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10% Miles Refund For Citi Cardholders on American Awards

by on August 23, 2012 · 52 comments

in American, Citi

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Though the current public sign-up bonus for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature is just 30,000 miles, there are still offers out there where you can get both the Citi AAdvantage Visa and the Citi AAdvantage Amex cards with 50,000-mile sign-up bonuses each for a total of 100,000 bonus American miles when you spend $3,000 on each within 4 months – and you can get both at the same time using the two-browser trick.

The bonuses are great, but there’s another valuable benefit to carrying them that could potentially save you thousands of airline miles: cardholders earn 10% of their redeemed AAdvantage miles back  up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles each calendar year.

I conservatively value American miles at about 1.8 cents each because my redemptions tend to be for long-haul international premium class tickets, so if you were to get the full 10,000 miles refunded each year, that would be about $180 in value, more than enough to make up for the annual fees on these cards.

Here are specific terms of this benefit taken from the application page for the Citi Platinum Select Visa: For benefit to apply, your Citi® / AAdvantage® account must be open and active at the time of redemption. The American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles you earn through this benefit will be based on 10% of the total AAdvantage® miles you redeem each month during the calendar year. The maximum number of AAdvantage® bonus miles you can earn annually from this benefit is 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles per calendar year, regardless of how many AAdvantage® miles you redeem in that calendar year. This benefit only applies to AAdvantage® miles redeemed from the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account. Discover all the ways to redeem AAdvantage® miles at www.aa.com/redeem. Please allow 6-8 weeks after your redemption for the American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles to post to the primary cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.

I carry the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa myself, and I redeemed 100,000 American miles on a British Airways award ticket earlier this summer, so I was curious to see if I would actually get my refund, and how long it would take. Sure enough,when I checked my AAdvantage account a few days later, I found that 10,000 miles had been redeposited into my account, bringing my award ticket down to 90,000 miles.

You don’t even have to use the card to pay the fees or anything else to get this 10% refund. You just have to be a cardholder with your AAdvantage account and credit card account in good standing.

When you also factor in that American and Citi also offer reduced-price awards for Citi AA cardholders on flights within the US and Canada originating within the 48 contiguous United States – like 17,500 mile economy and 42,500 first class roundtrip awards to select quarterly rotating cities – you could also be saving an additional 7,500 AAdvantage miles (though you do have to pay a $25 booking fee to redeem these over the phone).

So let’s say you booked two roundtrip domestic flights in first class for 100,000 miles total. You’d actually need just 85,000 miles thanks to the reduced-priced awards, saving you 15,000 miles, plus you’d get another 8,500 back for a total savings of 23,500 miles – almost enough for another reduced-price roundtrip economy ticket.

Even if you didn’t score the 50,000-mile bonuses on the Visa and Amex, but still carry a Citi AAdvantage credit card, if you have some big mileage redemptions in mind, you can maximize your American miles by taking  advantage not only of your card’s reduced-price awards levels as well as its 10% miles refund on award tickets.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • http://www.usemymilesnow.com/ redcat255

    Hmm. I a cardholder and redeemed and flew a 25,000 AAnytime domestic award (I know, I know… It was a last minute emergency trip where the flight was $500+), but I never saw the 10% bonus. Citi and AAdvantage are each kicking be back to the other, and both have said they will research the matter. Any idea who the ultimate authority on this would be?

  • Lee

    must it be Platinum Select or any AA-Citi Visa card?

  • Big D

    Are the links in he post for 50,000 sign up?

  • houstonflyer

    What do you think the odds are of anything like the 75,000-mile bonus (from 2011) coming around again? I’m trying to decide whether to jump at 50,000 or wait.

  • Mike

    is this new? I redeemed 70k points in March for a trip this December and never saw anything. Unfortunately I just cancelled my Citi card last month.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001049775463 สุภา วงค์เมือง

    I used 135k miles for a trip next month, will the 10K rebate miles show up on my account after the trip or at the end of the year?

  • Andrew Kniffin

    I also would like to know whether the links above are for 50,000 AA mile signups

  • Dprocuk

    Benefits are effective for tickets booked after 4/12 only. Your citi card must also have been active for 7 days prior to making. award booking.

  • PJ

    I highly doubt that 75K will resurface soon; a pure guess from a last class ( credit score = ~800) traveller who starts clicking on sign on bonus such as 20K on Virgin America, 40K on Alaska and US airways..

  • http://www.usemymilesnow.com/ redcat255

    Is there anything special we need to do if we have an old pre-4/12 Citi/AA card? I just realized I got no rebate for me on several redemptions over this summer.

  • Jon

    Anyone have a 50K link to the Business version of this card? I’ve got a 35K/$1500/3mo offer, but I’d really rather the 50K offer if it is still out there.

  • Jack

    Why are you pushing the links for the 30k signup when there are 50k links out there?

    Do the 50k links not pay a commission?

  • Jack
  • pssteve

    When I called Citi 8/21 to cancel my card agent advised that all redemptions in 2012 would qualify for 10% rebate and would be processed in Dec. So I didn’t cancel.Guess I better get back on the phone.

  • Valeri

    What’s your thought on keeping or canceling the card if I want to churn it? I like the benefit but also like to get 50×2 bonus. Does the ” 18month b/t apps” rule of thumb work even if I have a card open?

  • Jeffo

    Do these apply for the Business version?

  • Chris S.

    Do you know when the rebate offer officially began? I redeemed nearly 100k miles last February, and I recall this offer being made public shortly thereafter. Any chance I can get my 10k rebate for the miles spent in Feb.?

  • Mike

    Just checked, I guess it was actually May 1 when I booked. No rebate though. Anyone know if you can get the rebate if you have cancelled the card even though it was active for 3 months after booking?

  • Ben

    Hey TPG – Another reason I love this card, I checked my statement today and I have a $150 statement credit. The memo says “Congrats! Category Spend Bonus”. Do you know anything about these? I got this one on accident, I didn’t know about it, but if you know about other category spend bonuses for this card I will start targeting those! I have the AA Visa. Thanks, love this blog!

  • Eav228

    If I have 2 Citi AA cards do I get a maximum of 20k miles back if I redeem 200k miles in a year?

  • Fanfoot

    I guess the obvious question is whether you can justify the $95 annual fee based on this benefit. If you value AAdvantage miles at 2 cents per mile it would require 4750 miles in bonus to compensate for the fee. So in any year you redeem 47,500 miles (not counting potentially lower redemption rates with the card) you’d justify the price of the card. Redeem more and it would be worth keeping it. Of course there’s also the opportunity cost of keeping it–that you can’t churn it and get the bonus miles again…

  • thepointsguy

    The 50k links are clearly linked and bolded in the first paragraph
    50,000-mile sign-up bonuses each for a total of 100,000 bonus American miles when you spend $3,000 on each within 4 months – and you can get both at the same time using the two-browser trick.”

  • thepointsguy

    Yes- go to this post for more info on how to get both offers. I don’t directly link to them because the landing page does not indicate how many miles are offered, so I linked to this post explaining everything http://thepointsguy.com/2012/06/100000-american-miles-for-2-citi-credit-cards/

  • thepointsguy

    No- 10k maximum rebate no matter how many cards you have

  • thepointsguy

    April 12, 2012

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • thepointsguy

    The link in the very first paragraph links to the post explaining the 50k offers http://thepointsguy.com/2012/06/100000-american-miles-for-2-citi-credit-cards/

  • thepointsguy

    Usually a month or so after you make the redemption

  • thepointsguy

    I highly doubt it

  • Cliff1371

    Does the 10% rebate apply only for redeeming awards for flights or will the rebate apply if I redeem miles for hotels too?

  • Jorge

    Yep, applied today, got approved, called Citi, and confirmed 50k Miles .. Still works ..

  • arcticbull

    40K US is a great one, though :) Not just because it pulls from Transunion when nobody else does, but you can churn it, sometimes even without closing the original one, there’s no minimum spend at all and you get 5K rebate on all US Air redemptions on US metal, and 10K anniversary bonus for an $89 fee, plus 2 club certs and a $99 companion fare. That’s a heck of a card for a second-tier issuer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.williams.524 Jim Williams

    I’m wondering if I should hold out until the new year or not. Is there a spend bonus, like on the Chase cards, such as “spend $25,000, get 10,000 bonus points?” I pump about $8000 in business expenses through AMEX and Chase Ultimate/United, so I can get the points/bonus.

    Is there a similar bonus on this card beyond the $3000 spend?

    Time to move to American so I can have a better chance to fly bigger jets.

  • Chemist661

    One could call retentions and see what deal they have for you keeping the card. On my last round (a year ago), I was able to get the annual fee credited for making some purchases. (Visa-one purchase, AMEX-I think 6 purchases). If you get the annual fee credited, that is icing on the cake!!

    After 24 months, I applied for a new set (2) of Citi AA cards @50K each. Both approved!! A few months before applying, I cancelled one of the cards (AMEX) and that way, I would not have the problem of maximum credit alotted with Citi.

  • Mike

    I have an award flight booked early this year for travel in October. Just signed up for the AA card(s) a month ago. Any chance I’ll get the 10% credit automatically or maybe have luck fighting for it? Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.williams.524 Jim Williams

    Jorge, are you talking about the links above? Thanks!

  • Lee H

    Bummer! I now have all 3 – personal Visa and Amex and business. Was hoping to get 30k back!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001049775463 สุภา วงค์เมือง

    Is it after the trip is over? if so, its been 5 months so far.. I’ll wait and see, and contact them if not by the first of the year.

  • ashley

    If I transferred SPG points to American and then redeemed would I essentially have a double stack

  • KC

    When do you see the 10% mileage refund back to your account?

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  • rrgg

    Did the 10,000 miles appear on your Citi statement as well? Thanks.

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  • Ryan

    By “calendar year,” does that mean January-December of each year? I just spoke with an Citi AAdvantage agent and was told it did not mean that — and that it was a 10,000 max every 12 months from when you opened the account.

    I redeemed 165,000 miles in Dec 2012 and another 165,000 miles in Jan 2013. Shouldn’t I get 20,000 miles back?

    I actually haven’t gotten anything back yet!

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