Frequent flyer miles expiring - how best to use?

I’ve got 40,000-ish frequent flyer miles expiring at the end of September. I’m not flying anywhere - not with the new variant spreading! These aren’t enough miles to book a hotel anywhere I’d like to go. The airline (American) will donate them to one of a list of causes. Is there something else I can do with them? Another charity to donate them to, perhaps? Can I turn them into a voucher to use later? Any suggestions are welcome, and thanks in advance!

If you get a credit card that earns AA miles (I have a Barclays Aviator card), as I understand it your miles won’t expire for an additional 24 months when you earn miles using the card. Their basic card has no annual fee. Get one, charge $10 or so to earn 10 miles and you should be good. You may still have the issue about what to do with the miles, but you won’t need to rush it to meet an expiration deadline.

Edit: after reading that last line in the link below, just having a card is enough to keep the miles from expiring. Save $10!

On most schemes, you just need some kind of activity to reset the time to expiry. If you want to keep most or all of the miles for later use, some or all of the following options will be available -

  • Buy some miles for cash. They cost more than they are worth, but the minimum amount may only be a few bucks.

  • Donate the minimum number of miles to charity.

  • Convert the minimum number of miles to some other program.

  • Gift miles to a friend who is on the same program

Or, make an online purchase by clicking through the AAdvantage Shopping page first.

Best to do this one quickly, as it can take a month or more for the miles to really show up.

I found that the cheapest way to use some miles and reset the timer was to buy a magazine subscription. A lower minimum than the charitable donation minimum.

Great advice, everyone! Thanks!!!

Update: I bought a book from Abebooks, an American Airlines partner. I now have a book on the Shackleton Expedition for the princely sum of $15.54 (including shipping), and my miles do not expire until September 2024. Thanks, everyone! That was quick, cheap, and easy!