American Airlines’ New No Annual Fee Credit Card

Filed Under: American, Citi
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A few weeks ago I wrote about how American and Citi are introducing a new no annual fee credit card, called the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card. This card is now open to new applicants and is potentially an interesting option.

The new American AAdvantage MileUp Card’s welcome bonus

I’m rarely impressed by no annual fee airline cards. The way I view it, one of the primary benefits of an airline credit card is when it offers perks when flying with that airline, and typically no annual fee cards don’t offer that. But there are a couple of things that potentially make this card worthwhile.

First of all, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is offering a limited time welcome bonus of 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles plus a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. That’s not a huge bonus, but for a no annual fee card isn’t bad either.

What makes the welcome bonus interesting is that eligibility is unrelated to American’s other personal Citi Cards, so you can be approved for this card and earn the bonus even if you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® and Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®:

Statement credit and American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had an AAdvantage MileUp card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Keep in mind that you can be approved for at most one Citi card every eight days, and two Citi cards every 65 days, regardless of whether those cards are business or personal.

The AAdvantage MileUp Card’s useful bonus category

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card offers 2x miles at grocery stores and on grocery delivery services, as well as 2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1x miles on all other purchases.

Is this the single best bonus category for grocery store purchases? No. However, I’d argue it is the single best bonus category on grocery store purchases for a no annual fee card with no cap on how many miles you can earn.

So it’s great to see an American Airlines co-brand card that not only earns at least one mile per dollar spent, but also has a bonus category that’s potentially quite valuable.

American’s three premium credit cards have big bonuses

While the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card could be valuable for someone who doesn’t want to pay an annual fee but still wants an American Airlines Card, don’t forget American’s other premium credit cards that are potentially worth paying annual fees for.

Here are the offers on the current three Citi AAdvantage Cards:

Earn American AAdvantage Miles

Since I value American miles at almost 1.3 cents each, I value those bonuses at $780-975, so that will cover a lot of annual fees.

70,000 miles is enough for a Qatar Airways Qsuites ticket to the Middle East

Bottom line

The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card is a huge improvement over American’s old Citi no annual fee card, so that’s great news. The way I see it, this card isn’t for any serious mileage collector or frequent flyer on American, since for those people you’re much better off getting one of American’s premium credit cards, given the baggage fee waivers, potential Admirals Club membership, and more.

However, for someone looking to maximize the points they earn on grocery store spend with a no annual fee card, this card is potentially interesting. Best of all, the welcome bonus is available even if you already have other Citi American Cards.

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  1. Has anyone heard any rumours about a new UK AA card. The old one was discontinued a few months ago.

  2. I downgraded my Citi AAdvantage Premium Select Card last week to the free MileUp Card. I have the Barclaycard AA Silver Aviator and wasn’t using the Citi card. The grocery bonus was worth it for me since I spend over $12,000 per year in markets. The only downside is the six week wait for the new card. I was surprised that Citi refunded a prorated fee on my downgraded Premium Select Card.

  3. I understand you can get this bonus if you have other citi AA cards but does it reset the bonus clock back to two years for all citi AA personal cards?

  4. So, it doesn’t come with free checked baggage or priority boarding? It’s purely a mileage-accumulation card with no other benefits for travel?

    What’s the point?

  5. @ James W — The only travel benefits are that the card offers 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases.

  6. re: 70,000 miles on QR to the middle east, there are no award seats leaving DOH to any city after june 19, 2019. looks like space is only available TO doha

  7. The interesting side effect of Chase’s 5/24 rule is that it makes free cards like these usually without significant value not worth applying for. The possible lost opportunity cost is too great.

  8. I hardly think the 2x back at groceries is compelling. Sure, it doesn’t have a cap, but that doesn’t make it a particularly compelling card by any means. Using the CFU as a reference, 1.5% back on everything transferred to a CSR (which I’m assuming most readers have) is 2.25% back. Likewise, signing up for a no AF AMEX EveryDay gives 2.4% back on groceries, up to 6k/yr. The same can be done with a Blue Cash card for 3% back at groceries, 6k/yr. Likewise, the AMEX Blue Business Plus gives 2% back up to 50k/yr.

  9. To me the best benefit for this card would be to use it as a step down for those with a Citi AAdvantage who aren’t using it to justify the annual fee.

  10. On the one hand, it’s great that they offer so many points for purchases. On the other hand, I’m disappointed that this card offers as many (or more, depending on spending patterns) points than the AA cards with annual fees. It seems like it makes the annual fee that much harder to justify.

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