Enhancements to the American Airlines Credit Card

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About a month ago, American Airlines enhanced the value of their Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® MasterCard® with additional added benefits. In the past, I personally did not think the card was worth it after earning the initial bonus for new applicants. It really added no value at all when compared to all the other credit cards and if your prime goal is to get American Airline points then the Starwood American Express card was in fact better and would ultimately get you more miles (read more on this analysis here). The benefits below have been added as perks to the card and started on April 2, 2012.

  • Your first eligible checked bag is free (for the primary cardholder + four additional companions traveling on the same itinerary)
  • Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal (this requires $30,000 spend on your card and the account must be open for at least 45 days after your account anniversary)
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage(R) miles each calendar year

So while I am totally not sold on airline specific credit cards, the free checked baggage and 10% miles back are great added perks. The one downside is that the annual fee of this card has increased by $10 and is now $95. However, I have a good feeling that once your annual fee comes about you can call the retention line and see if there is anything they can do to keep you on as a customer due to the annual fee going up ever so slightly.

Since I am lifetime Gold, free checked bags are not too important to me currently, but for those that fly often but not enough to earn status, this could result in $100 or so savings each roundtrip flight (even more depending on the number of passengers traveling on the itinerary). For me though, it really comes down to is earning an additional 10,000 miles a year (due to the 10% bonus – and that’s assuming I redeem 100,000 miles a year) worth $95. This is equivalent to buying miles at slightly under 1 cent per mile ($0.0095/mile), which is worth it (at the bare minimum evens each other out). This is assuming though that you redeem 100,000 miles a year.

Many Citi cards, this American Airlines card included, also allow you to apply for two versions of the card (so the Visa and Amex) on the same day and get the sign up bonus twice. Many have reported just getting 1 credit inquiry on their credit report as well when doing this.

The current best sign up bonus on this card is 30,000 points, but there have been unofficial 50,000 point offers. Check out this post to learn more about the offer (both official and unofficial offer).

If you already have the card, the added perks have already been applied to your card and there is no additional action needed on your end – enjoy!

Comments

  1. I sent an email through the secure message in citi last week to see if they could do anything to “offset” the $85 fee (I guess it didn’t go up by the time they charged it). Within 24 hours they had credited my account the $85! Cha ching!

    • @Tracy – That’s awesome! I was able to get a $85 credit last summer, so looks like they are still trying to keep their customers.

  2. If you are flying on AA metal, but use your British Airways Avios points for the ticket, can you still get the free checked bag?

    • @Linda – Yup! As long as you have the card (and the card is attached to your AAdvantage #), you get a free checked bag. It does not matter how you book your flight, points, Avios points, AA credit card, or another credit card. However, the one caveat is this is only for flights ticketed on or after April 2, 2012.

  3. I have been able to get the fee waived for 3 years in a row now, and I’m not really using the card at all.

    Next month is the annual renewal date, so I’ll give it another go. Worse case I’ll cancel wait 9-12 months and apply again for the an additional bonus.

  4. I’ve heard these cards are churnable? Do I cancel them first and the reapply? How long do I need to wait before I reapply? I ask because I churned the US MC but kept my original account open (now I have two of the same card). Thanks!

    • @Rebecca D – Yes, the AAdvantage Citi card is churnable. For the personal card you do not need to cancel and can typically apply again 18 months since your last application. For the business version of the card you must cancel and typically you can re-apply 3-6 months after you cancel. Also remember that you can apply for the personal Amex and Visa on the same day (in two different browsers), get approved for both and have it one count as one inquiry. While it is not guaranteed, it has worked for everyone I’ve heard of.

    • @J.J. – I haven’t seen any of the Citi AA Business cards that have this perk. Hopefully it will be added at some point.

  5. Thanks. I did the two browser trick and got the Amex and Visa, 75k each. One credit inquiry. Good to know I can apply again for more points, although its only been 9 months. Count down is on I guess!

    • @Rebecca – That’s right! And the current 50k offer isn’t bad, so hopefully that will stay for awhile.

  6. I have an upcoming flight on AA that I redeemed with miles. I booked this flight well before the changes were made to the card. Will I receive 10% back on this award flight? I never saw a date for flights to be ineligible for this 10% reimbursement.

    Thanks in advance!

    • @Corridor – I had a similar situation and was told that the flights had to be booked with miles after the date the changes were put in place.

  7. Wait Rebecca, you got 75K each and not 50K each? How the heck did you do that? I thought the 75K offers expired last fall. If you have links please do share 😉

    • @Peter – The 75k links were still working as of last September and then went dead. Hopefully we’ll see another one – that would be amazing!

    • @Cook – Agreed. In my opinion it is good for those who can benefit from the free checked baggage.

  8. @Peter, I applied last August/September when the offer was at 75k miles. My comment was just about what I got the first time, not a recent application. I need to wait 9 more months I guess before I can churn the cards. Maybe the 75k offer will be back by then 🙂

  9. Hi I booked 2 American Airlines tickets last week using 1,00,000 miles for travel in September using my old Citi Credit Card (which I had since last 8- 10 yrs). The old card would just give me miles and not free check-in bags.

    This week I applied for New Citi Platinum Card and I am approved. This new Citi cards gives me free check-in bag. I have attached my old AAdvantage # to this new card.

    Do I still get the free check-in bag even though I reserved my tickets using old card? My Travel date is in September.

    • @SB – Yes, as long as you are a card number and your AA number is on your reservation, you are good to go.

  10. what are your thoughts on this AA card
    Citi ExecutiveSM / AAdvantage® World EliteTM MasterCard® which has a 450$ annual membership (which i should be able to get waived for the first year) and this card should also give me Admirals Club membership for the year. Im already a million miler Gold on AA so the free luggage and early boarding aren’t that important. My current Admirals Club membership expires mid September and am trying to figure out a way to get club membership w/out having to pay the 400$ renewal. This might be a simple way. Thoughts?

    • @holly – What categories do you typically spend with most? Gas? Groceries? Restaurants? etc…

      With the AA card, you will receive 10,000 points which unfortunately won’t get you much, but of course it will add up. I’d probably recommend another card for you. Are you looking for AA specifically, or open to other airlines?

    • @Etan – Personally then I’d recommend the SPG card since you can transfer 20,000 points and earn a 5,000 point bonus. While this will take you two years it is still something. The other benefit is it gives you the flexibility to transfer to other airline programs if needed, where with the AA card you are stuck to AA miles. The SPG card is $65 a year and currently through Sept 4th you’ll get 30,000 bonus points for signing up and meeting the minimum spend requirements.

      However, the SPG card never (that I’ve seen at least) given a bonus for different spending categories throughout the year. American will target select people for certain bonuses, but it is minimal.

    • @Etan – However, if you spend often on AA, then you’ll get double points with the card. You will also get 10% back on redemption and free checked bags.

  11. I have an AA Mastercard that I pay 50$ a year and gets me 1 mile per dollar – at this point it is a lame card. However, they have one for 450$ a year (which i would likely get waived since I got the United card equivalent and they are pretty good at matching. The big key with the AA 450$ a yr card is that it gets you Admirals club. I have to renew Admirals Club shortly for 400$. If i can get an AA Card that provides Admirals Club (and i can get the fee waived for a year) then i basically get a free year in Admirals club and can cancel said card at the end of the year. The SPG card is awesome but Im not a big hotel person and primarily an AA flyer. Which card were you refering to that I would get double points – the SPG card or an AA Card? Thanks – g

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