Now that I’ve switched the majority of travel back to American Airlines I’m spending a lot more time on the AA website. Over the past few weeks I’ve noted the 40,000 mile sign-up offers for the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard in the margin alongside the booking engine, along with a $125 statement credit:
Someone asked me recently if the card was worth it. I didn’t recall seeing the $125 statement credit until recently, so I went to check out all the benefits so I could render my opinion. You see, I cut my teeth on these cards, applying for all the different flavors (MasterCard, VISA and even an AMEX after a while), then applying again when I heard you could get the bonus more than once. But, then I found out how valuable the Starwood Preferred AMEX Card was, and a number of years later discovered Chase Sapphire and Ink Bold (note, I DON’T earn any referral credits for any of these cards, just my current favorite earners).
The odd thing was, as I started to research the offer I realized that the link (a MasterCard link) was intermittently displaying a 30,000 mile offer with a $100 statement credit:
This occurred on and off yesterday, and then finally this morning the banner on the side of the page changed to 30,000 miles as well:
As I mentioned, though, there are three flavors of this card (along with business versions). And, from the front page of AA.com there’s still a link to a 40,000 mile VISA offer, which very clearly shows that the 40K offer is alive in some places still:
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the VISA offer is the better one to take right now, since the only difference in terms is that the 40,000 mile offer requires $3,000 in spend versus $1,000.
While this card isn’t as valuable as the Starwood AMEX or Ink Bold, there’s still some good reasons to keep it in your wallet. If you’re not an elite on AA but you fly them a bit here and there, the free checked bag and priority boarding are definitely real benefits worth some money.
However, if you do have elite status with AA (or are striving towards it), you might be better off taking 10,000 fewer miles up front as a bonus and applying for the Citi Executive Card. Assuming you can stomach the $450 annual fee (which basically pays for your lounge membership), this card gives you essentially the same suite of benefits plus the ability to earn 10,000 EQMs on AA every year. Hugely valuable if you’re trying to re-qualify for Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum (my favorite of all my airline status levels).
For all I know, the VISA or MasterCard offers may still be in the process of changing. I’ve seen these bonus offers as high as 75K a while ago and 50K in the more recent past, so neither is an especially good deal from a historical perspective. And, if you’re only goal is to earn AAdvantage miles, then the SPG card is the better deal since you earn a 25% bonus when you transfer to AAdvantage.
But, a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus is still nothing to sneeze at if you have a trip you’re trying to plan now and need miles sooner than later.
- It Might Work For You But You’ll Have to Work For It: American Express BusinessExtrAA Platinum Card (pizzainmotion.com)
- Wrapping Up The Week With A Few Things I Missed (pizzainmotion.com)
- Answers To The Remaining Questions On The American Express BusinessExtrAA Platinum Card (pizzainmotion.com)