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Rundown on American Airlines for Canadians (updated December 3, 2017)

American Airlines (AA) announced back in November that they are expanding its service in Canada, including more frequency of its existing routes (see “List of Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports” section). So I thought that this post was due for an update. AA is a member of Oneworld alliance and has a rewards program called AAdvantage. Unfortunately, their rewards program took a hit, as their redemption schedule has become more expensive. However, they are the Oneworld airline with the biggest presence in Canada.

Earn AAdvantage Miles

Flights

As a member of Oneworld alliance, you can bank your miles directly to your AAdvantage account any time you fly with its alliance partners. AA also has non-alliance partners (codeshare) that you can earn miles with too.

Airline partners (Oneworld)

  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines

Airline partners (other)

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
  • Cape Air
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • Gulf Air
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Interjet
  • Jet Airways
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • WestJet

In addition, there are several other ways for Canadians to earn miles.

Car Partners

When renting a car, instead of earning car rental points, you can earn AAdvantage miles instead, with the following companies:

  • Alamo (earn 50 miles per day)
  • Avis (earn 500 miles per rental)
  • Budget (earn 500 miles per rental)
  • Carmel (earn 50 in NYC / 100 miles, plus up to 2 miles per $1)
  • Dollar (earn 50 miles per day)
  • Europcar (earn 50 miles per day)
  • ExecuCar (earn 150 miles each way)
  • GroundLink (earn 200 miles each ride)
  • Hertz (earn 1 mile per $1 spent)
  • National (earn 50 miles per day)
  • Payless (earn 500 miles per rental)
  • Sixt (earn 500 miles per rental / earn 60 miles per day in the US only)
  • SuperShuttle (earn 50 miles each way)
  • Thrifty (earn 50 miles per day)

Hotel Partners

The same concept applies to staying at hotels. Instead of earning hotel points, you can set your account to directly earn miles with AAdvantage instead. However, I generally prefer to earn hotel points.

  • Best Western Hotels & Resorts (earn 250 miles each stay)
  • Choice Hotels (earn 250 miles each stay)
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotels (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay; earn 250 miles each qualifying stay at Country Inns & Suites)
  • Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts (earn 2,000 miles with a minimum 2 night stay)
  • FRHI Hotels and Resorts (earn 2,000 miles with a minimum 2 night stay)
  • Hilton Portfolio Hotels (earn 1 mile for every $1 spent)
  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay)
  • InterContinental Hotels (earn 2 miles for every $1 spent)
  • Langham and Cordis Hotels (earn 500 miles each night; earn 250 miles each night at Eaton Hotels)
  • La Quinta Inns & Suites (earn 250 miles each stay)
  • Marriott (earn 2 miles for every $1 spent)
  • Melia Hotels International (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay at Paradisus Resorts, Gran, ME by Meliá, Meliá and Innside by Meliá; earn 250 miles each qualifying stay at Sol)
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay; earn 250 miles each qualifying stay at Copthorne Hotels)
  • New Otani Hotels (earn 500 miles each stay)
  • Okura-Nikko Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles each stay)
  • PointsHound (earn up to 6,000 miles each night)
  • Preferred Hotel Group (earn 500 miles each eligible stay)
  • Rocketmiles (earn up to 10,000 miles each night)
  • Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay)
  • Starwood Hotels (earn 2 miles for every $1 spent)
  • Swissotel Hotels & Resorts
  • Worldhotels (earn up to 2,000 miles for each stay)
  • Wyndham Hotels (earn 2 miles for every $1 spent)

Unfortunately for Canadians, we do not currently have any dining programs to eat more bonus miles.

Conversion Partners

Having the ability to convert points to miles is also a very valuable and often underrated way of accumulating miles. Unfortunately, RBC Rewards (Avion) had a devaluation.

RBC Rewards / Avion

RBC Rewards / Avion points are convertable to AAdvantage miles at a 10:7 ratio. You have to redeem a minimum of 5,000 points, up to a maximum of 500,000 points annually. Please note that you do have to have specific RBC credit cards (Avion branded) to qualify for the transfer.

Surveys

E-rewards (invitation only) allows you to transfer at the following rates:

  • $25 = 500 AAdvantage miles
  • $50 = 1,000 AAdvantage miles
  • $100 = 2,000 AAdvantage miles

Unfortunately, you need to be invited to sign up for this program as they are not accepting new members system wide.

Shopping Portal

AAdvantage has a eShopping mall that allows you to earn miles through their shopping portal. Always watch for multiplier bonuses to earn more bonus miles.

List of Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports

What I really like about American Airlines is that they have many direct flights departing out of Canada. Below is an updated list of American Airlines flights that depart from Canadian airports (recent changes from last time are in brackets or struck-through):

Toronto Pearson International Airport [YYZ]

  • American Airlines: Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami
  • American Eagle: Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth (added), New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National

Vancouver International Airport [YVR]

  • American Airlines: Chicago–O’Hare (to be added on May 4, 2018), Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles (added), Phoenix–Sky Harbor
  • American Eagle: Los Angeles

Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport [YUL]

  • American Airlines: Miami
  • American Eagle: Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia

Calgary International Airport [YYC]

  • American Eagle: Dallas/Fort Worth
  • American Eagle: Chicago–O’Hare (to be added on June 7, 2018)

Edmonton International Airport [YEG]

  • American Airlines [seasonal]: Phoenix
  • American Eagle [seasonal]: Phoenix

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport [YOW]

  • American Eagle: Philadelphia

Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport [YQB]

  • American Eagle [seasonal]: Philadelphia

 

The last time I wrote this post, I talked about how American Airlines was reducing its service across the board. I am glad they added some flights and increased frequency to flights out of Edmonton, Ottawa, Quebec City and Toronto.

Going Forward

Last time I was hoping to see new routes being added, which happened. Hoping for an improvement to their redemption schedule is probably out of reach. Instead, I am really hoping that we will once again see a co-branded AAdvantage credit card in Canada (previously with TD, cancelled in 2011). Especially with all the volatility surrounding Air Canada, now is a great time for another airline to step in.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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