American is giving away over 100 million miles to celebrate 40th anniversary of AAdvantage

Apr 5, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Happy 40th anniversary to American Airlines’ AAdvantage!

First launched in 1981, AAdvantage was one of the first airline loyalty programs. Forty years and one pandemic later, American is gearing up for a (virtual) celebration.

On Monday, the carrier is launching a month-long instant-win promotion, filled with prizes and special offers designed to inspire travel. AAdvantage members can check out the promotion microsite at AAdvantage40th.com to play the game and learn more about the program.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

You can play the game multiple times per day, after completing certain activities like reading a daily fact or sharing the sweepstakes on social media.

Instant-win prizes include Admirals Club memberships and day passes, AAdvantage miles, $20 MasterCard digital gift cards, seat upgrades and other partner offers, including 20% off a Hyatt resort vacation, Hertz upgrades and many others.

You’ll find the full list of prizes, as well as sweepstakes rules in the full terms and conditions. There are a total of 1,392,040 instant-win prizes during the four-week promotion that lasts through May 3.

Each gameplay also enters you into the grand prize drawing, which will be held on or around May 4. Forty winners will receive 1,000,000 AAdvantage miles. (Interestingly, American says these miles are worth $22,400, or 2.24 cents a piece, well above the TPG valuation of 1.4 cents per AA mile.)

One second-place winner will enjoy a two-night travel package for four people to Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, valued at $3,500.

Most TPG staffers received 40 AAdvantage miles for entering the giveaway. While that’s worth just over 50 cents according to our valuations, it does keep your AA miles from expiring for another 18 months.

American flyers can also join the celebration by listening to a curated Apple Music playlist of the top tracks of 1981. Subscribers can stream the tunes on most AA domestic flights for free.

When the AAdvantage program began on May 1, 1981, membership was by invitation-only and rewards included a first-class ticket to any destination American flew. Today, the program boasts over 115 million members, with 144,000 of them active since the first year.

Around the holidays, American flyers will recall that the airline gave every member a gift. Some were disappointed that AA hyped up the promotion, but the freebies were ultimately “lacking generosity” and “little lumps of coal.” This time, the full list of prizes is public, so expectations will hopefully match reality.

Do note, however, that this promotion won’t help frequent flyers close the gap on qualifying for elite status. None of the prizes include elite qualifying miles or segments. Fingers crossed that American will launch another round of promos for travelers who need an elite boost.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.