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Should You Redeem AAdvantage Miles for Gift Cards?

Updated May 02, 2023   |   2-min read

The AAdvantage program is a frequent flyer miles/rewards program from American Airlines that lets customers earn reward miles for both travel and purchases with a co-branded credit card through Citi.

How Do AAdvantage Miles Work?

The Citi AAdvantage cards generally offer one mile for each dollar spent on all purchases. Otherwise, when spending on American Airlines travel, cards can earn more miles per purchase. Most customers use these accumulated miles for discounts on future trips and could potentially fly for free after collecting enough miles.

If you don’t fly often, however, you might let those miles sit unused. Or, even when you do try to use your miles to fly, you might find that due to blackout dates and other rules and policies you can’t secure the flight you want.

How to Redeem AAdvantage Miles for Gift Cards

There are other things you can redeem your miles for, however—such as gift cards to your favorite retailers, restaurants, and websites. Yes, you can redeem American Airlines miles for gift cards for a wide variety of merchants for both online purchases and in-person shopping.

However, you can’t redeem your miles for gift cards through the AAdvantage program. In order to redeem your miles for gift cards, you’ll need to use an outside company, such as Points.com.

Points.com is a loyalty wallet site that allows you to trade your miles and reward points for merchant gift cards. To learn more about the site and what it offers, you can visit points.com.

Why Redeeming American Airlines Miles for Gift Cards May Not Be Worth It

Before you run off and spend all your miles, however, there are a few things you need to know about trading your miles for gift cards. Typically, redeeming miles for travel returns more value than redeeming on a third-party site for gift cards.

There’s no right or wrong answer about whether using your miles to get gift cards instead of travel is a good idea. It’s completely dependent on your situation—how often you use your card, how often you travel, or what merchants you’d like a gift card from.

Just make sure you are maximizing your rewards potential and getting the most out of your miles.