Credit Takeoff is reader-supported. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more >.

American Airlines Credit Card Review

Written by Mike Pearson
Updated June 8, 2023

When considering a credit card focused on travel rewards, American Airlines offers a variety of options for avid flyers and occasional travelers alike. These credit cards come with various perks, making your flying experience with American Airlines more enjoyable, cost-effective, and rewarding. In this article, we will review and compare some of the best American Airlines credit cards available, helping you choose the right fit for your needs.

Earning rewards for your everyday spending can significantly impact the overall cost of your flights, especially if you are a frequent flyer with American Airlines. Among the many credit cards available, one can expect benefits such as sign-up bonuses, no annual fees, lounge access, and opportunities to earn extra AAdvantage miles. Carefully assessing your own spending habits and travel preferences will unlock the most valuable card choice for you.

By thoroughly comparing and analyzing the features of each American Airlines credit card, this article aims to equip readers with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. Whether your focus is on earning miles faster, getting lounge access, or seeking a card without an annual fee, we will break down and compare the options in order to help you select the card that will maximize the benefits and value offered to you.

Card Options and Overview

This section will cover four popular American Airlines credit card options: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, and Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card. Each card offers different benefits and is tailored to different types of travelers.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard is a great option for frequent American Airlines travelers who want to earn AAdvantage miles. Cardholders earn:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on other purchases.

Benefits include preferred boarding, a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, and a free checked bag on domestic flights. The card comes with an annual fee of $99, which is waived for the first year.

Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

For travelers looking for premium benefits, the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard offers a range of perks. Cardholders earn:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on other purchases.

This card comes with complimentary Admirals Club membership and offers priority check-in, priority boarding, and a free checked bag on domestic flights. The card also provides up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. The annual fee for this card is $450.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

The Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is suitable for travelers who want to earn miles quickly. The card offers:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Cardholders can earn a companion certificate after spending $20,000 in a calendar year. Additional benefits include preferred boarding, a 25% discount on in-flight purchases, and a free checked bag on domestic flights. The card’s annual fee is $99.

Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card

The Citi AAdvantage MileUp Card is a no-annual-fee option for American Airlines customers wanting to earn miles without the added cost. Cardholders receive:

  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.
  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent at grocery stores.
  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent on other purchases.

Although this card does not offer some of the premium benefits that come with the other cards, it is an excellent choice for those looking to earn miles with no annual fee.

Rewards and Benefits

Earning Miles on Purchases

With an American Airlines credit card, you can earn miles on your everyday purchases. Typically, these credit cards offer 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores. Some cards even provide bonus miles for spending in categories like restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and rental cars. Additionally, most American Airlines credit cards come with a welcome bonus, which you can earn after meeting a certain spend requirement within the first few months of account opening.

Redemption Options

Once you have accumulated your miles, you can redeem them for various rewards. Primarily, you can use miles for American Airlines flights, including MileSAAver and AAnytime award flights. Other redemption options include upgrading your seat, booking hotels, rental cars, and vacation packages. Additionally, you can transfer your miles to American Airlines partners or donate miles to various charitable causes.

Travel Perks and Discounts

As an American Airlines credit cardholder, you can enjoy numerous travel perks and discounts. Most cards offer free checked bags for you and a limited number of companions. Some premium American Airlines credit cards also provide priority boarding and complimentary Admirals Club lounge access.

When flying on American Airlines, cardholders can receive a 25% rebate on in-flight Wi-Fi, food, and beverage purchases. Furthermore, select credit cards come with an annual companion certificate, allowing you to bring a companion on an eligible flight at a significantly reduced cost.

Additional Benefits

Apart from travel rewards and perks, American Airlines credit cards offer additional benefits that can enhance your overall experience. These benefits may include:

  • Statement Credits: Some cards come with a one-time statement credit offer after meeting specific spending requirements.
  • Telecommunications and office supply store rewards: Some cards offer bonus miles on these categories, making it a valuable choice for small business owners.
  • No annual fee: Certain American Airlines credit cards have no annual fee, offering a cost-effective solution for those who want to enjoy travel rewards without incurring additional costs.

Remember to assess your spending habits and travel preferences to determine which American Airlines credit card best suits your needs, rewarding you with valuable miles and perks.

Fees and Costs

Annual Fees and Card Costs

The American Airlines credit cards offer a range of options to suit different preferences with varying annual fees. The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card has no annual fee, making it an attractive option for occasional travelers or those looking to earn miles without incurring extra costs. On the other hand, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard comes with a $99 annual fee (waived for the first 12 months), offering additional benefits and perks that frequent travelers might find valuable. The premium Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard has a $450 annual fee, but it also provides access to exclusive airport lounges and priority boarding.

Foreign Transaction Fees

One key feature of travel credit cards is how they handle foreign transaction fees. The American Airlines credit card lineup offers options that waive foreign transaction fees altogether. The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard both have no foreign transaction fees, making them particularly suitable for international travelers. The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card, however, does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Interest Rates and APR

The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for American Airlines credit cards can vary depending on your creditworthiness. Generally, these cards have APRs ranging from 20.74% to 29.74% for purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. While some cards may offer 0% APR for an introductory period, it is important to note that this rate might increase after the promotional period. To make the most of your American Airlines credit card, ensure that you pay your outstanding balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Eligibility and Application Process

Credit Score Requirements

To be eligible for an American Airlines credit card, applicants typically need to have a good to excellent credit score. This usually means a credit score of at least 670 is required.

Application Process

Applying for an American Airlines credit card is a straightforward process:

  1. Choose the card that best fits your needs, such as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Credit Card.
  2. Visit the card issuer’s website, like Citi or Barclays, to access the application.
  3. Provide personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number, and employment information.
  4. Submit your application for review.

It is important to note that each credit card issuer may have its own set of restrictions for application approvals and sign-up bonus eligibility. This may include criteria such as the number of cards you can apply for, the timing of applications, and how often you can earn sign-up bonuses or welcome offers.

Approval Odds

Your approval odds for an American Airlines credit card depend on several factors:

  • Credit score: As mentioned, a credit score of 670 or higher is generally required.
  • Income: A steady income can increase your chances of approval.
  • Credit history: A longer credit history and responsible credit use will improve your odds.
  • Debt-to-income ratio: Lower debt relative to income is preferred by card issuers.

By meeting or exceeding these requirements, your chances of being approved for an American Airlines credit card will increase. Remember, each card issuer may have additional eligibility criteria, so it’s crucial to carefully review their guidelines before applying.

Comparing American Airlines Credit Cards

Best for Travelers

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® offers excellent perks for travelers, such as 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and at restaurants and gas stations, and 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases. This card also offers a welcome bonus for new cardholders with a specified minimum spending requirement.

Perks include:

  • Group 1 boarding on American Airlines flights
  • First checked bag free for the cardholder and up to 4 companions on the same reservation
  • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights
  • No foreign transaction fees

Best for Everyday Spending

American Airlines also offers the AAdvantage® MileUp® Credit Card for everyday spending. This card has no annual fee and earns 2 miles per $1 spent at grocery stores and on American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases.

Benefits include:

  • 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights
  • No annual fee
  • American Airline special bonus offer available

Best for Business Use

Business owners can benefit from the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. This card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases, telecommunications, office supply stores, and rental cars, and 1 mile per $1 spent on other purchases.

Key features:

  • Earn American Airlines Companion Certificate after $30,000 in annual spending
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • First checked bag free for the cardholder and up to four companions on the same reservation on American Airlines flights
  • Access to oneworld partner airlines’ award flights

The choice of American Airlines credit card will depend on the traveler’s preferences and needs, balancing rewards rates, bonus offers, and other travel-related benefits.

Alternatives and Competitors

In this section, we will discuss three alternative credit cards to American Airlines credit cards for those looking for additional options. Each of these cards offers competitive rewards and benefits for travelers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a popular alternative among travel rewards cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible and can be transfered to several airline partners, including American Airlines. Some key features of this card are:

  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Rewards rate: Earn 2x points on travel and dining, and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $95

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an excellent option for travelers who value flexibility in their rewards program and do not exclusively fly American Airlines.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is another strong competitor for travel rewards cards. With this card, you can earn miles on every purchase and redeem them for various travel expenses. Key aspects of this card include:

  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months, or 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Rewards rate: Earn 2x miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Annual fee: $95

Capital One’s straightforward rewards structure can be appealing for those looking to earn miles without complicated award charts or category bonuses.

Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards

Delta offers a range of co-branded credit cards, known as Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards. These cards offer various benefits, including frequent flyer miles and perks for Delta flyers. Here are some of the options available:

These cards may be particularly appealing for travelers who prefer flying Delta or frequently use their more extensive route network. Keep in mind that comparing credit cards by rewards rate, annual fee, and additional benefits is crucial in finding the best card for your specific needs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the American Airlines credit card options cater to a range of needs for frequent flyers. The AAdvantage MileUp Card offers a competitive rewards program with 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, with no annual fee. Plus, after spending $500 in the first three months, new cardholders can earn 10,000 AAdvantage miles and a $50 statement credit. This is a reasonable offer for those seeking a card with a low spend requirement.

For avid American Airlines flyers, having a co-branded card can be beneficial in terms of rewards and convenience. There are several other American Airlines credit cards on the market, each offering different benefits and perks. When deciding which card is the best fit, consider factors such as annual fees, reward structures, and overall travel habits.

In summary, an American Airlines credit card can be worth it depending on the individual’s frequent-flyer status and spending habits. By evaluating the various card offerings and selecting the one that aligns best with one’s travel and spending preferences, an American Airlines credit card can make flying more rewarding and cost-effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the AA credit card worth it?

The value of an American Airlines credit card depends on your travel habits and loyalty to the airline. Each American AAdvantage point is worth about 1.5 cents on average, and you may find it useful if you frequently fly with American Airlines. However, if you’re not loyal to a specific airline, a more generic travel credit card might be more suitable for your needs.

What is the required credit score?

To be approved for an American Airlines credit card, you generally need a good to excellent credit score. This typically falls within a range of 670-850. Keep in mind that other factors like income, payment history, and debt-to-credit ratio are also considered during the application process.

What are the card’s benefits?

Benefits of American Airlines credit cards may include free checked bags, priority check-in, and boarding, access to reduced mileage awards, and bonus miles on specific purchases. Some cards offer additional travel benefits, like lounge access or concierge service. Keep in mind that the exact benefits vary between different AA credit card options.

Any bonus miles offers?

Many American Airlines credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for new cardholders. These bonus miles are awarded when you meet a minimum spending requirement within a specified time frame after opening the account. The specific bonus offer and spending requirement vary depending on the card you choose.

Best airline credit card?

Determining the “best” airline credit card depends on your personal preferences, spending habits, and travel goals. If American Airlines is your main airline of choice and you frequently fly with them, an AA-branded card could be a good fit. However, if you fly with multiple airlines or prioritize transferable points, you might consider a more flexible travel rewards card.

Can I have multiple AA cards?

Yes, you can have multiple American Airlines credit cards, but it’s essential to weigh the benefits and annual fees of each card carefully. Additionally, some issuers might have restrictions on how many credit cards you can hold with them, so be sure to check their specific policies before applying.

Related Posts

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

Barclay Arrival Credit Card Review

Barclay Arrival Credit Card Review

Barclays Credit Card Review

Barclays Credit Card Review

Barnes and Noble Credit Card Review

Barnes and Noble Credit Card Review

Mike Pearson


Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.