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American Airlines quietly extends AAdvantage mileage expiration by 6 months

March 01, 2022
3 min read
American Airlines quietly extends AAdvantage mileage expiration by 6 months
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It's a big day for American's AAdvantage loyalty program — but there's some last-minute news that's sure to excite some infrequent flyers.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is changing its mileage expiration policy effective on March 1, giving flyers 24 months to keep their miles alive. The updated policy change was first published in American's updated terms and conditions, and a carrier spokesperson later confirmed the move to TPG.

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Before the revamped AAdvantage program launched, travelers would have 18 months, or a year and a half, to earn or redeem miles before they expired.

American is permanently extending the expiration window by six months, as it seemingly tries to give members move time to engage with the loyalty program.

Going forward, any earning or redemption activity within 24 months will keep your miles active, and reset the 2-year counter. This includes earning miles from an American or partner-operated flight, as well as with the airline's hotel, car rental, telecommunications and other service providers that offer AAdvantange miles for completing a transaction.

Alternatively, if you're a primary cardholder of an AAdvantage cobranded credit card, you won't be subject to a mileage expiration while the account is open. If you ultimately decide to close the account, you'll have either four months from closure or 24 months from the last activity date, whichever is later, to reset the expiration date.

The only other exception to American's expiration policy is for AAdvantage members who are under the age of 21. Children and young adults won't be subject to the 24-month activity requirement until they hit their 21st birthday. Then, they'll have two years to accrue some activity before their miles are expired.

If your miles do end up expiring, you can pay to have them reinstated by paying a reactivation fee within 24 months of mileage expiration. You can go to aa.com/reactivatemiles to see your offer, and note that a maximum of 500,000 miles may be reactivated during any mileage activation transaction.

Interestingly, American is moving in the opposite direction of its Big 3 U.S. airline competitors — both Delta and United no longer expire miles. American, on the other hand, is giving members six more months to earn or redeem their miles before they expire, which could increase its liability on unused miles. Hopefully, that won't translate to less lucrative redemption rates down the line.

Altogether, American's new expiration policy is only one aspect of the revamped AAdvantage loyalty program that launched on March 1. The new program includes a revamped elite-status scheme, which replaces the confusing flights, segments and dollars metrics with one new currency, called Loyalty Points.

Further, American is also making updates to the complimentary upgrade process, which are sure to be exciting to lower-tier elites.

For more about the revamped program, check out of TPG's comprehensive guide.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases