When it’s time to cash in your AAdvantage miles for a reward flight, you’ll want to figure out how to take your rewards further. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of all those hard-earned miles.
Types of American Airlines Rewards
Before digging into the details of American Airlines‘various award charts, an important caveat: the trend for U.S. airlines in recent years has been to eliminate reward tables fully, so there is no guarantee how long the charts you see below will remain valid.
That said, at present, American Airlines offers several categories of award travel depending on your flexibility and the benefits you want with your flight (such as free cancellation). Here are details of the types of rewards you’ll find in Economy Class:
If you would like to see the price of rewards in other cabin classes to various destinations, check out our calculator below. The low end reflects the MileSAAver rewards, while the high end reflects the AAnytime rewards.
The availability of this type of reward may be limited as these rewards are the cheapest. You can book a flight within the contiguous United States and Canada for as little as 7,500 miles each way for flights under 500 miles. The MileSAAver Off Peak rewards also offer relatively low mileage flights if you are traveling in low season to other regions including Europe, the Caribbean and even Asia.
Note that there are blackout dates for these budget buyout options, and the cheapest ones can be hard to find. MileSAAver awards are ideal for anyone with flexible travel plans who are ready to travel when they can find the cheapest award flights.
From 20,000 miles each way, AAnytime rewards allow you to redeem miles without blackout dates. The specific number of miles required for a given flight will vary depending on the date and destination. But at this level, you are more likely to find an available award seat on the flight of your choice if you have to travel on a certain day or at a certain time.
However, since the price of the award depends on where and when you’re going, many flights in this range will require more than 20,000 miles. There are also two price levels for AAnytime rewards, with level 1 being cheaper. This level is also based on your dates and destination; a flight search will show the reward level you have selected.
Special web prices
Occasionally you may be able to find even cheaper award flights with Web Special fares. These rewards aren’t as common as the others, but if you spot one, celebrate.
However, be aware that these award tickets cannot be changed and that charges may apply if you wish to cancel your flight or reinstate your miles.
Reduced mileage premiums
Holders of certain American Airlines co-branded credit cards can save up to 7,500 miles on a round trip or 3,750 miles on a one-way award flight. The miles saved depend on the card you have.
American Airlines Upgrade Awards
You can also use miles to upgrade your seat to one class of service using a combination of miles and cash. Upgrade costs range from 5,000 miles plus $ 75 to 25,000 miles and $ 550, depending on where you are flying and what class of ticket you are upgrading from. Note that upgrading from a full price ticket does not cost money, only miles. See the table below for a full breakdown of upgrade awards on American Airlines and American Eagle.
What you need to know about the American Airlines awards table
First of all, be aware that when booking award travel on American Airlines, award prices are shown in one-way segments. Taxes and fees will also be imposed when booking award travel. These start at $ 5.60 for each one-way flight.
If you prefer to travel in business class or first class, expect to pay a little more if the flight you book in the United States or Canada is on an airplane with reclining seats. The business / first prize prize for these trips will be 7,500 additional miles for MileSAAver rewards and 20,000 additional miles for AAnytime rewards. We suggest you check which plane you will be flying on before booking.
Oneworld and partner airlines rewards
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, including:
The table below shows American’s award table for Oneworld and partner airlines:
The prices of flights in miles are largely aligned between the table of the American rewards and that of the partners. The partner card also includes flights to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Africa. Since American does not fly to these areas, it’s good to know that you can still use your AAdvantage miles to get there.
Upgrade awards on British Airways and Iberia
You can also use AAdvantage miles to upgrade American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia award tickets according to this table:
Upgrades are only available on paid flights to the next service cabin and will require payment of all additional taxes and carrier surcharges. In the case of British Airways and Iberia, these extras can be quite expensive.
Whether you redeem them for an award flight or an upgrade, many of these tickets are close at hand because American makes earning miles very easy. A welcome bonus on a credit card offer can be a big boost to earning miles for that award flight.
Earn points with American Airlines cards
American Airlines offers several credit cards to help you earn miles faster. Here are their annual fees and signup bonuses:
AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® (annual rate: $ 95): Earn up to 75,000 AAdvantage® Bonus Miles: Earn 65,000 miles after spending $ 1,000 in the first 90 days. Earn 10,000 miles when a purchase is made with an employee card.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card Carte (annual rate: $ 0): Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $ 50 credit on your statement after making $ 500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Note that the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® comes with membership in the American Admirals Club Lounges.
For business owners, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® offers a series of additional benefits that businesses may find useful, including travel concierge assistance, additional miles for certain business purchases, and an accompanying certificate after spending $ 30,000 on the card in a year.
All these cards except the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card Carte also offer free checked baggage on domestic routes with American Airlines, making them beneficial for loyal frequent travelers.
The bottom line
While the reward tables may change or disappear at any time, the American Airlines table as it stands now has its strengths, especially when it comes to flexible travel that allows you to find a MileSAAver reward. . More rigid travel plans mean you’ll likely need to cash in more miles, but if you can get a Web Special, reduced mileage bonus, or MileSAAver, you can book with confidence knowing your miles will be used well.
Information relating to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® was collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.
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