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This is a shame
There are a range of options for getting an American Airlines affinity credit card. Both Barclays and Citi issue cards. While both tend to offer 50,000 – 60,000 mile welcome bonuses. the advantages of carrying the card long term and putting every day spend on them have been far less generous compared to cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Sure, these cards come with benefits like free checked bags onboard AA, but, for me, the absolute best reason to keep these cards year after year is the benefit of a 10% rebate on AAdvantage award redemptions. This means that for the first 100,000 miles you redeem in a year, you get back 10%. If you max it out, it amounts to a 10,000 mile rebate yearly, which I value at $150. With the annual fee of each card just under $100, this made the card profitable regardless of annual spend and despite the annual fee.
Gone from May 1st
Both Citi and Barclay have removed this benefit after April 30, 2019.
To my mind this was the best feature of either card. The Citi card also earns 2x on dining and gas, while the Aviator Red will be introducing a companion certificate, good for a companion for $99 plus taxes and fees, when you spend $20,000 (starting May 1st). I don’t think either benefit holds a candle to the 10% rebate.
Of course, I’m not privy to why they are eliminating it. Perhaps AA was footing the cost and decided it wasn’t something they wanted to subsidize any longer. Or perhaps the banks weren’t seeing enough utilization on their end, although I suspect the former.
If you have one of these cards and can make an award booking by April 30th, you will still get the rebate so see if there’s something you may want to book soon…
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