Note: Read the primer on Earning Miles if you have not already.
The best way to earn AAdvantage miles is with any of the three Citi AAdvantage MasterCards listed below. SPG Starpoints can be useful too, but they are harder to accumulate in large quantities. You can view the current best offers for all of these cards at Credit Cards.
|Credit Card||Minimum Signup Bonus / Spend / Time|
|Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard||50,000 miles / $3,000 / 3 months|
|Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard||75,000 miles / $7,500 / 3 months|
|CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard||50,000 miles / $3,000 / 3 months|
|American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card||25,000 SPG / $3,000 / 3 months|
|American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card||25,000 SPG / $5,000 / 3 months|
Starpoints transfer to AAdvantage miles at a 1:1 ratio, but there is a 25% bonus if you transfer in increments of 20,000 points (i.e. you will receive 25,000 AAdvantage miles for 20,000 Starpoints).
Credit CArd Churning
The three Citi AAdvantage cards can be churned. For more information, see How To Earn A Signup Bonus Multiple Times.
Bonus Category Spending
CitiBusiness AAdvantage: 2x points on Gas, Telecommunications, and Car Rentals
I don’t know of any ways to combine MS with the bonus categories above, so I don’t bother. Most of the miles I earn with American Airlines are from credit card signups.
AAdvantage miles expire after 18 months of inactivity. Any mileage activity at all (e.g. earning and/or redeeming) will extend your expiration for another 18 months.