Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now
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Hilary Stockton
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TravelSort reader Jamie asked what the best current bonus offers are for American AAdvantage miles are. American AAdvantage  miles are especially valuable in redeeming for Cathay Pacific first class and business class, but unlike the Best United Miles Bonus Offers Available Now, it can be harder to earn lots of them through credit card spend, for a few reasons:

  • Not as many different credit card products earn AA miles 
  • Membership Rewards points and Ultimate Rewards points don't transfer to AA miles
  • As neither Membership Rewards nor Ultimate Rewards points transfer to AA miles, it also means no spend category bonuses, except for 2x AA miles for spend on American Airlines
  • Few partner transfer bonuses
All that notwithstanding, here are our picks for the best American AAdvantage bonus offers available now. If you take advantage of all of them (not counting churning or hotel points transfers) that's 207,500 American AAdvantage miles (counting miles received from minimum spend required for the bonuses). Get your spouse or partner to take advantage of all of them, and that's a total of 415,000 AA miles, enough for a family of 3 to fly first class roundtrip to Asia on Cathay Pacific, and almost enough (you'll need a total of 440 AA miles) for a family of 4 to fly business class roundtrip to Asia on Cathay Pacific.
 

We’ve prioritized the offers in terms of the greatest number of AA miles with the least required spend and effort. We don't receive a referral for any of the Citi cards or Fidelity offer, only for the SPG and Hyatt cards, and are grateful if you use our links to apply! For the overall best current offers, check out Best Travel Credit Cards

 
Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now
 
 


1. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Signature Visa and Citi Select AAdvantage AMEX (50K AA miles)

  • 50,000 AAdvantage miles after $3000 spend within the first 4 months for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa 
  • $150 statement credit after the first eligible AA purchase
  • 2 Admirals Club Lounge One-Day Passes 
  • 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on American Airlines within first 12 months, 1 AAdvantage mile for all other spend
  • $85 annual fee waived the first year
  • Note that the Citi AAdvantage 2 Browser Trick is Dead; if you apply for 2 Citi cards at the same time, you will only get approved for one of them

2. Citi Gold AAdvantage World MasterCard (30K AA miles)
3. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card (50K AA miles)
  • You need to wait 65 days between Citi card applications, so on Day 66 (if you applied for the Citi AAdvantage Gold card on Day 2) or Day 67 (if you applied on Day 3) apply for the CitiBusiness AAdvantage card
  • 50,000 AA miles after $3000 in spend within the first 4 months
  • $150 statement credit after the first eligible AA purchase 
  • 2 Admirals Club passes

4. Churn Citi AAdvantage cards
  • You can churn Citi AAdvantage cards, meaning you potentially can receive the bonus again. 
  • You should wait at least 18 months after reapplying for a Citi personal credit card; better if you wait 20 or more months
  • Note there are no guarantees; offers are supposed to be for "first time cardholders only" and people have been refused additional bonus points on these grounds when reapplying, so your mileage may vary

4. Fidelity Brokerage Account (up to 50K AA miles)
  • 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after you open a Fidelity nonretirement brokerage account and deposit $100K, or add $100K to an existing Fidelity nonretirement brokerage account
  • Note that if you or anyone in your family/household is employed at a securities/brokerage firm, you won't be eligible.
  • Yes, $100K is a lot, but it's not actual spend--you can withdraw it after you get your miles. Plus, if you’re keeping this in cash or checking/savings accounts, you may as well get a greater ROI than the <1% interest banks are currently paying
  • Earlier, some folks reported being able to "cycle" money into the account through a series of deposits and withdrawals, in order to get to the $100K deposit. More recently, people have not had success with this, so be prepared to fully fund and keep the funds there for 6 months in order to receive the bonus.
Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now


5. Transfer 20,000 SPG points for 25,000 AA miles
  • If you have the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) AMEX  You receive 5x SPG points per dollar spent at Starwood Hotels if you are a Gold or Platinum SPG member; otherwise, 4 points per dollar spent at Starwood properties
  • This is the best transfer ratio for hotel points: 1:1, with the standard SPG 5000 bonus for each increment of 20,000 SPG points that you transfer
  • Note that SPG points transfers to AA can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks

6. Transfer Hyatt, Wyndham, Priority Club, Hilton Points to AA miles
While SPG point transfers are the best option if you have loads of SPG points, since you receive a 5000 mile bonus when transferring increments of 20,000 SPG points, you can transfer other hotel points to AA miles, which may be worthwhile if you have a ton of these points or just need to slightly top up your AAdvantage account to redeem for an award. For example:
  • If you have the Hyatt Visa, you receive 3 Hyatt points for every $1 spent at Hyatt properties. You can transfer at the ratio of 2.5 Hyatt points to 1 AA mile, but if you transfer 50,000 Hyatt points you receive a 5000 mile bonus, for a total of 25,000 AA miles:
Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now

  • Wyndham points transfer at the ratio of 2.5 Wyndham points to 1 AA mile. You may transfer in 3 increments: 8000 Wyndham points for 3200 AA miles; 17,500 Wyndham points for 7000 AA miles, or 30,000 Wyndham points for 12,000 AA miles
Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now

  • Priority Club points transfer at a worse ratio than Wyndham, so not recommended: 10,000 Hilton points for 2000 AA miles
  • Hilton Honors points transfer at an even worse ratio than Priority Club, so *really* not recommended: 10,000 Hilton points for 1500 AA miles
Best American AAdvantage Miles Bonus Offers Available Now

  • Note that you cannot transfer Marriott points to AA miles
 
Know of any great American AAdvantage Miles bonus offers we haven't mentioned? Tell us in the comments!
 
 
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Comments
Picture?type=large Prachya P. commented 18 May 2012
I have a question: I already have 2 AA credit cards, one opened since 2006, one since 2009. (and 2 UA, both opened last year), can I cancel AA citicards (they both link to each other) and try to open a new one?
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 18 May 2012
Prachya, you may well be able to get the AA bonus again, assuming you have not had any Citi card applications in at least 18 months. As we noted above, there are of course no guarantees, but it's worth a try if you've had no Citi personal credit card applications in the past 18+ months. you could try to get both the AA Visa and AA Amex again for 100K miles. Good luck!
Picture?type=large Prachya P. commented 18 May 2012
But I can not tell the same agent that I want to close the old account and open a new one right? I have to talk to the different agents. Or you mean I can also keep the old citicards? I have 1 Master 1 Amex.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 18 May 2012
Actually you need to apply online anyway (not through agents)to get the 50,000 bonus offers, so yes--would close your existing two cards (if possible, first move your credit line to another Citi card that you aren't closing) then apply for the AA Amex/AA Visa using 2 browsers.
User_avatar_default lee l. commented 29 Jul 2012
DO you know if the 50,000 bonus offer for the Citi Aadvantage Business card still exists? If so, would you send me the link? Thank.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 29 Jul 2012
Lee, Yes, it does, and you can find the link on our Best Travel Credit Cards page: http://travelsort.com/best-travel-credit-cards
User_avatar_default Zheng Z. commented 20 Sep 2012
Is two browser trick same as using two computers? Thanks, Zheng
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 20 Sep 2012
Zheng, yes--you can either use two different computers or two different browsers (e.g. Chrome and Firefox) open at the same time.
Picture?type=large Lori H. commented 07 Mar 2013
I was under the impression that benefits such as group 1 boarding was tied to your advantage number regardless if you use a card to buy your tickets - has been for my last 5 flights. Today when i checked in I was given group 4. i called citi aadvantGe and was told you have to use the card to buy the ticket to get the benefit and my last 5 trips were a mistake. Any idea what's the real story?
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 07 Mar 2013
Lori, if this is true, this is definitely a new change from the terms state and how it has worked before. You are correct that it's supposed to be based on having the card open and in good standing and having your AAdvantage number tied to the reservation, which should result in Group 1 displaying on your boarding pass, so it's strange you were given Group 4. The terms state: Priority Boarding with Group 1 Privileges For benefit to apply, at the time of booking, Citi® / AAdvantage® account must have been open at least 7 days and reservation must include the primary cardmember's American Airlines AAdvantage® number. If your credit card account is closed for any reason, these benefits will be cancelled. This benefit is valid for travel booked and ticketed on or after April 2, 2012. The Priority Boarding benefit on your Citi® / AAdvantage® card will display at the top of your American Airlines boarding pass as Group 1.:
User_avatar_default jeremy p. commented 17 Mar 2013
Hilary, Thanks for the great post! I applied for two Citi AA cards using the two browser trick back in November then applied for the Citi Business Advantage card you have referenced in this post. I was denied, with the reason that my business is too new to evaluate. This is the first time I've applied for a business card and been denied. Service reps haven't been helpful at all. Is it worth pursuing this further to try and get it approved?
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 17 Mar 2013
Jeremy, glad the post was helpful! Sorry to hear you've been denied for the CitiBusiness card; I would definitely write to the Citi Executive office to try to get it approved. For example, see this Flyertalk post where someone was denied for the same reason and was able to get it approved by writing: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/19522794-post2698.html No guarantee of course, but worth a try. See the Citi Executive Office address on our Credit Card Reconsideration post: http://travelsort.com/blog/credit-card-denied-call-these-reconsideration-phone-numbers
Picture?type=large Mat M. commented 28 Apr 2013
Hillary, I want to travel with my wife and possibly one other friend to Hong Kong next summer. What is the best airline for first class or business travel for couples(we really like to sit next to each other and chat on long plane flights). Though I know you have a separate post for this, could you recommend just one... your top recommendation? Also, I have not started the application process yet but woud really like to target the types of rewards points we will be using on the trip. What types of points should I shoot for that will get me tickets on your recommended airline, and possibly allow me to travel to different places in Asia when I'm there? Are there point types that you would stay away from because they would not apply to that trip?
Picture?type=large Mat M. commented 28 Apr 2013
Hillary, I want to travel with my wife and possibly one other friend to Hong Kong next summer. What is the best airline for first class or business travel for couples(we really like to sit next to each other and chat on long plane flights). Though I know you have a separate post for this, could you recommend just one... your top recommendation? Also, I have not started the application process yet but woud really like to target the types of rewards points we will be using on the trip. What types of points should I shoot for that will get me tickets on your recommended airline, and possibly allow me to travel to different places in Asia when I'm there? Are there point types that you would stay away from because they would not apply to that trip?
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 28 Apr 2013
Mat, if you prefer a direct flight and are ok with one person sitting across from the other on the ottoman, I'd recommend Cathay Pacific. Even though it's not a fully enclosed suite, I've found it ideal when traveling with a partner, if one person doesn't mind sitting in the "suite" of the other. You can also enjoy a window seat this way. That said, if you really want both seats/suites right next to each other, don't care about a window seat and don't mind connecting in Singapore, then I'd go with Singapore Suites via Singapore, although keep in mind it can be tougher to get 2 Singapore Suite awards on the same flight than 2 Cathay Pacific First Class Awards. For Cathay, you could use a combination of credit card applications and BankDirect. For Singapore, you'd need to build up AMEX and/or SPG points, which can be tougher to accrue unless you're targeted for a big bonus offer. For getting around Asia, there are several choices, from Discover Asia air passes for various carriers and cheap LCC flights to British Airways Avios awards or stopping over d pick Cathay or Singapore.
Picture?type=large Jesus O. commented 17 Jul 2013
Q: re: the Fidelity offer... Can I move my money out as soon as the miles are deposited? Sounds strange for fidelity to request a miles "refund" from Advantage program. Thoughts? Great info, BTW!
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 17 Jul 2013
Thanks, glad it's helpful! As I mentioned in the post and as the terms state, you must keep the funds in the Fidelity account at least 6 months:" Your Fidelity Account® must remain open with the qualifying funding for six months from the date that the qualifying assets are first received in the eligible account."
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