American Airlines Best Current Credit Card Offers and Strategies

The airline mileage program I personally value the most is American Airlines.  I love having the opportunity to take advantage of their off-peak award travel discounts.

Every few months I like to update you with what’s happening with American Airlines branded credit cards.

Quick Updates in Changes to Citi American Credit Cards

Keep reading the post for more details.  This is a quick list if you want to know what’s going on without reading the entire post.

  1. Best current Visa/MasterCard American Airlines offer is 30,000 (50,000 mile links have all disappeared).
  2. Best current American Express American Airlines offer is 25,000 (after spending $750 in the first 4 months).
  3. The two browser trick is dead and has been for some time. I’m just now writing about it.  You cannot apply for two Citi credit on the same day and expect to get approved for both.

Best Current Offer: 30,000 AAdvantage Miles

Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard

Benefits:

After spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of card membership, you’ll earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.  This is the current best American Airlines credit card offer (at the time of posting).

Can I put 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles into perspective?

  1. That’s 75% of the miles you need for an off-peak flight from the US to Europe.
  2. How about a nearly enough miles for a way flight from the US to Australia for 37,500 miles? That’s pretty valuable.
  3. Off-peak travel to Central America for 30,000 miles round trip.

All I’m saying is that you can definitely see some cool parts of the world for this single credit card application.

And the best part?  Each of those bookings also give 10% of your miles back as an American Airlines Citi credit card holder.

More Benefits

  • Get the first eligible bag checked free (up to 4 travel companions).
  • Enjoy Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges
  • Earn AAdvantage miles for using AAdvantage miles. Earn 10% of your redeemed
    AAdvantage miles back — up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles each calendar year.
  •  Receive a 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on everything else.

This card has no annual fee for the first year and then $95 per year thereafter.

Get Access to Reduced Mileage Awards

As a Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard card holder, you also have access to the quarterly list of discounted domestic destinations.  Each quater Citi releases a list of cities in the US/Canada where you can fly for 17,500 miles roundtrip.  You can see the current list of eligible cities here.

Again, the nice thing here is that you also get the 10% mileage rebate, so you’re actually only paying 15,750 miles for your domestic flights.  That’s a 63% reduction of their usual mileage rates for domestic/Canada flights (usually 25,000 miles).

This is a card I just keep for the benefits.

There are a few cards that I gladly pay the annual fee for because I think the benefits outweigh the cost (in this case, $95 per year).

Why?  Because of the 10% mileage rebate (up to 10,000 miles back each year).  It’s like buying those miles for less than a penny each.  When you’re paying for bags on an airline, it doesn’t take long to justify the $95 fee (that’s 4 checked bags a year).

Current Best Strategy for Maximizing American Airlines Applications

Citi used to allow you to do two applications in a day.  According to what I’m seeing, that generally won’t work any more.  The two browser trick is dead.  According to Flyer Talk, here’s the best current strategy:

  1. Apply for only one Citi credit card in a day.  
  2. Apply for your second Citi credit card after a day (0r 30+ hours to be safe), but within 65 days.
  3. If you wish to apply for a Citi business credit card, you must wait 65+ days after your application for the second personal card.

If you’re interested in American Airlines miles, here’s how I’d apply:

  1. Day #1: Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard = 30,000 miles after minimum spend
  2. Day #3: Citi AAdvantage American Express = 25,000 miles after minimum spend
  3. Day #68: Citi Business AAdvantage World Card (This link is from Flyer Talk and doesn’t specify the bonus on the application page.  If you prefer to see the bonus offering, here’s a link for a 30,000 mile offer where you can take screen shots) = 40,000 miles after minimum spend of $3,000.

A note about Citi Churning:

In my experience, you can get a second bonus on Citi credit card if you’ve cancelled the current card you have and if it’s been at least 18 months since you applied for that specific Citi credit card.

As an example, if you got the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard on June 1st, 2011.  Then you’d be eligible for the bonus again around January 1st, 2013.  Of course, the longer you wait, the more likely you are to be sure that you’ve put enough time between each of your applications to be sure you get the bonus.

In the end, you’ll end up with 105,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

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