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Update: American Airlines is one of many airline and hotel programs that have paused expiration. American Airlines paused AAdvantage® mileage expiration until March 31, 2022.
Do American Airlines Miles Expire?
Yes, American Airlines AAdvantage® miles expire if you have no earning or redemption activity on your account in an 18-month period.
Per the AAdvantage® FAQs page:
Just earn or redeem miles on American or with an AAdvantage® partner at least once every 18 months. We’ll automatically extend your mileage expiration date 18 months from the date of your most recent activity.
As of a policy change on July 1, 2020, this 18-month activity requirement won’t apply to AAdvantage® members under age 21. Once a member turns 21, the member will need to generate activity sometime in the next 18 months to avoid mileage expiration.
For members who turned 21 prior to July 1, 2020, the 18-month activity period will be retroactively applied to the 21st birthday. American Airlines provides the following example of how this works: “If a member turned 21 on March 1, 2020, the 18-month qualifying activity period for this member will start on March 1, 2020.”
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 ~$70 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 at least 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 recently launched a new savings account that earns AAdvantage® miles instead of interest. You'll earn one mile for every dollar you save annually. Even better, 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 AA credit cards which include:
AA 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.
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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