The Best American Airlines Credit Cards
The Best American Airlines Credit Cards
The best American Airlines credit cards to earn AAdvantage miles American consumers have a sophisticated credit card selection, because Citi and Barclays issue its cards.
All the cards give sign-up bonuses, improved rewards rates on American Airlines purchases, and in-flight food and drink savings. Each earns points toward airline elite status. Annual fees and bonuses vary widely amongst cards.
Barclays also provides the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® for a higher yearly fee. You must first apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® and then ask for the upgrade. Review of the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®.
Which Differences Among these cards from one another?
The annual cost of these American Airlines co-branded cards differs.
- The American Airlines AAdvantage Card has no annual charge, making it the cheapest. Its bonuses aren’t as strong as other American Airlines cards, so it’s not for everyone.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® includes $0 intro and $99 yearly fees. This allows you a year to determine whether to keep the card.
- The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is $99. This card’s annual fee isn’t eliminated, and its continuous bonus rewards aren’t as diverse as those on the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. It has distinct properties. That’s next.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the best. $450 annually. It comes with perks that other American Airlines co-branded cards don’t.
Read: The Best Barclay’s AAdvantage Aviator Mastercard Reviews (2022)
Rewards on non-airline spending
There’s no difference among these cards when it comes to the rewards they earn on American Airlines purchases. But it’s worth noting that only two of them offer double miles on spending beyond American Airlines:
- The AAdvantage Card earns 2X miles at supermarkets.
- This card earns 2X miles at restaurants and gas stations.
TheFM gives 1.5 cents per American mile. This is a baseline value from hundreds of economic routes, not a maximal value. You should redeem American miles for 1.5 cents or more.
American Airlines AAdvantage Card’s bonus offer isn’t bad for a $0 annual-fee card: After spending $500 in the first 3 months, earn 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles and a $50 statement credit.
Other (annual-fee) cards provide bigger perks:
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
- 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles with first purchase and complete yearly fee payment within 90 days. This could be the easiest bonus.
Travel Insurance Benefits
AAdvantage Card It’s free to carry, but there’s no free checked bag, which is a downside.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® and AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® offer a complimentary checked luggage for you and up to four travelling companions. Even if you only fly once a year, this perk can cover the annual fee.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® covers one checked bag for you and up to eight guests. This can save families a bundle on luggage costs.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has features other cards don’t:
- It includes Admirals Club membership, which allows access to roughly 50 airport lounges worldwide. Members can bring in close family or two visitors.
- Admirals Club membership rates vary on airline status. AAdvantage members without elite status pay $650 a year.
- But the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has further perks:
- Once you meet a spending requirement, you can earn a companion certificate. Notes:
- “Flight Cents” lets you round up purchases to the next dollar and acquire AAdvantage miles.
- You’ll get a $25 annual credit for in-flight Wi-Fi.
- Big spenders who renew their Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® will enjoy a $125 American Airlines flight discount for every $20,000 they spend.
All cards except the AAdvantage Card offer early boarding.
Citibank issues the American Airlines AAdvantage Card, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, and the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®.
Barclays’ AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® has advantages.
What’s the same?
AAdvantage rewards on airline spending
All four cards earn 2 AAdvantage points every $1 on American Airlines transactions.
All cards give a 25% discount on in-flight food and drinks.
No 0% intro APR offers — with one exception
If you were hoping for interest-free time on a big-ticket item, look elsewhere.
The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® offers a balance transfer intro APR term.
Balance transfers within 45 days of account opening enjoy 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles. Variable APR of 19.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74%.
The four cards’ ongoing APRs differ significantly, but not enough to matter.
Making The Choice
The American Airlines AAdvantage Card is perfect for solo travellers who don’t want an annual fee.
If you fly round-trip at least once a year with one or more friends, get the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® or the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®. Without a free-checked-bag bonus, a round-trip ticket for two will cost $120. This would exceed their annual fees.
If you want an elite experience and are devoted to American Airlines, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® will get you and your family inside the Admirals Club lounge. No co-branded cards offer that.
A one-day pass to an Admirals Club lounge costs $59 per person, with up to three children under 18 admitted for free. Select venues provide one-day passes. If you fly rarely, you’ll save money with a cheaper card and lounge access when needed.
If you don’t want to be limited to one airline or wish to use your points on nights, consider a generic travel rewards card.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card It earns 2x back on most purchases, not only American Airlines trips. The card lets you redeem rewards for travel expenditures beyond American Airlines tickets.