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Upgrades coming for Citi AAdvantage card

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Citi sent out an email yesterday advising of some changes to the Citi Platinum Select AaAdvantage credit card (the standard card co-brand product with American Airlines).

Starting on July 22, 2018, the benefits improve somewhat.

2X Restaurants Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent at restaurants1
2X Gas Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent at gas stations1
Flight discount Earn a $100 American Airlines flight discount2 after you spend $20,000 or more during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
*Purchases on or after July 22, 2018, qualify towards meeting the spend requirement to receive this benefit.

 

The annual fee will also be rising to $99 from $95 which will apply the next time your annual fee bills.

If you don’t already have the card, you’ll want to wait until May 3rd, when new cardmembers will get all of these benefits before us existing cardholders. An elevated 60,000 mile signup bonus is also rumored.

So, do these improvements matter a little or a lot?

Realistically, just a little. Citi products have hardly been innovative and this is no exception. It makes the card better but still not “front of wallet.”

  • The $100 flight discount for $20,000 in spend is a tiny half percent bonus on your spend.
  • The 2x on dining and gas is interesting – if you don’t already have a card like the Reserve offering 3x on all travel and dining (but not gas!)

I might put this back in my wallet for the gas, but other than that it’s just not super competitive for wallet share. That may change in my mind somewhat after August 1st when the SPG card only earns 2 Marriott points per dollar, but even then I’m hard pressed to not earn a flexible Ultimate Rewards point over one AA mile.

Still, the annual fee (which I have waived via an old Citigold account anyway) gets you that 10% rebate on your first 100,000 in redeemed miles each year (so up to 10,000 rebated miles) as well as access to the Reduced Mileage Awards

Summary:

It’s nice to see Citi give this card some love and improvement, and I’d love to have it top of wallet, but they need to do a bit more than this to gain that position.

I’d really love to see either more bonused spend categories or better threshold spending bonuses. For example, if they awarded 25,000 bonus miles after spending $25,000 in a year (netting out to 2% on that spend), I’d be a buyer.

For now, this is what we’ve got…

Does this move the needle for you with this card?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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