Elevated Citibank AAdvantage Card Offers Through July 14

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American Airlines shares with me that through July 14 there are elevated offers for Citibank American Airlines credit cards.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® 75,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,500 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $99. You’re ineligible if you’ve received a bonus for this card in the last 48 months.

There’s also an offer available for a $400 statement credit on eligible American Airlines purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Plus, earn 30,000 bonus miles after $1,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (There’s a similar offer for the small business card.) Unless you value AAdvantage miles at less than $0.009 apiece the 75,000 mile offer for the consumer card is better.

Although I have to imagine these two parallel offers tell us something about Citi’s cost per mile as part of initial bonus offers.- I’d guess that the statement credit versus incremental miles come at roughly similar cost. (I say roughly because they’re using a round number for the statement credit so it’s not precise.)

There are several points that I think are relevant here.

  1. AAdvantage miles are relatively harder to get via credit card. The only transferable points currencies you can move to American AAdvantage at favorable rates are Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy. Since AAdvantage isn’t a transfer partner of Chase, Amex, Citi or Capital One their cards are a crucial part of earning AAdvantage miles, if you’re looking for that currency (and, perhaps unique to my own redemption patterns, they’re the miles I have redeemed the most).

  2. Citi hasn’t been as aggressive as other issuers. We’ve seen big increased bonuses for United and Southwest cards (Chase) and Delta cards (American Express) as well as big offers on Marriott, IHG, and Hilton cards but there hasn’t been the same aggressiveness with Citi AAdvantage acquisitions. So while 75,000 miles might not stand out, it’s bigger than what’s been in the market.

  3. Combinable with Barclays offers. As American Airlines flight attendants used to frequently remind, American Airlines has two co-brand partner banks in the U.S. Getting cards from one doesn’t prevent you from getting cards with the other. That means you can benefit from personal and small business card offers from two banks, meaning more opportunities than United or Delta afford.

  4. Through American Airlines channels only. Barclays promotes cards on board and in airport (but no within 100 fee of an American Airlines lounge). Citibank has all other channels. It appears these elevated offers are only via AA channels. For instance my link for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® still has a 65,000 mile offer and not the statement credit offer – although at my value per miles for AAdvantage I consider 65,000 miles worth more than 30,000 miles and a $400 statement creditt.

  5. Bigger offers for other products. Though this is an elevated offer, it’s not the most lucrative card offer in the market. Right now that’s for the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card which has an offer to earn 5 free nights worth 250,000 points (each free night valued at 50,000 points) after $5000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.

My benchmark use of American AAdvantage miles is 70,000 miles each way for Qatar Airways business class between the U.S. and Mideast or ‘Indian Subcontinent’ which includes the Maldives.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Gary, even though I enjoy your blog, I must call out the higher miles credit card offers as they really are.

    Other than the Marriott card offer (that gives five room nights), the other American Airlines cards with their higher miles offers are just an illusion of a great bargain.

    For example, last year and in prior years, I formerly got business class international trips (round trip) on American Airlines for 110,000 to 200,000 miles or slightly higher on occasion.

    However, during the past several months, when I checked the same routes on American Airlines for the same international business class destinations, the required number of miles exceed four hundred thousand miles.

    It does not take a genius to see that the value of miles has decreased more than most people realize. That makes the bonus miles that are given via credit card bonuses less attractive if even attractive at all.

  2. Five 50k nights are not worth 250k points.
    Subtract 50k because no 5th night free. Subtract another about 30k because it’s likely that you will use them for a less than 50k room. Subtract another about 20% because the ‘free nights’ are only good for a year, and then subtract another 10% because they aren’t usable for the vacation packages or converting into airline miles. I probably should subtract more because you can use points to book for someone else and the 50k nights can’t be used that way, but I’ll be generous and won’t deduct any more.
    My result is less than 125k points.

    I’d raise the value if I had 5 nights I could use especially if I didn’t want to use them at one time.
    But I wouldn’t raise it that much because by the time I had the points Marriott could have raised them to much to use them as I wished.

    So, not 50k. Not even close.

  3. @dmg9 – there are fewer long haul international seats and surging demand, so fewer seats going unsold. My guess is that moderates come fall. If you want tto compare the value of miles to years’ past? Absolutely. But note that these 75,000 mile offers are not my referral links, just highlighting the offers are out there for a limited time for those interested.l

  4. Without award charts, award prices are all over the places. I’m using miles opportunistically and can still find values even in the current environment (more so with AA miles than with UA miles, however).

  5. Opinion: Credit card companies focus on new businesses giving away tens of thousands of points to capture a few thousand dollars. Then they offer ridiculous programs to earn an extra few thousand points. For those of us that have more than a few cards, we focus our spending on points earning and spending value. For example, I wait till I have $5,000 or more to spend and will use my Platinum card from Amex. Not a large amount of extra points but it adds up and with my selected airlines, I get 35% back in points when purchasing an expensive ticket. I focus on using my chase card on buying gift cards at office max or paying utilities and earning 5 points per dollar. During the Pandemic and I think it just returned was a 7500 bonus for Marriot points with Amex after spending a certain amount. Most recently American Airlines changed their program that every dollar spent will go toward status earned. In my opinion, this was brilliant, I do not fly American more than a few times a month (during normal times) They have earned more credit card spending from me this year than in the last 4 years combined. I am on the verge of their highest status from credit card spending. It won’t cost them much to provide benefits since I don’t use their services frequently, but if I did then they would earn more. What’s the downside for American Airlines. On the other hand, United has a similar program that has no benefit of earning any kind of meaningful status so I do not go after it. In fact, United took away my ability to earn 1.5 points on all spending with their credit card. My spending dropped from an average of $10 to $15 thousand a month to maybe $1. Yes, I probably spend more than many people on my cards, I have a small business and pay as many bills as possible with the cards to earn the points. Even with all I spend I look for ways to earn points where they count and use them to travel in comfort and manage my actual cost when I travel.

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