Posted by: pizzainmotion | January 27, 2013

Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard Sign-Up Bonus Dropping to 30,000 Miles?

Now that I’ve switched the majority of travel back to American Airlines I’m spending a lot more time on the AA website.  Over the past few weeks I’ve noted the 40,000 mile sign-up offers for the Citi Platinum Select/AAdvantage World MasterCard in the margin alongside the booking engine, along with a $125 statement credit:

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 8.41.01 AM

Someone asked me recently if the card was worth it.  I didn’t recall seeing the $125 statement credit until recently, so I went to check out all the benefits so I could render my opinion.  You see, I cut my teeth on these cards, applying for all the different flavors (MasterCard, VISA and even an AMEX after a while), then applying again when I heard you could get the bonus more than once.  But, then I found out how valuable the Starwood Preferred AMEX Card was, and a number of years later discovered Chase Sapphire and Ink Bold (note, I DON’T earn any referral credits for any of these cards, just my current favorite earners).

The odd thing was, as I started to research the offer I realized that the link (a MasterCard link) was intermittently displaying a 30,000 mile offer with a $100 statement credit:

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 8.41.16 AM

This occurred on and off yesterday, and then finally this morning the banner on the side of the page changed to 30,000 miles as well:

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 9.45.34 PM

As I mentioned, though, there are three flavors of this card (along with business versions).  And, from the front page of AA.com there’s still a link to a 40,000 mile VISA offer, which very clearly shows that the 40K offer is alive in some places still:

Screen Shot 2013-01-27 at 10.19.02 AM

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the VISA offer is the better one to take right now, since the only difference in terms is that the 40,000 mile offer requires $3,000 in spend versus $1,000.

While this card isn’t as valuable as the Starwood AMEX or Ink Bold, there’s still some good reasons to keep it in your wallet.  If you’re not an elite on AA but you fly them a bit here and there, the free checked bag and priority boarding are definitely real benefits worth some money.

However, if you do have elite status with AA (or are striving towards it), you might be better off taking 10,000 fewer miles up front as a bonus and applying for the Citi Executive Card.  Assuming you can stomach the $450 annual fee (which basically pays for your lounge membership), this card gives you essentially the same suite of benefits plus the ability to earn 10,000 EQMs on AA every year.  Hugely valuable if you’re trying to re-qualify for Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum (my favorite of all my airline status levels).

For all I know, the VISA or MasterCard offers may still be in the process of changing.  I’ve seen these bonus offers as high as 75K a while ago and 50K in the more recent past, so neither is an especially good deal from a historical perspective.  And, if you’re only goal is to earn AAdvantage miles, then the SPG card is the better deal since you earn a 25% bonus when you transfer to AAdvantage.

But, a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus is still nothing to sneeze at if you have a trip you’re trying to plan now and need miles sooner than later.


Responses

  1. “…And, if you’re (your) only goal is to earn AAdvantage miles, then the SPG card is the better deal since you earn a 25% bonus when you transfer to AAdvantage.”

    I am getting tired of all the bloggers keep saying SPG card is better than all the others. Then, explain me something… I just want to get cc sign up bonus, and if I get a SPG card, I get 25K or max 30K SPG bonus points. If I transfer those 30K pints to AA, I can get 35K AA miles!!! How can 35K AA miles be BETTER than 40K AA miles you get with this card???? What am I missing here??

    I have all those cards, and miles and points in all the programs. The least convenient points I have found are SPG points for my travel. I value UR and Hyatt points higher than SPG points!!

    • RP,

      I didn’t say the SPG card was better than all the other cards. To clarify what I was saying, if you’re using either the SPG card or the AA card for EVERYDAY SPEND, the SPG card is the better value, since you’ll earn that 25% bonus. For example, if you spend $20,000 on groceries and gas, that’s worth 25,000 AAdvantage miles if you charge it on the SPG AMEX (because you get a 25% bonus when you transfer in 20,000 point chunks to AA) versus 20,000 miles on the AA card (1 mile per $1 with no bonus on everyday spend).

      As far as the signup bonus is concerned, there’s no question the AA signup bonus is better then the SPG bonus. For those just getting a card for the signup bonus, the AA card is ultimately the better choice if your goal is to earn AA miles. If you wanted the flexibility to also redeem for hotels, then SPG may be more valuable.

      As to UR, I do regard them slightly higher value then SPG, but each to his own valuation. I do value SPG points higher then Hyatt points based largely on the value of transferring them to airline partners with that 25% bonus.

  2. I just applied for the Citi AA MasterCard Business card on Friday. It’s pending approval.I have the two Citi AA Visa and Amex cards. My credit score is 787. Do you think I have an ok shot at applying for this Citi AA MC today to get the 40K?

    • Sorry, I meant the 30K for the Citi AA MC.

    • Rebecca, with that credit score I’d say you have a pretty good shot. How long ago did you get your VISA? You might have a shot at getting another one at the 40K.

      Regards, Edward Pizzarello

      • Thanks! I got the Citi AA Amex and Visa (2 browser trick) in August 2011 for 75K miles each. Not quite at the 18 month mark. Do I need to cancel the other 2 cards to try for the bonus again? Should I try a 3 browser trick today with the MC, Visa, and Amex?

        • My understanding is it’s a YMMV on canceling previous cards. You have a high score. I’ve gotten multiples of those cards in the past but some have reported not being able to more recently.

          Regards, Edward Pizzarello

          • Just to follow up, I did apply and was approved. I confirmed with the rep that the offer was for 40K miles for spending $3K in 3 months plus another 10K miles for spending $10k in 12 months.

            • Good news, Rebecca! And, thanks for the update. Glad to see Citi is still flexible/lax on reapplying.

  3. […] couple of weeks ago I wrote about some changes to the credit card offers being shown on American Airlines’ website.  It wasn’t great news, the sign-up bonus on the MasterCard looked like it was dropping from […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: