Citi AAdvantage Cards’ 60k Offers Return

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Back in July we watched the 60k sign up bonus offers on each of Citi’s AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCards (the personal and business) disappear. Both offers have just gone back up to 60k each.

  • The Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard is now offering 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • The CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard is also offering 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months.

The normal offer for each is 30,000 AAdvantage miles for spending $1,000 on each and the standard “elevated offer” we see on each is 50k for $3k spend. So 60k for $3k spend is great–if you’ve been waiting on this card, now’s the time. Both are limited time offers.

You are only eligible to earn the sign up bonus on the personal card as long as you haven’t opened or closed the same card, or a Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, within the last 24 months. You are eligible to earn the sign up bonus on the business card as long as your haven’t opened or closed the same cards within the last 24 months.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

You can hold both cards at the same time to take advantage of earning American Airlines miles for your personal and business spending, but you cannot be approved for both on the same day. The collected wisdom is to put at least 8 days between applications for cards issued by Citi.

Breakdown of Offers

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card within three months of opening the account
  • Category Bonus: 2 American Airlines miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights for the cardholder and four others on the same reservation
  • Preferred Boarding on domestic American Airlines flights
  • 25% off of in-flight food and beverages purchased on the card
  • 10% rebate of redeemed American Airlines miles (maximum of 10,000 miles returned each calendar year)
  • Access to American Airlines’s Reduced Mileage Awards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: waived the first 12 months, $95 thereafter
  • Eligibility: subject to Citi’s new sign up bonus rule

The offer for the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard is practically the same, except there is no 10% rebate of redeemed miles and there are extra category bonuses as well as a potential to earn a $99 companion certificate:

Quick Facts

  • Sign Up Bonus: 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 on the card within three months of opening the account
  • Category Bonuses: 2 American Airlines miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, telecommuncations merchants, car rental merchants, and gas stations
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights for the cardholder and four others on the same reservation
  • Preferred Boarding on domestic American Airlines flights
  • 25% off of in-flight food and beverages purchased on the card
  • $99 companion certificate: If you spend $30,000 in a year on the card, you also get a $99 companion certificate for use within the continental United States.
  • Access to American Airlines’s Reduced Mileage Awards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: waived the first 12 months, $95 thereafter
  • Eligibility: subject to Citi’s new sign up bonus rule

Sign Up Bonus

We value American Airlines miles at 1.5 cents each, making each 60k sign up bonus worth approximately $900.

American Airlines miles are good for booking ultra-luxury trips because American Airlines miles can book:

Delta miles cannot even book international First Class. You can see comparisons of American Airlines, Delta, and United award charts here. Just note that SAAver level (the cheapest) award space on American Airlines has gotten thinner and thinner over time, so it could be a good idea to look into your desired award space if you’re getting the card to put the bonus towards a specific trip.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, American Airlines miles are also good for economy awards too. American features off peak dates with cheap economy awards to:

  • Japan & Korea
  • Europe
  • South America
  • Central America
  • Caribbean
  • Hawaii

Here’s our complete guide to redeeming American Airlines miles.

Category Bonuses

Both cards offer 2x on American Airlines purchases.

The CitiBusiness card also offers 2x on purchases at telecommunications and car rental merchants as well as gas stations. You can read more about how Citi defines those merchants in the offer terms and conditions.

Internet, cable, and phone services is a 3x category on the Ink Business Preferred, so if you have that card, put those purchases on it. Car rentals and gas (all travel and gas) are 3x categories on the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, so use that instead of CitiBusiness card for car rental and gas purchases. If you don’t have those cards, these 2x category bonuses are nice.

Free Checked Bag

Cardholders get a free checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights (everyone gets a free checked bag on international flights), and up to four companions on the same reservation get the same benefit. Since the first checked bag normally costs $25, a family of five could clean up with this benefit, saving $250 per roundtrip.

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Group 1 Boarding

Since all the airlines started charging for checked bags, more people are carrying on big roll-a-boards that need to go in the overhead bin. When those fill up, you have to surrender your carry on for a dreaded “gate check”, which entails waiting around for 15 extra minutes to get the bag at baggage claim and losing access to everything in your bag during the flight.

Both cards get you “Preferred Boarding” on domestic American Airlines flight, so you will have a better chance of securing overhead bin space and avoid gate checking. Preferred boarding technically means Group 5, after Business, First Class, and passengers with status. Preferred boarding does not apply on codeshare flights, only those operated by American Airlines.

10% Rebate on Awards

This is a benefit of the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard but not the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard. You will receive a 10% rebate on the miles used to book American Airlines awards–up to 10,000 miles rebated per calendar year.

That means a 45,000 mile off peak roundtrip to Europe is only 40,500 miles net. An 80,000 mile award in Cathay Pacific First Class to Japan one way would be 72,000 miles net.

A cardholder who redeems 100,000 American Airlines miles each year gets back 10,000 American Airlines miles. The process is automatic and the rebate posts within a few weeks. Here’s a post Scott wrote about the benefit in 2012.

Reduced Mileage Awards

Both cards give you access to American Airline’s Reduced Mileage Awards, which are discounts on domestic redemptions. Destinations for the discounts change every other month.

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Eligibility

You are only eligible to earn a sign up bonus if you haven’t opened or closed a card from the same type (brand or co-brand) within the last 24 months. For example, if you’ve opened or closed the personal Citi AAdvantage card in the last 24 months, you are not eligible for another. Luckily the CitiBusiness card is a separate product in this regard, so a separate 24 month clock applies to it. You can sign up for both as long as you haven’t opened or closed either (respectively) in the last 24 months.

As long you follow the above rule, you can be approved and received the bonus on the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard even if they have had one before/currently still have it open. However, the same does not apply to the CitiBusiness card. You must close that card before opening another one (and of course, wait 24 months after closing it to be eligible for another).

You will not be approved if you have any Citi credit card applications in the last 8 days or two Citi applications in the last 65 days. So if you want both of these Citi cards, get them on days 1 and 9. If you want a third Citi card, wait until day 66.

Anyone who has a business including a sole proprietor can apply for business cards. Read more about how to get approved for business cards if you’re not sure if you’re eligible.

Getting Matched

If you signed up for a lower sign up offer within the last 90 days, Citi has a pretty good track record of matching sign up bonuses to what’s currently available. Call the number on the back of your card or send a secure message through your online account–the sooner the better.

 

Bottom Line

Both AAdvantage co-branded Citi cards (the personal and business cards) have temporarily elevated sign up bonuses at the moment of 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Both cards also come with other valuable benefits like a free checked bag and priority boarding on American Airlines flights. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first 12 months.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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