The AAdvantage Credit Card 10% Mileage Refund Has Been Reset For 2018

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Now that it’s a new year, I think it’s worth recapping some of the annual credit card bonuses that have been reset in the past couple of days, to be sure that you maximize them. Specifically, I wanted to talk about the 10% refund on redeemed miles that’s offered with a couple of American’s co-branded credit cards. But first let’s recap the current American Airlines credit card offers.

The five premium American credit cards you can sign-up for

At the moment American has five premium credit cards that you can sign-up for, with the following bonuses:

I think it’s most worth taking note of the 60,000 mile sign-up bonuses on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®, and AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard. At least on the Citi versions of the card, these are limited time bonuses that may not be around for much longer. If you don’t have one of the above three cards, I’d certainly recommend applying.

70,000 miles will get you a one-way business class ticket between the US & Middle East

The American 10% mileage refund

The 10% refund on redeemed miles is exclusively offered to primary cardmembers of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, and it’s capped at a refund of 10,000 miles per year (which you’d earn after redeeming 100,000 miles).

Assuming you redeem at least 100,000 American miles per year, that means having either of the above cards will get you a refund of 10,000 miles per year. To me that more than justifies the $95 annual fees on those cards, since I value American miles at more than a penny each.

The basics of the 10% mileage refund

AAdvantage members with one of the eligible cards receive the credit on a calendar year basis. In other words, if you maxed out the benefit last year, you can now once again expect that 10% of any redemptions you make as of January 1 will be reimbursed, up to 10,000 miles. Per the terms, miles will automatically be refunded within 6-8 weeks of when the redemption is made, though in practice the miles typically post much faster than that.

In terms of other things to be aware of, this benefit is exclusively valid on the personal versions of the cards, and you can’t double dip this benefit if you have both cards. There’s no registration required — just make sure you’re redeeming miles out of the same account as that of the credit card’s primary user.

I usually max out this benefit on partner airline award bookings

The one “glitch” to be aware of

There’s one oddity when it comes to these refunds that’s worth being aware of.

If you book an award ticket, get the 10% refund, and then later cancel the award ticket, the mileage refund will be reversed as well. So there’s not a way to “trick” the system by booking a trip and then later refunding it. This is where the issue arises — if you cancel a ticket on which you received a mileage refund, the refund gets reversed, but it still counts towards your 10,000 mile yearly limit. That’s unfortunate, since for whatever reason the system doesn’t let you earn that refund again.

So if at all possible, make sure your first redemptions of the year are ones you don’t redeposit (it’s fine to make changes as long as the award type stays the same).

Bottom line

The 10% mileage refund offered by select AAdvantage Barclaycard and Citi products is a very nice perk. The main thing to keep in mind is that ideally you’ll want to avoid having to cancel a ticket you book with this benefit, since your standard miles will be redeposited and your 10% rebate will be reverses, but it will still count towards your limit. I usually tend to max out this credit pretty early in the year, so I suspect I’ll maximize this within the next few weeks.

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  1. Lucky,

    I have successfully canceled award tickets for which I received the 10% back, received a refund for the number of miles actually taken from my account, and then successfully booked a new award ticket while still receiving the 10% back.

    Since this is confusing, an example:

    -Booked a 115,000 round trip ticket in January (115,000 miles deducted and 10,000 refunded).
    -Cancelled the ticket. (Received 105,000 miles back into my account).
    -Booked another 115,000 round trip ticket in March (115,000 miles deducted and 10,000 refunded).

    The 10% back does reverse if you cancel the ticket to which it applies.

  2. Yep. Booked in the morning of January 1. Have the Barclays card. 10,000 AAdvantage miles came back to me immediately.

  3. Andrew – note that you booked, cancelled, and rebooked awards all in the same year.

    I suspect that, if you booked an award in 2017, and cancel it in 2018, then you permanently lose the 2017 rebate.

  4. Booked F on CX from LAX to HKG (and then F on Cathay Dragon) to PEK in late May. Space opened up maybe 2 weeks ago, held out for the new year because I wanted the rebate. Was really risky, I know, but it paid off. Will get 10,000 miles back once that award tickets (thanks AA for being slow again!)

  5. If you are looking for new ways to monetize this sight, contact me Lucky. There is massive potential here.

  6. How hard is it to get a business card? My wife is a counselor who sees clients on the side of her day job, but she doesn’t have any kind of LLC or any business status like that. It’s VERY part time, so there isn’t much income either.

  7. Do I need to pay the fees with the Citi card to get 10% back?

    Or can I use another CC for that and still get 10% back as long as the award is made from the AAdvantage acct linked to the Citi card?

    Also, if I redeem today for a flight in May and cancel my Citi card later this month, will I still get 10% back?


  8. @ AG — You can use another credit card. I believe you should still get refunded the miles, since the refund seems to post shortly after the redemption is made (though it will be undone if you cancel the ticket).

  9. I just booked an AA award flight but don’t yet have the AA credit card. If I get the card now, will it retroactively give me 10% of my miles back, or would I have had to already have the card open?

  10. Dear Lucky,

    Does the Citi AA Platinum card still offer the 10% redeemed miles rebate after the changes at the end of July? I don’t see it listed anywhere on their website anymore or in my online account when I log in.


  11. I cancelled all my citi and barclays personal AA card. Have only Barclays Aviator business card. I booked an award ticket and i dont see the 10% posted. Is there any change happened tha tim not aware off?

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