How to Transfer American Airlines Miles

how to transfer american airlines miles
Latest posts by Candis Pope (see all)

In my opinion, American Airlines is one of the most reliable airlines out there. When I want a good experience while traveling, I opt for American. But one of the things that I enjoy about flying with them is being able to use their AAdvantage program.

Racking up miles for trips that I take gives me the ability to save money on flights, hotels, and more. Not only that, but American Airlines allows customers to transfer their miles between accounts. If you’re wondering how to transfer American Airlines miles, I’ve got you covered. This article will explain the steps that you need to take, as well as other insightful information about American Airlines’ miles. Stay tuned!

The Bottom Line Up Front

I like that I can do a number of things with my American Airlines miles. But if I’m honest, I don’t always transfer them. The fee to transfer isn’t necessarily worth it to me. I don’t think you should transfer miles unless you absolutely have to, and if it makes sense in the grand scheme of things.

For instance, if you want to transfer your miles to a member with a higher AAdvantage status, that’s a good idea. You could have that person book your flight and take advantage of their status when you go on your trip. In a situation like that, the cost of the fees might be worth it. 

Overall, if you’re going to transfer miles, be very strategic about it.

Ways to Transfer American Airlines Miles

Transfer to Another Member

The quickest way to get your miles to another person is to transfer them electronically.  Here’s how:

  1. Start by logging into your account on the American Airlines website and going to the “AAdvantage” tab. You’ll see three tabs that say Buy, Gift, or Transfer.
  2. When you click on the Transfer tab, you’ll see “Enter number of miles”.
  3. Put in the number of miles that you’d like to transfer (it must be 1,000 or more) and the recipient’s AAdvantage number.

Transfer American Airlines Miles

The miles will appear in the other person’s account instantly. However, it could take up to 8 hours. Keep in mind that there’s a fee for transferring miles, and it’s non-refundable and irreversible. When you transfer your miles, there’s a calculator that’ll show you the cost to transfer to another member. For instance, transferring 2,000 miles costs $30.

Gift Miles

In addition to transferring miles, you can gift them. You can save up to 35% off when you gift miles. You must buy a minimum of 5,000 or more in a single transaction, and you can’t gift more than 50,000 in a calendar year. Gifting between 5,000-54,000 offers a 20% discount, 25% for 55,000-149,000, and 35% for 150,000.

Buy Miles

If you want to earn more AAdvantage miles, you can buy them. You have to purchase a minimum of 2,000 miles. I love this option so much because it allows me to top off my account when I’m close to a goal. Buying miles is also a good idea if you want to level up your AAdvantage status before a trip. In most cases, the cost of buying points is less expensive than booking a flight. It just makes sense.

Also, you can buy miles for yourself or as a gift for someone else. When you buy miles, you’ll receive the same discounts as you would for gifting. So, 20% off for 5,000-54,000, etc.

Donate Miles

This option is a bit different, but it’s incredible. American Airlines allows you to make donations for miles for the planet, miles for heroes, miles for social good, and more. This is a great way to give back and use your miles for a good cause.

If you’re someone who wants to give back, but you don’t always have the monetary resources, donating your miles is a smart way to do it without putting a financial burden on yourself.

Ways to Earn Airline Miles

american's partner airlines

Partner Airlines

You don’t have to book directly with American Airlines to earn AAdvantage miles. You can earn them by flying with any of their partner airlines. The list of American Airlines partners is pretty impressive and includes Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Cape Air, and more.

When I can, I try to book with American Airlines partners to earn miles. It’s the best way to rack them up quickly. Here’s a list of American’s partner airlines and an explanation of how to redeem miles for each one.


Did you know that you could earn AAdvantage miles by taking a cruise? It’s true! You can earn miles with select cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney. To earn miles, you must book your cruise through the American Airlines Cruises website. You can’t book directly with the cruise line and also earn miles.

When you book a cruise through American Airlines, you’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on the cruise, up to 20,000 miles. That’s a pretty incredible deal. I booked a cruise through American before, and it was a steal! I had a great time.

Car Rentals

You can earn and redeem miles for car rentals with Avis, Budget, Payless, and more. You can earn up to 5 base miles when you rent a car with any of these companies, depending on your member status and the rental company.

These days, rental cars are quite expensive. So, it’s nice to know that you can earn miles to offset the cost a bit.


You can also earn AAdvantage miles by shopping online. All you have to do is shop through the American Airlines eShopping portal, and you’ll earn miles on every purchase. There are over 950 stores to choose from, including Macy’s, Nike, and Apple. You can even shop at and earn miles.

To earn the most miles, you’ll want to shop at stores that are offering bonus miles. These change often, so be sure to check the portal regularly. This option works great for me because I do a lot of online shopping. I’ve earned a ton of miles just by shopping through the eShopping portal.


Another way to earn AAdvantage miles is by dining out. All you have to do is sign up for the AAdvantage Dining program and dine at participating restaurants. Some of the participating restaurants include Outback Steakhouse, Applebees, and Cheesecake Factory. There’s also a tool that allows you to look up restaurants in your area that also participate in the program.

I love this because I love to eat out. It’s a great way to earn miles without having to change my habits.


Believe it or not, you can earn miles by paying bills. American is partnered with companies like Reliant and Xoom Energy. Therefore, you’ll earn miles every time you make a payment.

Not only that, but American is partnered with retailers like Lowes, Walmart, and Bed Bath & Beyond. You can earn miles when you shop at these stores. This is an easy way to collect miles if you’re already shopping at these retailers.

Ways to Redeem Miles

american airlines redeem miles

Since you have to pay to transfer miles, you may want to redeem your miles instead. You can do this by booking a flight or using your miles for other travel options like hotels and car rentals.


If you want to redeem your miles for travel, one of the best things to do is to book hotels. You can use your miles for popular destinations like Vegas, Cancun, and Athens. When you book a hotel, you’ll get a discount on the total cost.

When you book through American Airlines, there’s free cancellation and over 500,000 hotels to choose from. The good news is that even if you don’t have enough points to cover your hotel, you can add cash to make up the difference.

Car Rentals

If you’re looking for a more adventurous vacation, you can use your points to book a car rental. When you log into your AAdvantage account, you can use 30% fewer miles, so that’s a big help. American Airlines is partnered with over 500 rental car pickup destinations across the globe. Plus, there’s free cancellation on most car rentals.

I’ve used my points to book a car rental, and it was a great experience. I would definitely recommend renting a car if you’re planning a road trip or need a car while on vacation.

Vacation Packages

If you’re looking for a complete vacation package, you can use your AAdvantage miles to book one. When you book a vacation package, you can save up to $500.

I’ve booked a few vacation packages through American Airlines, and I’ve been very happy with the result. The process is easy and straightforward, and I always get a great deal. American has a section of Hot Deals for members, and it offers huge money savings.


Of course, one of the main ways to redeem miles is by booking a flight. You can use your miles to book a domestic or international flight. When you book a flight, you’ll get a discount on the total cost. I’ve used my miles to book a flight to Europe, and it saved me lots of money. I would highly recommend using your miles to book a flight if you have the opportunity.

To use your AAdvantage miles for flights, select the “Redeem miles” option before putting in your trip details.

AAdvantage miles for flights

If you want to use your miles for partner airlines, select “All airlines” from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page before hitting continue.

AAdvantage miles for flights

Maximize Your Miles

One of the ways that I like to maximize my airline miles is by moving up the ranks of the AAdvantage program. Here are some of the perks of each status:


With Gold status, you’ll get a 40% status mileage bonus,  which means you’ll earn 40% more miles when you fly. You’ll also get a 24-hour upgrade window, complimentary main cabin extra and preferred seats, and the first checked bag for free.


As a Platinum member, you’ll get a 60% status mileage bonus. Plus, you’ll receive 2 free checked bags, a 48-hour upgrade window, and complimentary main cabin extra and preferred seats.

Platinum Pro

As an Executive Platinum member, you’ll get an 80% status mileage bonus. In addition, you’ll enjoy 3 free checked bags, a 72-hour upgrade window, and complimentary main cabin extra and preferred seat. You’ll also get 1 Loyalty Choice Reward.

Executive Platinum

As an Executive Platinum member, you’ll get a 100% status mileage bonus. In addition, you’ll enjoy 3 free checked bags, a 100-hour upgrade window, complimentary main cabin extra, and a preferred seat.

You’ll also get 4 Loyalty Choice Rewards and complimentary upgrades on American and Alaska Airlines.

Transfer Airline Miles: Alternative Options

american airlines transfer miles


If you have Delta SkyMiles, you can transfer them. Delta allows customers to transfer their miles to family and friends, as well as gift and donate them.

You can transfer SkyMiles to up to four other members at a time. All you need is the person’s name, SkyMiles number, and email address.


United Airlines makes transferring MileagePlus miles simple. Members can transfer 500 to 100,000 miles between accounts. However, there is a $7.50 fee per 500 miles, as well as a $30 processing fee. If you choose to transfer your miles, just make sure that doing so is worth the money.

Hawaiian Airlines

With Hawaiian Airlines, you can share miles between other Hawaiian miles credit cardholders. This is a free option that allows members to pull their points and rack up miles faster. There are no transaction fees, no charges per mile, and no limit to the number of miles that can be transferred. 

You also have the option of sharing your miles with individuals who do not have a Hawaiian Airlines credit card. There is a $25 fee, and you must transfer a minimum of 2,000 miles at a time. 

FAQs About American Airlines Miles

Question: How long do American Airlines miles last?

Answer: American Airlines miles expire after 24 months of inactivity. So, if you don’t use your AA credit card or earn any miles in 24 months, your points will expire.

Question: Is there a limit to how many American Airlines miles you can earn?

Answer: No, there is no limit to the number of American Airlines miles you can earn. You can earn as many miles as you want and use them to book travel or redeem them for other rewards. However, when it comes to the number of miles you can earn per ticket, there’s a threshold of 75,000.

Question: What is the best way to use American Airlines miles?

Answer: The best way to use American Airlines miles is to book a flight. You can use your miles to book a domestic or international flight. When you book a flight, you’ll get a discount on the total cost. Sometimes airfare is the most expensive part of traveling. Even when you travel with others, everyone has to buy an individual ticket. 

However, you can always split the price of your hotel or car rental with loved ones. If you want to save a nice chunk of change on your trip, use your miles for flights!

Question: Can I book a one-way flight with American Airlines miles?

Answer: Yes, you can book a one-way flight using American Airlines miles. One-way flights start at 7,500 miles for domestic flights and 12,500 for international flights. Of course, the number of miles required depends on where you’re flying to and the time of year it is.

How to Transfer American Airline Miles: Final Thoughts

Listen, there’s a lot that you can do with American Airlines miles. I make sure to fully leverage my AAdvantage membership. But also, I don’t like paying for transfers if I don’t have to. As I stated above, if you choose to transfer your miles, make sure that it makes sense for your situation.

I hope this content helped you out, and happy travels!