American Airlines AAdvantage miles expire 18 months after you earn them unless there’s some activity in your account. Luckily, you can reset the expiration date by either earning or redeeming miles, which means that there are dozens of ways to keep your miles fresh for your next award flight.
Here are some of the ways you can keep your AAdvantage miles from expiring:
Use a Co-Branded Credit Card
If AAdvantage is your main frequent flyer program, it makes sense to apply for one of its co-branded credit cards from Citi. Anytime you make a purchase using your Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card or Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles. Those deposits reset your account’s expiration date. There are several branded credits available for individuals and businesses. For example, if you are looking for a business travel credit card, you may consider the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®.
Nearly all of the airline
Grab a Bite to Eat
You’ll earn AAdvantage miles anytime you fly on American, and that will reset your account. You can also earn AAdvantage miles when you fly on any oneworld alliance member airline or any of American’s individual partners, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Cape Air, Etihad, Fiji Airways, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines and Seaborne Airlines. Just make sure you select the correct frequent flyer program to reward when booking your ticket.
Likewise, you can earn miles for renting a car from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Payless or Thrifty. If you prefer to use a car service or shuttle for your transportation needs, you can earn AAdvantage miles with GroundLink and SuperShuttle.
Book an American Airlines Vacation or Cruise Package
You can also earn AAdvantage miles for booking a vacation or cruise through American Airlines Vacations or American Airlines Cruises.
You can donate your miles to American Red Cross or the National Foundation for Cancer Research to keep them from expiring. Only donations of $25 or more earn miles. AAdvantage® members can also earn miles by donating miles and cash to those in need.
Park Some Cash With a Financial Institution
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Another opportunity to earn AAdvantage® miles is offered by the e-Rewards® Opinion Panel. The service allows to earn miles for participating in surveys.
Buy, Gift or Share Miles
Anytime you buy, share or gift AAdvantage miles, your account’s expiration date will reset. You can buy as few as 1,000 miles for $29.50 plus a $2.21 Federal excise tax and a $30 processing fee. This is not a cost effective method of resetting your mile expiration date so use this option as a last resort.
All of these methods of earning miles will reset the expiration date of your AAdvantage account. Don’t forget that any time you redeem miles, that activity will also reset your account. Every single mile is precious, so keep tabs on the date of your last activity and don’t accidentally lose miles.
As a last resort, you can pay to have your lost miles reinstated. AAdvantage charges $200 to reactivate 1 to 50,000 miles, $400 for 50,001 to 75,000 miles and $600 for more than 75,000 expired miles.