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.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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