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Like many other rewards credit cards, the American Airlines Citi issued credit cards often bounce their sign-up bonuses around a bit, at least in terms of the official public links. For the last several months, the personal and business Citi AAdvantage Platinum credit cards have publicly promoted 30,000 mile sign-up bonus, but recently they have brought the bonuses back to the 50,000 mile level after $3,000 in spending in the first 3 months for a limited time! These cards have a $95 annual fee, but the first year features a $0 introductory fee.
These American cards not only have a sign-up bonus worth considering at the 50,000 mile level, but they also offer Group 1 boarding and cover the first checked bag on American operated flights for the cardholder and up to four others on the same reservation. My favorite built-in perk is actually being able to get 10% of your redeemed American miles back on the personal card each year!
But before you pull the trigger there are a few not as great things to be aware of…including a new-ish term indicating that the bonus miles are not available if you have had a similar card open or closed in the last 24 months. For the personal AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard the terms say that the bonus miles aren’t available if you have had a Citi AAdvantage card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 month. For the business version the terms say that it is not available if the business already has a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®card. Bonus miles are not available if you have had any CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card opened or closed in the past 24 months.
The other downside to these cards are that American saver awards have generally been harder to find in the last year or two than they used to be, so you need to have some flexibility and patience to maximize the bonus miles that come with the card.
There are still great uses of the AAdvantage miles though including booking Reduced Mileage Awards for fewer AAdvantage miles thanks to having the cards, flying business class to Europe for 57,500 miles, and even short haul awards available from just 7,500 miles each way for flights under 500 miles (or potentially even less via the Reduced Mileage Awards). Remember with the AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard you will even get 10% of those miles back – up to 10,000 annually.
I don’t know how long the official public offer will be at 50,000 miles, but I will update if I get wind of when it may end. Also remember that beginning in early 2017 you will also be able to sign up for Barclaycard issued AAdvantage cards, so perhaps competition for new accounts will work in our favor and the increased bonus will stick around for a while.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.