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Earn bonus miles on American Airlines award tickets for a limited time – here’s how

Sept. 16, 2020
7 min read
AA Flagship First COVID
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Flying this fall? If you're sitting on a stash of American AAdvantage miles, now could be an ideal time to use them.

Typically, you don't earn any points or miles when redeeming for an airline or hotel award. However, Hyatt bucked that notion when it began a points rebate offer earlier this summer (which has now been extended). Now, American is doing something similar.

American is launching a unique offer to spur award bookings for the month of October. Here are the details on how you can earn bonus miles on award flights.

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Related: Targeted: American Airlines is once again offering 3x miles on Hyatt stays

Promotion details

From Oct. 1, 2020 through Oct. 31, 2020, AAdvantage members can earn 250 bonus miles for each award segment flown -- up to 2,000 miles for the entire promotional period. Advance registration from Sept. 16 through Oct. 7 is required at

Granted, that's not a lot of bonus miles, but consider that these tickets are typically ineligible to earn any miles.

AAdvantage members can always book award travel for anyone, but for the purpose of this offer, only the person flying will receive miles.

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Additionally, travel must be completed by Oct. 31, 2020 to qualify for the bonus. For instance, if someone flies their outbound segment on Oct. 31 and returns on Nov. 1, only the segments flown on Oct. 31 would be eligible for miles.

Related: What is it like flying American Airlines during the pandemic?

Combining with "Web Special" awards

American notes that you can combine this offer with Web Special awards. That's great news for flyers since as of this writing, there are some fantastic Web Special offers available.

As TPG first found last week, 5,000-mile Web Special awards in economy have returned for destinations throughout the U.S. There are also opportunities to fly in business class for as little as 15,000 miles -- and a bit more for Flagship First.

With 5,000-mile awards, a connection through an American hub airport is required. That means it's even more lucrative with the bonus. Since 250 bonus miles are on a per-segment basis, you'll get more miles for each connection that you have.

4,500-mile award example

For instance, this flight from New York to Grand Junction via Phoenix in mid-October would price out to just 4,500 AAdvantage miles with the new bonus promotion.

Screenshot courtesy of American

4,250-mile award example

Meanwhile, this flight from Newark to Eugene via Charlotte and Phoenix would cost just 4,250 AAdvantage miles with the new bonus promotion.

Screenshot courtesy of American

Again, these examples are as of this writing and may no longer be available. However, the gist of this bonus miles promotion remains -- the more connections you have, the lower the redemption is. Just keep in mind that the maximum you can get back is 2,000 miles.

How to earn more AAdvantage miles

To earn more American miles in the future, consider adding these AAdvantage cards to your wallet.

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
  • American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card and CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: What are the best cards for American Airlines flyers?

Bottom line

This is a unique offer from American to earn miles back from a flight redemption. While not the most lucrative promotion out there -- and not nearly as fruitful as Hyatt's -- it's still a great way to get a bonus if you were already planning on using your miles.

And if your plans change due to the pandemic or otherwise, American is allowing you to cancel your flights booked by Dec. 31, 2020 for no fee — making this deal a way to effectively grab refundable award tickets.

Featured image by (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)
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.