How to Keep AAdvantage Miles From Expiring

At American Airlines‘ frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, award miles expire after 18 months. Nevertheless, every activity, i.e. earning or redeeming at least one mile, extends the validity of all miles by another 18 months. Thus, it is relatively easy to stop the miles from expiring at AAdvantage. You simply need to regularly earn or redeem miles!

AAdvantage Meilen Verfall gestoppt
Miles expiration at AAdvantage

Should you urgently need an activity on your AAdvantage account, there are a few easy and cheap options:

A very quick and easy way, which also has a good cause, is to donate miles. If you donate at least 1,000 miles to one of three organizations, the validity of all miles will be extended by another 18 months:

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Donate AAdvantage miles and stop the expiration of your miles

Even if American Airlines states that the donation can take up to 48 hours, the miles were directly subtracted from my account and the expiration date postponed by 18 months.

Sadly, AAdvantage does not state how much money in USD the donation is worth. You also won’t receive a donation receipt.

Alternatively, you can also donate at least US$25 (~€23) to two organizations and receive 10 AAdvantage miles per USD for that.

2. Buy Miles

Another possibility is to buy miles. For US$35 (~€33), you’ll receive 1,000 miles. However, you need to purchase at least 2,000 miles = US$70 (~€66).

There’s often a bonus for buying miles. Sometimes you’ll even get double as many miles for the same price. It can definitely make sense to purchase miles and use them for, e.g. a first class flight with Etihad or Cathay Pacific.

3. Transfer Miles

You can also transfer miles to another account at AAdvantage. Of course, this isn’t free – but cheaper than purchasing miles: Per 1,000 miles, you’ll pay US$12.50 (~€11.74) + a one-time fee of US$12.50 (~€11.74):

You won’t earn any miles doing this but can extend the validity of two accounts at the same time for another 18 months.

4. Transfer Points From Marriott Bonvoy to AAdvantage

Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to many frequent flyer programs. One of them is AAdvantage. The points can be converted into miles at a 3:1 ratio:

The transfer can, however, take some days to be processed. Nevertheless, you can also purchase Marriott points: 2,000 points cost US$25 (~€23). If you wish to purchase even more points, you can also regularly take advantage of the bonus promotions for Marriott Bonvoy points purchases.

Other Possibilities

There are many other possibilities. You could e.g. order a magazine (if you’re living in the USA), buy something on the eShopping portal, register at AAdvantage Dining and eat at one of the participating US-restaurants, or simply fly an Oneworld flight and let the miles be credited.

If you have further sensible ideas, you’re very welcome to leave a comment.

Translated by Ditmar Lange

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