Are you an AA Million Miler?

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So last November I hit my American Airlines million miler status! Wahooo! This was just in time before they changed their rule on December 1st that only BIS (butt in seat miles) will count towards this status and not partner activity or any bonuses. Prior to the change all passengers who hit this threshold received 8 500-mile stickers. These stickers can be used towards upgrades on any AA domestic flight for yourself  or another passenger on your same itinerary. For me, this was not a great “thank you” gift of reaching such a status.

However, they changed the rules for those that reached this status post December 1, 2011 and instead were giving everyone 35,000 miles – much better in my opinion! Also, 35,000 miles can be exchanged for 8 500-mile stickers (if you so desire). Originally, my plan was going to get as close as I could to the million mile mark without going over so I could get the 35k miles instead. But then after reading this MASSIVE flyertalk thread, saw that they were making exceptions and anyone who reached the million mile mark during 2011 could call customer service and ask for the 8 500-mile stickers to be converted to 35,000 miles. With that knowledge, I hit my million miles and am Gold for life.

So I finally got around to calling AAdvantage Customer Service this morning to ask for the swap to take place. The representative looked it up and said that was a limited time exception back in August. While I understood this, I did not hit this status in November, so it wouldn’t have applied to me anyways. I asked if she could speak to a supervisor and within a few minutes came back with an approval – 35,000 miles into my account!

So, if you hit the 1 million mile mark on AA last year, I would highly suggest calling and seeing about exchanging those 8 500 mile upgrade stickers into 35,000 miles. If they say no, nicely ask if they will ask their supervisor. Goodluck!


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  1. I had not kept up with this. Value to purchase these is $240 according to, or 35k miles as you said. 35k miles is worth much more for international redemption than $240!! Calling right now. Thanks!!

    • @Curtis – Glad this was a helpful reminder! Just make sure to have them ask a supervisor, or ask a supervisor yourself. Keep me posted with the success.

  2. Success! CSR did confirm that it’s for anyone who hit 1MM in 2011, not just Aug (though at first she thought that was the case and read and corrected herself). Thanks for the heads up!!

  3. I hit 1 million AA in June and just called customer service to inquire about the above. I was put on hold for a few minutes and the rep came back and said everything was good, and proceeded to make the change in my account!

    Thanks for the heads up! Please keep tips like these coming….it will definitely drive more visitors to your site and they are really, really helpful.

  4. Damn, I would’ve loved some of those 500 mile upgrades for the flight to LA I am on right now. Mrs. Deals, no valentine love?

    • @Mr. Deals – So naive. You actually have 500 mile upgrades in your own account. Oh, and you can’t transfer those upgrades to others if you aren’t on the same itinerary. So much to learn 🙂

  5. Congratulations!!! I was officially in this “mile collecting” last year. Have 210K AA miles without flying an AA flight yet, but looking forward for the first flight soon….

  6. Haha, I wouldn’t say that getting to 1MM is the easiest way to earn 35k miles, but converting the 8 upgrades to 35k AA was definitely way easy :). I will always take the miles over upgrades since I’d rather go more places in coach than fewer in Buiness (except when it comes to Around the World tickets!)

    FYI, I did NOT have to speak to a supervisor when I called, however my father hit 1MM last year too and first person told him that they could not help him. Told him to call back and next person took care of it. So as usual, if you don’t like your answer here, call back!

    And funny convo between Mr and Mrs. deals 😉

  7. Wow! That’s the best tip I’ve got in quite a while! I hit the million last May and, No.1, I didn’t even know I had the 8 upgrades, No. 2 when I called the Gold Service desk, it was no problem getting the 35K miles. SSSWWWWEEETTT!The agent said that I wasn’t sent actual stickers but that the 8 upgrades had been registered in my account. I’m not sure that it matters now, since I had them converted to the 35K miles.

    Anyway,thanks loads for the tip. What a nice Valentine’s.

  8. See, I wish I could still earn 500-mile stickers. I use them to upgrade my wife, so that’d be handy. I know I can convert miles to stickers, too, but that just feels dirty. 🙂

    • @Mile – Executive Platinum status? That was my biggest complaint with that status! Agree, converting 35k miles for eight of them absolutely does not feel right!

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