Whether you're a diehard American Airlines flyer or hope to never set foot on an American jet, you should be earning American AAdvantage miles. Here's your chance to earn a boatload of them, easier than ever.
Citi and American recently rolled out a sign-up bonus of 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. To top it all off, the card's $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.
Read on for a full look at the card and why this should be on your radar.
Learn more about the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®.
Full Benefits of the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
If you open the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and spend $2,500 in the first three months of card membership, you'll earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. That's a lot of AA miles for a reasonable spending requirement.
Still, don't forget: Credit cards are serious business. You should never open a credit card and rack up thousands of dollars in charges if you can't afford to pay them off in full, no matter how many miles you may earn.
Earn 2x Miles on AA Purchases, Gas Stations & Restaurants
You will also earn 2x AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and at gas stations and restaurants. There is no limit on earning double miles on these categories.
Beyond that, you'll earn 1x AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on all other transactions.
First Checked Bag Free
The primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions will receive a free checked bag on domestic flights operated by American Airlines. You don't even need to pay for your American Airlines flight with the card – just having it open and attached to your account gets you free baggage.
Considering bags cost $30 each way to check, you can come out way ahead on your annual fee just by checking bags on a few trips each year. Plus, that annual fee is waived for the first year.
Using your card to check your bag for free can be a great way to beat American Airlines basic economy fares. Just keep in mind: With American, this card only gets you a free bag on domestic flights – not international journeys.
The primary cardholder and up to four traveling companions booked on the same reservation will get preferred Group 5 boarding. This is the first boarding group after first class and all levels of American Airlines elite status.
Learn more about the American Airlines boarding process.
$125 Flight Discount
If you spend $20,000 or more on purchases with your card during your membership year, you'll receive a $125 flight discount credit after renewing your card for another year.
While spending $20,000 a year is steep, this is another way to wipe out the card's $99 annual fee once that kicks in.
25% Inflight Savings
When you use your Citi AAdvantage card to pay for in-flight food and beverage purchases you will receive a 25% savings. This will not work for other in-flight purchases like onboard Wi-Fi.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
When you use your Citi AAdvantage card to pay for purchases abroad, you will not be charged foreign transaction fees.
$99 Annual Fee
The Citi AAdvantage card has a $99 annual fee. But that fee is completely waived for the first year of card membership.
That means you won't start paying an annual fee until your second year with the card.
Learn more about the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.
How Far Can 50K AAdvantage Miles Take You?
American Airlines AAdvantage miles are some of the most valuable miles out there. And that's true whether you're a diehard American Airlines flyer or hope to never set foot on their planes.
Not only can you use AAdvantage miles for flights with American, but you can redeem them for incredible experiences for flights on their Oneworld alliance partners like Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and many others.
Want to fly in a Qatar Qsuite to the Middle East or all the way down to South Africa? Or how about roundtrip flights to Tokyo – or a one-way flying Japan Airlines business class? They're some of the best deals in the world of points and miles, and 50,000 American miles is almost enough to make it happen.
Read our full review of Qatar Qsuites flying from Dallas to Doha!
You can't beat booking Qsuites business class – easily one of the best in the world – between the U.S. and the Middle East for 70,000 AA miles each way. You can even continue all the way down to South Africa for just 75,000 miles each way.
Oneworld partner airlines Japan Airlines (JAL) and Cathay Pacific offer two of the best ways to fly business or first class to Asia. For example, a flight to Tokyo in one of JAL’s private business class SkySuites costs just 60,000 AAdvantage miles.
See all the best ways to use American Airlines AAdvantage miles – and the almost too-good-to-be-true deals that may not last much longer!
Plus, it's gotten much easier to book many of these partner airlines. Many previously required you to call American to book, but over the years, American has added Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad to its online booking engine at AA.com.
Pair the Citi AAdvantage Card with the Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
Delta has American Express. United and Southwest have Chase. Most airlines have just one banking relationship, but American partners with two.
That's significant because you can earn the welcome offer bonus on each American Airlines credit card, netting you 100,000 American Airlines miles total after making one purchase on the Barclays AAdvantage Red Aviator Card in the first 90 days of membership and spending $2,500 on the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card in the first three months of card membership.
You'll earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles after making just one purchase on the Barclays AAdvantage Red Aviator Card, whether you buy a pack of gum, a cup of coffee, or something more. Best of all, Barclay's is also waiving the annual fee for the first year – it's $99 a year after that. Combined with this bigger bonus on AA's Citi Card, no other airline makes it so easy to pile up this many miles so quickly.
Do American AAdvantage Miles Expire?
American Airlines AAdvantage miles will expire 24 months after you earn them unless there is some sort of activity in your account. That’s right – use them or lose them in 24 months.
The easiest way to find the expiration date on your American Airlines AAdvantage account is to log in to your online account.
Read more: When Will My Airline Miles Expire?
If the clock is ticking on your miles, don’t worry. You can easily reset the 24-month clock by either earning or redeeming AAdvantage miles. That means there are plenty of ways to keep your miles from expiring – including making a purchase on your Citi AAdvantage credit card.
And critically, if you later decide to close your American Airlines credit card, you will not lose your miles. They will be safe and sound in your AAdvantage Mileage account.
Citi AAdvantage Application Restrictions
Citi limits welcome bonus offers to one bonus per card family in a 48-month period on certain cards (including the Citi AAdvantage credit cards). This means if you have recently earned the bonus on the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card, or the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, you wouldn't be eligible to earn the bonus on the Citi AAdvantage card for 48 months from the date you closed either of these cards.
Citi considers personal and business cards to be separate. So for the purposes of earning the bonus on the personal Citi AAdvantage American Airlines card, having the business version of the card will not impact your ability to earn a welcome bonus offer.
Finally, Citi allows you to apply for only one credit card within an eight-day period, one business card in a 90-day period and only two Citi credit card applications total in any 60-day period.
Now is a great time to pick up the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard if you haven't had it or earned a bonus on a card in the same family in the last 24 months.
You won't pay an annual fee in the first year and it can be combined with the bonus you can easily earn on the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard.
Learn more about the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.