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I’m not gonna lie, when it comes to airline programs, I think that American Airlines AAdvantage program is one of the best out there. There are a lot of great ways to redeem American Airlines AAdvantage miles, from economy to first class.

The biggest drawback to AAdvantage miles is that currently, no credit card flexible rewards currency directly transfers to American Airlines. This can make it appear to be a bit difficult to accumulate AAdvantage miles compared to other mileage programs out there.

Don’t let that stop you from pursuing AAdvantage miles. You may find that, with a little bit of work, AAdvantage miles are actually easier to accrue in bulk than other mileage programs out there. Follow along and I’ll show you how.

Personal Credit Cards

By far the easiest way to earn a lot of AAdvantage miles is through one of the numerous AAdvantage co-branded credit cards available on the market. First up, Citibank’s credit cards.

Citi AAdvantage Cards

When it comes to AAdvantage cards, the first thing that comes to mind is Citi. There are three different Citi cards to choose from.

Your first option is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®. The Executive Card typically comes with a 50,000 point sign up bonus after $5,000 spend in 3 months. The card boasts a hefty $450 annual fee, but comes with some additional perks. Primarily, you’ll get an Admirals Club membership which typically costs $650.

The second, and most frequently chosen option is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. The bonus on the Platinum Select ranges from 50,000 to 75,000 miles. The card has an annual fee of $95, but you will find it waived for the first year from time to time. You’ll earn 2X miles on restaurants and gas stations with the card.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

50,000 miles after $2,500 spend in 3 months


The third option is the Citi AAdvantage MileUp Mastercard. This no annual fee card has a measly 10,000 mile sign up bonus, but does earn 2 miles per dollar at grocery stores.

Most people tend to go for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card. It comes with the highest bonus with an easy to swallow annual fee. The AAdvantage Executive Card is nice for the Admirals Club membership, but between Priority Pass and Centurion Lounges, many people don’t really find a need for an additional lounge membership.

One thing to be aware of with Citi are the restrictions that they place on the Citi AAdvantage Cards. Citi application rules restrict you to one bonus per AAdvantage card within every 48 months of opening or closing a card.

This means if you close a card after having it open for a year, you won’t be eligible for another bonus for 48 months from the date you close the card.

A common way to work around this is to product change your Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select or Executive Card to a Citi MileUp card. Plus, you can open an AAdvantage Platinum in year 1 and an AAdvantage Executive Card in year 2.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card, the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is both a good choice and a mouthful.

The standard bonus for the more commonly called, Aviator Red Card, is 50,000 miles after making one purchase and paying the $99 annual fee. Yep, with just one purchase and an annual fee paid you can add 50,000 AAdvantage miles to your account.

With the Barclays Aviator Red Card, you also get some additional benefits. Cardholders get their first checked bag free and will earn priority boarding. If you spend $20,000 on the card in one year, you can also earn a Companion Certificate. You can use the Companion Certificate to have one guest travel with you for just $99 plus taxes and fees on an American Airlines flight.

Barclays doesn’t have the same strict application rules as Citi, so if you closed this card in the past one to two years and now feel you would get benefit from having the card you can reapply for a new one.

Business Credit Cards

If you have a business, you may be wondering how your business can earn AA miles. Small business owners can turn to one of the numerous American Airlines AAdvantage co-branded business cards.

Like the personal card, AAdvantage business cards are also issued by both Citi and Barclays.

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is a good option for businesses looking to earn more AAdvantage miles through routine spend.

Bonus seekers should know that the bonus varies, but typically is around 65,000 AAdvantage miles after $4,000 spent in the first few months.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®

65,000 miles after $4,000 spend in 4 months


The CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Card does have a $99 annual fee, but it is often waived for the first year.

What makes this card a good option to earn more AAdvantage miles is that it earns 2X miles for every dollar spent on telecommunications, cable and satellite services, car rental merchants, and at gas stations.

The same 48 month restrictions apply to the CitiBusiness AAdvantage card as to the personal card. It is important to note that you will still be eligible for the CitiBusiness bonus if you’ve opened or closed the personal card in the past 48 months. Your 48 month timer is unique for both personal and business cards.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard

Another option to earn more AAdvantage miles is with the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard.

The bonus on the Aviator Business card is a tiered bonus: you’ll earn the first 65,000 miles after spending $1,000 miles in the first 90 days and you’ll earn an additional 10,000 miles after adding an employee card and having the employee make a purchase. In total, this comes up to a 75,000 point bonus.

Similar to the Citi Business card, the Barclays Aviator Business card also offers some increased point offers. You can earn 2X AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent at office supply stores, telecommunications, and on car rentals.

Additionally, you’ll earn a 5% bonus on all miles earned at the end of every cardmember year. This makes your bonus worth an additional 3,750 miles, and every dollar spent worth 1.05 to 2.10 miles, depending on if the spend is in a bonus category.

Bank Accounts

Credit cards aren’t the only products issued by banks that allow you to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Various banks offer bank accounts where you can choose to earn AAdvantage miles rather than interest.

Citi will occasionally offer their CitiGold bank account to the public. However, you’re more likely to be targeted to open a Citi checking or savings account if you have a Citi AAdvantage credit card. Most Citi bank accounts offer a bonus after you deposit a certain amount of money, typically $10,000 to $25,000, and leave it in the account for a few months.

Another option is Bask Bank. Bask Bank will issue AAdvantage miles in place of interest. You’ll earn one mile for every dollar in the account per year. They calculate this monthly, by taking your average daily balance for the month and multiplying it by the number of days in the month divided by 365.

So, for example, if your average daily balance in January is $10,000, Bask Bank would take $10,000 x 31 (the number of days in January) / 365 which equals 894. So 849 miles would be deposited into your AAdvantage account.

AAdvantage eShopping Mall

If financial products aren’t your style, you can also earn AAdvantage miles by shopping in the AAdvantage eShopping Mall.

Through the AAdvantage eShopping Mall, you can earn miles for your everyday online shopping. Instead of going straight to the Lowe’s or Macy’s website, you go to the shopping mall first. Then, you simply click the store you want to shop at. You’ll be redirected to the store’s page and a few days after completing your order you’ll earn AAdvantage miles.

No, you won’t pay more if you go through a shopping mall. In fact, you may spend less. Many shopping malls show what coupons are available to stack with your miles which may help you save even more.

To make it even easier to earn AAdvantage miles through the AAdvantage eShopping Mall, chrome users can install the AAdvantage eshopping mall extension. When you go to a site that offers AAdvantage miles on your purchase, the extension will let you know and you can click to automatically earn miles on your next purchase.

If you are going the shopping portal route, you should always compare different portals. Using a site like Cashback Monitor or EV Rewards can let you see what different shopping portals are offering. You may find another store offering a bonus compared to what you could get through the AAdvantage eShopping Mall.

Transfer from Marriott

Although this is a bit of an indirect way, you can transfer Marriott points to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. You can earn 1 AAdvantage mile for every 3 Marriott points you transfer, but if you transfer 60,000 Marriott points you’ll get a 5,000 points bonus. This means you’ll get 25,000 points, instead of just 20,000.

You should be aware, this isn’t advisable as a way to earn AAdvantage miles directly. Transferring Marriott points to AAdvantage miles is really only advisable when you need to top off your account for a specific redemption. Say you have 70,000 AAdvantage miles but need 75,000, then transferring 15,000 Marriott points makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is transferring 180,000 Marriott points just to get 75,000 AAdvantage miles.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you’re looking to book, there are a bunch of great ways to build up your balance of American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Of course there’s the standard methods, such as using credit cards and sign up bonuses. But you can choose from bank accounts, shopping malls, or transferring Marriott points to top off your account as well.

Although no credit card flexible rewards currency directly transfers to American Airlines, don’t let that stop you from looking at them as a viable option for accumulating miles before your next flight.

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