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Earlier in the week we learned about the next step of the integration between American AAdvantage and US Airways Dividend Miles. AAdvantage is more or less staying the same, while Dividend Miles will be merged into AAdvantage in the second quarter of next year.
Little is changing (for now), and that’s good
Compared to what’s going on in the rest of the industry, the lack of change is great news. I was expecting an award chart devaluation and wouldn’t have been surprised by a revenue requirement for status, though it looks like for the time being we’ve been spared. As the President of AAdvantage explained when I spoke to her earlier in the week, they’re focused on integration and not innovation, which is a smart move given what a big task it is to merge the two airlines.
So while I previously thought AAdvantage would publish a new award chart for early next year, I think it’s much more likely we’ll see a new award chart later next year or in early 2016. That means we have more time to redeem through AAdvantage and Dividend Miles at the current rates, which are among the best in the industry.
Redeem AAdvantage miles for Qantas first class
Best sign-up bonuses for American/US Airways miles
With that in mind, we’re continuing to see some fantastic sign-up bonuses for easily racking up AAdvantage and Dividend Miles.
The good thing is that for the time being Barclaycard is still issuing the US Airways co-branded credit card, while Citi is issuing the American co-branded credit card. They’re completely different products, and therefore you can potentially earn the sign-up bonus on several types of cards.
At the moment, the three most lucrative sign-up bonuses are as follows:
Current offer: 40,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: $89
Current offer: 60,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $99, but waived the first year
Current offer: 70,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 within four months
Annual fee: $95, but waived the first year
That’s potentially 140,000+ AAdvantage miles when the programs merge in the second quarter of next year, with a single $89 annual fee and $6,000 of minimum spend.
These cards come with other potentially useful benefits as well, like waived bag fees, priority boarding, a 10% mileage refund on award tickets, etc.
Who’s eligible for these sign-up bonuses?
The tricky thing is that Citi and Barclaycard seem to have the most variance in terms of who’s eligible to earn a sign-up bonus multiple times. That’s to say that while Chase seems to pretty clearly publish who is and isn’t eligible for a sign-up bonus, Citi and Barclaycard aren’t necessarily as straightforward. Not only that, but even when they do publish rules, experiences seem to vary considerably from person to person.
Who’s eligible for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® or CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®? In general:
- You can apply for at most one Citi card per week, and two Citi cards per 60 days (this includes both personal and business cards)
- For personal Citi cards, you can typically only get approved for the same card after waiting at least 12-26 months since your previous approval
- For business Citi cards, you can typically earn the bonus multiple times, assuming you close the previous card account first
Who’s eligible for The US Airways® Premier World Mastercard®? In general:
- You generally have to wait at least six months between applications of the same card
- Your chances of being approved for multiple cards goes down considerably if you decide to call the reconsideration line
- There’s a lot of variance in terms of peoples’ experiences, so some have no issue getting the card every six months even when the previous account is open, while others struggle with getting a second card even when they’ve already closed the previous accounts
There are a couple of great wikis on FlyerTalk I’d recommend checking out which provide useful data points as to peoples’ experience getting approved for the cards:
These aren’t cards I’d put a ton of spend on, but they’re a great opportunity to rack up lots of American miles with limited spend and low annual fees.
Now more than before I feel confident that AAdvantage and Dividend Miles won’t devalue their award chart in the near future, so I think it’s as good of a time as ever to rack up these miles.
Redeem AAdvantage miles for Cathay Pacific first class