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The Ace Line


Our perennial favorite, AAdvantage's earning and redeeming policies make it the best of the Big Three US frequent flyer programs. While a devaluation is in store for 2016, it remains one of the better options for US travelers.

  • Earn miles based on miles flown
  • Some of the best partner business and first-class awards in the business
  • Generous elite upgrade benefits
  • Tickets booked within 21 days incur fee
  • Fewer transfer partner options
  • Switching to revenue-based system in late 2016
Discover Destinations on AAdvantage



Accrual Type: Distance-based

Earn miles by miles flown. See our guide to earning points for more.

Credit Cards

This is a list of branded, program-specific credit cards, in addition to flexible reward cards. Not sure what is kind of card is right for you? Our guide weighs the pros/cons for each type of card.

Disclosure: This selection of cards is for reference and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. AwardAce does not earn any commission for any links.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
Airline Card
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Flexible Transfer Card

Transfer Partners

Program Partner Ratio Transfer Time
American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest 1:1 2-3 days

The ratio is the number of flexible rewards points it would take to transfer to AAdvantage.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.


Airline Type Pricing Type

Don't know what airlines are bookable? See our list of particpating airlines.

A zone-based program prices award flights by general geographic location, typically by continent and/or country. Learn how to optimize these programs in our guide below.

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Understanding Programs
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Strategy to Spending Points

Booking And Fuel Surcharge Guide

Our step-by-step booking guides can show you how to book tickets on any airline.

Airline Online Phone Surcharges Alliance
Air Berlin (AB) Yes Yes $ oneworld
Alaska Airlines (AS) Yes Yes $
American Airlines (AA) Yes Yes $ oneworld
British Airways (BA) No Yes $–$$$ oneworld
Cathay Pacific (CX) No Yes $ oneworld
Dragonair (KA) No Yes $ oneworld
Etihad Airways (EY) No Yes $
Finnair (AY) Yes Yes $ oneworld
Hawaiian Airlines (HA) Yes Yes $
Iberia Airlines (IB) No Yes $$ oneworld
Japan Airlines (JL) No Yes $ oneworld
Jet Airways (9W) No Yes $
LAN Airlines (LA) No Yes $ oneworld
Malaysia Airlines (MH) No Yes $ oneworld
Niki (HG) No Yes $ oneworld
Qantas (QF) Yes Yes $ oneworld
Qatar Airways (QR) No Yes $ oneworld
Royal Jordanian (RJ) Yes Yes $ oneworld
SriLankan Airlines (UL) No Yes $ oneworld
TAM Brazilian Airlines (JJ) No Yes $ oneworld

Policies and Fees

Expiration: Points Expire 18 months since last activity.

For some programs, an activity can any accrual of miles (e.g., crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles). For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.

Fees and Charges

Fees USD
Close-in 75
Phone Booking 25
Change Award 150
Cancel Award 150

Ticket change fee only applies when changing origin or destination. Phone booking charge is waived for flights on certain partner airlines.

Key Airlines and Resources

Click through to each airport code to use our discover feature.

Primary Airlines Code City Name
American Airlines (AA) ORD Chicago Chicago Ohare Intl
DFW Dallas-Fort Worth Dallas Fort Worth Intl
LAX Los Angeles Los Angeles Intl
JFK New York John F Kennedy Intl
CLT Charlotte Charlotte Douglas Intl
MIA Miami Miami Intl
PHL Philadelphia Philadelphia Intl
PHX Phoenix Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl
DCA Washington Ronald Reagan Washington Natl
LGA New York La Guardia

Elite Status


Tiers (3) EQM EQS
Gold 25,000 30
Platinum 50,000 60
Executive Platinum 100,000 100

Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM)
Actual total miles flown

Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS)
Number of individual flights (e.g., a one-way itinerary with 1 connection would equal 2 segments)

Staus will change in second half of 2016

Elite Benefits

Benefit Gold Platinum Executive Platinum
Flights 500 miles or less: Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades
Flights over 500 miles: Use earned or purchased 500-mile upgrades Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades on flights over 500 miles
Upgrade one companion traveling with you on the same flight with 500-mile upgrades
Upgrades confirmed before departure 24 hours 72 hours 100 hours
Systemwide upgrades 4
Mileage Bonuses
Elite mileage bonus 0.25 1 1
Minimum mileage guarantee
Benefits at the airport
Priority through the airport at check-in, security and boarding
Checked bag fee waived 1 2 3
Priority baggage delivery
Complimentary same-day standby
Complimentary same-day flight change
Discounted Admirals Club membership
Reservation assistance and special benefits
Exclusive service desk
Complimentary preferred seats
Complimentary Main Cabin Extra seats Within 24 hours of departure (50% off in advance)
Waived ticketing service charge
Guaranteed availability in the Main Cabin*
Waitlist priority for purchased First or Business Class
Complimentary alcoholic beverage and snack in the Main Cabin
Exclusive partner offers
Award travel
Award processing charge waived
Expanded award seat availability on American Airlines
AAdvantage award change and reinstatement charge waived
oneworld benefits
oneworld status Ruby Sapphire Emerald
oneworld priority check-in and standby
oneworld priority boarding
oneworld priority security
oneworld partner lounge access Business class lounges First and Business Class lounges

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