American Airlines AAdvantage Rewards Program Overview

By Zach SteinfeldUpdated July 3, 2017


MaxInsights offers a numerical analysis and recommendation of how to best use this reward system.

The American Airlines AAdvantage program provides significant flexibility and highly variable redemption rates, so it’s important to know where the hidden gems can be found. For instance, when redeeming points for business travel to South America, points can be worth up to 5 cents each, whereas they’re usually worth approximately 1.2 cents per point.

Expected Value
  • MaxValue Travel (up to 5 cents per point)
  • MaxFlex Travel (approximately 1 cent per point, on average)
  • Expected Value 1.2 cents per point


With almost 6,700 daily flights to nearly 350 destinations in dozens of countries, American Airlines delivers an incredible broad and valuable rewards program with its AAdvantage. Miles earned through AAdvantage can be used for free flights, gift cards, membership club dues, and more. This program is somewhat complex, however, as it encompasses three tiers, each of which requires a different amount of miles to redeem a free flight. For instance, a domestic flight might cost 50,000 miles with AASaver, but 70,000 miles with AAnytime.

General Member: Earn 5 miles per dollar spent on base fare plus carrier-imposed fees

Gold Members: Earn 7 award miles per dollar

Platinum Members: Earn 8 award miles per dollar

Executive Platinum Members: Earn 11 award miles per dollar

In addition to these award miles, members earn 3 elite status qualifying miles (EQMs) for every full-fare first- or business-class flight, 2 EQMs for every discount first- or business-class flight, 1.5 EQMs for full-fare economy-class flights, and 1 EQM for every discount economy-class flight.

What exactly are the points worth?

The value of miles earned with the AAdvantage rewards program varies widely, depending on your tier, the time of year, cabin class, departure and arrival locations, and more. Ways to earn more AAdvantage miles can be found on the American Airlines Deals & Offers page, where extra miles can be purchased either directly or as a bonus when shopping at partner retailers.

Redemption Options

  • International First Class
  • International Economy
  • Domestic First Class
  • Domestic Economy
  • Admirals Club Membership Fees, Hotels, Car Rentals, Gift Cards

Cards with AAdvantage Currency

  • Benjamin Franklin

    An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

    Benjamin Franklin
  • Pablo Picasso

    Action is the foundational key to all success.

    Pablo Picasso
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.

    Abraham Lincoln

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