Surprise: You Can Earn and Burn AAdvantage Miles on China Southern Starting Wednesday

Mar 20, 2019

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In November, American Airlines and China Southern announced an expanded codeshare partnership with the intention to launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and lounge access. And now, this partnership is live as of Wednesday evening. Here are the details:

Earning Miles

Starting March 20, American Airlines AAdvantage members will be able to earn AA miles on China Southern-marketed flights at the following rates:

Cabin Fare Class Base miles Cabin bonus
First F 100% 50%
Business J, C 100% 50%
Business D, I 100%
Premium Economy W 100% 10%
Premium Economy S 50%
Economy Y 100%
Economy P, B, M, H, K 50%
Economy U, A, L, E, Q 25%
Economy V, Z 10%

Note that AAdvantage members will not earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) and Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) for China Southern-marketed flights. However, you’ll still be able to earn elite-qualifying activity when flying on China Southern flights as long as you book the flight with an American Airlines codeshare flight number:

Travel ticketed as an American Airlines marketed flight (booked as an AA flight number) and operated by China Southern Airlines will earn AAdvantage award miles, Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) and Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) according to the American mileage accrual chart.

Spending Miles

Effective March 20, AAdvantage members can also redeem miles for China Southern award flights. However, this partnership is currently being restricted to only economy and business class awards. American Airlines notes that “award travel in First will be available later.”

Award flights between the US and Asia will be the most relevant options for US-based travelers. Since China Southern redemptions follow the standard AA partner chart, award flights between the US and China on China Southern will cost:

  • Economy: 37,500 AAdvantage miles each way
  • Business: 70,000 AAdvantage miles each way

However, you aren’t limited to just flying between the US and Asia on China Southern. AAdvantage miles can be used for “travel on China Southern Airlines within Asia and between Asia and Africa, Canada, Europe, Indian Subcontinent, Mexico, Middle East, South Pacific” — as well as the US. The full award chart for these redemptions can be found here.

While award flights are supposed to be bookable with AAdvantage miles now, no awards are showing on quite yet.

For reference, here are China Southern’s trans-Pacific routes:

  • Guangzhou (CAN): Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and New York Kennedy (JFK)
  • Wuhan (WUH): San Francisco
  • Shenyang (SHE): Los Angeles

As part of this expanded partnership, American Airlines is now selling codeshare flights on these international routes — as well as a number of routes within China:

Featured image via Pascal Pavani/AFP via Getty Images

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you.  Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% - 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Regular APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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