There are actually many different ways to earn American Airlines AAdvantage points as a Canadian, but I will try to pinpoint a few easier ones. I am a big fan of AAdvantage points because they are a member of Oneworld alliance, so we can get access to a lot of different flights around the world. Though, for the time being, I am also collecting a lot of British Airways Executive Club Avios points because between these two Oneworld alliance members, it is easier and after to earn Avios for the time being. So I am going to keep both accounts active.
Here are some of the easier ways to earn AAdvantage points:
1) Flying with American Airlines or other Oneworld members. Adding US Airways to the Oneworld fold has definitely made it easier to earn AAdvantage points now. Furthermore, do not forget that WestJet has a code-share with American Airlines, so you can bank your WestJet flights to earn AAdvantage points instead.
2) When you rent a car at one of the following car rental companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Carmel – Car and Limousine Service, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National and Thrifty, you can bank AAdvantage points instead of car rental points. Just be careful with this option because sometimes the car rental companies will charge additional fees for this option, so be informed.
- $25 = 500 Aadvantage points
- $50 = 1,000 Aadvantage points
- $100 = 2,000 Aadvantage points
Personally I only convert $25 at a time, mostly to help keep my account active once every 18 months if need be. I like to keep my E-Reward dollars in transferable format and transfer as need be, such as keeping my AAdvantage account active.
4) You can convert your RBC Rewards / Avion points to AAdvantage points. You will need to convert a minimum of 5,000 Avion points for 5,000 AAdvantage points. I would always be on the lookout for conversion bonuses. We have seen 20% transfer bonuses between the two programs, where you would have received 6,000 AAdvantage points for the same 5,000 Avion points, which always nice to take advantage of.
5) You can transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points at a 1:1 ratio. Keep in mind that you get an additional 5,000 bonus points every time you transfer 20,000 points (20,000 Starpoints = 25,000 AAdvantage points). Sometimes you may see some bonus points promotions, which leads to the next point.
6) Instead of earning hotel points, they have a huge list of hotels that allow you to earn AAdvantage points instead of the hotel points. This is especially useful when you do not plan to stay with a certain hotel chain very often, so it is easier just to pool all your points to AAdvantage instead.
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to keep your AAdvantage account active once every 18 months.