Earn 220K+ American Miles With These Four Great Sign-Up Bonuses

Update: This offer for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

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American is in the unique position of having credit cards issued by both Citi and Barclaycard, which is great for consumers, since it means we have access to more credit cards than most other airlines offer. For those of you who don’t have any/all American Airlines credit cards, I wanted to recap how you can maximize your AAdvantage mileage balance with the current offers:

The bonuses on the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card and Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card are limited time, and have been around since mid-October. All of these cards come with perks when flying American, which can be useful whether you’re a frequent or occasional American flyer.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for Cathay Pacific business class

Who is eligible for these sign-up bonuses?

In terms of Citi cards, you can be approved for the sign-up bonuses on both the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card and Business Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card. The main thing to be aware of is that with Citi you can only apply for one card every eight days, and two cards every 65 days. So your strategy should be to apply for one of these cards first, and then eight or more days later apply for the other one. The other restriction to be aware of is regarding having multiple personal or business Citi AAdvantage cards (again, in this case one is personal and one is business, so you’re good, but you do want to be aware of this if you have other Citi AAdvantage cards):

For the personal card:

“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.”

And for the business card:

“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.”

As far as the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard and AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard go, you’re eligible for the sign-up bonuses on both cards, though Barclaycard typically only approves people for one card every six months. So my priority would be applying for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, since it has the bigger sign-up bonus. Personally I’d hold off on applying for the business card in hopes of also seeing a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus there.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for Japan Airlines business class

Are American miles even worth it?

There’s no denying that the value of American miles has decreased, between last year’s AAdvantage devaluation and also American’s lack of saver level award availability on their own flights nowadays.

However, American miles continue to be incredibly valuable for travel on partner airlines. As a reminder, here are American’s partner airline business class award rates for travel departing the US:

Contiguous 48 U.S. To:Business ClassFirst Class
Contiguous 48 U.S. States 25,00050,000
Canada & Alaska30,00055,000
Central America27,50052,500
South America Zone 130,00055,000
South America Zone 257,50085,000
Middle East / India70,000115,000
Asia Zone 160,00080,000
Asia Zone 270,000110,000
South Pacific80,000110,000

Nowadays partner business class redemptions are the sweet spot for redeeming AAdvantage miles. 57,500 miles for business class to Europe, 60,000-70,000 miles for business class to Asia, 70,000 miles for business class to the Middle East/India, 75,000 miles for business class to Africa, etc., all represent great deals.

If you were to apply for three of the above cards and earn 180,000 miles (with just $95 of annual fees the first year), you’d have more than enough miles for a roundtrip business class ticket to any of those destinations.

You can fly some really fantastic airlines in business class too, including Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Japan Airlines, Qatar, etc.

Redeem AAdvantage miles for Etihad business class

Bottom line

There are some great sign-up bonuses on AAdvantage credit cards, in particular for the Personal Platinum Citi AAdvantage CardBusiness Platinum Citi AAdvantage Card, and AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard. If you don’t have any or all of these cards, I’d highly recommend applying, given the great partner redemption opportunities that are available through AAdvantage.

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  1. I think the “Who is eligible for these sign-up bonuses?” section should reference the relatively new Citi 24 month policy, to wit:

    “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.” (personal card)


    “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.” (business card)

  2. On a side note. I originally applied for the Citi® / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard after I was targeted for a 30,000 mile bonus after spending $750. I went for it since my credit was not above 700 and felt I could be approved for the card in spite of the low bonus. Shortly after my car arrives in the mail I get a mailer from Citi offering 50,000 miles. I called them and asked if I could get the exgtra 20,000 miles and they indeed deposited them into my account after about 45 days. Last month I see the same card is offering a sign up bonus of 60,000 miles. I called Citi again and asked them if I qualified for the increased sign up bonus. To my surprise they deposited an additional 20,000 miles into my account. 70,000 miles for spending $750 on a card with an waived annual fee is a great deal to me. Love this game!

  3. “Nowadays partner business class redemptions would be the sweet spot for redeeming AAdvantage miles, if available without hefty fuel surcharges.”

    There, I fixed it. Few, realistic options remain for any use of AAdvantage miles. Potential uses abound, but few are actually available sans fuel surchanges. It’s enough to make one consider flying United or Delta. #forshame

  4. @ Justin White — You can redeem on all four of the airlines I mentioned without fuel surcharges, they all offer great products, and award availability is also quite good on all of them.

  5. Justin White, what are you talking about? BA is only one with fuel surcharges and no one wants to fly them anyway. I just booked CPT-MCI in biz with a couple QR legs for like $200. Those are taxes that you’d have to pay regardless.

  6. Not sure if this has made the blogs, but I was on an AA flight from DFW to DEN over Thanksgiving weekend, and the flight attendant, while promoting the Barclays card, said that the 60,000 award ends on November 30th.

  7. Apparently, it’s not enough to simply add “if available”. Availability is woeful at the best of times with AA unless suicidal enough to pay the AAnytime rates. If others find what they’re looking for, good for them. I won’t be bothered to waste my time chasing AAdvantage miles or status any longer, given the general inability to redeem miles with more discretion and general lack of service provided by AA and its employees.

  8. I have just spent almost 3 months searching every day for business award (non-BA) from Europe on AA or partners. Rare availability is an understatement. Checking everyday for 331 days out became a full time job with nil results for 2 business tickets. AA keeps dumping miles with no use unless you want to cash out 200000 for anytime non-saver tickets. Sad.

  9. Is it possible to be “re-awarded” the 60,000 bonus for the AA Platinum Select Citi Card (personal) if I originally got the card over 2 years ago?

    That’s the way I’m reading the terms posted above but seems a little too good to be true…

  10. @ WWRJB — If you had the card but closed it over two years and don’t have another personal Citi AAdvantage Card, you should be eligible.

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