Best American Airlines Credit Cards in 2022 | Thrifty Traveler

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The 7 Best American Airlines Credit Cards for Travelers in 2022

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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 on flights with Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and more. For that reason alone, we think American Airlines miles are worth earning.

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.

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.

Read on for our full list of the best American Airlines credit cards for travelers in 2022.

 

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

The card currently allows you to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months of card membership. While that’s not the highest bonus we’ve seen on the card, it’s a solid offer. And the card’s $99 annual fee is even waived for the first year. Which is always a nice perk for those who hate annual fees.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

Beyond the bonus, it allows you to earn 2x AAdvantage miles for every one 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.

 

Best American Airlines Credit Cards

 

Click Here to 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, making a single purchase, and paying the $99 annual fee upfront, you can currently earn 50,000 American Airlines miles.

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. For less than $100, you can earn a quick and easy 50,000 miles that will be worth much, much more than that price. They’re some of the easiest points and miles you will ever earn.

Buy a cup of coffee, pay the upfront $99 annual fee, and bam: You’ve got 50,000 American Airlines miles as soon as your first statement closes.

 

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

 

Click Here to 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, looking to get in lounges, and chasing elite status, this is the card for you.

The Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is AA’s top-of-the-line credit card. It helps you earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs), a critical building block for American status. And it will also get you into American Airlines Admirals Club lounges – along with up to two guests.

But those extra perks don’t come cheap: It comes with a big $450 annual fee.

 

Sign Up Bonus Details

The card also offers 50,000 American Aadvantage miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases in a calendar year.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

Like the other American Airlines credit cards, you’ll earn 2x AAdvantage miles for every dollar you spend with American and 1x mile per dollar spent everywhere else.

If you’re just looking to pile up miles to redeem on flights, this isn’t the best American Airlines credit card. This one is all about frequent travel on American and getting lounge access.

Of course, the miles don’t hurt either. And it’s another option to build up your balance of AAdvantage miles.

 

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Click Here to 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 after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn a $50 statement credit.

 

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 waives the 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.

 

mileup card
 

Click Here to learn more about the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card.

 

The Bilt Rewards Mastercard

Bilt Rewards is a brand new rewards program that allows qualified U.S. renters the ability to earn rewards by paying their rent through the Bilt Rewards app. Eventually, you’ll be able to earn points on your rent payment no matter where you live.

Critically, Bilt Rewards points earned from both rent payments and the Bilt Rewards 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.

 

bilt rewards card

 

Sign Up Bonus Details

Bilt handles its welcome offer a bit differently. All new Bilt Rewards Mastercard holders will earn 2x points on all purchases for the first 30 days of card membership.

 

Earning Bilt Rewards Points

You’ll earn 1x point for every dollar you spend on rent payments with no fees. And you’ll have the ability to earn 1x point on up to $50,000 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 all 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.

 

bilt rewards card

 

Information about the Bilt Mastercard has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

 

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

To start, you’ll earn 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of card membership – or even 150,000 points if you’re targeted for an offer via CardMatch.

 

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 through the Amex Travel portal. That makes it the best card for booking flights, period.

 

But Wait, There’s More

There’s more to this credit 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 best 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.

 

miami centurion lounge

 

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.

 

amex platinum card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express. 

 

CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select 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 CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard. After opening the card and spending $4,000 in the first four months of card membership, you’ll earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

 

Earning American AAdvantage Miles

You’ll earn 2x miles per dollar spent on purchases with American Airlines, purchases with 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 75,000 bonus miles with.

 

citibusiness card

 

Click Here to learn more about the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard. 

 

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

 

But 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.

 

qsuite

 

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

Read our post on the 7 reasons you should be earning 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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