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When it’s time to cash in your AAdvantage miles for an award flight, you’ll want to understand how to make your rewards go further. Here's everything you need to know about American Airlines' award chart to get the most out of all those hard-earned miles.
American Airlines award travel: An overview
Before we dig into the details of the various American Airlines' award charts, one important caveat: The trend in U.S. airlines over the past few years has been to eliminate award charts entirely, so there's no guaranteeing how long the charts you see below will be valid.
But currently, American Airlines offers several categories of award travel depending on how flexible you are and what perks you want with your flight (like free cancellation). Here are details on the types of awards you’ll find in economy:
If you’d like to see the price of awards in other cabin classes to various destinations, check out our calculator below. The low end of the range reflects MileSAAver awards, while the high end is AAnytime awards.
4 types of American Airlines awards
1. MileSAAver awards
MileSAAver awards are American’s cheapest published awards. Availability for this MileSAAVer tickets may be limited because they are the cheapest. You can book a flight within the contiguous U.S. and Canada for as little as 7,500 miles each way for flights under 500 miles in length.
MileSAAver Off Peak awards also offer relatively low-mileage flights if you’re traveling during low season to certain regions, including Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.
2. AAnytime awards
AAnytime awards are more expensive than MileSAAver awards, but they are always available. These awards start at 20,000 miles each way but the number of miles required for any given flight will vary based on date and destination.
Since the award price depends on where you’re going and when, many flights within this bracket will require more than 20,000 miles. There are also two pricing levels to AAnytime Awards, with Level 1 being cheaper. This level is also based on your dates and destination; a flight search will show which award level you’ve selected.
3. Web Special awards
Web Special awards aren't published but you can find them when searching for award travel by inputting your date, departure airport and destination airport. These awards are priced even lower than MileSAAver awards but they are becoming increasingly rare.
However, take note that these award tickets don’t allow changes, so if you need to make a change, you will have to cancel your ticket and or reinstate your miles. The good news is that American change and cancellation policies no longer require that you pay a penalty for the miles reinstatement.
» Learn more: American Airlines Web Special awards explained
4. Upgrade awards
For flights on American Airlines and American Eagle, you can also use miles to upgrade your cabin by one service class using a combination of miles and cash. Upgrade costs range from 5,000 miles to 25,000 miles plus $550, depending on where you’re flying and what class of ticket you’re upgrading from. Note that upgrading from a full-fare ticket doesn’t cost in cash, only miles.
American Airlines award chart tips
When booking award travel on American Airlines, award prices are shown in one-way segments. There will also be taxes and fees imposed when you book award travel. These start at $5.60 for each one-way flight.
Expect to pay extra if the first/business class flight you book in the U.S. or Canada happens to be on an aircraft with lie-flat seats. The business/first award price for those trips will be 7,500 more miles for MileSAAver awards and an extra 20,000 miles for AAnytime awards. We suggest checking the aircraft you’ll fly on before you book.
Partner airlines and Oneworld award charts
Since American Airlines is a member of Oneworld and has independent partnerships with various airlines, AAdvantage miles can be used to fly on American and 22 different airlines, which include:
Royal Air Maroc
Royal Jordanian Airlines
Air Tahiti Nui
China Southern Airlines
The chart below shows American’s award chart for Oneworld and partner airlines:
The prices of flights in miles are largely in line between the American and the Oneworld and partner airlines award charts. The partner chart also includes flights to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and Africa. Since American doesn't fly to these regions, it's nice to know that you can still use your AAdvantage miles to get you there.
Upgrade awards on British Airways and Iberia
Upgrades are only available on paid flights to the next cabin of service and will require a payment of any additional taxes and carrier surcharges. In the case of British Airways and Iberia, these surcharges can be quite expensive.
Whether you’re redeeming for an award flight or an upgrade, many of these tickets are within reach because American makes it easy to earn miles. A welcome bonus on a credit card offer can provide a nice boost toward earning miles for that award flight.
American Airlines partner/Oneworld award chart tips
When flying with partners, make sure your AAdvantage number is on your reservation and visible on your boarding pass. If needed, you can request missing AAdvantage credit retroactively.
Premium cabin award availability can be more limited; plan your redemptions far in advance to improve your odds of scoring a good deal.
» Learn more: The NerdWallet guide to AA transfer partners
Earn miles with American Airlines credit cards
American Airlines offers several credit cards to help you earn miles faster. Here are the annual fees and sign-up bonuses.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® (annual fee: $99): Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in full, both within the first 90 days.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® (annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99): Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (annual fee: $450): Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card (annual fee: $0): 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.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® (annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99): Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
Note that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® comes with membership to American's Admirals Club lounges.
All these cards except the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card also offer a free checked bag on domestic itineraries with American Airlines, making them beneficial to loyal frequent flyers. Read our guide on how to choose between American credit cards.
» Learn more: Find the best airline credit card for you
Final thoughts on American's award chart
Although award charts can change or disappear at any time, American Airlines' chart as it currently stands does have its strengths, especially when it comes to flexible travel that allows you to find a MileSAAver award. More rigid travel plans mean you’ll likely have to cash in more miles, but if you can nab a Web Special or a MileSAAver, you can book with confidence knowing your miles will be put to good use.
The information related to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® and AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.
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:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
IHG® One Rewards
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World of Hyatt
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Alaska Mileage Plan
- Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
- Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
- You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend