Save Up For A Trip To Israel: Earn Up To 65K Miles On 4 Citi AAdvantage Mastercards; 5 Months Left To Earn Million Miler Miles From Spending!

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Update: With American flying from Dallas and JFK to Tel Aviv next year, and rumors of adding Miami to Tel Aviv as well, will you save up AA miles and try to reach lifetime elite status via credit card spending in 2020?

American had web specials from Dallas to Tel Aviv for as low as 20K miles before they pushed off the launch of that flight due to COVID-19, hopefully we’ll see some mileage bargains when they relaunch Tel Aviv flights!

Signup bonus:

Annual fee:

Signup bonus rules and product changes:

  • You can receive the bonus on each of these 4 cards if you haven’t received a bonus for the same card in the past 48 months.
  • Citi allows applications for 1 card every 8 days and 2 cards every 2 months. Business cards are limited to once every 3 months. Add a few extra days in between applications to be safe.
  • Citi is very generous with product changes. For example you can change any of the consumer cards into most other Citi cards, including Citi Double Cash and Citi Rewards+.
  • You can downgrade the premium American cards into the no annual fee MileUp card and you’ll then earn 2 miles per dollar on grocery purchases with no cap.

Card earnings:

Earn 1 mile per dollar everywhere, or:

Million Miler Lifetime Elite Status:

Since 2011, American has only counted actual flight miles towards earning million miler status.

However they recently announced that all miles earned from spending on US based AA credit cards that post to your account from 5/1/20-12/31/20 will count towards earning million miler lifetime elite status (we’ll call them MMLES).

You will earn 1 MMLES miles per dollar on all purchases. Unfortunately you won’t earn MMLES miles for the signup bonus or bonus miles on purchases in bonus categories.

Million Miler Tiers:

  • You will earn lifetime Gold status and 35K bonus miles when you earn 1MM million miler miles.
  • You will earn lifetime Platinum status and 4 systemwide upgrades when you earn 2MM million miler miles.
  • Sadly, there is no way to earn Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status, but you will earn 4 systemwide upgrades for each additional million miler threshold reached.

You can read about elite benefits here.

I earned lifetime Platinum status from opening AA credit cards back in the days when all AA miles counted towards million miler status.

I got my wife close by opening credit cards for her from when we got married in November 2008 until when the program ended in November 2011, but didn’t quite get her to 2MM:

You can login via this link to check how many MMLES miles that you have. After doing that you should see the screenshot above with your current million miler balance to see how much you’ll need to spend to get to the next threshold.

Card benefits:

  • The Platinum cards come with the first check bag for the cardholder and 4 companions for free on domestic flights, even on basic economy fares. The Executive card includes the free bag for up to 8 companions. You don’t need to pay for the flight with this card, you just need to make sure that your AA mileage number is in your reservation. That means you can get a free bag even when using partner award miles from airlines like BA or Alaska to book your AA flight.
  • The Platinum cards come with group 5 priority boarding, even on basic economy fares. The Executive card includes priority checkin/security, and group 4 priority boarding
  • All cards include 25% off AA in-flight food and beverages via statement credit rebate
  • The business card comes with 25% off AA in-flight WiFi via statement credit rebate
  • The business card comes with Mastercard Easy Savings by registering here. You’ll get a cash rebate on top of miles with select merchants such as 5% cash back at Avis, Budget, Firestone, Upside Travel, and 1% cash back at select gas stations (Enter zip code to search)
  • The Platinum and Executive cards include 7,500 miles off flights to or from dozens of rotating cities.
  • The Platinum and Executive cards have no foreign transaction fees.
  • The Executive card includes a Admirals Club membership and you can bring in your immediate family or 2 guests with you. You can add up to 10 additional users for free and they can also bring in their immediate family or 2 guests with then.
  • The Executive card includes Global Entry/Pre-Check credit.
  • The Executive card includes 10K EQMs annually for spending $40K
  • The business Platinum card includes an annual $99 companion certificate if you spend $30K/year
  • The consumer Platinum card includes a $125 AA flight discount if you spend $20K/year

Comparison Chart:

 CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum World MastercardCiti AAdvantage Platinum World Elite Consumer MastercardCiti AAdvantage Executive World Elite Consumer MastercardCiti AAdvantage MileUp Consumer Mastercard
Signup Bonus65K miles for spending $4K in 4 months50K miles for spending $2.5K in 3 months50K miles for spending $5K in 3 months10K miles+$50 statement credit for spending $500 in 3 months
Annual fee$0 for the first year, then $99$0 for the first year, then $99$450$0
Miles per dollar on car rentals2111
Miles per dollar on gas2211
Miles per dollar on dining1211
Miles per dollar on telecom, internet, cable, and satellite service providers2111
Miles per dollar on groceries1112
Miles per dollar on AA purchases2222
Free first domestic checked bagValid for cardholder and 4 companionsValid for cardholder and 4 companionsValid for cardholder and 8 companionsNo
Priority boardingGroup 5Group 5Group 4No
Priority check-in and securityNoNoYesNo
25% off AA in-flight WiFi YesNoNoNo
25% off AA in-flight food and beveragesYesYesYesYes
Foreign Transaction Fee0%0%0%3%
Admirals Club MembershipNoNoYes, allows primary and secondary cardholders to bring entire immediate family or 2 guests into clubsNo
Save 7,500 Miles On Rotating AwardsYesYesYesNo
Annual $125 AA flight discount companion certificate if you spend $20K/yearNoYesNoNo
Annual $99 companion certificate if you spend $30K/yearYesNoNoNo
Annual 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles if you spend $40K/yearNoNoYesNo
Mastercard Easy SavingsYesNoNoNo
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck creditNoNoYesNo

Using AA Miles:

While Delta and United have killed their award charts and increased miles needed for flights, American has retained published award charts for both AA and partner award flights.

When Delta and United eliminated their close-in award booking fees, they increased the miles needed for flights. American also removed their close-in booking fees, but they haven’t yet increased the miles needed for close-in flights.

You can transfer AMEX points into Delta miles and Chase points into United miles, making their own credit cards typically a poor value.

However no bank points transfer to American, making their own credit cards the best way to earn them.

Currently American has a 2 prong approach to mileage redemption that makes them far more versatile than other miles!

You can book tickets using AA award chart pricing here.

They also have dynamic web special pricing for coach, business, and first class awards.

You can book web special awards here.

I’ve posted web special awards such as just 5,000 miles for flights between the US and Australia/New Zealand and 20K miles to Israel. I used 10,000 miles to book a web special to Nassau earlier this year, when paid tickets were a small fortune, while United wanted 17,500 miles, and Delta wanted some 50,000 miles.

American also has a very useful award map here to help find cheap awards. Just use my tips here to help find 5K coach awards and 15K lie-flat first class awards.

American still has valuable partner awards on airlines like Alaska, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, and Air Tahiti Nui. Some partner flight must be booked over the phone while others have much better award availability by calling AA in Australia or New Zealand.

For example I used 105K American miles to fly in an apartment on Etihad Shower Class from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK. That’s now 115K as AA killed the award redemption rebate for cardholders earlier last year.

Etihad A308 First Class Apartment, Abu Dhabi-JFK, March 2017

 


American now considers Morocco to be part of Europe, making for some great bargains there.

Which partner airlines do you book with AA miles?


Business card info:

If you want to apply for the business card, you may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that. Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field.

If you have business paperwork you can apply under your business name. Otherwise, it’s critical to just write your own name as the business name if you are just applying for your own small business as a Sole Proprietorship that doesn’t have any business paperwork. You can then send in bills in your own name for verification.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business, you can signup for multiple of the same card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

Another benefit of the card not reporting on your personal credit report is that when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an business cards from banks like AMEX, Chase, and Citi it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. That also means if you close the card, it won’t have an effect on your credit score.


Will you signup for any of the Citi AA cards?

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33 Comments On "Save Up For A Trip To Israel: Earn Up To 65K Miles On 4 Citi AAdvantage Mastercards; 5 Months Left To Earn Million Miler Miles From Spending!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Steve

Can I get signup bonuses on 2 business cards — 1 as sole prop and 1 under business name?

B

Thanks for the chart. Are there still web specials for 5k? Heard they now start at 10k

Carl M Sherer

When they say that you haven’t gotten a bonus from the same card in 48 months, is that the exact same card? Suppose I have a MilesUp and I want to get one of the Platinum cards. It’s been less than 48 months. Can I still get the bonus?

Itchakadoozie

I thought you were against AA miles. Is this just a “due diligence” post?

e s

dan should we avoid getting miles being that american may go bankrupt?

Ikey

How do I know if I have had a particular card in the last 4 years. If I remember correctly Citi has issued me a card and in very small print somewhere on a mailing wrote that I won’t receive the bonus . Of course I only noticed the small print after completing the spend .

Steve

Anyone know if can apply and get SUB for 2 CitiBusiness cards (1 as sole prop and 1 with business name)?

Dolf

Dan,

Being that I reached already to 2 Million Mile Status, is there any way I can link my wife’s AAdvantage account to my credit card (I have very high credit limits) so she can reach Million Mile Status before December?

yossi

i have a joint business with my wife and applied for both myself and my wife under a ein . They gave me the bonus but refused to give it to my wife (We received a letter after opening the card and completing the required spending) as the business has already received a bonus in the last 48 months. Is that correct that only one bonus per business even though it is 2 separate cards for 2 separate people?

eli

I would love to apply for this card, however I had a old aa account a couple of years ago and cant find the login info, I set up a new account now, should I be worried that aa will shut this new account?

just asking

I have the mile up consumer card does that mean I won’t be able to downgrade?

sholom

What about the American Barclay’s aviator card do you get millionaire miles for that?

Justmeha

Yes

Eli

Are they still offering another 3 months for the spending to get the sign up bonus?

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