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- The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is worth considering if you want American earn miles to book award flights.
- Not only does it come with a generous initial bonus, but you can earn double miles in a few popular categories.
- You should also consider this card if you want to access frequent flyer perks like free checked bags and priority boarding.
- See Business Insider's guide to the best credit cards for American Airlines flyers »
Since COVID-19 turned the travel world upside down, there hasn't been a lot to celebrate within the world of points and miles. Many of us have spent the last few months trying to get refunds for trips we had to cancel, and credit card companies have been busy adding non-travel options for using your rewards while much of the country remains in quarantine.
Yet, this will all be over eventually. And when it is, we will all wish we had some travel rewards to burn on an epic trip.
With that in mind, it makes total sense to look at cards that offer a big sign-up bonus you can earn over the next few months. With this bonus in your vault of rewards, you'll be ready to book the travel experiences you've been craving once the world is ready.
If you're ready to get back in the game, one card I would personally look into is the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®. Here are five reasons you may want to consider signing up.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
$99, waived for first 12 months
15.99% – 24.99% variable
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation
- Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
- Bonus categories help you earn miles on everyday purchases
- Fee checked bag on domestic American Airlines flights
- $125 American Airlines flight discount is nice, but you need to spend $20,000 in a cardmember year to earn it
The sign-up bonus is good for two domestic flights
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is offering an intro bonus of 50,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $2,500 in the first three months of acocunt opening.
The American AAdvantage program is one of the few major airlines that clings loosely to an award chart for pricing flights booked on miles, and it tends to have decent award availability for an array of itineraries if you're willing to plan ahead.
There are also a ton of good deals to be had. For example, 50,000 miles can get you two round-trip domestic flights in economy if you find MileSAAver award availability.
You can also fly round-trip to Europe for just 45,000 miles during the off-peak season, and one-way flights from the continental United States to Hawaii start at just 20,000 miles.
If you want to build up a stash of miles you can use to book a trip once you're ready, the sign-up bonus on this card can give you a hefty head start.
There's no annual fee the first year
This card also waives the $99 annual fee for the first year, which gives you 12 months to try out the cardholder benefits and earn a ton of miles without a financial commitment. Also note that, once the first year is up, you don't have to renew your card to keep the miles you've earned.
American AAdvantage miles are yours and kept in your American account once you've earned them. All you have to do to keep them from expiring is earn or redeem some miles every 18 months. Without a credit card, you could earn American miles easily by shopping through the AA portal or by joining the dining club. You could also redeem some miles to restart the 18-month clock at any time.
You'll get frequent flyer benefits right away
Once you do start flying, you'll love the frequent flyer perks this card gives you right away. You'll get priority boarding for starters, and you'll also get 25% off in-flight purchases you make with your card. You'll also get a free checked bag for you and a companion on the same itinerary. Since checked bags on American start at $30 apiece, this perk is worth $120 for two people for each round-trip flight you take.
Also note that you can qualify for a $125 discount on American flights if you use your card for at least $20,000 in purchases within a calendar year.
Earn double miles on gas and restaurants
Where some airline credit cards only offer bonus miles on purchases made with the airline, this card offers a few generous categories that let you rack up more miles over time. You'll earn 2x miles for each dollar you spend with the airline, but this benefit also extends to gas stations and restaurants.
You'll also earn 1 mile per dollar on everything else you buy, which is pretty standard among airline credit cards.
The American AAdvantage program is as versatile as ever
American Airlines is going to survive the pandemic, even though it will have fewer planes in the air and a smaller list of available itineraries for a while. Either way, you will be able to use your miles for flights once you're ready. All you have to do is be as flexible and open-minded as you can, and be willing to consider an array of dates and flight options to find the best deal.
Not only does American offer affordable flight options you can book with miles, but it also has economy web special awards. These frequently let you book for fewer miles than normal to select destinations, so you can use these to stretch your miles as far as they can go.
Also note that you can use your miles to fly with Oneworld partners like British Airways, Finnair, and Cathay Pacific, so you have even more options when it comes to redeeming miles for the dates and destinations you really want.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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