How to Earn and Redeem 106,000 American Airlines Miles Right Now

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The personal and business American Airlines credit cards are each offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Getting both cards and meeting their combined minimum spending requirement of $6,000 will earn you 106,000+ American Airlines miles, which you can use for up to four international roundtrips.

  • How to Get the Cards (and Who Is Eligible)
  • Meeting the Minimum Spending Requirements
  • Redeeming the Miles for Family Vacations, Luxurious First Class, and More

How to Get the Cards

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.44.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.59.13 PM

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.

A person can get both cards and can hold both cards simultaneously. You just have to make sure there is at least a week between your applications because the cards are issued by Citi, and Citi won’t approve more than one card in a week. To be safe, apply for the personal card one day, and the business card eight days later.

From the date of the personal card application, you’ll have 3 months plus 8 days to meet the total $6,000 spending requirements to get 106,000 total American Airlines miles. (Always confirm the exact date by which you have to meet a minimum spending requirement when activating a card.)

While meeting the minimum spending requirements, keep in mind the cards’ different category bonuses. The personal card offers 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. The business card offers 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, telecommunications, car rental merchants, and at gas stations.

In exchange for its worse earning potential, the personal card offers a 10% rebate on redeemed American Airlines miles up to 100,000 redeemed/10,000 back per calendar year.

Who Is Eligible for the Bonuses

You can only get the personal card if you have not opened or closed a personal Citi AAdvantage card in the last 24 months (including Gold, Platinum, and Executive versions.)

You can only get the business card if you have not opened or closed a business Citi AAdvantage card in the last 24 months (including Gold and Platinum versions.)

If you have had these Platinum cards before, you can get the bonuses again. According the received wisdom of dozens of FlyerTalkers, the rules are currently:

What Can You Do with 106,000 American Airlines Miles?

1. Take a Round-the-World Trip

a. For 100,000 miles, you can take a round-the-world trip with stops in Tokyo, Mumbai, and Paris. (And you’d get 10,000 miles rebated back as a personal AA Platinum cardholder.)

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b. For 115,000 miles, you can take a trip to Chile, Australia, and back. Book Chile to Australia and Australia to the United States, then you’ll have enough miles for the US to Chile with your balance plus your rebated miles from the other awards.

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2. Take Your Friends or Family Somewhere
  • 2 roundtrips to Europe (90,000 miles from January 10 – March 14 or November 1 – December 14 each year)
  • 3 roundtrip to South America (105,000 miles to Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia most of the year)
  • 3 roundtrips to Hawaii (120,000 miles half the year)
  • 4 roundtrips to the Caribbean or Central America (100,000 miles to Alaska year round or Caribbean from April 27 – May 20 or September 7 – November 14 each year)

For the full chart, see here.

Sunset over Waikiki
3. Treat yourself to the world’s nicest First Classes
  • 80,000 miles is enough to fly one way from the United States to Japan or Korea in First Class on Japan Airlines
  • 115,000 miles is enough for one way in First Class from the United States to the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, or Maldives in Etihad First Class, my best flight ever.
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Stretching Out in Etihad First Class
4. Head to the South Pacific

American partners with Fiji Airways, Air Tahiti Nui, and Qantas, so it has the best miles for the South Pacific. American charges only 40,000 miles each way in economy, 70,000 miles each way in business class, and 90,000 miles each way in First Class. (Qantas First Class looks unreal.)

Overwater bungalows in the South Pacific
5. Machu Picchu in a Bed

Seventy thousand miles is enough for a roundtrip from the United States to Northern South America in Business Class. That means you can fly to anywhere in Peru–like Machu Picchu–with both directions in fully flat beds on a 787 Dreamliner on American Airlines-partner Latam Airlines.

I talked more about this award in depth here. The only drawback with this award is that once you experience flying in a fully flat bed, you might not ever want to go back to economy!

American has the biggest route network from the United States to Latin America and partners with Latam, the biggest airline in South America, so American has the most and best award space to South America

Wow! Machu Picchu
6. Europe in Business Class

One hundred fifteen thousand miles is enough for a roundtrip from the United States to Europe in business class. Several American Airlines partners fly to Europe with fully flat beds. I wrote about American’s Los Angeles to London route featuring flat beds in business class here. The newest planes feature an on-board bar in business class, pictured below.

Other Benefits Besides the Sign Up Bonuses

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with my favorite feature by far of any airline credit card. While you’re a cardholder you’ll get a 10% miles rebate on all your American Airlines award redemptions up to 10,000 miles rebated per calendar year.

That means that if you booked a roundtrip award ticket to Tahiti with your American Airlines miles while you were a cardholder for 80,000 miles, you’d get 8,000 miles back for a total cost of only 72,000 miles roundtrip!

With these cards, you can mentally take a 10% discount on all award prices. Now Europe is only 20,250 miles each way, a business class bed to Machu Picchu is 31,500 miles each way, and Japan Airlines First Class is 72,000 miles each way.

If you redeem the 106,000 miles next year, that’s another 10,000 miles rebated because of this benefit.

The benefit is automatic, no enrollment necessary. Here’s my experience with the rebate.

I value the 10,000 extra miles a year at about $150, so this is a huge ongoing benefit.

The 10% rebate on awards is in addition to a free checked bag for you and four companions when flying American Airlines, Group 1 boarding to get that overhead bin space, a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, and double miles on American Airlines purchases.

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® comes with some duplicative benefits. Its unique benefit is its larger 2x category. You earn 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, telecommunications, car rental merchants, and at gas stations.

Both cards have no annual fee for the first 12 months, then $95.

Recap

You can earn 106,000 American Airlines miles in the next few weeks by:

  1. Applying for the American Airlines personal and business Platinum cards at least eight days apart.
  2. Meeting the $3k minimum spending requirement on each card.

Once you have the cards, you can enjoy the 10% rebate on the miles needed for AAdvantage awards up to 10k miles per calendar year and other benefits like a free checked bag and priority boarding on both airlines.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open

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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4 COMMENTS

  1. Does the new 24 month citi rule not apply to these cards? I thought they don’t allow 2 cards from the same mileage program anymore.

    • The Citi AAdvantage personal and business cards are considered separate products for the purposes of that rule, so when you last opened or closed the personal Citi AA card doesn’t have an impact on your eligibility for the sign up bonus on CitiBusiness AA card.

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