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The 7 Best American Airlines Credit Cards for Travelers in 2024

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Whether you’re a frequent American Airlines flyer or you only fly American a few times a year, having an American Airlines credit card in your wallet can pay off. Heck, even if you don't plan to set foot on one of their planes at all, you can still get huge value out of holding one (or even several) of the best American Airlines credit cards.

For starters, American partners with some of the world's best airlines, allowing you to use AAdvantage miles to book flights on Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and more. For that reason alone, we think American Airlines miles are worth earning.

Luckily, American makes it easier than many airlines to pile up miles thanks to the fact that they have co-branded American Airlines credit cards from two different banks: Citi and Barclays. That means you can earn welcome offers on American Airlines credit cards from both banks and earn a ton of American AAdvantage miles quickly.

Additionally, some of these cards can get you free checked luggage on domestic flights, priority boarding, Admirals Club® lounge access, start building toward American elite status, earn bonus AAdvantage miles on your everyday spending, or all of the above. Every card is a bit different, so there are plenty of options that can fit your needs.

Read on for our full list of the best American Airlines credit cards for travelers in 2023.

Need some ideas for how to spend your AA miles? Read our post on the 6 best AA sweet spots to book before they're gone

 

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

One of the key ingredients to earning a ton of American Airlines miles quickly is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. We think it's also one of the best cards for casual American Airlines travelers.

 

Sign-Up Bonus Details

If you open the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and spend $3,500 in the first four months of card membership, you'll earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. That's a lot of AA miles for a reasonable spending requirement.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

Beyond the bonus, this card allows you to earn 2x AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and at gas stations and restaurants.

You'll also get your first checked bag free on domestic flights operated by American Airlines – even if you don't pay for the flight with the card.

 

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card

 

Learn more about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®.

 

The Barclays AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard

Thanks to the merger between American and U.S. Airways back in 2015, the airline still has co-branded American Airlines credit cards issued from two different banks. And both credit card relationships have survived to this day.

Why does this matter? It means you can apply for and open credit cards from both banks – and earn the sign-up bonus on each.

Most importantly, this opens the door to some of the easiest airline miles you'll ever earn.

 

Sign-Up Bonus Details

No credit card makes it easier to earn a big sign-up bonus offer than the AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard from Barclays. Forget about charging a few thousand dollars – just for opening the card and making a single purchase, you can currently earn 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making your first purchase within 90 days and paying the card's $99 annual fee in full. You can get an additional 10,000 AAdvantage miles for adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within 90 days.

While most credit cards require you to spend $2,000 or more in the first three months to unlock a big welcome bonus, that’s not the case here. You can earn a quick and easy 60,000 miles by making one purchase within the first 90 days. They’re some of the easiest points and miles you will ever earn.

Buy a cup of coffee or a stick of gum and bam: You've got 60,000 American Airlines miles as soon as your first statement closes.

Add an authorized user and earn up to 70,000 miles.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

On the benefits front, you'll receive 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x miles per dollar spent everywhere else. You'll also get a free checked bag on domestic American flights.

But the value of this card largely boils down to how easy the miles are to earn.

Read More: How to Quickly Earn 100K American Airlines Miles (And Why You Should)

 

Best American Airlines Credit Cards

 

Learn more about the Barclays AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard (for full disclosure this is not an affiliate link).

 

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

If you're flying American regularly and looking to get into AA lounges, this is the card for you.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is AA's top-of-the-line credit card and as such, it will get you the VIP treatment when flying AA. The card comes with perks like – priority check-in, airport screening (where available), and early boarding when flying American Airlines. And crucially, it also comes with an Admirals Club® membership which will get you into AA's club lounges – along with your immediate family or up to two guests.

But those extra perks don't come cheap: It comes with a big $595 annual fee.

 

Sign-Up Bonus Details

bonus_miles_full

 

Citi AAdvantrage Executive Card

 

Learn more about the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard.

 

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card

If you are looking to earn American Airlines miles without paying an annual fee, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is for you.

 

Sign-Up Bonus Details

The card offers 10,000 AAdvantage miles and a $50 statement credit after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

You'll earn 2x miles per dollar spent at grocery stores and with American Airlines, and 1x mile per dollar spent on everything else.

But since this card has no annual fee, you won't get a free checked bag flying with American. And since American charges $30 each way to check a bag, that can add up fast.

In fact, since both the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® and the Barclays AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard offer a free checked luggage benefit, you can come out ahead on the $99 annual fee each card charges if you check bags on just two round trip flights each year. Or if you're traveling with others, it would only take one roundtrip flight to be money ahead since the card offers a free checked bag for you and up to four companions on the same reservation.

 

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp card

 

Learn more about the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card.

 

The Bilt Rewards Mastercard

Bilt Rewards is a newer loyalty program that allows qualified U.S. renters the ability to earn rewards by paying their rent through the Bilt Rewards app. Bilt has partnered with several of the biggest property management companies across the nation to form the Bilt Rewards Alliance and simplify paying your rent, while also earning rewards in the process. If you're a renter, but not currently living in a Bilt Rewards Alliance property, you can still earn points by paying rent with the *Bilt Mastercard* and they will instead send your landlord a paper check, without any additional transaction fees on your end.

How does paying rent or using a Bilt Rewards credit card help you earn AA miles? Critically, Bilt Rewards points earned from both rent payments and the *Bilt Mastercard* can be transferred into your American Airlines AAdvantage account at a ratio of 1:1. That means 1 Bilt Rewards point equals 1 American Airlines mile.

The card does not charge an annual fee.

 

Sign-Up Bonus Details

There isn't currently a sign-up bonus for the Bilt Rewards Mastercard. But, we've seen reports of Bilt offering new cardholders the ability to earn 5x points on all purchases for the first five days that they hold the card, up to 50,000 points.

 

Earning Bilt Rewards Points

You’ll earn 1x point for every dollar you spend on rent payments with no transaction fees. And you’ll have the ability to earn 1x point on up to $100,000 in rent payments each and every year.

Next, the card will earn 2x points on travel, when you book directly with an airline, hotel, car rental, or cruise line. Finally, the card will earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining plus 1x points per dollar spent on other purchases.

As long as cardholders make a minimum of five card transactions in a statement period, they’ll be eligible to earn points with what Bilt calls the 0-1-2-3 earning structure.

Again, once these points have been earned, they can be transferred directly to your American Airlines account. In fact, Bilt is the only credit card transfer partner of American Airlines.

Additionally, on the first day of every month, Bilt provides an easy way to earn more points through what they call Bilt Rent Day. Here's what you'll earn for purchases made on the first of every month.

  • Dining: Earn 6x points (regularly 3x)
  • Travel: Earn 4x points (regularly 2x)
  • Other everyday spend: Earn 2x points (regularly 1x)

 

*bilt mastercard*

 

Learn more about the *Bilt Mastercard*.

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Now for something completely different.

Unlike Delta and United, American is not a transfer partner of any of the major bank points programs. Points from Chase, American Express, Citi, and even Capital One cannot be transferred to your AAdvantage account.

That said, we still feel the Platinum Card® from American Express is a strong contender for anyone frequently flying with American Airlines.

 

Welcome Offer Bonus Details

There is currently a targeted welcome offer available through creditcards.com's CardMatch tool to earn 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $8,000 in the first six months of card membership.

Not targeted through CardMatch? Time to phone a friend: Some Amex cardholders are able to generate referral links for the same 150,00 point offer. If that doesn't work, you can also try using an incognito window on your browser and apply directly with American Express.

At the very least, you'll earn a welcome offer of at least 80,000 American Express points after spending $8,000 within the first six months.

 

Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points

On top of that, the card earns 5x points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with American (or any other airline) or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. That makes it the best card for booking flights, period.

 

But Wait, There's More

There's even more to this card that makes it a strong option for American Airlines. The card comes with a $200 annual airline credit which can be used on one selected airline each year. Buying airfare outright generally won't work with these credits, but they can cover other fees like checked bags, change fees, seat selection, award taxes, and fees, or even buying miles.

Read more: The Best Ways to Maximize Your Amex Airline Fee Credits

 

amex platinum credits

 

But the biggest reason to give this card a hard look is that it will get you the best lounge access of any credit card out there – and it's not particularly close. Just for holding the card, you'll get access to American Express' incredible Centurion Lounges, a Priority Pass Select Membership, access to the Delta Sky Club (when you are flying Delta), and the network of Escape Lounges growing throughout the U.S.

If you're flying with American, you'll likely be able to use the unbeatable Centurion Lounges quite often. You can find a Centurion in most of the major American Airlines hub airports throughout the U.S.: Charlotte (CLT), Philadelphia (PHL), Miami (MIA), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), New York City (both JFK and LaGuardia), Phoenix (PHX), and Los Angeles (LAX). The only big AA hub that currently misses the cut is Chicago-O'Hare (ORD).

These lounges are one of the best ways to improve your airport experience before your next flight. And the Platinum Card is the only way to get in if you are flying with American Airlines.

 

Annual Fee: $695 (see rates & fees)

 

*amex platinum*

 

Learn more about *amex platinum*.

 

See if you're eligible for the 150,000-point offer via CardMatch

 

Citi® / AAdvantage Business™ World Elite Mastercard®

Own a small business? Citi has an American Airlines business credit card to help you earn even more AAdvantage miles.

 

Sign-Up Bonus

It's called the *Citi AA Biz*. After opening the card and spending $5,000 in the first five months of card membership, you'll earn 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

You'll earn 2x miles per dollar spent on purchases with American Airlines, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rentals, and at gas stations. The card comes with a $99 annual fee, but that annual fee is waived for the first year of card membership.

And like the personal cards, there is even a Barclays business card that you can also earn up to 70,000 bonus miles with.

 

*Citi AA Biz

 

Learn more about the *Citi AA Biz*

 

Why You Should Be Earning American Airlines Miles

Don’t want to fly American? No problem.

One of the best parts about AAdvantage miles – and all airline miles – is that they’re not just good for booking flights on American Airlines itself. Airline alliances and partnerships open up the world of using your miles, making them far more valuable and versatile. And if you ask us, American has some of the best partners out there.

From far more spacious seats in economy at the back of the plane to the incomparable service in first class at the front, Japan Airlines is one of the best ways to fly from the U.S. to Asia. You can book these flights from 35,000 AAdvantage miles each way in economy, 60,000 in business class, and 80,000 miles for first class.

 

american airlines aadvantage
Japan Airlines business class

 

If you want to fly the best airline in the world, your best bet is … you guessed it, AAdvantage miles. Booking flights on Qatar Airways is one of our favorite ways to use AA miles – especially if you’re flying in their Qsuite business class.

 

qatar airways qsuite

 

There are so many great ways to use American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Read more: Why You Should Earn American AAdvantage Miles (Even If You Never Fly Them)

 

Bottom Line

If you are looking for one of the best American Airlines credit cards – look no further. They are some of the easiest miles to earn through credit card sign-up bonuses. And even if you don't plan on setting foot on an American plane, they can score you some incredible experiences thanks to their network of Oneworld airline alliance partners.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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