Advertiser Disclosure

4 Things the American Airlines AAdvantage Program Gets Right

Jan. 4, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Airline rewards programs can be as overwhelming to review as a major carrier’s route map.

But the American Airlines AAdvantage program offers travelers several ways to earn rewards and it partners with airlines to get flyers to 350 cities across 50 countries.

Here are four things the AAdvantage program gets right.

1. International partners get you around the world

As part of the Oneworld Alliance, American Airlines has a broad roster of international partners, which gives passengers a chance to earn and redeem miles on hundreds of routes around the world. AAdvantage members earn miles on more than a dozen airlines including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Hawaiian Airlines and Finnair.

2. Loads of ways to earn miles

AAdvantage members can earn miles when paying utility bills, shopping via the AAdvantage eShopping mall at retailers such as Walmart, Target, Sephora, Macy’s and Kohl’s and using a registered card at one of 11,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs.

Travelers can also sign-up for one of the American Airlines-branded credit cards and get a welcome bonus that can be redeemed for travel within months of becoming a cardholder.

3. More flexibility with elite status

Elite status can allow you spontaneity without the extra fees. Elite status benefits include same-day standby and/or flight changes.

Check at least one bag for free, too.

» Learn more: Travel like a minimalist to save big

4. Use your credit card and keep your miles

In general, AAdvantage miles will expire if you go 18 months without earning or redeeming miles on American or one of its partner airlines. But miles earned on an American Airlines-branded credit card will remain valid as long as you continue to use the card.

AAdvantage members can also pay to reactivate expired 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 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
The American Airlines AAdvantage Program: The complete guide
Which American Airlines credit card should you choose?
9 ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use

About the author