Related post: Saving Aeroplan Miles.
Ush wrote in a comment in the discussion post,
“I have some AA points expiring next week i have signed up and used a new AA credit card but they wont credit the points for 8-10 weeks will this stop the points from expiring? if not what the easiest and cheapest way of generating activity on my account?”
Opening or even using airline credit cards are a great way to extend the life of miles. Unfortunately the whole process does indeed take a while. With the AA card you will get the miles within 2 days of the statement closing date. You can check when your statement closes on citicards.com.
The problem with extending the life of miles by earning is that it may take time for the earned miles to post and in the meantime your miles may expire. While you may be able to reinstate the miles retroactively, why risk it?
Here are some better options that should work: (I do not guarantee that any of these will post in time, the only way to guarantee that is to buy miles from AA)
-Donate miles to Make-A Wish
-Get 100 AA miles by joining points.com for free. The 100 miles may not post in time, so make a token transfer from AA to another airline. Their exchange rates are horrendous, but you just need any account activity to extend the life of all your miles.
-Transfer Starpoints to AA.
-Buy a magazine subscription for as little as 400 miles:
If you have already lost miles, but you did an action to earn/spend miles before the expiry date, be sure to fight to get ‘em back!