I cannot believe how long it has been since I last updated this post. I have personally been loading up my American Airlines AAdvantage (AA) account, partially due to the uncertainty with Air Canada. Even though Air Canada’s loyalty does not seem up in the air as much anymore, it is still good to keep my portfolio diversified.
One AAs best value is that it is a member of Oneworld alliance, which means that you can earn and redeem miles with any of its member partners. Furthermore, if you redeem directly with American Airlines, the taxes and fees are fairly reasonable (especially compared to Aeroplan reward flight with Air Canada).
Earn AAdvantage Miles
As a member of Oneworld alliance, earn AA miles with any of its alliance partners. AA also has non-alliance partners (i.e. codeshare) that you can earn miles with too.
Airline partners (Oneworld)
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- LATAM Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
Airline partners (codeshare)
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
- Cape Air
- China Southern Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Fiji Airways
- Gulf Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Seaborne Airlines
- Silver Airways
Most notably for Canadians, WestJet is on this list!
I really love how in some cases, car rental companies allow you to earn airline miles with them instead of car rental loyalty programs only. This is especially useful for people who may only rent a car once or twice a year.
Below is a list of AA’s car partners (in brackets are the AA miles to earn):
- Alamo (earn 50 miles per day)
- Avis (earn 500 miles per rental)
- Budget (earn 500 miles per rental)
- Carmel (earn 50 in NYC or 100 miles everywhere else, plus earn up to 2 miles per $1 spent for every ride)
- 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 60 miles per day in the US only or earn 500 miles per rental everywhere else)
- SuperShuttle (earn 50 miles each way)
- Thrifty (earn 50 miles per day)
The same concept (see above car partners) applies to staying at hotels. There are cases where we may only stay at a certain hotel chain once (or less) per year. So instead of earning hotel points, we can earn AA miles.
I would note that in general, you will get more value earning hotel points. This would make sense if there was an AA miles promotion or you do not plan to stay at a certain hotel chain very often, so you wouldn’t be able to make use of the hotel points.
Below is a list of hotel partners (which really trimmed down from last time) and earning potential in brackets:
- American Airlines Hotels (earn up to 10,000 miles per night)
- Best Western Hotels & Resorts (earn 250 miles for each stay)
- Choice Hotels (earn 250 miles for each stay)
- Fiesta Americana Hotels & Resorts (earn 2,000 miles with a minimum 2 night stay)
- Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles for each qualifying stay)
- InterContinental Hotels (earn 1 or 2 miles for every $1 spent, depending on the hotel)
- Langham and Cordis Hotels (earn 250 or 500 miles each night, up to 1,500 per stay, depending on the hotel)
- Marriott (earn 1 or 2 miles for every $1 spent, depending on the hotel)
- Melia Hotels International (earn 250 or 500 miles for each qualifying stay, depending on the hotel)
- Millennium Hotels and Resorts (earn 250 or 500 miles for each qualifying stay, depending on the hotel)
- Okura-Nikko Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles for each stay)
- PointsHound (earn up to 10,000 miles each night)
- Rocketmiles (earn up to 10,000 miles each night)
- Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (earn 500 miles each qualifying stay)
- Worldhotels (earn up to 2,000 miles for each stay)
- Wyndham Hotels (earn 1 or 2 miles for every $1 spent, depending on the hotel)
Having the ability to convert points to miles is also a very valuable and often underrated way of accumulating miles. At the moment, there is only 1 transferable partner in Canada.
RBC Rewards / Avion
RBC Rewards / Avion points are convertable to AAdvantage miles at a 10 RBC points to 7 AA miles 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. That being said, we have seen several 10 RBC points to 8.4 AA miles transfer bonuses.
Blog / Surveys
Another great way to top up or keep your AA account active is to transfer E-Rewards dollars at the following rates:
- $25 = 500 AAdvantage miles
- $50 = 1,000 AAdvantage miles
- $100 = 2,000 AAdvantage miles
Based on the transfer ratios, you can simple transfer the lowest tier and it comes out to the same. Unfortunately, you need to be invited E-Rewards to sign up for an account. It is currently not accept new public members.
AAdvantage has an eShopping mall that allows you to earn miles through their shopping portal. The trick is to watch for multiplier bonus offers to earn more miles.
List of Destinations Departing from Canadian Airports
Unfortunately, it seems like there were many routes eliminated. There were some notable additions, but these newly added routes are mostly seasonal. I was hoping to see an expansion of American Airlines service in Canada, rather than shrinking. The recent changes from last time are in brackets or struck-through:
Toronto Pearson International Airport [YYZ]
- American Airlines: Charlotte (added), Dallas/Fort Worth,
Los Angeles, Miami
- American Eagle: Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National
Vancouver International Airport [YVR]
- American Airlines: Dallas/Fort Worth,
Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor
- American Airlines (seasonal): Chicago–O’Hare (added),
Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Phoenix–Sky Harbor (added)
- American Eagle: Los Angeles
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport [YUL]
- American Airlines: Miami
- American Airlines (seasonal): Dallas/Fort Worth (added)
- American Eagle: Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare,
Dallas/Fort Worth, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia
- American Eagle (seasonal): Dallas/Fort Worth (added)
Calgary International Airport [YYC]
- American Eagle (seasonal): Dallas/Fort Worth
- American Eagle: Chicago–O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth (added)
Edmonton International Airport [YEG] American Eagle [seasonal]: Phoenix
Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport [YOW]
- American Eagle: Philadelphia
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport [YQB]
- American Eagle (seasonal): Chicago–O’Hare (added), Philadelphia
Halifax Stanfield International Airport [YHZ]
- American Eagle (seasonal): New York–LaGuardia (added), Philadelphia (added)
Two things earning methods are annoyingly missing for Canadians. One is dining programs and the second is a co-branded credit card. Dining programs is more of an overall omission in Canada, so that is a discussion for another time. As for the co-branded credit card, which has been missing since TD’s partnership ended with AA in 2011, I remain hopeful that someone will pick this up.
At the very least, I do hope to see another transferable partner (maybe HSBC Rewards, Scotia Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards?) team up with AA. That would make such a big difference in the market.
A better question is, what would you like to see from American Airlines with relation to Canada? Please let us know in the comment section below!