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 achase using your Citi AAdvantage card, you’ll earn AAdvantage miles. Those deposits reset your account’s expiration date. There are several branded credits available for individuals and businesses.
Nearly all of the airline frequent flyer programs offer an online shopping portal. Simply log in, search for the merchant where you’d like to shop and click through to the online store. You’ll earn a certain number of miles per dollar spent at that merchant, and that activity will reset the clock on the expiration of your miles. Visit American’s AAdvantage eShopping Mall or shop through these links for FTD, Teleflora, 1-800-Flowers, Vinesse, Audience Rewards, Texture by Next Issue or Points.com.
Grab a Bite to Eat
If you dine out, you can earn AAdvantage miles for every dollar you spend at select restaurants through the AAdvantage Dining Program. Sign up now and miles earned in this way will reset the expiration date on your account.
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, Carmel, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt 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.
You can earn miles by staying at thousands of hotels around the world that are owned by various hotel chains like Starwood, Marriott, Hilton and others. Review all your options and make sure to credit your stay to your AAdvantage account.
Book an American Airlines Vacation or Cruise Package
Park Some Cash With a Financial Institution
This tip isn’t for everyone, but you can easily earn miles if you have some cash to put into a BankDirect checking or money market account. You’ll get the most bang for your buck by keeping a balance of $50,000 in a checking account. That dollar amount nets you 5,000 AAdvantage miles per month.
Similar to the BankDirect opportunity, Fidelity Investments offers up to 50,000 miles to anyone who funds a non-retirement investment brokerage account.
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.