How Much Are American Airlines Miles Worth?

ByRajiv Baniwal
Reviewed byBrett Holzhauer, CPFC

Updated: April 22, 2024

ByRajiv Baniwal
Reviewed byBrett Holzhauer, CPFC

Updated: April 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

The value of American Airlines' AAdvantage Miles isn't set in stone. You'll find that these miles are primarily used for booking flights with American Airlines or its oneworld Alliance partners, such as British Airways or Qantas. The value of these miles usually falls between 1.5 and 1.7 cents per mile. But flights aren't the only thing you can use your miles for. You can also redeem them for upgrades, hotel stays with partners like Hilton, car rentals with companies like Hertz and even Admirals Club memberships.

Earning miles with American Airlines is easy. When you book a flight, shop with partners like Macy's or Best Buy or swipe your AAdvantage co-branded credit card, you're racking up miles. The rewards program has four tiers: Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum. The higher your tier, the bigger your bonus. You can earn up to a 120% bonus. Be sure to check American Airlines' guidelines and policies to learn more about the value of your miles and how to transfer or redeem them. Don't forget to keep an eye on your miles' expiration dates — you don't want to lose out on those hard-earned rewards.

MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

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When redeemed for award flights, one American Airlines mile’s value usually varies from 1.5 to 1.7 cents.

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You can earn miles faster by using co-branded American Airlines credit cards and shopping with the program’s partner merchants.

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American Airlines uses award charts that tell you how many miles you’ll need for flight tickets through different carriers.

How Much Are American Airlines Miles Worth?

An AA mile's value typically varies from 1.5 to 1.7 cents when redeemed for a flight. You usually get the best value for your AA miles if you use them for business-class seats, and you may even get upward of 10 cents per mile in some cases. If your redemption value is below 1.3 cents per mile, you may want to consider other options.

The American Airlines miles chart gives you an indication of how many miles you'll need for a flight ticket based on different award types, regions and seats. While MileSAAver Off Peak award flights require the fewest number of miles, this option comes with limited date and region availability. AAnytime awards, on the other hand, offer more alternatives.

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You can use the American Airlines flight booking tool to check how many miles you need for a flight ticket. You can then use the ticket's actual fare and the miles you need for redemption to arrive at the value of each mile. You can use the same method to determine how much American Airlines miles are worth across different redemption methods.

You can also calculate the value you stand to receive by dividing the number of points you need for an award by its actual cost. For example, if you need 6,000 points for a ticket that costs $115, you get a value of around 1.92 cents per point (115/6000 = $0.01916).

Ticket Cost / Equivalent Points = Miles Value

How American Airlines Miles Compare to Other Airlines

The American Airlines miles program offers reasonably good value when compared to frequent flyer programs run by most other popular domestic and international airlines.

Value per Mile

American Airlines AAdvantage

1.5 cents to 1.7 cents per mile

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

1.2 cents to 1.8 cents per mile

Air Canada Aeroplan

1.5 cents to 1.9 cents per point

Air France / KLM Flying Blue

1.2 cents to 1.4 cents per mile

British Airways Avios

0.8 cents to 1.5 cents per point

How to Earn and Maximize Miles From American Airlines

You earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles when you fly with American Airlines, American Eagle network carriers, oneworld Alliance members and the program’s partner airlines. Using a co-branded American AAdvantage card enables you to earn miles faster. Booking rental cars, hotel stays and vacation packages through the program’s travel partners also allows you to earn AA miles.

Earning Miles Using American Airlines Co-Branded Credit Cards

In collaboration with American Airlines, Citi offers a suite of credit card options tailored to various spending and travel habits. Among these, there are four American Airlines AAdvantage credit cards: three for individuals and one for businesses.

Each card allows cardholders to earn 2X miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines purchases, streamlining mile accumulation for frequent flyers. Curious about domestic travel? Knowing how many AA miles for a domestic flight can help you align your spending to reach your travel goals.

Some cards expand beyond flight-related rewards, granting 2X miles per dollar through additional bonus categories such as dining or gas station purchases. To navigate these benefits effectively, tools like the American Airlines miles chart or the American Airlines miles calculator can be invaluable.

It's worth noting that other credit card issuers, such as Chase or American Express, also offer partnerships with different airlines. However, if you're loyal to American Airlines and often wonder how much American Airlines miles are worth or how to redeem them, a Citi AAdvantage card might be your best bet.

Sign Up for AAdvantage

The AAdvantage program from American Airlines is designed with you in mind. It offers a range of benefits, including complimentary upgrades on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights, preferred seating and up to three free checked bags.

Enrolling in the program is a simple online process. Once you're a member, you'll start earning miles every time you book an eligible ticket with American Airlines, its partner airlines or oneworld Alliance members. As you progress through the membership tiers, you'll find yourself earning miles at an accelerated rate and unlocking a variety of perks.

But the earning doesn't stop there. You can also rack up miles when you book a vacation through American Airlines Vacations, dine with AAdvantage Dining, shop through the AA shopping portal or use services from AAdvantage travel partners like Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Hertz, Avis and Budget.

Buying Airline Tickets From American Airlines and Affiliates

Base-level members earn 5X miles per dollar on eligible American Airlines plane tickets. Members who reach the top tier, AAdvantage Executive Platinum, earn 11X miles per dollar. Gold members earn 7X miles per dollar, AAdvantage Platinum members earn 8X miles per dollar and AAdvantage Platinum Pro members earn 9X miles per dollar. All members may earn up to 75,000 miles per ticket.

The number of miles you earn when flying with most of the program's partner airlines depends on the fare class and flight distance. In some cases, as with JetBlue, you earn miles the same way you do with American Airlines.

Earn Miles Through American Airlines Partner Merchants

You can earn miles through various American Airlines partner merchants across categories such as travel and shopping.

  • Hotels: Earn miles through the program's hotel partners, such as American Airlines Hotels, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts (IHG) and Rocketmiles. Depending on the partner you select, you may earn miles on the amount you spend per night or stay. It is also possible to transfer points from some hotel loyalty programs to your AAdvantage account. American Airlines transfer partners that let you convert your points to miles include World of Hyatt, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy and Marriott Vacation Club.
  • Car rentals: The program's car rental partners include Avis, Budget, Payless, Alamo, National, Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty. You may earn miles per rental day or based on the total amount you spend.
  • Vacations: Booking select resorts through American Airlines Vacations lets you earn up to 25,000 bonus miles.
  • Cruises: Using the American Airlines Cruises platform to book cruises lets you earn one mile per dollar.
  • Shopping: Using AAdvantage eShopping, the American Airlines shopping portal, allows you to earn miles through more than 950 websites of popular stores. You may also earn miles through the SimplyMiles platform.
  • Gas: Fuel Rewards program members earn two AA miles per gallon at Shell.
  • Donations: If you donate $25 or more to Stand Up To Cancer, you earn 10 miles per dollar donated.
  • Home: Enrolling with NRG and completing two months of active service lets you earn a bonus of 12,500 miles for each electric account and 2,500 AAdvantage miles for every natural gas account. You also earn 2X miles per dollar on your monthly electric and natural gas bills' supply portion.

    Eligible customers who have electric accounts with XOOM Energy in CT, ME, NH or RI can earn up to 10,000 miles upon enrollment and 2X miles per dollar on their bills' supply portion. Eligible customers with natural gas accounts with the company in CA, GA, IN, KY, MI or VA get up to 5,000 miles upon enrollment and 2X miles per dollar on their bills' supply portion.

Buying Miles From American Airlines

It’s possible to buy American Airlines miles, and members may purchase a maximum of 150,000 miles per calendar year. The cost per mile depends on the number of miles you wish to purchase and the presence of an ongoing promotional offer. You also need to account for additional fees — you’ll need to pay 0.0295 cents per mile, a 7.5% federal excise tax and a transaction processing charge of $20 to $40.

Buying American Airlines miles might be worth your while if you plan to use them for a high-value redemption. You may also consider purchasing some miles if your existing miles balance is approaching its expiration date since a new 24-month period begins every time there’s any qualifying account activity.

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Do you want to get high rewards from your travel purchases and have options beyond American Airline miles? We list the Best Airline Credit Cards and the Best Travel Cards to help you find the right card based on your needs and lifestyle.

The Best Cards To Earn American Airline Miles

If you’re a frequent American Airline flyer and want to stack up miles, we picked the best cards for earning rewards. We break down our picks for various use cases and spending profiles.

How to Redeem American Airlines Miles

If you're wondering how to use American Airlines miles, know that you have several options beyond redeeming them for flight tickets. Redeeming your miles is relatively simple. You need to log in to your AAdvantage account and select the desired redemption method. If you wish to book a flight ticket, start by looking for suitable options, choose a date and class fare and then pay for it with miles. If you wish to make an online purchase, you may use the AAdvantage eShopping or SimplyMiles platforms and pay with miles.

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    Hotel accommodations

    You may redeem your miles for hotel stays through the AAdvantage Hotels Rewards platform. When redeemed for hotel stays, you may get a value of slightly less than or over 1 cent per mile.

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    Car rentals

    You need to use the AAdvantage Car Rentals Rewards platform to book cars. In this case, you typically stand to get a value of less than 1 cent per mile. For example, renting a compact car through Budget for a day in the first week of March 2023 at JFK Airport costs $64.05. Through the AAdvantage Car Rentals Rewards platform, you’ll need 7,600 miles, resulting in a value of 0.84 cents per mile.

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    Flight upgrades

    You may use your miles to upgrade American Airlines and partner airlines tickets purchased with cash. American Airlines upgrades are valid on single one-way trips with no more than three segments. In addition, the route, the fare class and whether you purchased a discounted ticket have a bearing on whether you need just miles or a combination of miles and cash. For example, upgrading from a full-fare Economy ticket to Premium Economy when flying from North America to Europe would require 15,000 miles. If you wish to upgrade from discount Economy to Premium Economy on the same route, you’ll need 25,000 miles plus $350. Upgrading discounted fare tickets with partner airlines is not an option.

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    You may use 65,000 miles to cover the $650 cost of an individual Admirals Club lounge membership. If you wish to get the membership for your spouse, too, you need 125,000 miles to cover the $1,250 combined cost. In both cases, you get a value of 1 cent per mile.

Much like how you can earn AAdvantage miles through different airlines, you can also redeem them through American Airlines, oneworld Alliance members and AAdvantage airline partners. Carriers that let you redeem your AAdvantage miles for flight tickets through include:

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

For booking flight tickets with partner airlines not included in this list, you need to contact American Airlines over the phone.

When Best to Redeem American Airlines Miles

American Airlines uses a consistent award chart based on award types for its own award flights, so you might need roughly the same number of miles to fly across different routes all year round. For example, a MileSAAver award ticket needs 7,500 miles for flights that cover less than 500 miles within the contiguous United States and Canada. An AAnytime Level 2 award on the same flight would require 30,000 miles. Bear in mind that these awards are subject to availability.

MileSAAver awards come with no blackout dates, but they have limited availability, so don't expect to get them easily during peak periods. While MileSAAver awards start at as little as 7,500 miles (plus taxes and fees), you may find MileSAAver Off Peak awards on some routes that lead to even further savings. AAnytime awards are easier to find than MileSAAver awards and start at 20,000 miles.

The American Airlines redemption chart for oneworld Alliance members and AAdvantage partner airlines gives you an idea of how many miles you need depending on the route you wish to fly and the cabin type.

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Using American Airlines miles is a great way to save money on your flights, especially when booking business or first-class seats.

However, you should be mindful that you’re spending money to earn these miles, so you should spend your miles like money. Moreover, you should avoid wasting your miles on things like magazine subscriptions. Brett Holzhauer, contributing expert for MoneyGeek

How to Get the American Airlines Elite Status

The American Airlines AAdvantage program no longer consists of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS). Instead, members now need to earn Loyalty Points to move from one membership level to the next. Tier-specific benefits include complimentary seat upgrades on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, preferred seats and Loyalty Choice Rewards.

  • AAdvantage Gold / oneworld Ruby: Achieve this status by earning 30,000 Loyalty Points during a 12-month period that starts on March 1 each year. Benefits include complimentary seat upgrades on American Airlines, complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats and preferred seats, a 24-hour upgrade window, 40% bonus miles and one bag checked for free.
  • AAdvantage Platinum / oneworld Sapphire: Earn 75,000 Loyalty Points in 12 months to get to this level. Benefits other than the ones that overlap with the preceding level include a 48-hour upgrade window, 60% bonus miles and two bags checked for free.
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro / oneworld Emerald: You need to earn 125,000 Loyalty Points in a 12-month period to reach this level. It offers one Loyalty Choice Reward, complimentary seat upgrades on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, a 72-hour upgrade window, 80% bonus miles and three bags checked for free.
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald: You get to this level if you earn 200,000 Loyalty Points in 12 months. Benefits specific to this tier include multiple Loyalty Choice Rewards, a 100-hour upgrade window and 120% bonus miles.

Awesome rewards also await you when you earn 250,000 Loyalty Points or more. Systemwide Upgrades (SWUs) can be used to upgrade any American Airlines or British Airways flight by one cabin. Rewards may include one or more of the following:

  • Bonus miles
  • Admirals Club passes
  • American Airlines trip credit
  • Carbon offsetting reward
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MoneyGeek experts have taken a close look at how the value of American Airlines miles changes based on different redemption methods. We have also conducted in-depth market research to determine the value of your miles.

FAQ About American Airlines Miles

Looking at how to redeem American Airlines miles and how their value changes based on different redemption methods would place you in a better position when it comes to using the miles you earn.

Can I use my American Airlines miles for someone else?
Can I use my American Airlines miles to buy something else?
Can I convert my American Airlines miles to cash?
Is it good to hoard American Airlines miles?
Are there any additional fees for booking flights with miles?
Does the AA award program charge processing fees?
When do my American Airlines miles expire?
Can I transfer my American Airlines miles?

About Rajiv Baniwal

Rajiv Baniwal headshot

Rajiv Baniwal is a journalist who has been covering financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His expertise includes mortgages, loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.

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