LTO: Citi American Airlines Offers 40,000-AAdvantage Mile Bonus

by on June 6, 2013

For a limited time, the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature is offering a 40,000-mile signup bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. That’s up from the previous 30,000-mile offer – though you need to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to make it happen. That’s a signup bonus worth $400 – a great offer, considering the card’s $95 annual fee is waived in the first year.

Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
Citibank AAdvantage Visa Signature Credit Card
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  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Group 1 boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back - up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
thumbsdownCons
  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$95, waived for first 12 months* 30,000 American Airlines Miles Bonus after spending $1,000 - in the first 3 months Min APR: 13.99%
Max APR: 21.99%
Purchase: N/A
Transfer: N/A

And the card comes with good perks, too:

  • Free checked bag for up to four people on your reservation
  • 10% rebate on AA miles that you redeem, up to 10,000 miles a year
  • This means your signup bonus is effectively 44,000 miles
  • $100 American flight discount every year that you spend $30,000

Moreover, the card’s a Visa Signature, which means you get perks like discounts on car rentals, free wine tastings and experiences.

It’s worth noting, however, that British Airways miles are far better for short-haul American Airlines flights. A flight from LAX to SFO, booked two weeks out, would cost 12,500 AAdvantage miles + a $75 late award booking surcharge. With British Airways Avios, however, that same flight would cost 4,500 miles and no surcharge. The British Airways Visa is also currently offering a Get 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. signup bonus – higher than the Citi AAdvantage.

How does the AAdvantage stack up?

If you fly American often, the AAdvantage is a pretty decent option. The waived checked bag fees quickly make up for the annual fee – two roundtrip flights with a checked bag and you’re in the black. However, there are a couple drawbacks. Its annual fee might be a deterrent for some, especially if you don’t check bags. You earn just one mile per $1 spent on most purchases, and earn 2 only on American. You’re limited to redeeming your miles for American and other OneWorld Alliance flights. And there’s a foreign transaction fee. We’ll address those concerns one by one:

Annual fee. The annual fee is waived the first year, and the signup bonus more than makes up for it. But if you’re really concerned, you can call the card company at the end of your first year and ask them to waive the fee. You’re a great customer, you’ve made your payments on time, and you’d hate to have to close the account; could they please remove the annual fee.

Lower, more restrictive rewards and/or foreign transaction fees. A legitimate concern; if you won’t take advantage of waived bag fees and mileage rebates, you’re probably better off with the Barclaycard Arrival MasterCard or Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, whose annual fees, $89 and $59 respectively, are waived the first year. The Barclaycard has a signup bonus of Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening., and the Venture has a bonus of Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel.. Both earn 2 miles on every $1 spent, and you can use your miles against any travel expense: airlines, gas, hotels, you name it. While you don’t get the American Airlines-specific perks, you get waived foreign transaction fees, greater flexibility and better rewards.

In the end, airline-specific cards like the Citi AAdvantage offer tailored perks; general travel cards forgo benefits for ease of earning and redemption.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardBarclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® - Earn 2x on All Purchases
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Barclays Arrival Credit Card
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Signing Promo
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel.Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
Intro APR Promo
Purchase:None
Bal Trans:None
0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
Annual fee
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that$89 - Waived first year
Details
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want—no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire
  • No limit to the miles you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next travel redemption!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
  • Use your card to book through any airline, hotel or discount travel engine with no blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits towards all or a portion of your travel purchases within the last 90 days
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Arrival cardmembers

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