Citi Offering up to 1:1 transfer to AAdvantage (LTO)

Citi ThankYou Points has long been #3 (behind Amex and Chase) when it comes to transferable points programs (at least to me it has).

It has some great transfer partners if you know how to use them but they have been lacking in a major way by not having one of the legacy carriers as a transfer partner.

However, for a limited time that will be different.

The new limited-time transfer promo

Citi is now offering the ability to transfer points from Citi to American Airlines AAdvantage for up to a 1:1 ratio. This will only last from July 18 to November 13, 2021.

You transfer ratio to American Airlines AAdvantage will depend on the type of Citi card you have.

Below are the transfer ratios:

1:1 (1,000 Points = 1,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles)

  • Citi Chairman
  • Prestige
  • Premier

1:0.5 (1,000 Points = 500 American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles)

  • Citi ThankYou Preferred
  • Citi Rewards+

The 1:1 ratio is great but I’m not too crazy about the lower transfer ratio.

I guess if you had no other use for your Citi points it would be better than nothing but I’d maybe even look into upgrading if possible so that you can take advantage of the new transfer ratio (assuming that works).

If you were transferring a lot of miles, you might be able to offset the annual fee with the increased value from your transfer.

Final word

This is a pretty exciting promotion for people who have been looking for a way to boost their AAdvantage accounts.

Perhaps it’s sign of things to come with Citi?

I wouldn’t be too doubtful given that AA is a transfer partner of the new Bilt Mastercard. Maybe AA is looking to make more moves with Citi in the near future?

Barclays Aviator Companion Certificate Guide [2021]

A lot of credit cards offer a companion certificates or companion pass opportunities. Some of these are issued on an annual basis automatically but others require you to earn them with a bit of spend.

The Barclays Aviator companion certificate is one of those that you have to earn with your hard-earned spend. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about this companion certificate, including whether or not it is worth it.

What is the Barclays Aviator companion certificate?

The Barclays Aviator companion certificate is a special perk you can earn by putting enough spend on a Barclays aviator credit card. The certificates come in different forms depending on the type of card that you have:

Card Name# of certificatesPriceSpend Requirement
AAdvantage Aviator Silver2$99$20,000
AAdvantage Aviator Business1$99$30,000
AAdvantage Aviator Red1$99$20,000

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Is the Aviator companion certificate worth it?

$20,000 is a lot and spend for many people so you want to make sure that you are putting your spend to good use for this perk.

Since this is a companion certificate, you obviously net more value by purchasing a more expensive fare.

A good way to analyze your value proposition is to consider the $99 fee plus the taxes and fees which may average around $130.

So to break even you basically want to purchase a ticket that is more expensive than $130 which should not be very difficult to do since you can use this for roundtrips.

For many card members, it’s not very difficult to get a couple of hundred dollars in value from this perk by purchasing a ticket between $300 and $500. For many domestic roundtrips in economy, that is probably a nice sweet spot to shoot for.

Note: the terms do exclude the most expensive economy fare classes.

Remember that the annual fee for the Aviator Red is $99 so if you were trying to offset that annual fee, you would need to purchase a ticket for at least ~$230. Again, that is not a very challenging task which is why this benefit allows these cards to be “keeper cards” for people who fly American Airlines.

Aviator companion certificate rules

Spend requirement

The $20,000 (or $30,000) in spend needs to be met during your account anniversary year (not calendar year) and the terms state that your account must remain open for at least 45 days after the anniversary date. As long as you meet those two requirements, you will be good to go.

Receiving the companion certificate

The terms also state to allow 8 to 10 weeks for the delivery of the certificate. This is on top of the 45 days you will be waiting after your anniversary date, so it could take a little while for your certificate to arrive after your anniversary date.

Don’t be surprised if it takes about two months from your account anniversary date for the perk to appear.

Your companion certificate should arrive in an email and the snail mail and it will provide you with directions on how to book.

Domestic routes in economy class

The companion certificate must be used on domestic routes only. Also, it is only valid for economy class fares. So if you want to experience American Airlines first class, this certificate won’t help you out there.

If you happen to be a resident of Alaska or Hawaii, the eligible travel is defined as a round-trip originating in either Alaska or Hawaii and continuing to the lower 48.

$99 minimum payment

When you use the companion certificate, you will have to pay $99 for the companion ticket plus any taxes and fees. Typically, these fees will range between $21 and $43 so be prepared to shell out a bit more cash for the ticket.

This is very similar to the Alaska Airlines companion certificate which also requires a similar payment.

Eligible routes and airlines

Eligible travel is defined as travel within the lower 48 (contiguous United States) but see the Hawaii and Alaska exception above.

The flights will need to be marketed and operated by American Airlines or marked it by American Airlines and operated by one of the following:

  • Compass Airlines
  • Envoy Air
  • Republic Airline
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • PSA Airlines
  • Piedmont Airlines, Inc.

Note: the certificate is not available for travel on codeshare flights booked with an American Airlines flight number but operated by another airline.

Blackout dates

One drawback to this perk is that you may have to contend with black out dates when booking. You can check out the prior blackout dates below that were found (among other helpful details) via middleagemiles.

  • 2019: Jan 1-3; Feb 15-19; Mar 8-11; Mar 15-18; Mar 22-25; May 24-28; Jun 28-30; Jul 1-7; Nov 27-30; Dec 1-2; Dec 14-23; Dec 27-31
  • 2020: Jan 1-3; Feb 14-18; Mar 6-9; Mar 13-16; Mar 20-23; May 22-26; Jun 30; Jul 1-6; Nov 25-30; Dec 12-23; Dec 27-31


Upgrades are not allowed per the terms of the certificate. However, some have had success getting upgraded with elite status. This may not be the norm but you can certainly give it a try with the gate agent and you might have some luck.

14 days in advance

You will have to book your flights using your companion certificate at least 14 days prior to your departure.

You will also have to mail in forms which will need to be received seven days before your departure so slackers be warned, this is not a perk that you want to wait until the last minute to use.


The companion certificate will be valid one year from the issue date. This means that you must make your booking and complete your travel by the expiration date. Once your companion certificate arrives, you should be able to view the travel expiration date.


One of the biggest drawbacks to this perk is that if you use the certificate and then cancel your flight, you will not be able to get your certificate replaced. So you need to be extremely careful when making a reservation.

How to book the companion certificate

When you receive your email, you will see the American Airlines meeting services phone number which is 800–433–1790.

You will need to have all of your reservation details on hand when you call this number including your flight details, AAdvantage number, and your companion certificate number.

As soon as you make a reservation, you need to mail in your companion certificate within the required time frame. American Airlines will need to receive this signed certificate within 14 days of your phone booking. If you fail to mail it in, your flight will not be ticketed.

(The agent on the phone should provide you with the address to send the certificate to.)

After you send off your certificate, be on the lookout in your email inbox for your eTicket.


Do I have to use my American Airlines credit card to book?

Yes, you must pay for your tickets with the credit card that you earned the companion certificate with.

Will companions earn miles or elite credits on the flight?

The terms state that you will not earn miles or elite credits on the flight but in practice some people have earned both redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles.

Can I upgrade my ticket when using the certificate?

The terms and conditions state upgrades are prohibited but in practice some people have had success with obtaining upgrades. Your mileage may vary in this area.

When does the Aviator companion certificate expire?

The companion certificate will expire one year from issuance and the date of issuance will often be around two months from your anniversary date.

Can I use the companion certificate for basic economy fares?

No, basic economy fares are excluded.

Final word

This perk is a great way to offset the annual fee and to come out on top in terms of value. If you can book tickets of $200 or more, you can completely offset the annual fee and make up for the fees associated with this perk.

The major drawback to this perk is that it does require you to jump through some hoops for the booking and is a bit old-fashioned with forcing you to mail in a physical signed certificate.

But if you can deal with a little bit of legwork, this can be an awesome benefit to use every year.

Barclays Aviator Red Review [2021]

There are some co-branded airline credit cards that I believe everybody should seriously consider. The AAdvantage Aviator Red from Barclays is definitely one of these credit cards. The reason I am so big on this card is that it offers a lot of bang for buck and also it is perfect for people who may struggle to meet minimum spend requirements when stretching themselves thin.

In this review article, I will break down everything you need to know about the AAdvantage Aviator Red.

AAdvantage Aviator Red Overview

  • Lucrative welcome bonus usually offered
  • 2X on AA purchases
  • First checked bag free
  • Anniversary Companion Certificate
  • Flight Cents 
  • Preferred boarding
  • Reduced mileage awards
  • $25 back on wifi
  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases
  • $99 annual fee

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Welcome bonus

For several years, the Aviator Red has been a favorite travel credit card for people who don’t want to put a lot of spend on a credit card to achieve a bonus. Typically, you can earn the bonus for this card by simply making a single purchase on your card within 90 days of opening.

That’s pretty amazing considering that this card can come with some very lucrative bonuses such as 60,000 miles. 60K is the best standard public offer we’ve seen but I’d argue this card is worth it even at 50K, just because how easy it is to earn.

It’s almost like paying $99 (the annual fee) for 50,000 or 60,000 miles.

The other thing to think about when looking at this card is the potential to stack your bonuses. There are some other lucrative American Airlines credit cards out there like the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select.

If you were to time up the bonuses well, you could potentially score 120,000+ miles in one swoop. And because the welcome bonus is so easy to obtain for the Aviator Red, this is one of the easiest ways to net over 100,000 miles in quick fashion.

Stacking bonuses is a pretty strategic move because American Airlines is not currently a transfer partner of any of the major transfer programs associated with large banks such as American Express, Chase, or Citibank.

Qatar A350 business class seat
Qatar A350 business class booked with AA miles.

Bonus categories

  • 2X on AA purchases
  • 1X on all other purchases

The bonus categories on the Aviator Red are extremely vanilla.

Earning double the points on American Airlines is expected and nothing too special. If you value American Airlines miles at 1.37 cents per mile then 2X comes out to 2.74% back. I think they could definitely improve this card by adding some interesting new bonus categories.


American Airlines row of seats in airplane
2X on AA purchases is nice but that’s about as good as the bonus categories get.

Airline benefits

First checked bag free

You can get a free checked bag for you and up to four companions on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines.

For this benefit to apply, the card must be open 7 days prior to air travel, and the reservation must include the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage Account number 7 days prior to air travel.

Something worth noting is that you do not have to use your card on your airfare in order to receive this benefit. So if you have a credit card with better trip insurance, you can still use that to cover your flight.

American Airlines charges $30 for the first checked bag, so you could easily save over $100 traveling with three other people on a one-way trip.

This perk alone will justify the annual fee for a lot of people who frequently fly American Airlines, as is often the case with co-branded airline credit cards.

The only drawback to this perk is that it does NOT cover international trips. Some international routes will actually give you a free checked bag so that is not a dealbreaker but it is something that is distinguished from competitor cards like the United Explorer Card.

Anniversary Companion Certificate

Every anniversary year you can earn a $99 domestic economy fare companion certificate if you spend $20,000 and keep your account open for at least 45 days after the anniversary date.

For many card members, it’s not very difficult to get a couple of hundred dollars in value from this perk by purchasing a ticket between $300 and $500. So that’s decent value but $20,000 in spend for a $99 companion certificate is a high amount of spend in my opinion.

I like to compare the spend bonuses to other cards to get a sense of the relative value you might be missing out on. You could spend $15,000 on a Hilton Surpass and earn a free night that could cover a property going for hundreds or even $1,000 a night. So that is less spend and likely more value potential. Just something to think about.

Flight Cents 

Flight Cents is a way to earn additional American Airlines miles by rounding up your Aviator credit card purchases to the nearest whole dollar. For each cent that is rounded up, you’ll automatically purchase half an AAdvantage mile up to a certain threshold. So basically you are purchasing miles for two cents per mile.

I think Flight Cents is an interesting benefit. It’s not the most lucrative way to earn AA miles but it can be significantly cheaper than purchasing them outright. The way the perk works is a little bit confusing so I would recommend reading my guide on Flight Cents here.

Preferred boarding

You can also get preferred boarding for you and up to four companions when flying on American Airlines operated flights.

I think the biggest thing to note here is that “preferred boarding” is not the same as “priority boarding.” Priority boarding includes groups one through four. Meanwhile, preferred boarding is in group 5.

Despite that, you will still be among the first to enter the aircraft in main cabin so it can be helpful when trying to secure your overhead storage bin space. You can find out more about the American Airlines boarding process here.

boarding sign at gate
Get preferred boarding with the Aviator Red.

Reduced mileage awards

Reduced mileage awards are special discounts on American Airlines MileSAAver awards to select destinations that are available to some American Airlines co-branded credit card holders.

These discounts allow you to save thousands of miles on redemptions, which can knock down the price of a flight from 12,500 miles to 8,750 miles. This can be a great way to save on miles but just be aware that sometimes “Web Specials” can be cheaper than the MileSAAver awards with the reduced mileage award discount.

$25 back on wifi

Every anniversary year you can get $25 back as statement credits on inflight Wi-Fi purchases. This is a great way to offset 25% of the annual fee.

25% Statement Credit

You can get a 25% savings as a statement credit on eligible inflight food and beverage purchases when purchased using your card. These savings do not apply to any other inflight purchases, such as wireless internet access or inflight entertainment. 

Aviator Red FAQ

What is the annual fee for the Aviator Red?

The annual fee is $99.

Is the annual fee waived for the Aviator Red?

No, the annual fee is not waived the first year.

Do you get free checked bags with the Aviator Red?

Yes, you can get a free checked bag for you and up to four companions on domestic itineraries.

Do you get Admiral’s Club access with the Aviator Red?

No, you do not get lounge access with the Aviator Red.

Final word

I’ve been a big fan of the Aviator Red card ever since it was introduced. I love how easy the bonus is to earn and that the bonus is also usually very lucrative.

The bonus categories are definitely nothing special on this card but there are some pretty decent perks that allow you to offset the annual fee. If you fly American Airlines on even a semi-regular basis this card could be worth holding on to for the long run.

1,000 AAdvantage bonus miles per night w/Hyatt [Targeted]

There is a new targeted offer going out allowing Hyatt members to earn 1,000 AAdvantage bonus miles per night.

If you are targeted you will likely receive an offer from Hyatt but you can also check to see if you are targeted using the link below.

Related: New Hyatt promo (2,000 points!)

Key terms

  • Register by June 30, 2021
  • Book and complete stays between April 15, 2021 and July 31, 2021.
  • A maximum of 30,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles may be earned under this Offer.

Valid at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide and participating M life Rewards destinations, Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties, and Lindblad Expeditions.

Only the room occupied by the Member will count toward this Offer, regardless of the number of rooms paid under the same account number.

Member must choose either World of Hyatt Base Points or AAdvantage® miles as their base earning.

If a member selects to earn World of Hyatt Base Points at check-in, member will receive 1,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles per night in addition to World of Hyatt Base Points earned.

If member chooses to earn AAdvantage® miles at check-in, they will receive the ongoing benefit of 500 AAdvantage® miles per stay in addition to the 1,000 bonus AAdvantage® miles per night as part of the Offer during the Offer Period.

You can check to see if you are targeted here.

If for some reason you have not linked your Hyatt account with your American Airlines AAdvantage account you can do that here.

This will allow elite members to earn 1 World of Hyatt Bonus Point for every eligible $1 USD spent on qualifying American Airlines flights. 

If you are also an elite member of American Airlines you can earn 1 AAdvantage® Bonus Mile for every eligible $1 USD spent on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences.

Final word

This is a great promotion if you are targeted as 1,000 miles per night can add up pretty quickly. I believe it should stack with the promo link at the top of this article as well, so this is a potential triple or even quadruple stack promo.

Reduced Mileage Awards Guide [2021]

It’s always nice when you can put miles back into your wallet and reduced mileage awards are a great way to do that. They are relatively easy to take advantage of but in order to do so you will need to be aware of the limitations and different discount levels available.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about reduced mileage awards.

What are reduced mileage awards?

Reduced mileage awards are special discounts on American Airlines MileSAAver awards to select destinations that are available to some American Airlines co-branded credit card holders.

These discounts allow you to save thousands of miles on redemptions, which can knock down the price of a flight from 12,500 miles to 8,750 miles.

The list of select destinations changes every month and every two months the list is completely updated.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Are reduced mileage awards worth it?

Some might wonder if reduced mileage awards are really worth it.

Obviously, if you can save miles on the trip you already planned on taking the savings are going to be worth it as long as the booking process is not an extreme pain in the rear end (it’s usually not — although problems do sometimes arise).

So from that perspective, I think the awards are almost always worth it when you can utilize them.

The biggest thing to be on the lookout for are “Web Specials.” These are awards that can be extremely cheap, sometimes cheaper than the MileSAAver awards with the reduced mileage award discount.

You should always be on the lookout for those awards because you could save even more miles by booking them.

But in terms of the value proposition of your American Airlines credit card, that’s a little bit of a different story.

You can answer that question by first getting a sense of the value that you can get from this benefit.

If you were to utilize the reduced mileage awards for a trip over 500 miles you could save up to 7,500 miles.

At a valuation of 1.37, that comes out to about $102 in value. So if you are utilizing this benefit from a credit card with an annual fee under $100, then that’s an easy way to completely offset the annual fee.

The problem just arises when you realize that the eligible destinations are somewhat limited and it’s not always easy to find availability. So in some instances this credit card perk can be pretty difficult to use which makes its value proposition a little suspect for some.

Eligible credit cards for reduced mileage awards

There are quite a few different cards that will qualify for reduced mileage awards and there are two distinct discount tiers.

The top-tier which offers the biggest discount will be available to you if you have one of the following cards:

In the top tier, you can get a 7,500 mile discount on roundtrip flights at 500 miles or more (the discount is 3,750 miles for one-way trips). For flights under 500 miles, the discount is 2,000 miles for a roundtrip or 1,000 miles for a one-way trip.

This means that you can save up to 30% of round-trip flights within the US.

The second tier which offers the smaller discount will be available to you if you have one of the following cards:

  • Citi AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard
  • AAdvantage Aviator Blue MasterCard

In the bottom tier, you can get a 5,000 mile discount on roundtrip flights at 500 miles or more (the discount is 2,500 miles for one-way trips). For flights under 500 miles, the discount is 1,000 miles for a roundtrip or 500 miles for a one-way trip.

Booking rules

Be sure that you check the terms and conditions to find the latest booking rules.

Typically, there will be a deadline for when you must book your award redemption by and then there will be a separate deadline for when you must actually travel by.

There is also a geographical restriction that requires your travel to originate in the lower 48 (contiguous United States).

Worth noting, you should be able to apply the discount on flights to and from the list of airports.

How to use reduced mileage awards

Figure out your discount type

The first step that you need to take when utilizing this perk is figuring out what type of discount you are eligible for.

You can do this by viewing the list above and seeing whether your credit card qualifies you for the top-tier or lower-tier discount.

Find the discount code

The next step is to pick your class of service and find the corresponding award code. You can find the award codes here.

Below, I have included a breakdown of these codes from early 2021 but keep in mind that the discount codes do change as the schedule gets updated.

Flights within the U.S. (500+ miles)

Make sure that you pay close attention to the cabin type that you are booking.

7,500 mile discount award codes

  • First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD21X2E / AVM13
  • Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) – UD28X7E / AVA07
  • Main Cabin – TD8X7E / AVM12

5,000 mile discount award codes

  • First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD22X5E / AVM11
  • Business Class (3-cabin aircraft) – UD30E / AVA01
  • Main Cabin – TD10E / AVM10

Flights within the U.S. (under 500 miles)

2,000 mile discount award codes

  • First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD14E / AVA12
  • Main Cabin – TD6X5E / AVA11

1,000 mile discount award codes

  • First Class (2-cabin aircraft) – UD14X5E / AVA06
  • Main Cabin – TD7E / AVA05

Find your destination

The next step is to choose your destination. The big thing to know here is that availability changes on a monthly basis.

This means that you want to check on the schedule on a regular basis to see if your destination is listed. The schedule is broken down by month and so you can easily review it to see if your desired destination is currently eligible.

And yet another big thing to know about these reduced mileage awards: you won’t always find the most popular cities listed on the schedule. A lot of times, the destinations are much smaller cities.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some very popular destinations. For example, in early 2021 some of the popular cities found on the schedule included:

  • Denver, Colorado (DEN)
  • Detroit, Michigan (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
  • Houston, Texas (IAH & HOU)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS)
  • Orlando, Florida (MCO)

The thing about these popular cities is that often they may only appear on the schedule for one or two months out of the four available versus the smaller cities that might appear every available month.

MileSAAver awards

After you know your discount type and your desired destination, you then want to check for award availability.

When trying to book these awards, you are looking for “MileSAAver” awards. Now that we are seeing some form of dynamic pricing it’s not as easy to find these MileSAAver awards any longer.

One easy way to find these, is to click on the details when viewing flight options and look for the booking code. The eligible MileSAAver awards will have a “T” class for economy and “U” class for business.

Example of an eligible award.

If you are looking at a web special, the code will display something different such as “Y” for economy. Remember, those are NOT eligible for the reduced mileage award discount.

And example of an award not eligible.


Once you have your destination and code, and you are ready to book, all you need to do is call reservations at 1-800-882-8880.

Since this is an award ticket, be ready to pay the award ticket taxes and fees which begin at $5.60 per one-way trip.

Since these awards cannot be booked online, the $30 phone booking fee should be waived (but just make sure that the agent is aware of this rule).

In addition, the $75 close-in booking fee should no longer apply to these awards.

Reduced mileage awards FAQ

What cards qualify for reduced mileage awards?

The following cards qualify for the full discount:

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Select MasterCard
CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite MasterCard
AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard
AAdvantage Aviator Business MasterCard

The following cards qualify for the partial discount:

Citi AAdvantage Gold World Elite MasterCard
AAdvantage Aviator Blue MasterCard

Can you book reduced mileage awards for someone else?

Yes, you are allowed to book tickets for other individuals as long as the miles come out of your account.

Can you use reduced mileage awards for domestic first class flights?

Yes, you can use the discount for domestic first class flights.

Can you use reduced mileage awards for one-way flights?

Yes, you can use the discount to book one-way flights.

Can you get reduced mileage awards with the MileUp card?

Unfortunately, no you cannot get the reduced mileage awards with the MileUp card.

When does American Airlines release new reduced mileage awards?

Every two months American Airlines will release the new list of eligible destinations. This list will cover four months which means that you can book these awards up to four months in advance.

Can you book reduced mileage awards online?

No, you cannot book these awards online.

Can you book reduced mileage awards for international awards?

No, unfortunately this does not appear to be a possibility.

Can you get multiple discounts with multiple cards?

No, you can only take advantage of the discount a single time with each booking.

Can you use the reduced mileage award discount on partners?

Unfortunately, no you cannot use the discount on partners.

Final word

Reduced mileage awards are fantastic ways to save thousands of miles on award redemptions. The trick is to find a destination you plan on visiting on the calendar at the right time. It’s not always easy to do that but it definitely is worth it when you can.

AAdvantage Aviator Flight Cents Guide [2021]

One of the benefits of the AAdvantage Aviator Red (and Silver) is a program called Flight Cents.

It’s a nifty little way to rack up more American Airlines AAdvantage miles without even thinking about doing so but is it really worth it?

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about Flight Cents.

What is Flight Cents?

Flight Cents is a way to earn additional American Airlines miles by rounding up your Aviator credit card purchases to the nearest whole dollar.

For each cent that is rounded up, you’ll automatically purchase half an AAdvantage mile up to a certain threshold.

It’s a little confusing so let’s walk through an example.

Let’s say that you make a purchase of $3.01.

Flight Cents would round up the purchase to $4 (the nearest whole dollar) which means that the rounded up amount would equate to $.99.

Half of $.99 is 49.5 which means that you would earn 50 miles (rounded up to the nearest whole mile) from Flight Cents.

You would also earn an additional 3 miles from your purchase which means that you would earn a total of 53 miles.

Getting about 50 miles this route is not bad but the rounding up process can require a very high volume of transactions to max out (or to even come close to maxing out).

If you were somehow to get a $.99 round up from every transaction, that would require ~500 transactions per month.

With normal spend, you are obviously going to get much less than that so it will take a very high volume of transactions to get enough round ups to $500 which is the monthly maximum amount you can get.

I would also advise against trying to game this benefit by making a lot of unnatural small purchases because Barclays is known to crack down on so-called “gamers.”

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

How does Flight Cents work

To take advantage of Flight Cents you will need to first set the threshold to the maximum amount that you would like to round up to each statement.

You can set your threshold amount anywhere ranging from $1 to $500.

Once you hit your threshold, you will get a half a mile for every one cent that is rounded up to the nearest whole dollar for each purchase.

And if you don’t hit your threshold, you will simply earn miles based on the amount rounded up at the end of your statement.

So let’s say that you maxed out your $500 threshold.

That would mean that you had 50,000 total cents rounded up from transactions. That will come out to a total of 25,000 miles for that statement period.

You can always view the Flight Cents summary page at to see an itemized list of rounded up purchases.

Related: Barclays Aviator Companion Certificate Guide 

How to enroll

In order to trigger the benefit, you need to set your threshold above $0 which you can do at Click on “adjust your threshold” to set your threshold and get started with the program.

Keep in mind that you can always change your threshold at any time to the default of zero dollars.

Whatever your threshold is set at as of 11:59 PM Eastern time on the end of the day before your billing cycle, that will be used as a threshold for your next billing cycle.

Is Flight Cents worth it?

The big debatable question with Flight Cents is whether or not it is worth it to participate.

You are essentially buying one AAdvantage mile for two cents.

A lot of people will probably feel that this is not an amazing deal.

For one, a lot of people value American Airlines miles at somewhere around 1.6 cents per mile.

So you are purchasing them above their valued price.

But there are a few things to say about that.

The first is that this is still significantly cheaper than purchasing AA miles at normal rates.

I checked the price for 5,000 AA miles and that would’ve cost $188.13. This comes out to 3.7 cents per mile. So two cents per mile is still a bargain compared to this.

Even if I chose to purchase more miles, the rates are still not as good as two cents per mile.

For example, for purchasing 25,000 miles I would receive a 15% discount and the total price would be $799.54.

This would come out to 3.1 cents per mile so once again getting miles for two cents per mile is still better than purchasing them out right.

Just note that on some occasions you can find special promotions where you can purchase miles at a much better rate.

The other thing about getting miles at two cents per mile is that if you regularly use your miles for business class and first class redemptions, you know that your miles can be worth much more than 2 cents per mile.

In those cases, picking up miles at two cents per mile could work out to be a bargain.

I think what a lot of people also like about this route is that it is a passive way to continuously build up your American Airlines balance without having to really think about it.

So there’s sort of a convenience factor here.

Ultimately, I would prefer not to use it because I don’t really like the idea of paying two cents per mile but if I was coming up on a redemption and I needed miles, this could potentially be a cheaper way to get them, so I would be okay to give it a shot.

Final word

I think Flight Cents is an interesting benefit. It’s not the most lucrative way to earn AA miles but it can be significantly cheaper than purchasing them.

If you know you are going to get outsized value from your miles well above two cents per mile then I think it definitely makes sense to go all in on this program and try to earn as many miles as you can.

$125 American Airlines Flight Discount Guide [2021]

Many travel credit cards offer you special bonuses when you hit a certain threshold of annual spend. The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select is another one of these cards offering you the ability to earn a $125 American Airlines flight discount.

But is it worth putting a lot of spend on this card to earn this benefit and what are all of the restrictions that apply? In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the $125 American Airlines flight discount.

What is the $125 American Airlines flight discount?

The $125 American Airlines flight discount is a special perk offered by the Platinum Select that you can receive after you spend $20,000 during your card membership year.

Before jumping into the details of the flight discount perk, it’s worth pointing out that the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select also has other solid perks like free checked bags and some pretty decent bonus earning rates which consist of the following:

  • 2X on purchases on American Airlines
  • 2X at restaurants (including cafes, bars, lounges, and fast food restaurants)
  • 2X at gas stations 

You can also get “Preferred Boarding” on American Airlines flights for up to four companions traveling with you and listed in the same reservation.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Is the $125 American Airlines flight discount worth it?

Any time you have to spend $20,000 to receive a perk it’s a good idea to ask yourself if it is really worth it?

If you are somebody who only uses the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card and easily hit the $20,000 threshold every year, then it’s just a matter of whether or not you will use the benefit.

But if you are not somebody who would normally spend $20,000 on the the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select credit card then you definitely want to consider other options.

I say that because you can find more lucrative bonuses with other cards. For example, the Hilton Surpass will give you a free night after you spend $15,000.

That free night could easily be worth several hundred dollars so you would get a lot more value for even less spend.

So make sure you are aware of the alternatives!

$125 American Airlines flight discount rules

In order to receive the flight discount, you must spend $20,000 or more during your card membership year. This means that this park is given out on an anniversary year basis (the spending counter does not reset at the new year unless that is your account anniversary).

As soon as you open up your card, you can begin working toward the spend for this benefit and the deadline for your spend will be at or around your account anniversary.

Every year after that, the deadline will be 12 months from the billing period after your annual fee bills through the next billing period your annual fee bills.

Closing your card

The terms and conditions state “[t]o receive the Flight Discount, your account must be open for one billing cycle after your annual fee is billed..”

This would suggest that you will need to pay the annual fee in order to receive the benefit.


The discount will expire one year from the date of issuance. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic they have offered extensions such as six month extensions.

The terms state that after you qualify for the discount, it could take 8 to 12 weeks for delivery of your discount. But in reality a lot of perks like this can arrive much quicker so be on the lookout.

Eligible Airlines

As you would probably expect, you can use your discount on ticket purchases for flights marketed and operated by American Airlines.

But you can also use the discount on flights marketed by American Airlines and operated by:

  • Compass Airlines
  • Envoy Air
  • Republic Airways
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • PSA Airlines
  • Piedmont Airlines

Just make sure that the itineraries are originating in the U.S., Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands, and sold in US Dollars.

Something that is really cool about this benefit is that it can also be redeemed for air travel on oneworld carriers or American Airlines codeshare flights. A lot of co-branded airline credit card perks do not extend to partner airlines so this is a great enhancement to the value of this benefit.

Base fare

You can only use this discount toward the base airfare and directly associated taxes, fees, and other charges that are collected as the normal part of a fare calculation.

So if there are flight products or services that are sold separately this discount will not apply.

Using the benefit

You can use the benefit online at or you can also use it by calling American Airlines Reservations. (If you choose to book your ticket over the phone, you might be subject to booking fees so consider that.)

Once you pull up your desired flight, go to the other forms of payment option and then select the option for  “Gift card/Travel Voucher/flight discounts.”

You will then get the opportunity to enter your discount code.

If the price of your ticket is more than the value of your discount, then you will need to pay the difference with a credit, debit or charge card, or with American Airlines Gift Cards.

If you decide to cancel or change your ticket, the flight discount will be forfeited and you will be responsible for any change fees or the difference in airfare.

Another thing that is cool about this benefit is that you can use the discount to book a flight for somebody else. Just provide them with the discount code and they should be able to apply it at check out with no issue.

Final word

The $125 discount is a decent perk if you regularly fly with American Airlines. However, I would take a close look at the alternative bonuses you could earn with $20,000 worth of spend. In some cases, you might be able to come out with much more value.

American Airlines AAdvantage Gold Status Ultimate Guide [2020]

A lot of travelers often wonder whether or not the bottom levels of airline elite status are worth it. While it is true that there are limitations to these bottom elite levels when it comes to things like upgrades, there are still some pretty valuable perks you can take advantage of.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about American Airlines AAdvantage Gold status. I’ll cover things like the upgrade policies, priority boarding, free checked baggage, and all of the perks in between.

What is American Airlines Gold status?

American Airlines Gold status is the bottom level elite status for American Airlines.

Gold - 25,000 miles/points or 30 segments

How do you qualify for American Airlines Gold status?

Earning Gold status by flying

There are two different methods for earning elite status with American Airlines via flying.

  • Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) + Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)
  • Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) + Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)

So you can earn status by flying a certain amount of qualifying miles or a certain number of qualifying segments. But either way you go you will have to spend a certain amount of elite qualifying dollars.

The standard qualifications for obtaining Gold elite status are shown below:

 Executive Platinum
oneworld Emerald
Platinum Pro
oneworld Sapphire
oneworld Sapphire
oneworld Ruby

For 2020, American Airlines made exceptions to qualifying due to the decreased demand in travel from the coronavirus.

Now, in order to reach Gold you can fly 10,000 fewer miles or only 50% of the normal segments needed. The spend requirement has also been cut in half.

Here’s a look at all of the elite status requirements for American Airlines for the year 2021.

American will count all elite qualifying flight activity flown in the fourth quarter of 2020 toward a member’s 2021 qualifications.

AAdvantage 2021 tier requirements

GoldPlatinumPlatinum ProExecutive Platinum
Elite qualifying dollars (EQD)2,0004,5007,00012,000
Elite qualifying segments (EQS)20457095
Elite qualifying miles (EQM)20,00040,00060,00080,000

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Coronavirus American Airlines extension

Because of coronavirus American Airlines is extending the validity of status for many customers. For any status that is valid through January 31, 2021, that status will be extended through January 31, 2022.

Elite status achieved in 2021 is valid through Jan. 31, 2023.

For 2021, American will also waive the elite qualifying dollar requirement for Gold, Platinum and Platinum Pro if members spend $30,000 on purchases with their eligible AAdvantage credit cards. 

Gold members can also look for a $300 credit for an American Airlines Vacation package.

Purchasing American Airlines Gold status

Sometimes, you could receive an offer to purchase Gold status. For example, you might receive an email inviting you to purchase it for ~$500 to $1,000.

I would argue that given how some of the meaningful benefits can be obtained via credit card, this will often be a poor deal for the vast majority of people so I would not jump on it.

Fast track with hotel status

If you hold Hyatt elite status like Globalist or Explorist status, sometimes you might be able to fast track your way to Gold status.

In the past, Explorist members could obtain Gold by meeting 7,000 EQMs or 8 EQSs + $1,000 EQDs and Globalists could get it with 7,000 EQMs or 8 EQSs + $1,000 EQDs in a matter of three months.

First class section on American Airlines.

What are the American Airlines Gold status benefits?

Airport benefits

One of the best things about earning elite status with an airline is that your airport experience becomes more convenient and also cheaper. Here’s a look at the airport benefits you’ll get as an AA Gold member.

Priority check-in

From the moment you step foot in the airport, you should be able to access the priority check-in area which should have a much shorter line than the standard check-in lines.

As a Gold member, you’ll be able to use any business class lane and if there is not a business class check-in lane available, you can use the first class check-in.

Priority security

You’ll also be able to breeze through a priority security line although if you have TSA Pre-Check or CLEAR you might want to go with them instead.

Priority boarding

And finally, you’ll also get priority boarding and you’ll be able to board with Group 4.

Group 4 is the last of the priority groups which means you’ll be boarding right before economy. It doesn’t sound very high up on the food chain but you’ll still be able to board in time to ensure you have overhead storage bin space.

(If you hold the premium Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard you can also board with Group 4.)

Related: Which American Airlines Credit Card is Best?

Also note that if you happen to arrive late at the gate and boarding is already going on, you can bypass the general boarding lines by showing your boarding pass. You can read more about the boarding process for American Airlines here.

Picture of a boarding sign for American Airlines.
All members can board in the priority groups.

Checked baggage fee waived

As a Gold member, you won’t have to pay the AA checked baggage fee for your first checked bag. This applies to yourself and any guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations). With a potential savings of $30 per bag, those savings could add up pretty quick.

It’s worth noting that you can also get free checked baggage on domestic flights with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite.

As you climb up the elite levels, you’ll get two free checked bags and eventually three as an Executive Platinum member.

It’s worth pointing out that you do not get priority baggage delivery as a Gold member. This means that your bags will not be among the first to be unloaded unless you just get lucky.

Complimentary same day standby

American Airlines will allow you to take advantage of a complimentary same-day standby flight. There’s no charge to standby for a different flight on the same day of travel when flying to/from:

  • United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Canada
  • Caribbean (select destinations)

Admirals club membership discount

Another perk is that you can get a discount on the American Airlines lounge access membership. If you are purchasing an individual membership, you will save $25 so the total will be $625 versus $650.

You can also get a discount when using your AAdvantage miles to purchase a membership. Instead of 65,000 miles, your price will be 62,500 miles.

I would suggest to look into the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard for this membership.

A picture of the inside of an AA Admirals club lounge
The discount on admirals club membership for Gold members is very small.

Mileage bonuses

Once you achieve Gold status, you’ll earn more miles (40%) every time you fly. This amounts to 7 miles per $1 spent.

And you won’t just earn bonus miles on American Airlines and American Eagle, you can also earn additional bonus miles when flying with:

  • British Airways
  • Cathay Dragon
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines Group
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian

Here’s a look at how the bonus earning rates compare with other elite level statuses:

Executive PlatinumPlatinum ProPlatinumGold

You’ll also get a base of 500 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on American and oneworld partners. (But note, you’ll get 250 EQMs for flights under 500 miles on Basic Economy fares.)

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!


Complimentary preferred seats

You can get complimentary “preferred seats” as a Gold member.

Preferred seats are basically economy seats with the same amount of legroom but just more favorably located throughout the cabin. Basically, you just won’t be stuck in the back of the plane. The cool thing about this benefit is that it also applies to up to eight passengers traveling with you on the same itinerary.

Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats

Main Cabin Extra is the upgraded version of economy with much more legroom and even complimentary alcoholic beverages.

It’s actually a pretty great experience and you can get your upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of departure. This benefit also applies to up to 8 passengers traveling in the same reservation with you.

Photo showing three rows of main cabin extra seats.
Main cabin extra on American Airlines.

Complimentary Upgrades

As a Gold member, you are entitled to request a complimentary upgrade for yourself and for one eligible companion on American Airlines flights 500 miles or less.

Upgrades are valid from the Main Cabin to the next class of service but upgrades aren’t allowed on Basic Economy fares.

If there is availability for an upgrade 24 hours prior to your departure, your upgrade will be automatically processed.

These upgrades are valid for travel within and between all 50 US states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, and between the U.S. and Central America.

Keep in mind that clearing upgrades to business/first on a complimentary basis as a Gold member is not going to be easy. These upgrades will be awarded based on elite levels and you are at the bottom of the totem pole. ConciergeKey members are first, followed by Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum and then Gold members.

Earned Upgrades

American Airlines will reward you with more upgrade potential as you do more flying.

You will be credited for 500 mile electronic upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying base miles you earn when you purchase a ticket on eligible American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection and “airline participant” flights during your membership year.

Here’s a list of the airline participants: Aer Lingus, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile/LanPeru and Qantas Airways.

For flights 500 miles or more, you can use earned or purchased 500-mile upgrades. One 500-mile upgrade is needed for every 500 miles of travel, so you’ll need to know the distance of your travel. And keep in mind that American Airlines will round up.

So if your flight is 1,750 miles, you would need to cover 2,000 miles by using four 500-mile upgrades.

With these upgrades, you’ll be able to upgrade from any eligible purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin (excluding Basic Economy fares) or Premium Economy to the next class of service (Business or domestic First) for travel within North America.

Purchased Upgrades

American Airlines will allow you to purchase more 500 mile electronic upgrades if you need them. These will cost you $40 per upgrade or if you want to use miles, you can purchase eight upgrades for 40,000 miles. 

You can call in to the American Gold hotline to purchase them or also purchase them at an Admirals Club.You may also purchase 500-mile upgrades on or through the AAdvantage Dial-In system.

You will also be able to upgrade one companion traveling with you on the same flight with your 500 mile upgrade. Just be sure to link reservations if they were made separately.

Note: Each upgrade is valid for up to 500 miles of travel on eligible American Airlines flights and each flight segment requires at least one upgrade.

Award ticket upgrades

As an American Airlines Gold status member you will not get complimentary upgrades on award tickets. These type of upgrades are only reserved for Executive Platinum.

Systemwide upgrades

As a Gold member you will not be awarded systemwide upgrades as those are reserved for Executive Platinum status members.

AAdvantage Gold Hot Line Access

Like many other elite status programs, American Airlines offers you a special hotline for being a Gold status member.

You can use the special hotline for reservations, upgrades, seating preferences, or even to order special meals. You can also use it to claim awards and purchase 500-mile electronic upgrades.

The Gold Hot Line phone number is 1-800-848-4653. But note that if you are outside of the continental U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan or the U.S. Virgin Islands, you may need to contact your local American Airlines reservations office.

You’ll also get access to the exclusive service desk.

Award travel benefits

There’s honestly not a lot of award travel benefits for a Gold member as they are mostly reserved for Executive Platinum. For example, you do not get expanded award seat availability or award change fees waived.

However, you can get special discounts on hotel and car awards.

Oneworld benefits

You don’t get a lot of alliance benefits as a Gold member but you can get priority check-in and standby by having Gold Ruby status.

American Airlines Gold status FAQ

What are the American Airlines Gold status benefits?

Priority check-in
Priority security
Priority boarding
Checked baggage fee waived
Complimentary same day standby
Admirals club membership discount
Mileage bonuses
Complimentary preferred seats
Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats
AAdvantage Gold Hot Line Access

Do American Airlines Gold status members get priority boarding?

Yes, you will be able to board with Group 4 (the last of the priority groups).

Do American Airlines Gold status members get free checked bags?

Gold members will receive their first checked bag free.

What is the Admirals club membership discount for American Airlines Gold status?

You can save $25 on an individual membership.

How many miles per dollar do you earn with American Airlines Gold status?

You will earn 7 miles per one dollar spent. This amounts to a 40% bonus.

What is the AAdvantage Gold Hot Line Access
phone number?

The Gold Hot Line phone number is 1-800-848-4653.

Final word

American Airlines Gold status is the bottom tier elite status so you can’t expect too much with it. But it does provide some nice perks like the priority check-in and boarding and it has some upgrade potential. I would not pay hundreds of dollars for it but I would happily accept the status if my flying habits led to me getting it.

15 Best Uses of American Airlines Miles [2020]

The American Airlines (AA) award chart is full of sweet spots to destinations all over the globe. There are a few quirky routing rules that AA forces you to deal with but there’s still a tremendous amount of value to obtain within their award charts.

This article will first explain the AA award chart(s) and then go into detail about various sweet spots that exist within the award charts.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

Earning American Airlines miles

American Airlines is not a transfer partner of any of the major credit card issuer rewards programs like Chase, Amex, and even Citi.

However, they still have co-branded credit card relationships with Citi and Barclays. These credit cards often come with large bonuses making it very easy rack up AA miles.

Citi AAdvantage credit cards

Citi AA Card

Citi regularly offers 60,000 offers on its AAdvantage cards and sometimes you can even get matched to higher offers up to 75,000!

Two of the cards to look into are the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite and the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

Barclays AAdvantage credit cards

Then there’s the AAdvantage Aviator Red which often comes with a high bonus that gets up to 60,000 miles after just making a single purchase!

And there’s a business version which is pretty solid, too.

If you’re able to just get two of these credit cards you could easily hit 120,000 AAdvantage miles plus.

So that would be enough to try out some of the best first class products in the world, which is very exciting. You can find out much more about all of the different AA credit cards in this article.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

AA flight route map

American has a tool to view their routes and partner routes, which can be helpful in finding available flights.

  • You can find that route map here.
  • You can also use Google Flights to search schedules and cash prices for those routes. Read how to use Google Flights here.  

I don’t think there is an official American Airlines miles calculator.

Route map of American Airlines flights out of Dallas.
The AA flight route map.

How to use the AA award chart

American uses region-based award charts. This means that in order to figure out how many miles you need for a “free” flight, you just need to find the set award rate for going from region A to region B.

The first thing that you want to do is find where you are going to be traveling from. Let’s assume you’ll be traveling from the continental US. So on the AA award chart website, you’ll first click on “Contiguous 48 U.S. states.”

That is going to bring up the award chart for American Airlines flights departing from the continental US (so everywhere in the US except for Alaska and Hawaii). I’ve constructed my own award charts below for traveling from the US.

AA Main Cabin award chart

MileSAAver Off PeakMileSAAverAAnytime Level 1AAnytime Level 2
Contiguous 48 US & Canada125002000030000
Contiguous 48 US & Canada (≤ 500 miles)75002000030000
Central America12500150002750037500
South America Region 117500200003500050000
South America Region 2300005500075000
Asia Region 132500350006250080000
Asia Region 232500350006500085000
South Pacific400007000090000
AA Main Cabin award chart

The first AA award chart that you’ll see is for economy class which American calls “Main Cabin.” The Main Cabin chart has four different tiers of pricing known as:

  • MileSAAver Off-Peak 
  • MileSAAver
  • AAnytime Level 1
  • AAnytime Level 2

MileSAAver Off-Peak awards will be the cheapest while AAnytime Level 2 awards will be the most expensive.

The off-peak dates will differ depending on your destination but they have all of the off-peak dates listed on the website.

Also notice that for flights 500 miles or fewer, the lower redemption rate applies of 7,500 miles.

AA business and first chart

The next chart is for Business/First while the second chart is for first class. Both of these charts do NOT have off-peak awards. Note that for flights offering only two classes of service, the Economy and Business / First Class awards apply.

MileSAAver Off PeakMileSAAverAAnytime Level 1AAnytime Level 2
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada*250004500055000
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada (≤ 500 miles)^150004500055000
Central America*250005000060000
South America Region 1*300006500090000
South America Region 257500110000150000
Asia Region 160000120000155000
Asia Region 270000140000175000
South Pacific80000175000195000
AA business and first chart.

First class AA award chart

For flights offering three classes of service (Economy, Business, and First) the First Class award chart below apply.

MileSAAver Off PeakMileSAAverAAnytime Level 1AAnytime Level 2
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada500008500095000
Central America5000090000100000
South America Region 155000105000130000
South America Region 285000160000190000
Asia Region 180000170000200000
Asia Region 2110000180000210000
South Pacific110000220000260000
First class AA award chart

AA partner award chart

AA has some terrific partners that fly some of the best first class and business class cabins in the world. Between Etihad, Qatar, Cathay Pacific, JAL, and Qantas, there’s a lot to choose from.

In fact, since I don’t live near an AA hub,  I’ve almost exclusively used my AA miles to fly on partners.

Below is the award chart that will be used when making bookings on partners.

Main Cabin Off PeakMain CabinBusiness/FirstFirst
Contiguous 48 U.S. states & Canada+125002500050000
Central America+175002750052500
South America Region 1+200003000055000
South America Region 2300005750085000
Middle East*4000070000115000
Indian Subcontinent~4000070000115000
Asia Region 1^350006000080000
Asia Region 2^3750070000110000
South Pacific^4000080000110000
AA partner award chart

Oneworld partners

Here is the list of oneworld Alliance partners.

American Airlines 
British Airways 
Cathay Pacific 
Japan Airlines 
Malaysia Airlines 
Qatar Airways 
Royal Air Maroc
Royal Jordanian Airlines 
S7 Airlines 
SriLankan Airlines 
One world airline partners

List of other AA partners

AA also has a lot of partners that are not a part of the oneworld alliance.

Air Tahiti Nui 
Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air 
Cape Air 
China Southern Airlines
Etihad Airways 
Fiji Airways 
GOL Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines 
Seaborne Airlines 
Other airline partners
Qatar is a great AA partner.

AA award chart upgrade amounts

There’s a separate chart for figuring our the mileage requirements for upgrades. You can access that for AA flights here  and for British Airways and Iberia here.

AA award chart upgrade amounts
AA award chart upgrade amounts

AA award chart regions

American defines their regions in a pretty common sense way.

Here are the AA award chart regions:

  • Caribbean: includes Bermuda and The Bahamas
  • South America Region 1: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Manaus (Brazil)
  • South America Region 2: Argentina, Brazil (excluding Manaus), Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela
  • Asia Region 1: Japan, Korea
  • Asia Region 2: China, Hong Kong

You can find a much more extensive list of their regions used by their partner chart on their website by scrolling to the bottom to “Region Definitions.”

AA award chart routing rules

American Airlines has some specific and quirky routing rules that you definitely need to be aware of.

First, they do not allow stopovers which really blows because that would open up so many great travel opportunities at exciting partner hubs like Hong Kong and Sydney.

Second, American usually does not allow you to route via a third region. So for example, you can’t usually route from North America to Australia via Asia. However, they do have some exceptions depending on the route and the airline you’re flying with.

There a few other rules and nuances that you probably want to read about if you’re trying to fly multiple segments and regions. 

Booking AA partners online

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • JAL
  • Qantas Airways
  • Qatar
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines

You can use other websites to search for oneworld flights like the British Airways Avios search engine, JAL, and Qantas.

American charges a fee for bookings on the phone but it’s possible to get the fee waived if you tell them that the airline is not bookable online, and I’ve never paid a booking fee for partner flights not bookable online.

Best uses of American Airlines miles

The AA award charts are full of sweet spots as you will see below.

1. US to Europe

  • Economy: 22,500 (off-peak); 30,000
  • Business: 57,500
  • First: 85,000

The awards rates to Europe using AA miles are pretty decent all around. Fees on American Airlines to Europe in business class aren’t terrible as you can fly roundtrip to Paris for $135 total in fees

Availability can be difficult but sometimes American Airlines will dump inventory.

You can try to fly to Europe on partners like Iberia and Finnair with fees as low as $100 but beware of “phantom availability” with Finnair.

British Airways usually has great availability but their surcharges can run you over $1,000 on a roundtrip.

However, it’s not that bad connecting one-way through the UK. For example, when we checked out the northern lights, we flew OSL->LHR->IAH in British Airways first class and the fees were “only”  $270. That’s still high but it’s not $1,000.

  • You can check out other ways to get to Europe on miles and points here.
First class seat on British Airways with window shades halfway down
British Airways First Class.

2. US to Middle East

  • Economy: 40,000
  • Business: 70,000
  • First: 115,000

The rates for economy and business class from the US to the Middle East with AA miles are great.

The price for first class is pricey thanks to devaluations but you’re able to fly on the Etihad Apartment for only about $100 fees.

I flew from AUH to JFK on the Etihad Apartment and it was one of the best flights of my life, so even though the miles are a bit high, I think it’s still a sweet spot given the product level you can experience with low fees.

Etihad first class suite with beds made.
The Etihad Apartment.

3. US to India subcontinent

  • Economy: 40,000
  • Business: 70,000
  • First: 115,000

Both the economy rate and the business class rate are among the best for this route.

It’s also nice that it’s the same price as the Middle East so you can utilize connection flights on Qatar and Etihad from the Middle East to get down to the Maldives for no additional cost.

We once flew Qatar business class down to the Maldives and Etihad on the way back which was a great way to use our AA miles.

Related: Hilton Conrad Maldives Review (Deluxe Beach Villa, Retreat Water Villa)

Aerial view of overwater villas at Conrad Maldives.
The Conrad Maldives.

4. US to Japan

  • Economy: 35,000
  • Business: 60,000
  • First: 80,000

The rates to Japan in business class and first class are solid on American Airlines.

These rates apply to flights on both AA and also partners. This is great because you can fly on partner JAL to Japan, which is one of the best first class products.

While you can route to Asia 2 via Japan, you’re not allowed to route to Japan via Asia 2 so that means you can’t use miles on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong unless you pay more. You can read about other ways to use miles and points to get to Japan here.

Related: Japan Airlines First Class 777 Review (HND to JFK)

Skyline of Tokyo over river.
Tokyo, Japan.

5. US to South Africa

  • Economy: 40,000
  • Business: 75,000
  • First: 120,000

The rates to places in northern Africa aren’t as great because American Airlines doesn’t divide Africa up but the rates to South Africa in economy and business are solid.

Africa is also made tricky by American Airlines routing rules. You’re only allowed to connect on through Europe or the Middle East (but only on Qatar). Qatar has a fantastic business class product and they also have the new Qatar Q-Suites so this is a great option.

British Airways is another option but they are going to force you to cough up some green for the surcharges. However, if you decide to go the British Airways route they fly to the following destinations:

You might have some luck checking Iberia, since they fly to a few African destinations including Johannesburg, South Africa.

View of Cape Town from helicopter.
Helicopter ride over Cape Town, South Africa.

6. US to South America 1

  • Economy: 20,000
  • Business: 30,000
  • First: 55,000

The business class rate of only 30,000 miles to South America 1 is fantastic and the economy rate of 20,000 miles isn’t bad either. There’s not a lot of options for direct flights to many of these cities like Bogota and Lima since Avianca is not a partner and can’t be used.

British Airways Avios can often be a great way to get from the US to the northern part of South American depending on where you’re departing (especially in economy) so be sure to consider using them if you can.

The rates to South America 2 (southern South America) aren’t quite as good but 57,500 miles for a one-way in business class isn’t that bad.

7. US to Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America

  • Economy: 12,500 (off-peak), 15,000
  • Business: 25,000
  • First: 50,000

The economy rates and business class rates to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America are among the best. However, you might want to think about booking these routes with Avios. Fees can range due to mandatory fees imposed by many Caribbean destinations but the Avios requirements for getting around the Caribbean on American are pretty fantastic coming from certain places in the country like Texas and Florida.

Diver swimming with whale shark
Whale shark diving off Holbox Island, Mexico.

8. Australia/New Zealand to Asia 2

  • Economy: 30,000
  • Business: 40,000
  • First: 50,000

If you ever want to experience Qantas first class on the A380, you can find some great availability on this route. Since Australia is such a difficult place to get to on miles (especially in business or first), you can fly to Asia and then make a separate booking on another airline back to the US (or vice versa).

This isn’t a bad strategy because American has one of the cheapest redemption rates for flying this route in business or first class. Fees flying Qantas first class to Singapore can be around $50 for a one-way. You can also look into other airlines for this sweet spot like Cathay Pacific and Malaysia.

House in Hobitton
Hobitton in New Zealand.

9. Australia to South America

  • Economy: 45,000
  • Business: 82,500
  • First: 112,500

Australia is probably the destination I get asked about the most. People really struggle to find nonstop flights and then aren’t sure how to get there or back. But getting there via South America can be a great option.

10. Australia to Asia 1 (Japan and Korea)

  • Economy: 30,000
  • Business: 40,000
  • First: 60,000

You can get from Australia to Japan or Korea for some of the best redemption rates available in business class and first class. JAL is going to be a good bet to Tokyo but Qantas also flies to Osaka so that can be another option. Fees for this route on Qantas to Osaka can be under $70, making this a fantastic redemption.

Only $68 in fees from Australia to Japan.

11. Australia to Asia 2 (Hong Kong, China, SE Asia, etc.)

  • Economy: 30,000
  • Business: 40,000
  • First: 50,000

The business class and first class rates from Hong Kong to Sydney are some of the best and both Qantas and Cathay Pacific fly this route so you’ll have two options to choose from. There’s also always Malaysia that you can use to get around this region as well. The fees on this route using AA miles should remain reasonable as well.

First class seat on Cathay Pacific.
Fly on Cathay Pacific first class.

12. Intra-Australia flights

  • Economy: 10,000
  • Business: 20,000
  • First: n/a

AA miles are a fantastic way to get around Australia. If you’re flying from one end of the country to the other (Perth to Sydney), you can utilize these ultra-low rates in economy and business class. And once again, fees are going to be very low. If you fly Qantas, you can expect to pay under $20 in total fees for a one-way.

13. Asia 2 (Hong Kong, China, SE Asia, etc.) to the Middle East

  • Economy: 25,000
  • Business: 40,000
  • First: 50,000

Using AA miles to fly from Hong Kong to the Middle East is one of the top sweet spots out of any redemption. The prices in all three classes: economy, business class, and first class are all great for this route.

Not only does Cathay Pacific fly to the Middle East (DXB) but Etihad and Qatar also fly to Hong Kong so you should have a number of choices to go with for this route. If you can’t find a straight shot you can always try to connect to a random place like Bangalore, where Qatar also flies.

View from the lounge at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

14. Intra-South America flights

  • Economy: 10,000 (w/in South America 1); 12,500 (between regions); 
  • Business: 20,000 (w/in South America 1); 25,000 (between regions); 
  • First: N/A

AA miles are a great way to get around the continent of South America. This is especially true because these flights can sometimes get very pricey when flying within South America.

With the loss of LATAM this is no longer a great option.

15. Europe to the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent

  • Economy: 20,000
  • Business: 42,500
  • First: 62,500

I recently used AA miles to book Etihad and Qatar first class flights from Europe to the Maldives and back (the Maldives is the same price as the Middle East).

These redemptions were fantastic value, and I got to experience some of the best first class cabins in the world (and some great lounges, too). This could also give you the chance to fly on Q Suites if you can find availability.

While the rates to the Middle East are decent, the rates to the Indian Subcontinent (home to the Maldives) are among the best for both business class and first class so that’s the true sweet spot.

Also, the fees flying on Qatar and Etihad are pretty reasonable as well depending on the direction and location ($75 to $150).

Qatar Airways business class
Use AAdvantage miles to fly the new Qatar Suites.

Final word

The AA award chart is one of my favorites because they have some of the most competitive rates for redemptions all around the world. And it’s often possible to pay very low fees on these awards, too. And finally, you can fly on some of the best products with partners like Etihad, Qatar, JAL, Qantas, and Cathay Pacific. For those reasons, you should give the AA award chart a lot of consideration.

AAdvantage eShopping Portal: Maximize Promotions & Bonuses [2020]

The AAdvantage Shopping portal, known officially as AAdvantage eShopping, is one of the easiest ways to rack up American Airlines miles. You could earn up to 30 miles per dollar for your spend using the AAdvantage Shopping Portal.

But how do you use the portal, and does it offer the best promotions and rewards?

This article will show you how to use the AAdvantage eShopping portal and how to ensure you’re earning the highest amount of rewards in the process. I’ll also show how to avoid some common mistakes that could cost you some bonus points.

And finally, I’ll show you how to best use your AA miles, so no miles go to waste.

Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

What is the AAdvantage eShopping portal?

The AAdvantage eShopping portal is a website you can use to earn extra American Airlines miles when you shop online at over 900 stores.

You’ll be able to shop for all the same products at the same prices as you normally would, the only difference is that you’ll be earning additional AA miles in the process.

For that reason, I recommend anybody interested in earning American Airlines miles to give the shopping portal a shot.

Double dip on miles with AA credit cards

If you’re really trying to earn a lot of AA miles, you might also want to put your spending on an AA card.

There are a few different types of AA credit cards that offer some good perks and excellent welcome bonuses — sometimes up to 60,000 miles or more, which is more than enough to cover a roundtrip in domestic first class.

These are cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, and Barclays Aviator. These cards come with low annual fees and offer some special perks when flying American like preferred boarding and free checked baggage. You can read more about these cards here

How do you sign-up for the AAdvantage shopping portal?

You can easily sign-up for the AAdvantage shopping portal here

You’ll need to be an AAdvantage member (a loyalty member for American Airlines) to sign up. If you’re not already an AAdvantage member, you can sign up for that program here.

If you are already an AAdvantage member, simply input your AAdvantage number and personal information and create a password, and you’ll have an account in seconds.

Note that your password for the shopping portal will be different from your password that you use to log-in to your AAdvantage account.

How do you use the shopping portal?

First, log-in to the AAdvantage shopping portal here.

On the front page, you’ll see a number of different deals you can scan through, but there are three different types of deals to be on the lookout for.

Bonus earning rates

The first is the bonus earning rates at different stores. You’ll know there’s a bonus going on because you’ll be able to see an earning rate crossed out and replaced by a higher number.

The front page will show you a number of these under the “Top Stores.”

For example, take a look at the image below, you’ll see deals like JC Penney with their original earning rate of 3 miles per $1 spent scratched out and replaced with the earning rate of 5 miles per $1 spent

Featured Deals

The portal also offers featured deals, which are additional discounts and promotions on products you can purchase. You’ll see a Deal of the Week and then also see a list of featured deals.

For example, you can see the deal for Kohls, which shows $10 off $25 below.

When you click on these deals you’ll often see additional deals, and if a promo code is required, you’ll see the code (along with an easy copy button for copy and paste).

You should be aware that you’re usually only allowed to use promo codes found on the AA shopping portal. If you find a promo code from an outside source and use it, you will usually forfeit your AA bonus miles.

Another thing you need to pay close attention to with these offers are the terms and conditions. They will often exclude certain items. Here’s just a small sample of the excluded items for earning AA miles for Kohl’s.

Not eligible on credit card sales made through coupon codes that are higher than 20%. Not eligible on portion of sale made with Kohl’s Cash or YES2YOU Rewards.

Not eligible on the purchase of Nutribullets, including 600-watt/900-watt Nutribullet Blenders (all colors).

Orders via Apple Pay are not eligible.

Always give those terms and conditions a good look because sometimes they have exclusions you wouldn’t expect to see or think about.

Special promotions /Offers

Shopping portals regularly offer special bonus promotions for your spending. These work the same way that credit card bonuses work — you spend X amount of money before a deadline, and you’ll be rewarded with extra miles.

These bonuses are often tiered, too. So you’ll be rewarded for spending more.

To find these offers go to the “Offers” tab near the top of the screen and you’ll be able to view all of the current offers. They usually come around for certain seasons like back to school, Christmas, etc.

Searching for stores

You can search for stores in several different ways.

At the top of the shopping portal, you’ll see the link for “Stores” and you can click on that to be taken to a screen to search stores by name or earn rate. You can also use the search bar on the right to enter a store’s name or even a product.

Browse stores and favorite

When viewing the stores, you’ll see a red heart to the left of the store’s name. That’s a button you can hit to favorite your store for easy review.

Search by category

You can also search for stores based on the following categories:

  • Women’s clothing
  • Men’s clothing
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry & accessories
  • Babies
  • kids & toys
  • Beauty & health
  • Computers & electronics
  • Furniture & decor
  • Home, kitchen & bath
  • Tools, auto & pets
  • Magazines & newspapers
  • Food & dining Flowers & gifts
  • Sports & outdoors
  • Department stores & outlets
  • Office & school supplies
  • Wireless & services
  • Travel & luggage
  • Hotels & accommodations

AAdvantage shopping store list

There are over 900 stores in the shopping mall, and many of them are popular stores you’d actually shop at.

Here’s an example of some of the stores you might find:

  • 1-800-FLOWERS
  • Apple
  • Barne’s & Noble 
  • Best Buy
  • Home Depot
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nike
  • Marriott
  • Sam’s Club
  • Samsung
  • Staples
  • Target
  • Under Armour
  • WalMart
  • The list goes on and on…

AAdvantage eShopping button

The AAdvantage eShopping button is available for Google Chrome and will make it easier for you to earn bonus points when shopping.

All you have to do is activate the button, and you’ll be able to easily use the button to earn miles when shopping at stores online without having to log-in to the portal. You’ll also be able to quickly see the earning rates for stores, even from your Google searches.

If you put a lot of value on convenience, then the AA shopping button is perfect for you.

You can get the AAdvantage button here.

Track your purchases

If you log-in to your account and then click on “My Account”, you’ll be able to do a few things like view your recent earnings and transactions.

Sometimes your purchases might not track properly and it will be up to you to monitor your purchases to make sure that you end up with miles.

Get alerts

Once you set your favorites, click on “My Account” and then make sure to enable email notifications so that you’ll be notified about special deals for your favorite stores.

Preparing to use the portal

Before you ever even access the shopping portal, there are a few things you should consider doing to decrease the odds of your purchase not tracking properly.

Clear your shopping cart

If you’ve already been browsing online with the merchant and dropping items into your shopping cart here and there, you might want to remove those items first. (After you click through the portal and get back on the merchant’s website you can add those items again.)

Turn ad blockers off

Make sure your ad blocker is off before you access the AA shopping portal. This could prevent necessary pop-ups from showing or interfere with your tracking.

Enable cookies and javascript

Make sure you have enabled cookies and javascript. Some people also like to clear their cookies before they access the portal, but you could also just use an incognito browser to do the trick.

Also, you might want to disable your browser toolbars so that they don’t interfere with your tracking.

Does the AA shopping portal offer the best rates?

I highly suggest that you check out sites like Cash Back Monitor to ensure that you’re receiving the best bonus rate on your purchases.

In case you weren’t aware, there are shopping portals out there for many different airlines like Southwest and banks like Chase.

You can read more about how to use Cash Back Monitor here

Keep your AA miles from expiring

One of the best uses of AA miles is to do some shopping to keep your AA miles from expiring. By only purchasing a single item and earning some miles, you’ll be able to extend out the expiration deadline of your miles. (Remember, miles expire after 18 months of inactivity.)

The AAdvantage Dining program

Did you know that there’s also an AAdvantage Dining Program?

When you go out to eat, you might be missing out on lots of additional AA miles. The dining program works similar to the shopping portal. You create an account and then add a credit card to your account.

You can then search for restaurants in your area, and then once you use your credit card that’s on file you’ll not only earn credit card points, but you’ll stack AA points on top of those.

Read more about the AAdvantage Dining program here

How to best use your AA miles?

It’s not enough to just earn a lot of American Airlines miles with your credit cards and shopping. You want to know how to maximize those points once you earn them.

AA has many options for using your miles to get virtually anywhere in the world. However, AA moved to dynamic pricing, making the award chart less consistent. Think of the award chart as a baseline. Depending on the time of the year and demand, the redemption price might be higher or lower than the published award chart. Luckily, there are a lot of sweet spots, and you can sometimes save up to 50% when redeeming miles when there is an AA web special.

Read more about how to best use your AA miles here

For your reference, you can refer to this award chart below.

Main Cabin    
Off PeakLevel 1Level 2
Contiguous 48 U.S. states–Not available125002000030000
Contiguous 48 U.S. states (≤ 500 miles)^–Not available75002000030000
Canada (≤ 500 miles)^–Not available75002500040000
Canada & Alaska–Not available150002500040000
Central America12500150002750037500
South America Region 117500200003500050000
South America Region 2–Not available300005500075000
Asia Region 132500350006250080000
Asia Region 232500350006500085000
South Pacific–Not available400007000090000
Business / First
Off PeakLevel 1Level 2
Contiguous 48 U.S. states*–Not available250004500055000
Contiguous 48 U.S. states (≤ 500 miles)^–Not available150004500055000
Canada (≤ 500 miles)^–Not available150005000065000
Canada & Alaska*–Not available300005000065000
Hawaii*–Not available400006750090000
Caribbean*–Not available250005000060000
Mexico*–Not available250005000060000
Central America*–Not available250005000060000
South America Region 1*–Not available300006500090000
South America Region 2–Not available57500110000150000
Europe–Not available57500110000135000
Asia Region 1–Not available60000120000155000
Asia Region 2–Not available70000140000175000
South Pacific80000175000195000
Off PeakLevel 1Level 2
Contiguous 48 U.S. states–Not available500008500095000
Canada & Alaska–Not available5500090000105000
Hawaii–Not available65000107500130000
Caribbean–Not available5000090000100000
Mexico–Not available5000090000100000
Central America–Not available5000090000100000
South America Region 1–Not available55000105000130000
South America Region 2–Not available85000160000190000
Europe–Not available85000140000175000
Asia Region 1–Not available80000170000200000
Asia Region 2–Not available110000180000210000
South Pacific110000220000260000

Final word

If you do any kind of online shopping and you’re not using a shopping portal, there’s a high chance that you’re leaving points on the table. And if you’re missing out on seasonal promotions, you might be missing out on a ton of points.

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