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How much does one American Airline frequent flier mile equal in 🇺🇸 dollars ($)?

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    Disagree with the votes to close. This question is not price shopping.
    – reirab
    Commented May 16 at 19:52
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    This is effectively not an answerable question since AA won't directly exchange your miles for cash. Otherwise, it's entirely dependent on how you value various fare classes, routes, etc. If for whatever reason you're willing to pay $15k for a first class seat tomorrow on a 36 hour, 2 layover flight (SFO-DFW-ONT-SYD), you can claim AA miles are worth upwards of 35 cents each. If you only ever fly basic economy on a route with bad award availability, you probably won't even get 1 cent. And that's before even thinking about transfer partners. Commented May 16 at 19:59
  • This question is indeed not price shopping but started out as a self answered question with a low quality answer. Even the later answers do not seem to be able to give a direct answer.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 16 at 21:21
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    This question probably shouldn't be closed, but one of the down vote reasons is "not useful". Since you can't redeem miles for cash, it's not really useful knowing a cash value.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 17 at 11:56
  • it can't be exchanged for cash therefore it has no cash value, by definition.
    – jwenting
    Commented May 17 at 12:16

3 Answers 3

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This depends a LOT on your flexibility and the amount of work you are willing to put in. All airlines have unfortunately deployed "dynamic pricing" for awards tickets and prices are all over the place.

I did a quick search on United (since I have miles there) for a flight that I'm currently contemplating. The awards prices vary by a factor of three within the same week. The redemption rates varied from 2.5c/mile to 0.9c/mile.

Nerdwallet quotes 1.2c/mile for United which somewhere in between. Note that you can do a lot better or a lot worse than the "average" price depending on your flexibility.

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  • "all" should be "most". I believe Southwest e.g. has a direct relationship between miles and dollars
    – ajd
    Commented May 16 at 19:50
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    @ajd That's pretty much the extreme of dynamic award pricing. Static award pricing is when there's a set chart where flights from x to y cost z points. Dynamic award pricing is when mileage prices scale (more or less) with money prices. While Southwest isn't an exact fixed value per point, it is pretty close. Most redemptions are in the 1.3-1.5 cent/point range, though some can be up to 1.7 or even a bit more.
    – reirab
    Commented May 16 at 19:55
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I completely agree with Hilmar's answer that it depends very heavily on how flexible you are and your personal travel patterns.

Redemptions for long-haul business or First class flights tend to be the highest value for most airline miles, but also the least availability at the lower redemption levels.

For AAdvantage miles specifically, The Points Guy currently (May 2024) values them at 1.6 cents/mile. One Mile at a Time values them at 1.5 cents/mile. These valuations seem pretty reasonable to me as a starting point, but, again, it will vary from one person to another. Some redemptions can be as little as around 1 cent/mile, while others can be several cents/mile.

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American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worth about 1.7 cents each when booking award flights.

source: Sam Kemmis, NerdWallet.com "What’s the Value of American Airlines AAdvantage Miles? (Calculator)"

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