Are you sitting on a mountain of American Airlines miles like my family is, with no immediate plans of big air travel trips? (Like most of California we’re under stay-at-home orders, with hospitals at capacity, at time of writing.) Here’s what you need to know to help protect your family’s AAdvantage miles from expiring.
Though some airlines have done away with frequent flyer miles expiration completely, American Airlines still has an official 18 months of inactivity policy for your account. Go more than 18 months with zero activity and you could lose your miles.
However, there are now two key exceptions to this:
1. AAdvantage miles in accounts for passengers under 21 years old no longer expire.
The kids are safe–for now! Once minors turn 21, the miles are still valid until 18 months after their 21st birthday. But this ONLY protects miles on accounts where your child’s birth date is noted, so log in ASAP to make sure your child’s birthday is noted in the AAdvantage account.
2. American Airlines has also “paused” expiration of miles in any account.
Miles that normally would have expired before June 30, 2021 are now safe until July 2021. Look to the new expiration date set in the Wallet section of your AAdvantage account.
Still need to protect miles in the adult accounts for your family?
Credit card reminder:
Remember that use of an American Airlines-issued credit card still earns points for your account and counts as activity. Even occasional use of these credit cards will help keep your Aadvantage miles from expiring.
Online shopping, regardless of credit card:
But regardless of “what’s in your wallet,” you and any family member with an AAdvantage eshopping account can earn miles while shopping online. (Even your kids can have a shopping account assigned to their frequent flyer account and earn more points.)
You can shop 950+ stores online through the Aadvantage eshopping mall, including Macy’s, CVS Pharmacy, Staples.com, Home Depot, Apple, Sephora, Walgreens, Shutterfly and more. You can see all particpating shops on this page, and find out more about the Aadvantage eshopping and sign up for your account here.
Good to know: American is also eliminating award change fees and, in many cases, reinstatement fees.
To help boost confidence when you are ready to use those miles, American Airlines has also eliminated award travel change fees. They’ve also eliminated award reinstatement fees for trips canceled through their website (some exceptions may apply). You can see more details about this here on their website.
Here’s wishing your family good health, safety, and comfort as we move forward with 2021. I send all my best wishes to those of you and your family members working on the front lines. We are grateful to you!
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks
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What?! Your kids aren’t babies anymore? Head over to Family Travel 411!