could be an easy way to rack up extra miles.  Before you book, be sure to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

4.   Rent a Car

Link:   American Airlines Car Partners

You can earn 500 American Airlines miles every time you rent a car from Alamo, Enterprise, National, or any 1 of the 13 car partners!

Miles you’ll earn with each qualifying rental:

  • 500 miles – AAdvantage members
  • 750 miles – Citi® / AAdvantage® cardholders and AAdvantage® Aviator® MasterCard® cardholders
  • 1,000 miles – Platinum Pro, Platinum and Gold members
  • 1,250 miles – Executive Platinum members

You can even get discounts on Avis and Budget using the discount codes provided!

5.   Partner Programs and Surveys

Link:   Financial and Business PartnersHome and Health PartnersDonation Partners

Earning American Airlines miles to take surveys through e-Rewards is by invitation only, so I wasn’t able to see the details.  These surveys are usually time-consuming and don’t award many miles.

But if you fill them out while you’re watching TV or relaxing, you might enjoy sharing your opinions.  The trick is to get an invite from a current e-Rewards member.  Or you could try contacting them directly and ask to become a member.

Additionally, you can can earn miles by parking with PreFlight, moving or selling a house, banking with BankDirect, enrolling in LifeLock, and more!  You can even earn miles for donating to causes like Stand Up To Cancer.  Check out these links for full details:

All the Ways to Earn American Airlines AAdvantage Miles in 2018
You Can Donate and Earn American Airlines AAdvantage Miles

6.   eShopping

Link:   eShopping Portal

You can earn miles every time you shop through the AAdvantage eShopping portal and directly through participating retail partners.

Every partner has a different going rate for miles per $1 spent but you can often find some nice bonuses.  For example, when you sign-up for a 12-week Wall Street Journal subscription through the portal, you’ll earn an additional 1,000 American Airlines miles (these offers change frequently).

One benefit of shopping through these portals is the double dipping of miles and points.  Meaning, you’ll not only earn the advertised amount from American Airlines but you’ll earn rewards from using your credit card as well.

7.   Bonus Offers

Link:   American Airlines Bonus Offers

The American Airlines bonus offers page shows you a brief way of how you can earn extra miles.  One deal that stands out from the rest is the ability to earn up to 25,000 miles and $100 for every leased phone when you switch to Sprint.  Take a look at the offers and see if any make sense for you!

8.   Earn American Airlines Miles by Booking Hotel Stays

Link:   Earn American Airlines Miles With Hotel Partners

If you want to earn airline miles when you book through hotels like Marriott, American Airlines has you covered.  You can earn miles for qualifying stays with hotel when you book through American Airlines’ portal.

You can earn up to 10,000 miles each night using American Airlines hotels or 2 miles per $1 spent with Marriott!

9.   Vacations

Link:   Earn Miles With A Vacation!

Need a getaway?  You can earn American Airlines miles by booking a vacation through the American Airlines vacation portal.

Rates vary and change often, so check back frequently for deals.

Take a Vacation and Earn up to 20,000 American Airlines Miles

10.   Buy Miles

Link:   Purchase American Airlines Miles (Sign-In Required)

You can always buy miles if you’re very close to an award!

You’re allowed to purchase up to 150,000 American Airlines Miles per calendar year in increments of 1,000 miles, starting at 2,000 miles.  For example, 5,000 miles would currently cost ~$148.

Buying miles should be treated the same as converting hotel points – only worthwhile in specific situations, like if you’re a few miles shy of an award flight of your dreams.

Bottom Line

There are lots of ways to earn American Airlines miles from top travel credit card welcome bonuses and ongoing spending, like with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®.  Or indirectly by transferring points from hotel programs like Hilton and Marriott.

Beyond that, American Airlines has partners to earn even more miles, including dining, taking a cruise, or renting a car.  You can also purchase miles if you want them even sooner.  Between all of these ways to earn American Airlines miles, you’ll have your next adventure that much faster!

What’s your favorite way to earn (and use!) American Airlines miles?

Here are our other articles to learn more about American Airlines miles:

 

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American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

  • Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, including grocery delivery services*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*

More Info

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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Barclays wanted my tax return before approval! Did anyone else have this problem? I have a FICO score of 800 with a 20 year credit hx ! So disappointed,this never happened to me before with credit card approvals!

Weird, did they mention anything else about why they wanted your tax returns?

The credit score is only one of many factors the bank can take into consideration, so they might the tax returns to verify if they saw something weird in their system.

No- only to verify income. Very sad- will definitely not be giving them access to my tax return. Never had a Barclays credit card- guessing I never will!!

If I apply new Aviator Personal card, do I still qualify for 10% rebate on redeemed award?

You neglected to say which cards earn a 10% rebate on AA award travel.

I currently have the Aadvantage Premium Select card. Recently they nicely changed to 2x points on both dining and gasoline. I’m interested in upgrading to the Executive World Elite yet is doesn’t include these extra mile benefits of the Premium Select card. This seems odd to me. Do I understand correctly that you can only hold one of these cards at a time? Is it just trading one benefit for another with moving to the Executive card? Your comments are always appreciated.

Hi Vince!

As long as you fall under Citi’s application rules, you should be able to carry both cards.

Heee is a link to our post on Citi’s specific application rules:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/citi-american-airlines-application-rules/

Is this still true with the Barclays AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard:

Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars after spending $25,000 on purchases each calendar year

Hi Steve,

They’re making changes to the card so that will depend on when you opened your card.

If you opened it prior to 1/1/2018, you’ll no longer earn EQDs as of 2019.

If you opened your account after 1/1/2018, you can continue earning EQDs through 2019 only.