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What Can I Buy with American Airlines Miles

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American Airlines’ AAdvantage program allows members to earn miles for flights, credit card purchases, and more. But what can you do with these miles once you’ve earned them? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various options for using your American Airlines miles, providing you with examples and tips to help you get the most value from your miles.


You can use American Airlines miles to purchase flights with American Airlines, oneworld® airlines, and partner airlines. Additionally, miles can be used to upgrade your flight, book hotels and car rentals, and purchase vacation packages. Non-travel options include purchasing an Admirals Club membership or donating miles to charity. However, redemption options may vary based on availability and demand.

Redeeming Miles for Flights

One of the most common uses of American Airlines miles is to redeem them for flights. You can use your miles for travel on American Airlines, oneworld® airlines, and partner airlines to nearly 1,000 destinations worldwide. To book a flight using miles, visit the American Airlines website, log in to your AAdvantage account, and select the “Redeem miles” checkbox before searching for flights.

There are no blackout dates for award travel on American Airlines. However, award flights are subject to availability and dynamic pricing, which means redemption prices may vary based on demand. For example, you may find that a domestic flight that usually costs 25,000 miles may cost less during off-peak periods or more during peak travel times.

Upgrades and Extras

American Airlines miles can also be used for upgrades. You can use your miles to move from the Main Cabin to the next cabin on American, British Airways, and Iberia flights. However, it’s important to note that American Airlines miles cannot be used for baggage fees or in-flight purchases. These fees are charged separately and are not covered by miles.

Hotels, Car Rentals, and Vacation Packages

In addition to flights and upgrades, you can use your miles to book hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages. Through the AAdvantage Hotels platform, you can redeem your miles for stays at thousands of hotels worldwide. For car rentals, you can use your miles with Avis and Budget through the AAdvantage Rental Car Rewards program. And with American Airlines Vacations, you can use a combination of miles and cash to book your entire trip, from flights and hotels to car rentals and activities.

Non-Travel Redemptions

While travel-related redemptions generally offer the best value for your miles, there are also non-travel options available. For example, you can use your miles to purchase an Admirals Club membership, giving you access to American Airlines’ airport lounges. You can also donate your miles to various charities through the American Airlines website. However, as of early 2020, the MagsForMiles program, which allowed you to redeem miles for magazine subscriptions, no longer works with American Airlines.

Maximizing the Value of Your Miles

To get the most value from your American Airlines miles, consider the following strategies:

  • Redeem miles for flights on partner airlines. These flights often offer better value for your miles than flights on American Airlines.
  • Look for sweet spots in the award chart. For example, flights within the U.S. or Canada that are 500 miles or less cost fewer miles.
  • Use American Airlines credit cards to earn more miles.
  • Take advantage of American Airlines’ Web Specials, which offer discounted award flights.
  • Utilize American Airlines’ free holds to secure award space for up to five days while you finalize your plans.


American Airlines miles offer a wide range of redemption options, from flights and upgrades to hotels, car rentals, and more. By understanding these options and using strategies to maximize the value of your miles, you can make the most of your AAdvantage membership. Whether you’re planning a trip or making everyday purchases, your miles can help you save money and enjoy more travel opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many miles do I need for a free flight on American Airlines?

The number of miles needed for a free flight depends on the destination and the class of service. For example, a one-way economy flight within the U.S. starts at 7,500 miles. However, award flights are subject to dynamic pricing, so the number of miles required can vary.

Can I transfer my American Airlines miles to another person?

Yes, you can transfer your American Airlines miles to another person, but there’s a fee associated with it. The cost ranges from $25 to $50 plus $0.01 per mile transferred. It’s usually better to redeem miles directly from your account for someone else’s flight.

Can I use American Airlines miles to buy gift cards?

American Airlines does not currently offer the option to redeem miles for gift cards. The best way to use your miles is towards flights, upgrades, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages.

What happens to my American Airlines miles if I don’t use them?

American Airlines miles do not expire as long as your account remains active. You can keep your account active by earning or redeeming miles at least once every 18 months.

Can I redeem my American Airlines miles for cash?

No, you cannot redeem American Airlines miles for cash. They can only be used for flights, upgrades, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and certain non-travel items such as Admirals Club memberships.

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