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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 bonus. Many have reported just getting 1 credit inquiry on their credit report as well when doing this.
The current best 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!