Should You Start with 100,000 American Airlines Miles or 90,000 ThankYou Points

0
2079

Right now you can easily get 100,000 American Airlines miles or 90,000 ThankYou Points, so which is the better place to start?

How to Get 100,000 American Airlines Miles

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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.

Get both cards eight days apart and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles.

How to Get 90,000 ThankYou Points

The Citi Prestige® Card is offering 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Get both cards eight days apart and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 96,000 ThankYou Points.

You Can’t Start with Both

Citi issues all four credit cards. Citi will only approve one card per week and two cards in two months. That means you can’t get all four at once. The quickest you can get four Citi cards would be to get one card each on Day 1, Day 9, Day 66, and Day 74, though I wouldn’t apply that quickly.

Which Is Better?

In the abstract, I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each and American Airlines miles at 1.8 cents each, but that doesn’t answer the question of which is better for your travel goals.

American Airlines miles are Region Based Miles. You have to find capacity-controlled Saver award space on American Airlines or partner flights to use the miles effectively. The number of miles you need for a trip is determined by your origin and destination regions and the cabin you fly. You can read off the award price from AA’s award chart. Region Based Miles, including AA miles, are best for international premium cabins because there is often a small difference between economy and Business class on the award chart.

ThankYou Points are Transferable Points. They transfer to Airline Points (Virgin America), Region Based Miles (Singapore and many others), and Distance Based Miles (Asia Miles). Or you can use ThankYou Points like cash toward any flight on nearly any airline. Here’s a full post on how to redeem ThankYou Points. Transferable Points, because of their versatility, are wonderfully designed for most awards.

So in general, ThankYou Points are better than American Airlines miles except when American Airlines miles are particularly strong. American Airlines miles are particularly strong for Business and First Class awards to East Asia, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. American Airlines miles are particularly strong for off peak economy awards to much of the world. American Airlines miles are particularly strong on these five under-priced awards.

Otherwise, you are probably better off with ThankYou Points.

American Airlines Devaluation?

The impending devaluation is something to consider. If you can redeem your American Airlines miles by March 22, 2016 for travel by February 2017, it doesn’t affect you. If you are collecting miles for a trip in 2018, American Airlines miles will almost certainly be less valuable for that trip than they are now.

Of course, I expect most ThankYou Points transfer partners to devalue in the next few years also; that’s just the nature of miles and the reason for the expression “earn and burn.” But ThankYou has 13 partners, so it is insulated from a single program devaluing.

Transfer Bonuses

A perk of transferable points that I haven’t yet mentioned is transfer bonuses. Generally 1,000 ThankYou Points can transfer to 1,000 miles from a partner program, but sometimes there are temporary improvements in the transfer rate.

There is nothing similar when you just hold one airline’s miles (like AA miles), which makes transferable points more valuable.

Personal vs. Business

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® is a business card. The other three cards are personal cards. If you cannot get business cards, that answers the question for you.

Bottom Line

Right now, you can get 90,000+ ThankYou Points or 100,000+ American Airlines miles by opening two cards. Which you choose depends on your travel goals.

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

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.

Get both cards eight days apart and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles.

The Citi Prestige® Card is offering 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.


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.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.