Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
There are several ways that you can earn AA miles or use AA miles with hotels when you have a linked American Airlines AAdvantage account. With so many different ways to earn or use miles it is a little bit confusing how it all works so in this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the hotel earning and burning possibilities with American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
American Airlines AAdvantage program
It’s very easy to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles, which are the miles you earn in the American Airlines loyalty program known as “AAdvantage.”
AA credit cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite are great to rack up AA miles. Those cards offer additional perks like free baggage fees on AA and priority boarding, which are very handy when flying AA. But even when you’re not flying AA, you can still earn miles via hotel stays and I’ll share details on how that works below.
Tip: Use WalletFlo to help you cut down on your hotel and airline expenses by optimizing your travel credit cards. It’s free and will help you get approved for some of the best travel cards!
Earning American Airlines AAdvantage with hotel stays
You can earn AA miles with every hotel stay at certain hotel programs. Here are what the earning rates look like for the featured hotel partners:
- Hyatt: Earn 500 miles each stay
- Marriott Bonvoy: 2 miles for every $1 you spend on on all qualifying charges
- InterContinental: 2 miles for every $1 you spend on all qualifying room rates
- Rocketmiles: Earn up to 10,000 miles each night
- American Airlines Hotels: Earn up to 10,000 miles per night
(Noticeably missing from the list is Hilton.)
Since Hyatt offers a flat rate of 500 miles for each stay that means a cheaper stay will usually be more rewarding. Using a WalletFlo valuation of 1.37 cents per AA mile, 500 miles comes out to $6.85 worth of value.
So if your hotel stay came out to $100, you’re looking at getting just under 7% back. However, if you had a more expensive stay like $500 then all of a sudden that is only like getting 1.37% back — so not very impressive or lucrative.
It’s worth noting that there is a special elite partnership with American Airlines and Hyatt.
You can earn one AAdvantage bonus miles for every one dollar you spend on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences.
AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members can also earn World of Hyatt elite status at a faster rate.
Meanwhile, Marriott and IHG both offer the same rate of 2 miles for every dollar that you spend (IHG is limited to room rates). If you went ahead and spent $500 on a stay with one of these brands, then you would earn 1000 miles which would come out to $13.7 — or 2.7% back.
So this just shows that if you are spending more money at a hotel and you want to optimize the amount of value you get back in the form of American Airlines miles, then you would be better off with Marriott or IHG in some cases.
Of course, you have to consider things like elite benefits and credits which honestly should be the primary consideration when choosing where to stay. (Earning AA miles should be more of an afterthought in my opinion.)
In order to receive these miles, be sure to add your loyalty number to your itinerary at the time of booking or check-in.
In addition to earning miles booking directly through hotel partners, you can also earn miles with online travel portals like RocketMiles.
The way RocketMiles works is that when you make a hotel booking you can also earn additional AA miles.
The amount of American Airlines miles that you can earn will just vary based on the property (you can search properties and sort them by the number of miles that they will earn you).
While it is advertised that you can earn as much as 10,000 miles per night, in most cases I’ve only seen a few thousand miles offered per night.
American Airlines Hotels is a similar program where you can also earn American Airlines miles when you make a hotel booking.
This portal is powered by Booking.com so it will be an online travel agency booking which means that you probably won’t be able to get your elite benefits on your stay. So that is something you need to consider when analyzing the value proposition.
In addition to the hotel partners above there are some other hotel partners that you can earn miles with.
- Best Western Hotels and Resorts: 250 miles each stay
- Choice Hotels: 250 miles each stay
- PointsHound: Earn up to 10,000 miles each night at over 300,000 hotels worldwide
- Wyndham Hotels and Resorts: Earn up to 2 miles for every $1 spent on all qualifying stays
Using American Airlines AAdvantage miles for hotel stays
Another connection that AAdvantage has to hotels is that you can use your American Airlines AAdvantage miles to book hotel stays.
Now as already stated we’ll go with a valuation of 1.37 cents per AA mile, so that is going to be the baseline for the analysis below. If a redemption comes out below that, then you may want to rethink if it is worth using your miles on that.
To see if it could be worth it to use AA miles for a hotel booking, I searched the AAdvantage booking portal for a hotel in Austin, Texas. I found one night at the JW Marriott Austin for 69,400 AA miles, worth $950 based on our valuations.
Meanwhile, I found the same king bed room going for $419 on the Marriott website.
Therefore, you would be losing $531 in value by making this booking (a little less if you consider taxes).
You would be effectively redeeming your American Airlines miles at .6 cents per point. So overall that would come out to a 55% loss in value!
Still want to use your AA miles for hotels?
I’ve made bookings before where I just really wanted to save on cash so I did not mind getting poor value for my points. But with that said a 55% loss in value is just too much for me to stomach so I would not want to use this portal unless I absolutely had no potential use for my American Airlines miles in the future for myself or anybody I know.
Tip: Use WalletFlo to help you optimize your credit cards. It’s free and will help you get approved for some of the best travel cards!
Converting your hotel points to American Airlines AAdvantage miles
And finally, you can also convert your points to American Airlines AAdvantage miles.
Here are some rates that you can convert your points at:
- 5,000 Choice Privileges® points = 1,000 AAdvantage® miles
- 5,000 World of Hyatt points = 2,000 AAdvantage® miles
- 10,000 IHG® Rewards Club points = 2,000 AAdvantage® miles
- 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 10,000 AAdvantage® miles
- 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 20,000 AAdvantage® miles
- 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 30,000 AAdvantage® miles
- For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points converted within the same transaction, you’ll earn an additional 5,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles
Without seeing the valuations tied to these points, it’s hard to understand how the value translates when you do a transfer.
So below, I have supplied valuations for the point and mile values above so that you can see the exchange in value.
- (.71 valuation) $35.5 Choice Privileges® points = $13.70 AAdvantage® miles
- (1.57 valuation) $78.5 World of Hyatt points = $27.40 AAdvantage® miles
- (.56 valuation) $56 IHG® Rewards Club points = $27.40AAdvantage® miles
- (.77 valuation) $231 Marriott Bonvoy points = $137 AAdvantage® miles
- (.77 valuation) $462 Marriott Bonvoy points = $274 AAdvantage® miles (bonus increases it to $342.5)
- (.77 valuation) $693 Marriott Bonvoy points = $411 AAdvantage® miles
So as you can see, there is always a reduction in value when you transfer your hotel points over to American Airlines miles.
Exactly how much value do you actually lose?
Let’s take a closer look at the transfers in terms of the percentage of value lost after transferring from a hotel program to American Airlines.
- Transferring 5,000 Choice Privileges points to AAdvantage miles = 61% Loss
- Transferring 5,000 World of Hyatt points to AAdvantage miles = 65% Loss
- Transferring 10,000 IHG® Rewards Club points to AAdvantage miles = 51% Loss
- Transferring 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage miles = 40% Loss
- Transferring 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage miles = 26% Loss
- Transferring 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage miles = 30% Loss
So the best bang for your buck would be to convert 60,000 Marriott points into 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. You are still losing value but the percentage lost is only 25% compared to other programs where it is way more than that.
I often don’t mind losing a little bit of value when transferring over to Airlines from hotel partners like Marriott. That is because you are often topping off balances for valuable rewards and so it can be well worth it. But I don’t think I would ever transfer hotel points from other programs like Hyatt where there is a 65% loss in value.
AAdvantage Hotel FAQ
Yes, you can earn AAdvantage miles with different types of hotel bookings including those with Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and others.
You can earn the following rates with hotel partners:
Hyatt: Earn 500 miles each stay
Marriott Bonvoy: 2 miles for every $1 you spend on on all qualifying charges
InterContinental: 2 miles for every $1 you spend on all qualifying room rates
Rocketmiles: Earn up to 10,000 miles each night
American Airlines Hotels: Earn up to 10,000 miles per night
Generally no, you will be losing a lot of value if you use your AAdvantage miles to book a hotel stay.
You will often be losing a lot of value whenever you convert hotel points to AAdvantage miles. One of the best value propositions is converting 60,000 Marriott points to 25,000 AAdvantage miles.
You can earn up to 10,000 miles per night but most of the time you will not earn that many miles. Instead, it will be more common to earn some thing like 4,000 miles per night.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to earn AAdvantage miles from hotel stays and also to use your AAdvantage miles on hotels.
For the most part, there are very poor value propositions when using your hotel points to transfer over to American Airlines and when using your American Airline miles to book hotel stays.
The only attractive option to me is earning additional American Airlines miles whenever you make a hotel booking. Therefore, I would not go in expecting too much when it comes to maximizing value for hotels with American Airlines.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.