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The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has a number of great perks that you can begin taking advantage of right away. This is a good card if you want to earn AAdvantage miles without paying a fee. However, if you’re traveling frequently or want to travel another way, you may want to consider a different card.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Overview
Credit Card Type: Travel Card
Annual Fee: $0
Sign-Up Bonus/Offer: Yes – Earn 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles and receive a $50 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Recommended Credit Score: 680 and Higher
Redemption: Redeem your AAdvantage®miles for flights, upgrades to First Class, car rentals, hotel stays or vacation packages.
Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for each $1 spent at grocery stores, grocery delivery services
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
- Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights
Interest rate: The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Benefits
No Annual Fees: With a majority of the airline cards on the market, you have to consider whether the value of your rewards will outweigh the cost of owning the card. With the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card, you don’t have to worry about that as it has no annual fee. Other travel credit cards can be as much as $500 a year to own, so that’s a big perk you can’t deny.
In-Flight Perks: The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card offers 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases. If you’re a frequent flyer, you know those purchases can add up over time. While it may not be much, it’s an added benefit for sure.
Grocery Spending: Many airline credit cards offer 1 mile per dollar on everything except on airline spending. The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card gets you 2 miles per dollar spent on grocery shopping, including grocery delivery services. If you spend a lot on such purchases, this bonus category could be valuable.
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card Downfalls
No Flexibility: In most cases, the top redemption options for AAdvantage miles are award flights and seat upgrades on American and through their Oneworld partners. But if those choices are too limited for you, you’re better off getting a card with more flexible rewards.
On the other hand, cash-back credit cards usually offer rewards that can be used to cover any cost you want. Personally, I prefer a cash back card I can use when I want. For example, look at the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which earns 2% cash back on everything, 1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% back as you pay for it. With no annual fee, that becomes an easy decision for me when deciding which card would be best.
Average Sign-Up Bonus: The sign-up bonus for this card is average at best. If you want to stick with a travel card, you may want to consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® card. With that card, you get 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, which can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases. You’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with each point worth 1 cent toward travel. It charges no foreign transaction fee.
High Foreign Transaction Fees: The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has a 3% foreign transaction fee internationally, so this is not a card you’d want to use traveling. Again, there’s a number of different credit cards out there that are much better in this scenario. If you’re looking for a card that earns travel rewards but is also good to use internationally, you may want to think about getting the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card. It earns 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, and it skips the foreign transaction fees. Even better, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card has an annual fee of $0.
Redemption Can Be Complicated: Personally, I don’t want redemption to be complicated. It shouldn’t be, it should be easy and simple. The AAdvantage travel program can be complicated for newbies or travelers. Now, there’s great value to be found in the AAdvantage airline chart, like MileSAAVer awards, which allow you to travel on as few as 7,500 miles. However, you’ll have to deal with blackout dates and limited award seats, which I dislike.
If you’re trying to plan a vacation or getaway, there’s a lot of rules you have to follow. AAdvantage divides its award chart into zones and doesn’t allow you to book tickets that cross over a zone to get between two zones. It can be difficult to find room on AAdvantage’s airline partners also. As I’ve said time and time again, why does it have to be complicated?
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card In Closing
As you’ve learned, the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has both pros and cons. For some of you, this card makes total sense. For others, this travel card wouldn’t be the right option.
If you’re a frequent American Airlines traveler, there’s a number of rewards you can take advantage of. If you use other carriers and don’t want to be tied down to one single airline, you’re better off choosing a more flexible travel credit card.
The no annual fee is always a great benefit. The in-flight perks are also a cool feature. As we discussed in the downfalls, redeeming rewards can be complicated. Furthermore, knowing what you can earn and can’t also be complicated for new members of the program.
The sign-up bonus is average at best.
Overall, if American Airlines is your priority choice for travel and you travel a few times a month, this card can be a benefit. If you prefer the freedom to fly with who you want, choose another travel card. That’s my recommendation, hope it helps you make the right choice for you.