Earn 130K+ American Miles With Citi AA Card Welcome Bonuses

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Capital One, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!

Update: It looks like there is an offer for these cards outside of our affiliate network which offers 5,000 extra miles for an additional $1,000 in spending

We still like the cards for the reasons we’ve listed in the post, but if you decide to apply for either of them we’d recommend you get the extra miles through the above link (provided you can meet the additional minimum spend to receive the full bonus), rather than using our links.


Citi has increased the welcome bonuses on their co-branded AAdvantage credit cards for a limited time, to 60,000-70,000 bonus miles upon completing minimum spend. The details of the limited-time offers are as follows:

These are fantastic welcome bonuses, especially when you consider that both cards have reasonable minimum spend, and the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Benefits of the Citi AAdvantage Cards

If you fly American once in a while, both of these cards also come with some useful benefits, including the following:

  • Group 5 boarding on domestic American flights
  • First checked bag free on domestic itineraries for you and up to four companions on the same reservation
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

My favorite perk of the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card is ending on May 1, 2019. Up until then just having the Platinum Citi AAdvantage card gets you a 10% refund on miles redeemed, for a total of up to 10,000 miles per year. If you already have a chunk of AA miles and will be making a redemption in the next month, it could be worth getting the personal card just for the mileage rebate.


Get a 10% refund on redeemed miles, up to 10,000 miles per year, but only through May 1st

Both cards offer some potential savings in-flight as well. The Personal Platinum AAdvantage card offers a 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights. Meanwhile the Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card offers a 25% savings on American Airlines inflight Wi-Fi when you use your card.

As an Executive Platinum with American I already receive a free in-flight snack, and my Gogo subscription covers my wifi needs, so these aren’t terribly useful to me personally, but could be nice for those who don’t fly enough to warrant a monthly wifi pass or aren’t EXPs.

Earning miles with the Citi AAdvantage cards

Both cards earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, but have different bonus structures otherwise.

The Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card earns:

  • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
  • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants

While the Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card earns:

  • 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations

Both cards earn 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases, but if you’re planning on earning AAdvantage miles through your daily spending, there are also some other cards that will help you rack up AA miles more quickly.

Qualifying for the bonuses on these cards

It’s possible to earn the welcome bonus on both the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card and the Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card. However, keep in mind that you can’t apply for both on the same day. Citi also has what’s known as the “24 month rule,” and I wanted to clarify exactly how that worked in the context of these bonuses, as it’s a point that confuses many.

Citi’s 8/65 day rule

While eligibility for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Personal Card and Citi AAdvantage Platinum Business Card is separate, do note that applying for one card impacts when you can apply for the other card. Citi’s general policy on new card applications is as follows (and this applies whether you’re getting a personal or business card):

  • You can only apply for one Citi card every eight days
  • You can apply for no more than two Citi cards every 65 days

In other words, you could apply for one card now, and then the other card in eight or more days, assuming you haven’t applied for any other Citi cards in the past 65 days.

What is Citi’s 24 month rule?

A couple of years ago Citi expanded what’s commonly referred to as the “24 month rule.” Essentially this prevents you from earning the welcome bonus on some Citi cards if you’ve opened or closed a particular card in the past 24 months.

Not only that, but a while ago this was expanded so that you couldn’t get the bonus on a card if you’ve opened or closed a card in that same “family” of cards within 24 months.

So let’s look at the impact this has on the Citi AAdvantage Card bonuses.

What are the restrictions on the welcome bonuses for these cards?

First let me share the published restrictions on these cards, and then we’ll analyze them. Here are the terms associated with the welcome bonus on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®:

60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles can be earned by new Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® card cardmembers approved through this offer. American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Then here are the terms associated with the welcome bonus on the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®:

This card is not available if the business already has a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® account. Bonus miles and any additional special offer not available if you have had any CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® account opened or closed in the past 24 months.

How does this actually work for Citi AAdvantage Cards?

The most important thing to understand is what’s meant by the “opened or closed” language. This refers specifically to the action of opening or closing a card, and doesn’t include having a card open (as I’ll illustrate below).

As you can see based on the terms, eligibility for the personal and business cards is unrelated, so having the business card has no bearing on whether or not you’re eligible for the personal card, and vice versa.

You’re eligible for the business card as long as you haven’t opened or closed that card in the past 24 months, and don’t currently have it.

You’re eligible for the personal card as long as you haven’t opened or closed any personal Citi AAdvantage Card in the past 24 months.

Let me give a few examples to hopefully drive home that point. To make this as easy as possible, let’s look at the following three cards, which I’ll nickname:

Here are a few different scenarios:

  • If you have none of these cards, you’re eligible for the welcome bonus on Business #1 and either Personal #1 or Personal #2, but not both
  • If you have Personal #1 and/or Personal #2, you’re eligible for Business #1
  • If you have Personal #1, you’re eligible for the welcome bonus on Personal #2 if you haven’t opened or closed either account in the past 24 months (however, if you’ve had the one card open for 24 or more months, you’d be eligible for the other one)
  • If you have Personal #2, you’re eligible for the welcome bonus on Personal #1 if you haven’t opened or closed either account in the past 24 months (however, if you’ve had the one card open for 24 or more months, you’d be eligible for the other one)
  • If you had Business #1 in the past, but closed the account at least 24 months ago, you’d be eligible for the welcome bonus again


You can redeem your American miles on Qatar Airways

Also, anecdotally I’ve found these cards to be pretty easy to be approved for, so for most it shouldn’t be too difficult to get approved.

Bottom line

The limited time welcome bonuses on both the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card and Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card are worth considering. Earning 60,000-70,000 miles with a waived annual fee the first year and perks when flying American is a great offer. I value American miles at ~1.3 cents each, so to me the bonus of 60,000-70,000 miles offered by each card are worth ~$780-$910.

Anyone plan on picking up one of these AAdvantage cards available with the current limited time offer?

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Comments

  1. Is there a rule that says you can’t have two of the same personal card open at the same time? In other words, if you have Personal #1, are you eligible for the welcome bonus on another Personal #1 if you haven’t opened or closed any Personal account in the past 24 months?

  2. I had the Citi Mileup card and then signed up for the AA Platinum Select World Elite card one month after the mileup card, does this mean I do not qualify for the signup bonus on the AA Platinum Select World Elite….getting worried now after reading above rules, which I had not of course read up on before signing up for the second card.

  3. @ Matt
    I, and many others, have had several Citi AA cards open at the same time. It doesn’t matter how many you have open, just that you haven’t opened or closed any of them in the past 24 months. So if you have one open that was issued more than 24 months ago, apply for the new one, wait for it to arrive in the mail, and then you are safe to cancel the old one. 😉

  4. These posts are stupid. You know better than this Ben. I could create a post titled earn half a million bonus miles* (*if you open 10 differently cards).

  5. Happy to see this news, but these days I feel like any post mentioning an AA bonus almost by default has to take into consideration how impossible it’s become to redeem AA miles for AA flights. Given BA’s fees, the most practical use case for these miles anymore seems to be for blingy partner business class to Asia, which (while nice) has a limited appeal after a while.

  6. @ Peter — Why? It’s very reasonable to have both the personal and business versions of the AA card, as having one doesn’t impact your eligibility for the other.

  7. @Kevin M

    Pretty much. There’s no future in this. With all the AA-co branded cards out there, not to mention their sales pitches and adverts on every flight, terminal, webpage, app… (the list goes on) accumulating AAdvantage miles is a hopeless exercise. The only way for AA to continue being so generous with these free miles is if they’re not valuable, through devaluations and reduced saver award space.

  8. This blog has to have the highest complainer ratio in the comments of all time. Y’all keep bitching about everything and I’ll keep accumulating the AA miles and finding good uses for them. Sheesh.

  9. hmm… How likely will Citi match the bonus?

    I had the wife open the personal Platinum last month @ 50k and just recently met the spend minimum on it.

  10. I *just* got approved for the CitiBusiness a week ago (with 50K/60K offer)… can anyone suggest the best way to get a bonus match from Citi?

  11. I second @Sung’s question.

    Downgraded personal Platinum Sleect to the Mile Up after I was up for a second year of renewal.

    Does a downgrade (no pull, did not close account) make one ineligible?

  12. There are better non-affiliated offers available. Visit Doctor of Credit and Frequent Miler.

    Didn’t I read something about ethics on here recently?

  13. @ Ryan — Thank you for the heads up! I’ve been in meetings all afternoon, and Ben is on a plane, so we hadn’t seen that. I’ve updated the post so that everyone knows.

  14. Albeit a bit late and not a part of the original post, still pretty impressed you updated with the non-affiliate link and paragraph at the top. You never used to do that. Good for you

  15. @Pedro

    Yeah that’s pretty short-sighted. Unless you think AA handing miles out like cheap candy to anybody capable of filling out a form comes straight out of goodwill and their profit margins. Good luck on your quest to stockpile AA miles.

  16. Ben, I guess I made a mistake. I paid an annual fee last year on my AA business card, hoping to re-apply once 24 months are up and then close it. But now it says, I won’t be eligible since I already in possession of the card.. did I mess up?

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