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Over the past few years, Delta, Southwest, and United have all eliminated mileage expiration. But, American Airlines AAdvantage® miles still expire. Instead of eliminating mileage expiration entirely, American Airlines slightly improved its expiration policy. AAdvantage® miles now expire if you don't have qualifying activity in a 24-month period—instead of the prior policy requiring activity every 18 months.
American Airlines was one of many airline and hotel programs that paused expiration. However, the pause of AAdvantage® mileage expiration ended on March 31, 2022. That means that any AAdvantage® member that hasn't generated activity since 2020 should act to generate activity before their miles expire.
Do American Airlines Miles Expire?
Yes, American Airlines AAdvantage® miles expire if you have no earning or redemption activity on your account in a 24-month period.
Per the AAdvantage® FAQs page:
Just earn or redeem miles on American or with an AAdvantage® partner at least once every 24 months. We’ll automatically extend your mileage expiration date 24 months from the date of your most recent qualifying activity.
There's one exception that American Airlines recently added: AAdvantage® members under 21 years old aren't subject to mileage expiration—until their 21st birthday.
Fortunately for the rest of us, there are plenty of ways you can earn or redeem AAdvantage® miles.
Fastest Options for Extending American Mile Expiration
For those with a short amount of time before miles expire here are a few options:
- Donate AAdvantage® miles — American states that donations may take up to 48 hours to process, some have reported the transaction posting within a few hours. You can donate a minimum of 1,000 miles.
- Buy AAdvantage® miles — Posting time ranges from instant to 48 hours. The cost is around $75 to buy the minimum 2,000 miles.
- Transfer from Marriott Bonvoy — You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage® miles at a 3 to 1 ratio. You need to transfer a minimum of 3,000 points. According to AwardWallet tracking, the average transfer time is around 48 hours.
An Easy Way to Earn AAdvantage® Miles
Wouldn't it be great if you could earn AAdvantage® miles every month—without lifting a finger? Bask Bank offers a savings account that earns AAdvantage® miles instead of interest. You'll earn one mile for every dollar you save annually. And since Bask Bank deposits miles in your AAdvantage® account on a monthly basis, you'll never have to worry about generating activity to extend your expiration date.
Opening a Bask Savings Account is hands down the easiest way to permanently eliminate “stop my American miles from expiring” from your to-do list. There's no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and it's quick and easy to set up. Check out our full review for more details.
Other Ways to Earn AAdvantage® Miles
Here are some other ways you can earn AAdvantage® miles (some of these options won't credit to your account right away):
- Take a flight with American or one of their partners and credit the miles you earn to your American Airlines frequent-flyer account
- Earn miles whenever you stay with one of the AAdvantage® hotel partners, which include some of the biggest chains like IHG, Hilton, and Marriott
- Convert your hotel points to AAdvantage® miles
- Earn miles whenever you rent a car from an AAdvantage® car-rental partner
- Join the AAdvantage® dining program and have a qualifying dining activity at participating restaurants
- Purchase something online through American Airlines' shopping portal
- Take a Cruise or book a vacation with an AAdvantage® partner
- Earn miles when you spend with your American Airlines credit cards
American Airlines also regularly has special offers and promotions, which let you pick up extra miles as a one-off and keep your account alive. So, keep your eyes on the AA site to find one of those offers.
Miles Don't Expire for Credit Card Holders
There's good news if you hold an American Airlines credit card. If you have one, your miles aren't subject to expiry. This is a new change as of March 1, 2022. That includes cards like these:
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ MasterCard®
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
Reinstate Expired Miles
If your miles should expire for some reason, American Airlines allows you to reinstate them. You can visit aa.com/reactivatemiles to find out the price for reactivating your miles. AA says the price will depend on how many miles you want to reactivate. There are some important restrictions:
- You can only reactivate miles from the past 24 months.
- Only one reactivation transaction is permitted, and any miles you don't reactivate in that one transaction will be lost.
- A maximum of 500,000 miles can be reactivated.
- You can reactivate online or by calling AA customer service.
How to Redeem Your AAdvantage® Miles
If you looking for ideas on how to get more value from your miles, check out our post on AAdvantage® redemption sweet spots. You may also find our post about American Airlines partners helpful with planning your next trip. When you’re ready to book, just head to the award search page.
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