Best Benefits of the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard

If you want a no-fee card that earns AAdvantage miles, the American Airlines MileUp Mastercard is a good choice.
Apr 7, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is a solid option for those who want to earn AAdvantage miles without paying an annual fee. Although the card lacks some travel benefits like free checked bags and priority boarding, it still comes with a decent amount of perks.

We’ve outlined some of the best benefits on the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card to help you decide if this $0-annual-fee card is right for you.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card benefits

We’ve listed the most important benefits of the card first.

No-fee way to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has a $0 annual fee, so if you’re looking for a way to earn AAdvantage miles, getting this card won’t hurt your wallet. In addition, American Airlines and grocery store purchases earn 2x miles per $1, providing an easy way to double your miles earned.

American Airlines isn’t a transfer partner of any of the transferrable point credit programs (Chase Ultimate Rewards®, AmEx Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou and Capital One), so this card presents one of the only ways to earn AAdvantage miles through a credit card with no annual fee.

Welcome offer also includes a $50 statement credit

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has the following sign-up bonus: 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.. The minimum spend is about as low as it gets, and you’ll get bonus miles and statement credit. Simply put, the card is a moneymaker in year one.

Although the miles you earn from the welcome bonus aren’t enough for a business class seat to Europe, they are enough to score a MileSAAver award in the continental U.S. on a short-distance flight (less than 500 miles) or maybe even a Web Special award.

Longer-distance MileSAAver awards in the continental U.S. are 12,500 miles. If you plan to strategically spend on grocery store purchases (2 miles per $1) to maximize your points earning, you will only have to spend $1,250 on the card to reach that MileSAAver award.

2X miles on American Airlines travel purchases

If you’re an AAdvantage member, you earn miles just by flying on the airline. But if you buy your ticket directly from American using this card, you’ll earn an extra 2 miles for every dollar charged. That makes travel even more rewarding, getting you to your next award trip even faster.

For example, say you’re an American Airlines general member without elite status. You earn 5 miles per $1 spent, so if you book a $200 fare, you will earn 1,000 AAdvantage miles. If you book that flight with the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card, you’ll earn 400 miles. In total, that $200 ticket will earn 1,400 American Airlines miles.

Now, imagine if you met the minimum spend on the card by purchasing $500 in groceries, and booked this $200 flight — you’d earn a total of 12,400 miles, which is just 100 miles shy of the 12,500 miles needed for a MileSAAver award in the continental U.S.

2X miles on groceries

Use your American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card at the grocery store and you’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar you spend.

There are other no-fee credit cards that earn more rewards at grocery stores, but they won’t earn American Airlines miles.

25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases

If you use your card when buying food and drinks on your American Airlines flight, you’ll automatically receive a statement credit equal to 25% of the purchase on your credit card statement.

This is the only flight-related benefit that you’ll get from the card. If you’re looking for better benefits like a free first checked bag and preferred boarding on American flights, consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. The card comes with an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99, but certain users will get enough value to make up for it.

Reach elite status faster with 1 Loyalty Point per 1 mile earned

In 2022, American Airlines overhauled how travelers earn elite status. Elite qualifying miles, elite qualifying dollars and elite qualifying segments are gone. Instead, earning elite status comes down to just one metric: Loyalty Points.

You earn 1 Loyalty Point for each dollar you spend on an AAdvantage credit card, which means that any miles you earn from using your American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card will count toward status. You don’t even need to step on a plane.

Here’s how many Loyalty Points you need to earn each level of elite status:

Elite status level

Loyalty Points

Gold

30,000 points.

Platinum

75,000 points.

Platinum Pro

125,000 points.

Executive Platinum

200,000 points.

You will not earn Loyalty Points for bonus points earned for groceries and American Airlines purchases. It is possible to spend $30,000 on the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card to reach AAdvantage Gold, but it’s not the best card for that much spending. It would be better to consider getting the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, which will further reward you with other bonus spending categories (2x on gas and restaurants) an a $125 flight credit if you spend $20,000 or more within your cardmembership year.

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard benefits summed up

Although the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card isn’t packed with perks like other American cards, some of its best benefits include earning 2x AAdvantage miles on grocery and American Airlines flight purchases. Since American Airlines miles cannot be transferred in from any program, this card is the only $0-annual-fee option to earn AAdvantage miles.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.