Let's see now. I've accumulated more miles with my Citiaadvantage Platinum card ($85/annually) . I always fly with American Airlines merely to earn more miles. I was thinking about flying to NY-JFk last year via Jetblue (same ticket price as American) and I've heard only positive reviews, but I decided I'd rather earn miles. The Gold aadvantage card is only $50/year. You earn 1 mile per $1 spent usually. Other incentives offered for earning more miles (such as 2 to 5 miles per $1 spent) thru certain online merchants can be found at http://www.aadvantageeshopping.com/. You have to go thru the merchant link to earn the additional bonus miles-usually takes 6-8 weeks to post, or you won't get the miles. Anyway, I've only used my miles once since I signed up for the credit card 5 years ago. I was able to fly to europe using my miles last year during shoulder season (March 15 thru May 15 and October 15 thru December 31) for only 40,000 miles (60,000 miles for peak season begins May 15 for Europe). Domestic flights within the U.S. usually require 25,000 miles, except Hawaii which requires 35,000. The dates are splotchy and I actually had to work around the availability of seats and dates, but it wasn't too bad. I've already accumulated enough fly to europe again and again. The miles have accumulated so fast. AA recently changed the inactivity period from 36 months to 18 months, meaning if you don't use or accumulate miles within 18 months, your account will no longer be active. I can only say good things right now. So far, so good. Can't wait to use my miles again.If you have the Citiaadvantage card, you can even fly with reduced miles to certain destinations during certain periods (the website is updated quarterly). https://www.citicards.com/cards/wv/copy.do?screenID=1376
Sample mileage required for 4th Quarter 2007 from the website above: U.S. to Frankfurt, Germany is only 32,500 miles if travelling from Oct 15 to Dec 15. The Citiaadvantage program practically gives you 15-20,000 miles initially, depending on the promotion, when you sign up.
When you book a flight on American's website, you'll earn 250 miles round-trip (125 miles one-way) for an economy-class flight or 500 miles round-trip (250 miles one-way) for a first- or business-class flight.