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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, the most popular of which are the Barclay Aviator Red card and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card. 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.

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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…

HT: View from the Wing

Let me know if you have any questions! Ask me here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at the South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Guess I will be dumping both of mine when they come up for renewal. Other than the bonus, I loved the 10% back when we flew on our miles.

  2. The 2x bonus categories are nice, but not really a reason to have the card but other cards do those better. Maybe luggage is a reason but other cards travel credits negates that benefit. But the only reason I keep the card is the 10% rebated miles.

    Now the only reason to apply for the card is sign up bonus. There is no reason to charge on this card after MS and no reason to keep it or pay the second AF. This killed this card

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