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Which American Airlines Credit Card Should You Choose?

Airline Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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which american airlines credit card

American Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines, and as part of its frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, you can fly just about anywhere in the world using your rewards miles.

One of the fastest ways to earn AAdvantage miles is by using an American Airlines co-branded credit card. Each one offers miles for every purchase you make and bonus miles on American Airlines purchases. They also offer extra perks that may make it difficult to fly with a different airline. Here’s a rundown for each card:

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

The more basic of the two personal American Airlines cards, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® offers solid rewards, but basic perks:

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 miles each calendar year.
  • First checked bag free for you and up to four traveling companions on the same domestic reservation.
  • Priority boarding on domestic American Airlines flights
  • Save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases made with your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

For more frequent travelers loyal to American Airlines, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers elite benefits, albeit with a much higher annual fee:

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Earn 10,000 elite qualifying miles after $40,000 spent in purchases each calendar year.
  • Admirals Club membership with guest privileges: Either immediate family members (spouse or domestic partner and up to three children under 18 years of age) or up to two guests traveling with the cardholder may be admitted for free as guests when accompanied by the primary cardholder.
  • First checked bag free for you and eight travel companions on domestic reservations.
  • Priority check-in and airport screening; early boarding on domestic reservations.
  • Receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.
  • Save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases made with your card.
  • 24/7 concierge service.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • The annual fee is $450.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Designed for businesses with an established credit history, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is similar to the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® in what it offers, but it has a few features that make it more appealing to traveling business owners:

  • Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*.
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible purchases at American Airlines, telecommunications and car rental merchants, and gas stations; earn 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Earn a $99 companion certificate each cardmembership year after spending $30,000 or more.
  • First checked bag free for you and up to four traveling companions on the same domestic reservation.
  • Priority boarding on domestic American Airlines flights
  • Save 25% on in-flight food and beverage purchases made with your card.
  • 24/7 access to a personal business assistant to help with travel arrangements.
  • Receive employee cards at no extra cost.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

The takeaway

Whether you’re a frequent economy flyer, an Admirals Club regular or a traveling business owner, there’s an American Airlines card for you. And the more you use the card, the more quickly you’ll rack up miles for free flights.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


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