Reader Miles and Discount Giveaway: 1990 AAdvantage Membership Guide

By now you’ve probably read that American will be converting AAdvantage Miles earned before July 1, 1989 into “regular” AAdvantage Miles. From

In order to streamline our program, we are announcing a change to all AAdvantage miles earned before July 1, 1989 (Miles With No Expiration).
Starting on November 1, 2012, these miles will be converted to Miles Subject to Expiration, and if you have Miles With No Expiration in your account, you will automatically earn a 25% mileage bonus when these miles are converted.

Redeeming Miles With No Expiration

If you have more than 10,000 Miles With No Expiration, then you may redeem these miles for “Regular” Awards from the original AAdvantage award structure by calling AAdvantage Reservations at 800-882-8880 (“Regular” Awards start at 10,000 Miles With No Expiration).

If you have less than 10,000 Miles With No Expiration, then you can combine these miles with any Miles Subject to Expiration to claim awards from our current structure on On November 1, the original AAdvantage award structure will be discontinued, and miles may no longer be redeemed for those awards.

Receiving the Conversion Bonus

To have your miles converted and to earn the mileage bonus, you do not need to take any action. Please note that after the conversion, as long as you earn or redeem AAdvantage miles at least once every 18 months, your miles will not expire, just like all miles earned today

Back in 1989 most of my travel was on $29 – $59 Southwest Airlines student fares (those were the days….) and my only frequent flyer program was Southwest’s Company Club.  I didn’t join AAdvantage until 1990.

Actually, I joined AAdvantage twice: I sort of lost track of that original account, and when I switched from Delta to American ten years ago, I opened a new AAdvantage account and have been earning AA miles ever since.

A few years ago I found a box of old airline tickets and timetables in my parents’ garage. Also inside that box was a 1990 AAdvantage membership guide, and reading about these old miles reminded me that I still have it, so I decided to scan it and put it online.

Here’s a look at the cover.
The guide has a metallic silver ink cover.  That must have been expensive.

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide - Cover


American and American Eagle Award Chart.
Back then it cost the same number of miles round-trip or one-way.

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide - Award chart


Companion Awards and Upgrade Chart.

1990 American AIrlines AAdvantage membership guide.  Companion and Upgrades


Partner Awards
Notice that Singapore was a partner back then.

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide - Partner Awards


How to earn miles: Airline Partners
This must have been before the had an elite program – no mention of elite qualifying miles.

1990 American AIrlines AAdvantage membership guide. Earn miles.


How to earn miles: Hotel Partners
From 6 to more than 76 partners.

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide - Hotels


How to earn miles: Car rental

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide


Redeeming Awards
Since there was no “online” back 1990 awards were redeemed at a ticket counter or through the mail.

1990 American Airlines AAdvantage Guide - Claiming Awards

1990 American AIrlines AAdvantage membership guide. Claim Awards


Wow, how times have changed.   That was many years and many miles ago….and that brings me to the reader giveaway.

Reader Giveaway

I’m giving away 1,000 Free AAdvantage Miles and a 10 percent discount code!

The miles are courtesy courtesy American Airlines (thank you) and the discount comes from a reader.

Thanks WIS!!

To enter, just tell me when you joined AAdvantage by leaving the year in the comments section. I’ll have a random drawing on Monday. One entry per person. The deadline to enter is Sunday, July 22 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

Good luck and have a great weekend!!


  1. I finally converted over from Qantas’ frequent flyer program to AA in 2011. Should have done it much earlier than that!

  2. Like you, I think I’ve had a couple of iterations. I’m pretty sure my current one dates to 2001, as a conversion from TWA’s program.

  3. I joined the AAdvantage program as a college student in 2010 after going to Chile and learning that you could get miles for flying. I’ve been hooked since!

  4. 2004 (thanks for making me look) pretty sure I belonged in early 80s, a carryover from TWA but foolishly forgot about the account

  5. July 1999 but I didn’t put as much emphasis on earning as I did spending … so I haven’t acheived lifetime status yet

  6. I have been holding 78,000 miles on the old program. I always understood that they were for 2 free round trip first class tickets anywhere in the 50 united states. Now I am trying to redeem and the rep is telling me that they are for 2 free first class tickets not round trip. Are they right? Thanks

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